Green Lantern the First Gay Comic Book Superhero?
After several years of embarking upon super villains as a typical man turned savior, DC Comic’s magical superhero Green Lantern, one of the publisher’s most established and oldest characters, has come out as openly gay. The development is in the portion of the 2nd issue of Earth 2 and moves on the heels of what had been an extensive year for lesbian and gay characters in the comic book from Marvel to Archie and others.
The Green Lantern is not just the emerald-clad Earth defender and one of the members of the Justice League who made history with both triumph and catastrophe. Instead, according to the writer of this brand new series, James Robinson, he stated that this Alan Scott story is the untold version of the common Lantern who originated in July 1940 in All-American Comics #16.
The changes are part of the editor’s exploration of a new fictional universe. The past few years have seen a resurgence of interest comic book characters, most notably on the big screen. Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America as well as a new Spider-Man movie and the upcoming conclusion to The Dark Knight trilogy reboot. Even these followed three X-Men movies (to mixed reviews).
While last year’s Green Lantern movie was not the success its producers (and fans) had hoped it to be, it still brought the DC character back into the public eye, albeit without the hero being gay. He still had his girlfriend Carol along with him for the ride, staying true to the common origin story most fans are familiar with, with a modern update.
How has this event shaped the comic world? Was it only a matter of time? Is it a sign of the more socially accepted time we live in today? Or was it merely a ploy by the publishers to revive a stagnant industry? After all, it’s not the paperback comics many of us grew up with that are the industry’s current cash cow. Perhaps this, while relevant to modern society, was a little shot in the arm of the comic world. Maybe more of the same is waiting down the road.
What do you think?