Friday, June 1, 2012

Official: DC Turns Original Green Lantern Gay

So Bleeding Cool had it right, the New DC character who has been rebooted as a Super 'Mo is Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.

I was hoping this wasn't the case despite the persistent rumors. Mostly because I've never had any interest at all in Alan Scott, or most of the JSA for that matter, even if they DO predate the Justice League. There are too many of them, all obscure and mostly irrelevant, who are written as afterthoughts or with dialogue from decades past (not in a good way.)

James Robinson and DC claim this was not a PR move and are utterly shocked by the amount of media coverage it is getting. And Marvel didn't think Northstar's gay Central Park wedding would get attention either, they're just so glad someone thought to print out 2 million Save the Date promotional cards and send them to all major news publications.

(The rant continues after the jump as I get myself increasingly angry about this.)

No, Robinson was only thinking about "diversity" and creating a well-rounded team for the New 52. Because "diversity" has been the watchword for the last 20 years, where tokenism has someone become 'look out how progressive and open-minded and wonderful we are.' From a starting point of not seeing racial differences or rejecting open homosexuality, it became necessary to look at a college campus (or now a comic book) and physically be able to see any minority you can think of, in effect using them as pawns for the sake of status, attention and misleading you from any facts behind the facades. Political correctness has always been a quiet, strangling tyranny and it only seems to get more pronounced.

Don't get me wrong, I love seeing guys kiss, especially superheroes, more than anyone. I've wanted to see it for many years. And when I write and self-publish a comic book, you can rest assured my dozen or so readers will be seeing some man on man action for sure.

The difference is, I happen to be a big 'mo. My favorite book Kirith Kirin centers on, aside from a complex system of magic and a fictional alternate ancient world, a painfully beautifully and strong love between two men. I've tracked books like that down since middle school. I watched every Queer as Folk DVD in one weekend in college.  I have at least two notebooks full of epic male romance stories, fictional, historical, superheroic, and, yeah, erotic.

So while I don't think you have to be gay or spent years thinking about a character and identifying with it to write a gay character, it would be nice if it actually came about organically and not because you think your superhero team needs a gay dude to be more representational (of what? are we really everywhere suddenly?) or interesting to customers.

And by organic, I mean the character didn't just become bisexual, or reborn as a gay man, he is who is and has been since the beginning. That's my problem with Alan Scott. The guy's been around since the Gold Age, or silver...whatever he's old and classic. And he's been married. To a woman. Twice. And he had two children. Who became super heroes in their own right. One of which was actually a gay man.

This was James Robinson's actual thought process when deciding to suddenly reintroduce Alan Scott, whom he knew the reboot would make younger: "The only downside of his being young was we lose his son, Obsidian, who’s gay. So I thought, ‘Why not make Alan Scott gay?’” Robinson recalled. “That was the seed that started it.”

Yes, that makes complete sense. Because sexuality is as interchangeable as a son and his heterosexual, married father.

I don't like James Robinson. Never have. I could never get into his Justice Society of America reboot, I vaguely recall he had a hand in Marvel's Heroes Reborn (not something anyone would be proud of,) and more recently I found his version of Justice League to be mind numbingly boring, wordy, clunky and in every way a failure. (I haven't tried Starman though I hear good things.) So I don't like his writing, and I clearly have no respect for the creative process that transfers a son's gayness to his father for the sake of filling a handy, easily-marketed rubric.

I would have respected the decision more if Robinson claimed he decided to make Scott gay after revisiting his origin story, in which a mystical and prophetic "green flame" comes to Earth and makes a magic lantern to give him his powers. No joke. Imagine if they wrote an origin story about the flame making him gay...nature vs nature. There would a be a fun, interesting comic, but far too insensitive sounding to even think of. It's easy to take risks when you only risk looking like the open-minded generous one and you can drum up a story ad naseum about a bunch of Christian mothers who protest you from the bottom of their intolerant sinful evil hearts. Always good for business.

And what exactly would happen if the New 52 took a gay character, like their acclaimed Batwoman, and turned her straight?

Alan Scott was a hero and a legend, albeit an uninteresting and unpopular one. Now he's just a puppet, a token gay dude to bring up DC's numbers, which will only last a few issues before new readers lose interest. Less for me, who even now has no interest in Scott. Especially after seeing the writing in those two pages above released by DC to show us just how gay Alan really is. Work on your dialogue first Mr. Robinson, and forget about who the characters want to have sex with.

Way to piss me off DC.

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