Writer: James Robinson
Art: Nicola Scott, Trevor Scott
Publisher: DC Comics
Green Lantern is gay. There, now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the rest of Earth 2 #2. I’ll get back to that part, but there’s more to this issue than just that, despite what the media blitz would have you believe.
First of all, this issue is more about a new Flash than it is about Alan Scott. Jay Garrick was a loser going nowhere when suddenly he was touched by a god. Mercury, one of the last gods, literally crashed into Jay’s life with a warning about a coming darkness, one what will require true heroes to fight. Jay doesn’t feel like he’s qualified for that, but Mercury endows him with the speed of a god anyway, and so a new Earth 2 Flash is born. He’s still not sure of what to do with his powers, or with the information that there’s trouble with a capital T on the way, but he at least has a good enough heart to want to try. It would be rather amazing, wouldn’t it, to have the attention of a god? To have a divine being esteem us enough to want to partner with us for a greater good? To equip us and help us do something truly noble? Well, that’s not just something that happens in comic books. God came to this planet to call people, to call you, to something greater than yourself. He came to touch our lives, to empower us to overcome great evil, and to help us achieve more than we ever could on our own. It cost the life of God’s own son Jesus to make it possible, and yet even death could not hold Jesus in the grave; and the same power that helped him conquer the grave is now available to all of us. Yup, God loves you; you have his attention and he wants to be a part of our lives, but only if you want him to; God is a gentlemen, he only comes when invited. And yes, he does want you to do some great things. Granted, you probably won’t get the power to run super fast, but you will be empowered to do something even the greatest super heroes aren’t capable of; save souls from a fate worse than death. Sounds pretty epic, doesn’t it? It is. Psalm 18:35 “ …you stoop down to make me great.” Wow. That God would do that for you, me or any of us is just… wow.
Now, for the other issue in this… uh… issue. The Earth 2 version of Alan Scott is introduced, and yes, he’s gay. He has a boyfriend, they’re in love, they go on a romantic getaway in this issue; so all the rumors you’ve heard are true. There are some interesting implications in all of this. First, as has been pointed out by the fan community, the previously straight Alan Scott who was married and had two kids actually had a big effect on other Green Lanterns. His daughter Jade had connections to Kyle Rayner and she played a significant role in shaping him as a Green Lantern. Obviously none of that is possible now. Then again, this is all taking place on Earth 2. So this isn’t necessarily the real Alan Scott, it’s an alternate version of him on an alternate world where he’s chosen an alternate lifestyle (sorry, couldn’t resist). This feels like a cop-out on the part of DC. By keeping this out of the regular continuity of the New 52 DCU, if this doesn’t fly it’s easy to erase since it’s in an alternate universe. Now I know there are rumblings of Earth 2 and the regular Earth colliding and crossing over, but this still feels like a “wait and see” game by DC.
Perhaps of more interest for some, seeing as we’re a Christian review site who believes in the Bible as God’s word to humanity, what is our personal reaction: Shock and disgust? Moral outrage? Incredulity over this shattering of traditionally defined relationships? Discomfort and unease at being so far behind the times as to find this type of thing unacceptable? Well, to be honest, it’s mostly indifference. Now, don’t take that to mean I’m okay with it, because according to the Bible I can’t be okay with it: it’s wrong. Just like stealing, killing, and other things are wrong. However, I know many at DC Comics don’t feel the same way about it, so why would I be surprised that those who don’t believe in the Bible would do something that’s unbiblical? I’m not. More than that, though, I feel indifferent because more than anything, this feels like a PR stunt or just a plain business decision. If anything, I feel pity for those who truly care about this issue because it kind of feels like the issue is being exploited for sales. This wasn’t a decision of conscience on the part of the publisher, it was a pragmatic one designed to boost sales. I know I’d feel exploited if a character suddenly and unexpectedly came out as a Christian just because it causes some controversy, gets some press, and hopefully sells books.
As for the morality of it all, well there’s more to that debate than can be covered here. All I know is things have changed a lot in comic books over the years as they’ve tried to remain socially relevant. The real problem isn’t that Alan Scott is coming out of the closet; the real problem is our culture believes right and wrong are relative and values are constantly changing because of that. Super heroes are supposed to be figures of inspiration, defenders, and paragons of what’s right and moral. But when the definitions for those things are constantly in flux, that makes their job rather difficult. How can one stand for what’s right when that’s constantly changing? How can a super hero fight against those who do wrong when that’s constantly changing? Someone sent to Arkham for something one day, because it’s wrong, could be an innocent victim when opinion changes and that wrong is decided to be okay on another day? Let’s not fool ourselves, we can’t really function like that (we’ve tried, and things don’t seem to be going so well, do they?).
We need a standard, one that’s set from the outside, not determined by us. One that’s set by a third party, one that has way more information than us and is more capable and qualified to determine what the standard should be. That’s what the Bible is, that’s who God is. He sets the standard because, well, he’s infinite, all-knowing, completely just, all-together holy, eternal and much, much more. We may say it’s not fair for him to dictate to us things like same-sex marriage isn’t okay, but is there anyone more qualified? Besides, like it was mentioned earlier, if it was left up to us, history would be changed and not for the better (no Jade, no Kyle Rayner version of Green Lantern, etc.); we could all end up extinct without any way to procreate. It’s a tough subject, with more tangents and debates and arguments that could go on forever; and probably will. Alan Scott/Green Lantern is gay; I think that’s a bad idea on so many levels; I’ve shared my opinion of it, I’ll discuss it (intelligently) with those who want to discuss it more and share why I have my views about it, but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.
Look, the fact is this whole Alan Scott thing is really a circus side-show to what’s really happening in Earth 2. This is really Flash’s story, and the story of a new threat coming to the (alternate) world, and of some interesting cross-overs between two worlds (Mr. Terrific shows up for some reason, and there’s some intrigue involved with that). Where is all of this going? Hopefully someplace interesting.
Score: 5 of 7
A BIG thanks to Astro-Zombies for providing the material for this review. Learn more about them at astrozombies.com.