Green Lantern Shines in a New Light

Writer James Robinson shares his plans for the new series and why DC Comics decided to bring one of their most iconic superheroes out of the closet.



So the decision to reintroduce Alan Scott as a gay man was more about organic character development than having a gay character in the Justice Society?
Well, I wanted to place a gay character on the team. I feel if you’re going to have a team, you need to have realistic diversity. After all, I have gay friends and straight friends and we’re all mixed together. It stands to reason, just based on the population of the world, at least one member of the team is going to be gay. So that was part of it. I also really like the idea of a character like Alan Scott, the leader of the team, a brave, gallant guy who is the epitome of everything good in a human being, just happens to be gay. It’s a part of his personality, but it’s not all he is. He’s a lot of other positive things as well. There are a lot of diverse traits to his personality.

Did you consider bringing other characters out of the closet in Earth 2 before you decided on Green Lantern/Alan Scott?
For me, it was because we were losing his gay son, Obsidian, that originally put the idea in my head. I’ve written Alan Scott before and I’ve always portrayed him as this strong, gallant, heroic guy who is admirable and has a hero’s heart. So the minute I thought, Let’s make him gay, it stuck. I never weighed one character against another in terms of who I thought should be gay. I just thought it was a good thing to make the strongest personality, the team leader, a gay man. It just suited the book and it felt good.

Were you nervous about reinterpreting an iconic character like the original Green Lantern in this way?
No, not really. I think we need to move with the times. Back when I was writing Starman, I had, I believe, the first gay kiss in a mainstream comic book. That was back in August of 1998. Then there was another version of the Starman character in the recent Justice League series I had written and he was gay too. So I’ve always tried to bring positive gay characters into the books that I write. Earth 2 is just another example of that. I’m not fearful of it. I think you have to do the right thing and not worry about what the negative minority might say. I think it’s about time a few more big iconic characters were gay.

Tags: Geek