DC's new gay character is original Green Lantern
Roughly two weeks ago, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio stated that one of the company's iconic characters would soon be re-introduced to modern audiences as a gay man. Following much speculation, that hero has now been revealed to be Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern whose publishing history dates back to the 1940s.
The original Alan Scott was a railroad engineer who fashioned a powerful ring out a metallic green meteor, and subsequently took on the crime-fighting identity of Green Lantern. The character has found his way back to the public eye a number of times, very recently as the star of Earth 2, a new series that launched in May from writer James Robinson. Robinson has stated in interviews that his new version of Scott, a media mogul and billionaire, will be every bit as heroic and honorable as past ones; it just happens that he'll also be gay.
The character will be formally introduced as gay in issue two of Earth 2, which will be published on June 6, 2012.
This recent news from DC-- as well as rival Marvel Comics' announcement that its June issue of Astonishing X-Men will feature a gay wedding-- indicates that comic book creators are definitely trying to keep in step with the times. So far, there has been the expected controversy over whether introducing a prominent gay character could somehow be "morally irresponsible"; however, at the end of the day, comic book publishers are judged less by the characters they invent/reinvent versus what they do with them. Now that the revelation about Alan Scott has been made, it's left to Robinson and anyone else involved to make sure readers continue to care. And for that, he'll need to be an interesting character with compelling superhero adventures, not just a gay man.