Following up on my initial post about one of DC’s superheroes being re-launched as gay, DC made the official announcement a little while back: one of the Green Lanterns (the one from Earth 2) is gay. Now, bravo to DC, having gay heroes , absolutely. Except… they already had gay heroes.
One comment on DC’s discussion about it was very well put:
I think making Alan Scott gay is both reactionary by DC to Marvel’s recent Wedding issue and a smack in the face of the DC characters that were already gay and awesome. Batwoman, Apollo, Midnighter, and Renee Montoya should all be spotlighted characters. And they are who they are – great heroes who happen to be gay – whereas Alan Scott’s changes are only to make a big “media” announcement. There will be those that hate on these changes because they dislike gay characters in general. Me, I hate the changes only because it feels like an editorial mandate to get press, and less about the characters or story. I’ll be reading Batwoman and Stormwatch, and hoping for Montoya’s return as the Question. I hate retcons for media attention. Just not my thing. -Shawn J. Douglas
One of the writers, James Robinson, said the character shift was not done in a calculated way, but to compensate for the loss of another gay character, who in previous issues was Alan Scott’s son.
In Alan’s prior version, he had been an old man with a gay son [Obsidian]. And removing that character from the DC Universe bothered me — the fact that we were taking a gay character out of circulation. And it occurred to me: Why not just make Alan Scott gay? He’s still interesting, he’s still a dynamic hero, a great man, but he happens to be gay. So I suggested that to Dan, and to his credit, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. He was like, “Yeah, sure, that sounds great.” So there wasn’t a huge editorial think tank; it was just an idea that got put forward and was accepted. –James Robinson in The Huffington Post
I’m sure that it is entirely possible that this seemed like a rational way to handle the change and that the PR department had a field day with it. One Million Moms (the conservative lobby group that doesn’t have anywhere near one million moms in it) is, of course, objecting to it. The PR guys are thanking them for objecting to it, because lately nothing drives sales like a One Million Moms boycott. Since their complete and utter failure with trying to stop the gay wedding issue of Archie (the gay character is now so popular he has his own comic book series, thanks to them), they have become a marketing tool. Anything they boycott, a lot of people rush out to support. The irony in this is delicious. They probably receive advance PR notices, just to make sure they have time to object.
Hopefully we’ll soon get to the point where a character being gay, or not, will be entirely unnoticed. Until then, there are worse things than companies jumping on the bandwagon to promote tolerance, even if it is more than partly profit driven. Also, when else is Perez Hilton going to comment on a comic book?