The original Green Lantern, who has been one of the major characters in DC Comics for the past 70 years, will be revealed as a gay man in the upcoming issue of Earth 2.
Alan Scott, formerly a married father of two who first appeared in 1940, tips readers off to his sexuality early on in the comic when he gives his boyfriend a welcome home kiss.
Hes very much the character he was. Hes still the pinnacle of bravery and idealism. Hes also gay, the New York Post quoted Earth 2 writer James Robinson as saying.
The Emerald Guardians sexuality was rebooted along with the rest of his fictional universe as part of DCs New 52 initiative aimed at rejuvenating their characters.
Robinson said he decided to make the change because making the character young again meant erasing Scotts gay superhero son out of existence.
The only downside of his being young was we lose his son, Obsidian, whos gay. So I thought, Why not make Alan Scott gay?
That was the seed that started it, Robinson said.
He ran his idea by the bosses at DC, who signed off on it without hesitation.
Robinson, a British writer who lives in San Francisco with his wife, is no stranger to gay characters - he wrote DCs Starman comic in the 1990s, a groundbreaking title that starred a homosexual superhero. He said the only agenda hes pushing is reality.
Its a realistic depiction of society, he said. You have to move with the times.
He said he did hope the character - whos the most powerful member of DCs superteam, the Justice Society - would be an inspiration.
Hes a type-A personality who doesnt hide in the shadows.
I hope hes a positive figure. If theres some kind of kid out there whos reading the comic and whos worried about the person he is, maybe it will give him a positive sense of who he is. Or maybe a different kid will read it and decide I dont need to bully some kind of kid in school, Robinson said.
While a gay wedding in Archie Comics earlier this year and impending same-sex nuptials in a Marvel X-Men comic have recieved a small amount of backlash from angry parents, Robinson said hes not worried about that because that kind of negativity is stupid and outmoded.
We should be preaching love and tolerance, he said.
The character is different than the more modern Green Lantern, ladies man Hal Jordan, who stars in his own comics and is a member of an extraterrestrial police force called the Green Lantern Corps. Jordans also part of DCs Justice League with Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, the Flash and Aquaman.
In the current New 52 continuity, the Alan Scott Green Lantern and the Justice Society operate in a different universe than the Justice League.
Robinson said in the Earth 2 universe, Scott is the sole Green Lantern, and the strongest, most important super-powered character in the world.