Green Lantern is Gay: Reactions to the Ignorant Internet

This is Green Lantern Alan Scott. Please, refrain from making the easy “flaming” jokes.

About two weeks ago, news broke that DC was going to be making one of their oldest characters gay. Today, DC officially announced that the character would be the Golden Age Green Lantern, a man known as Alan Scott. Here’s a little history for you. Before their September 2011 renumbering to new #1s and reshuffling of their history, Alan Scott was active in World War II as Green Lantern. He got his powers from a so-called “green flame” and had a weakness to wood. Yes, I know. Scott eventually married, had two children, Jade and Obsidian, and Obsidian was gay.

When they did their relaunch, writer James Robinson was tasked with making the Justice Society of America relevant again. His first thought? Make them younger. When that happened, Alan Scott could no longer have two grown children, making Obsidian’s existence on “Earth-2” (the comic in which Scott is being reintroduced) impossible. Robinson decided that, since Alan Scott won’t be aging suddenly any time soon, he could make the character gay, no problem. After all, in the relaunch, DC has changed characters’ race, gender, handicapability, and size. Why not their sexual orientation?

Green Lantern is set to get his powers in July’s Earth-2 #3, but we’ll first see him with his partner in Earth-2 #2 on sale next week on June 6th in finer comic shops everywhere.

However, this whole experience has taught me some things about the comic reading internet, and there are some things I just have to say somewhere, so here are my responses to a good handful of the most ignorant internet comments from comic book readers and non-comic book readers alike out there.

1. “Ugh! Why does DC have to make a character’s sexuality a publicity stunt? Gawsh!” 

Hi there. You must not actually be reading the news. DC hinted at this–hinted–when asked at Kapow! Comic-Con why characters had changed race and gender, but not sexual orientation. When they did so, it caused the media frenzy. DC did not release a press release or do anything that made it sound like an intentional stunt. If they had, they would have done it at least a month ago considering the issue comes out next freaking week.

I’m all for acknowledging when corporations piggyback on a fringe group just for publicity, but for once this wasn’t the case. Chill, bro.

2. “I just can’t stand the way editorial mandated something like this to appeal for the election season.” 

Have you read anything by James Robinson? He wrote a prominent gay kiss in mainstream comics in 1998. (He’s wrong when he says that he wrote the first one; that honor goes either to 1993’s The Enigma or something even earlier). Robinson made his gay character Starman (Mikaal Tomas) a member of the Justice League of America in 2010 and gave him a boyfriend in the form of the Tasmanian Devil in 2011.

Do you really  think editorial mandated that he write Alan Scott as gay? Because seriously, the guy has a history of it being his own idea, and I’d like to believe him when it comes to an issue that seems pretty personal to him, a straight guy.

3. “Why do they have to make long-time characters gay just to appeal to a fringe community?”

Hello, comic book reader. Fun fact:  There are more gay people than comic book readers in the world. Wanna talk about a fringe community?

4. “Why make Alan Scott gay when Obsidian already existed?” 

While I can’t believe that editorial would have had to mandate that Alan Scott be gay, I can believe that they mandated Robinson to make the Justice Society characters younger, nixing Obsidian’s existence. We’re lucky we got this out of it. I’d like to give the guy the benefit of the doubt here.

5. “So is Ryan Reynolds going to have to be gay in the movies now?” 

I…no. Welcome to the internet, General Public. Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan. Different characters. Wikipedia it.

*

So, there have been dozens of other stupid, idiotic comments made, mostly about how DC is evil and is ruining characters (including a guy who got so livid at the thought of the gay character being Robin [Tim Drake] that I fear for my well-being if I ever meet him in person). Those are the kinds of comments that I just have to shake my head at.

Also this month, Marvel will have their first gay wedding between Northstar and his supporting non-superhero boyfriend Kyle in Astonishing X-Men #51, so keep an eye out for that if you’re actually interested in following the stories.

Otherwise, as you were, folks. I just wanted to respond to the illogical internet commenters en masse to make myself feel better.

Advertisements

Infinite Ammo – Writer searching for Artist

Hey guys, while I’m working in the long-term toward “Hell On Earth,” one of my other projects that I’ve been looking at is called Infinite Ammo, a video game thriller that…well, I guess I talked most about it on the Make Your Own, Then Tumblr that was inspired by Gail Simone. So here’s a link to that post, and the information? Well, that’s copied over, too.

[W4A] Infinite Ammo – Video Game Thriller

In the future, video games are the ultimate escapism. Video game companies have found alternate realities and created “levels” of closed-off video games, where players take over the minds of residents of these worlds to play out their games. In the real world, there are Players and Architects and one more job—Munitions. Walden is the greatest Munitions expert of the Games. You play video games. Did you ever wonder who laid all of that ammo conveniently out along the trail? Walden did.But now a few players have gotten too smart and are out to play the game for their own ends. Setting their sights on Walden and his infinite ammo bag, these players (banded together from a handful of video game genres from fantasy to horror to steampunk and so on) are breaking the rules of the Games in order to get everything in the bag…and take their avatars into the real world.

