I can't say that I'm at all shocked and I can't say that I'm at all pleased.
Do not misunderstand me. I think, given my vast body of work, I can safely be said to be a straight supporter and a friend of the GLBT community. So please don't think that any objections I might have to Alan Scott having been revamped into a gay man are based on homophobia or a general adverse reaction to change.
No. No, my objections are far more complex than that, if somewhat tongue in cheek and based on my imagining the worst possible reasons for precisely why Alan Scott was chosen. So with that in mind, here's five reasons why we should all be a little annoyed and/or worried about Alan Scott being outed.
1.The Far Too Obvious Jokes
How many times have we heard some variant of this gag over the weekend? "He gets his powers from a magical flame and his weakness is wood. Of course he's gay!" Get used to it. We're going to be hearing that line a lot from now on.
2. The Slightly Less Obvious Jokes
Granting that he may be getting a new costume in Earth 2, expect to hear a lot of jokes about how no straight man would ever dare wear that outfit in public. Conversely, expect a lot of lines about Alan is breaking stereotypes, as most gay men would have better fashion sense than to dress like that.
3. Where Does This Leave The Molly Mayne Harlequin?
For those of you who aren't big Golden Age fans, let me explain. The Harlequin was a villainess who fought Green Lantern several times. Her crimes were strictly small-time and she never intentionally hurt anyone, seemingly being in it for the fun of it. In truth, she had fallen in love with the flashy Green Lantern but could think of no other way to get his attention and asking for a date than by dressing up in a clown costume and committing crimes. Eventually she reformed and she and Alan Scott hooked up and got married years later.
A part of me is deeply suspicious that the move to make Alan Scott gay may be a way for The Powers That Be to eliminate any and all reference to any Harlequin-themed villainesses other than the current Suicide Girl model. This would be a shame, as I always had a soft spot for Molly Mayne and thought that she and Alan made for an interesting couple. Granted, her motivations for turning to costumed villainy haven't aged well and may cause some teeth-gritting in some modern readers (i.e. I have a crush and want the hero to notice me!) but there's something whimsical about the concept I find refreshing.
Of course it occurs to me that they could be planning to bring Harlequin back for cheap laughs, having her chasing after a hero whose disinterest in her is less due to her criminal ways and more due to his playing for the other team. I'd like to think James Robinson is better than that. And then I remember all the comedy in Starman that made light of various characters' sexuality and I worry some more.
4. Gay Alan Scott = No Children = No Infinity Inc. ?
Granting that it is possible for a gay man to have fathered children in some form or fashion, having Alan Scott be uninterested in women does increase the chances that the DCnU will not ever have a Jade or Obsidian in it. And if they never existed, then as the most prominent members of the second-generation hero team Infinity Inc. it's likely that the rest of the team never existed either.
Why is that a big deal? Because most of the Infinity Inc. characters could potentially cause problems if you tried to fit them into the new Earth 2. Wonder Woman's daughter Fury alone could cause a Crisis...
5. Like Father, Like Son. Think About It, Won't You?
Going along with the above point, if there's no Obsidian in the DCnU then there's one less gay hero in the DCnU as well. Having Alan Scott's orientation changed keeps the count even. Of course the idea that you can replace one character so easily brings up some rather disturbing implications...