So, Alan Scott is gay post-new 52, and the reaction from the Trolliverse is as predictable as it is ridiculous. As our pal George put it, “I do think it’s pretty funny when people are like, “UGH ALAN SCOTT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTER IN COMICS DC YOU REALLY FUCKED UP THIS TIME ALAN SCOTT IS THE MOST CLASSIC DC CHARACTER NOW HE’S GAY WTF.”
Suffice to say that G3 is firmly on the side of diversity, and having a high profile, gay hero in a mainstream comic book is a good thing. The decision is laudable. The execution, not so much.
DC’s coy PR campaign leading up to the reveal was unnecessary and not a little bit exploitative. The company touted the identity of the “iconic” character as a “mystery” and sold it as a “big upcoming twist,” feeding weeks of press hype and prompting the trolls to place their orders for new torches and pitchforks. As publicity baiting goes, this is about as naked as it gets. I’ll be the first one to admit that it stoked my curiosity for a moment.
A character’s sexual orientation shouldn’t be headline news in 2012. Yes, Archie Comics and Marvel made big announcements about the weddings of gay characters in their books, but at least those events are topical — plus, comic book nuptials are often the subjects of press releases. Those publishers didn’t do the equivalent of showing a little leg, then telling readers to come back in a few weeks for the Full Monty. How awesome would it have been for DC to have just let Alan speak for himself in his Earth 2 #2 debut, then sit back while the blogosphere went to town?
Earth 2 artist Nicola Scott hit the nail on the head by saying, “His sexuality is incidental.” Writer James Robinson said, “Alan’s sexuality is just one facet of him.” Bingo.
It’s also a stretch to claim that this particular Green Lantern is iconic. An icon is someone that the average person on the street recognizes. Let’s be real here: Alan Scott is well known to people who already read comics, but he isn’t Clark Kent. Topless Robot, in its usual hilarious way, points out that Scott isn’t even in the main DC Universe, but on Earth 2. Cop out?
Some people will pick up Earth 2 #2 just to see what the fuss is about, likely proving the old adage that all publicity is good. If that contributes to greater acceptance in some small way, then cool. If only this had played out with a little more class. Sometimes, restraint is the most powerful tool of all.