6 Comments

Green Lantern Can’t Be Gay, But Batwoman Can?

An article went by my Twitter stream the other day about Green Lantern being revealed as gay in the second issue of Earth 2. Earth 2 is a DC comic set in an alternate universe, where the writers get to create a completely different mythology with iconic characters. It’s a great “what if” concept to read because anything goes. Superman won’t ever permanently die in the main universe, but he’s not one hundred percent safe on Earth 2.

So, back to Green Lantern. The news hit that he was going to be gay and out came the stories where people likened it to the end of society as we know it. I’ve got no problem with this line of thinking, but not because I agree with it.

One of the reasons the US is a great country is that I get to think what I want think and someone else can think what they want to think. We don’t have to agree and that’s okay here. We can express our differing opinions freely.

Here’s my problem:

Batwoman is the star of her own book. She’s also a lesbian, but for some reason her orientation is not being called the end of society as we know it. This monthly book is on its tenth issue. Close to a year in publication and no one seems to mind that it’s out there.

Why?

The first thing I think of, is that it’s less about the sexual orientation of the character and more about the attention one could draw by opposing it.

Lesbians aren’t very newsworthy these days. I’m trying to remember the last time a famous woman coming out was a big story, but I’m drawing a blank. It’s like being a gay man is the final frontier of wrongness. It’s also a way to generate money.

When I picked up my copy of Earth 2, the store just about doubled their order from the first issue, which hardly ever happens. It’ll probably sellout and hopefully people will actually read it because it’s a fantastic adventure. And if you check the cover at the top of this post, you’ll see that the main story is about the Flash, not the gay adventures of the Green Lantern. I’m not accusing DC of trying to cash in, I just think they want to stay current with the times by portraying different kinds of relationships. In other words, it’s not the plot of the story. I doubt Sinestro cares who the Green Lantern dates.

Could the groups opposing this stand to make money? Maybe. Interviews and appearances aren’t free. Contributions might come in to help the cause. Fine. Like I said earlier, it’s every American’s right. But be against the whole issue, not part of it.

If there wasn’t such a fuss about the Green Lantern (and the X-Men), then it wouldn’t be a news story and no one, outside of comic fans, would know about it. There’s a clear divide on how society and ,consequently, the media views gay men and gay women. One side gets far more attention than the other. Why? What’s the real motivation? Thoughts?

6 comments on “Green Lantern Can’t Be Gay, But Batwoman Can?

  1. Honestly, the whole uproar just leaves me baffled. I didn’t think of Batwoman, but I did think of the Young Avengers, with Hulkling and Wiccan, so gay comic book characters are not exactly that ground breaking (though I am glad to see it showing up more often). Is it the reimagining part? Even that confuses me, because Hulkling and Wiccan are essentially reimaginings/reboots/revivals of the Hulk and Thor (more or less). And it’s not like there aren’t different Green Lanterns to boot, either. It’s not a name so much as it is a title….

    I mean, sure, it’s the “iconic” first Green Lantern, but, come on. Is it really any worse than Hal Jordan? *cough*

    Granted, I’m not that big into comics. Most of my exposure to them comes from my roommate, who is a big fan and can go on some pretty spectacular rants. I’m just generally marking this up to “People are idiots,” and, really, “no1curr.” Some people like to just make a fuss, and maybe it’s partly for attention, but just so long as the integrity of the story is staying the same (as you said, being more about the Flash than the gay adventures of the Green Lantern), that’s what matters. And I’m personally excited to see this side of human relationships being embraced by an industry that has been created through masculine ideals; I think that’s where the real lynch pin lies. Men being okay with lesbianism is practically expected in society, while a man being comfortable with male homosexuality is still a tough hurdle. I love that comic books are putting it out there, and I hope this is just a necessary hurdle in breaking through towards more acceptance.

    Also, “I doubt Sinestro cares who the Green Lantern dates” made my morning. Please to not be minding the rant that built up from what I thought was going to just be a quick comment.

    • Rants like this are always welcome. I really hope comics do explore these relationships more. I plan on reading the Astonishing X-Men wedding issue. There’s not much marriage in comics, gay or straight, (Still annoyed by the way Marvel dissolved Spider-man’s marriage) and I think that, above all, is a good example for kids. People in loving relationships.

  2. Wise words, Andrew. I think you’re absolutely right that the manufactured furor over it is about drawing attention by opposing it. I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to say that most of the world doesn’t know or care who Alan Scott or Kate Kane are and cares even less what happens to them. And, I’ve read that James Robinson had been planning this revelation about GL for at least a while, but since comic fans never mind the world don’t get to see those plot wheels turning, it’s easy for people to turn this into a shock issue. Great post!

    • Yeah, the stories are planned out at least a year in advance, usually more for the major events. With so many books running at once, it’s essential to keep the continuity straight. So far, I like the way James Robinson is handling the story and by the way the latest issues ended, Green Lantern’s got way bigger problems ahead than who he takes to the movies.

  3. Actually Batwoman being gay was a big deal, its just been so many years that its not the current news topic anymore.

    Sinestro doesn’t care who green lantern dates and neither should comic writers. I’m tired of lazy comic companies relying on sex to sell comics.

    There used to be a time when any superhero comic was appropriate for kids, and its a real shame there has to be a “kiddy superhero” genre to protect kids from inappropriate scenarios.

    • Great comment, IDC. Green Lantern and the upcoming wedding in Astonishing X-Men are the hot topics now and Batwoman, as you said, is old news. That being said, I’d guess that there a lot of non-comic readers who’ve still never heard of her. To them, it would be a new thing. It makes me wonder why there wasn’t a fuss over a lesbian getting her own book back when New 52 launched. The last page of Catwoman #1 made bigger headlines.

      You make a good point about kid appropriate comics. If I had kids, most of my older books would be the ones I’d let them read. I mostly see adults at the comic shops I go to, so are the writers writing for them? Or did they change their stories and drive the kids away?

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