first off: much of this complaint will be based in issues i have with the DCnU. although several books are very good, the overall tone is rather bleak. many of the changes have seemed intent on changing things that were good needlessly for the bad. and i dislike most reboots on general principle anyway. please keep this in mind as you read on, or take it as a place to turn back. also, i’m going to ignore the obvious jokes about the new/old gay character’s weakness being wood.
so, DC Comics has been telling fans for some time now that they would change an existing, iconic character gay.
i didn’t have a problem with this.
gay or straight, a hero is still a hero. and having one of DC’s existing characters “come out” (even as a retcon) would send a powerful message of acceptance. and DC claims to have have done so.
however, what they have done in actuality is create a new character with the same name as an old one, in a secondary alternate universe. this is not the main DCnU; this is a parallel Earth (Earth-2, in DC Comics parlance), less important than the main Earth-0. although things that happen on Earth-2 “matter,” they are by design less important than events on the primary Earth.
so this new character is already marginalized.
and instead of the iconic Alan Scott, the first character to be named “Green Lantern,” with a cohesive publication history and characterization dating back to the 1940s, this character is a young man in the 21st century. gone is the elder statesman of the superhero community with two children; instead, we are given a young business leader with a power ring.
so we’ve got a faceless cipher of a character in a backwater setting; what was the point of this evolution again?
what DC should have done was keep the pre-Flashpoint time scale for the Justice Society, instead of giving them the same origin (essentially) as the Earth-0 Justice League (albeit on another Earth). the pre-Flashpoint Alan Scott would have had the complexity of having been a closeted gay man in the 1940s; coming out now would have created a multitude of story possibilities. what would the reaction of his friends, family and fans have been? would there have been a public backlash? how would people have reacted to that backlash? this Alan Scott has adult children, a son and daughter. that son, Obsidian, is gay; would GL feel guilt for his son’s orientation? how would the father-son dynamic have been affected? (they didn’t have the best relationship).
there are just so many ways an established character, this one in particular, could have been used to explore real LGBT issues. instead, we get just another character who doesn’t matter overmuch.
rant aside, i do like the creative team working on this, and they seem enthusiastic. there’s just so much better ways this could have been done.
quote of the day:
“Stop the innocent act. You’re aware of the complexities of this world; you’re just choosing to ignore them.” – Alan Scott, Justice Society of America Vol. 3, No. 19