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GCPride: Alan Scott

By Gabrielle Cazeaux

The first time I became acquainted with the first Green Lantern was in the series ‘’Batman: The Brave And The Bold’’. By that time, I already knew the legacy that he forged and left in the hands of many other superheroes, thanks to characters like Hal Jordan or John Stewart.  But I didn’t know about him. Created in 1940 by Martin ‘’Mart’’ Nodell along with Bill Finger for All-American Comics #16 (1940), when I first saw him in that show that premiered 68 years after the characters’ birth, I was very interested in him, despite his little screen time. He felt like a superpowered James Bond instead of just an ill-tempered boomer superhero. That, along with his cheesy and vibrant costume that seemed like it belonged to a magician turned vigilante, was enough to make me want to learn more about him. And he stands out a lot from other superheroes from that era. Batman or Superman, no matter how many years pass, how many sidekicks or sons they have, they stay mostly the same. But as the years passed for the readers, they also passed for Alan. He now has two children, his hair went white, and wrinkles are present on his face. Yet, he still retains the atmosphere of a sci-fi noir detective from the 40s in him, even in 2021, and around modern superheroes. 

Alan was depicted as a gay man not once, but in two occasions, with the first one being an alternative and younger version from Earth 2, in the first issue of the book of the same name, made by James Robinson, Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott in 2013. At the start of that story, he’s been away in other countries, thanks to his job. And after arriving in China, he meets with his boyfriend Samuel, and we’re given a full panel of them kissing, with a single dialogue that reads ‘’God, I’ve missed you’’. 

But the character from the main universe remained untouched for a long time, and while it could’ve been thought that’s because he’s straight, the same Alan Scott that appeared on the pages of comics from the 1940s officially came out as a gay man on Infinite Frontier #0 (2021) by James Tynion IV and Stephen Byrne. In a calm and cathartic sequence, he explains to his two teenage children how he decided that it was time to be himself to the full extent of it, followed by a heart-softening hug between the three, that marks the end of a scene that I think redefines how we view the Golden Age superheroes, giving a lot more possibilities when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation, and also reflecting the lives of those that had to take more time to accept who they are. Because Alan Scott, after 80 years of passing as a straight man, realized that it’s never too late to be ourselves. 

RECOMMENDED READING;

  • Brightest Day, Blackest Night (2002) – By Steven T. Seagle and John K. Snyder III
  • JSA Classified (2005-2008) – By Stuart Moore, Paul Gulacy and Jimmy Palmiotti
  • Justice Society Of America (2006-2011) – Gardner Fox, Everett E. Hibbard and Sheldon Mayer 

RECOMMENDED WATCHING;

  • Batman: The Brave And The Bold – Episode ‘’Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth!’’ (2011)
  • Green Lantern on HBO Max (TBA)