…and now let the fanboys, homophobes, reporters stuck working on a slow news day, so on wring their metaphorical hands over this while the rest of us living in the real world, shrug our collective shoulders, then get on with our lives.
The average person probably thought, “Green Lantern? That dude from the rather crappy movie last Summer?” For the uninitiated and three people who may give a damn, no. The Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) DC comics usually showcases is the re-invented version from the Fifties.
Initially I thought it was a cynical and mercenary move on DC’s part. Should this change turn out to be a failure, no real permanent damage would come from this since the Golden Age incarnations have been retconned numerous times, what’s one more? I’m confident DC will just screw up in a couple years with yet another universe-shattering bladda-blah crapfest to entice new readers again. One thing I need with absolute certainty, the Trinity (aka Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman) was off limits and to change any of their sexual orientations would be even more implausible than J J Abrams’ crappy/lazy Star Trek “re-imagining.” I put it on par with Bobby Ewing stepping out of the shower and how Enterprise ended.
When it comes to a character having an attribute contemporary audiences find unsettling, daring, different, controversial, etc. You have to establish it from the beginning or leave a better opening. For example, Battlestar Galactica 2003 changed the genders of major characters: Starbuck, Boomer and Cain. Brilliant. Fine. Perfect. BSG started over and did this. It didn’t pick up after the 1979 run’s last episode and suddenly make these people women. Another case would be Commander Ivanova’s sexuality on Babylon 5. Many parts about her were not clearly defined when the show launched thus her relationship with Talia was credible. It didn’t make me go “eww!” neither. I figured Ivanova was bi-sexual (she loved the Ranger Marcus too), experimenting or Talia’s telepathy nudged the situation as many know what happened later.
Therefore DC may not be changing a true “major” superhero yet they are taking advantage of this opportunity to implement key changes as they revamp the traditional Golden Age incarnations. Alan Scott was the logical choice since his openly gay son Obsidian no longer exists. Why not make it part of Green Lantern’s identity! All the heroes in the new Earth 2 are clean slates so my previous rules (or expectations) are met. I look forward to see what else write James Robinson has in store for the Flash, the Atom, Hawkman, Wild Cat, Black Canary, Starman, Sandman, etc. As you can tell, I added Earth 2 to my sub from Rogue’s Gallery, I’ll get to writing about the title later.
Some may call me an apologist for DC Comics with my rationalization but I have this rebuttal. Northstar’s wedding in Marvel Comics is equally if not weaker than DC’s decision. Firstly, Northstar has never been a major player in Marvel’s Universe. Secondly, I had no idea he was an X-Man, he has traditionally been a member of Alpha Flight, Canada’s answer to the Avengers. Lastly, the general public recognizes the name Green Lantern while Northstar will get a puzzled face.