It’s up to Walden to cross the barrier, retrieve the infinite ammo, and save the real world from the Games themselves…

W4A looking for starters for just the first 8 pages of the first issue to send around for to potential publishers and further pages to come if it’s picked up by a publisher. For more information, contact hrlambright@gmail.com !

*************************************************************************************

Seriously, folks, if you know anyone who might even be remotely interested, give me a yell. If they even just want to see those eight script pages without committing, that’s totally okay. Just let me know.

A Huge Thank You

I’m not sure who you are or how you found this blog, but whoever put in that pretty big order at MyComicShop.com through the link in my sidebar, you’re pretty awesome. With it, I went ahead and ordered DMZ vol. 4-5, which will ship to me at the end of April along with that month’s comic pull list.

You = Awesome

If you do end up going online to buy back issues, the only reason I even bother advocating for MyComicShop.com is because they do have a huge selection, an awesome pull service, and easy-to-handle customer service. I have no affiliation with them outside of the fact that I buy comics from them and, because of that, if you buy yours from them through that link (with the ID# that comes with clicking through here), then I get a kickback from whatever you order.

And, because of that, when I read DMZ vol. 4-5, I’ll go on ahead and review them on here. For those who don’t know, just to make this topical, this weekend at Wondercon it was announced that Brian Wood (DMZ author) would be taking over Marvel Comics’ X-Men and Ultimate Comics X-Men starting in the summer. By the time these arrive and get read in the early summer, those reviews might give you an idea of whether or not you’ll be interested in picking up his work on Marvel’s X-books.

So again, a thousand thanks from me to whoever you are. Comic books are a bit of an addiction of mine, and whatever fuel you can throw on the fire from buying your own comics? That just makes the fire burn even stronger in me.

Because of this, I’m making an effort to be more timely with posting on here, too. Someone’s reading this, and I don’t know who you are, but thank you. I’m convinced that this is a worthwhile effort after all, if you believed/cared enough to trust a random guy on the internet!

Hope your week’s off to a great start!

The Value of Comic Book “News”

Eep, sorry to my subscribers about yesterday’s post. I published that on the wrong blog. You know how that goes.

Anyway, before I get to my thoughts on comics today, I thought I’d let The Gutters say it much more succinctly before I drone on about it.

Credit: Ryan Sohmer, Ed Ryzowski, Rus Wooton of The Gutters

What qualifies as comic book news?

Frankly, Sohmer isn’t exactly wrong about everything he’s satirized here. Comics Alliance is a site that is mostly opinion work on what folks don’t like about comics on any particular day. Bleeding Cool, while sometimes dishing news out earlier than other sites, often goes for the attention grab with Johnston using his notoriety to get comics sold every once in a while. Comic Book Resources clearly has some kind of deal with Marvel so that the weekly interview with Axel Alonso (or whoever is filling in for him that particular week) stays as the top news all weekend. And Newsarama? Heh, Newsarama has just resorted to a handful of stock Cracked-lite Top 10 lists that don’t necessarily make a whole lot of sense, constantly get reposted, and often aren’t even based on comic books (I’m thinking that mutant power levels article). When they do post press releases, they separate Marvel’s weekly previews of the next week’s comic books into giant chunks with an unwieldy image preview design, chunking previews together based on family. It’s just a mess.

So what does it take to get comic book news to, y’know, be worth it?

Honestly, I think that of all of the comic news sites, Comic Book Resources does it best. While it’s got an obvious Marvel bias, it reviews books from every company, has Comics Should Be Good (which functions as the Comics Alliance-style blog), Robot 6 (which posts rumors and such like Bleeding Cool), a much cleaner preview system (compared to Newsarama, and a whole host of interviews from every comic book company imaginable.

I’m not paid to say that. I have no connection there. This is my unsolicited opinion.

But what can I say? The Gutters got me thinking about it today. Take it or leave it, am I right?

Earth One vs. Season One

DC and Marvel definitely like to take each other’s “good” ideas. Take, for example, DC’s “Earth One” series of graphic novels. Starting simply with just Superman and Batman, the goal is to, y’know Ultimatize the origins of these characters and tell a more accessible version for a modern audience. Superman: Earth One rocketed off the shelves. Volume 2 is expected this fall. Batman: Earth One is scheduled for this summer.

In response, Marvel launched its Season One series of graphic novels which, well, haven’t had as much success so far (at least as far as I understand) in comparison. Launched with the same binding and design, the Season One graphic novels are even named similarly and…yeah. I picked up Fantastic Four: Season One and found out that the already-thin volume includes 22 pages of another issue of the regular series that I already own.

I can definitely say that DC’s books are more of a financial and readership success. Really, my question is why did Marvel even bother? They already did Ultimate versions of these characters that are already no longer relevant to their target audience. In the end, I guess everything is cyclical.

To be honest, there’s not much thought to this post. It exists mainly to convey my frustration that Marvel attempted to piggyback onto DC’s success and dropped the ball entirely.

Ugh.

Hell On Earth Character Sketch: Cameron

Image

First off, I’m no artist. I think you can tell by the way that the character’s arms look like Harry Potter’s pre-Skele-Gro in the second movie/book and the fact that I conveniently chose to stop drawing the hands once there was a thumb to let you know that they were, indeed, hands. S’why I’m writing this thing, not drawing it. Anywho, onto a little of what the character’s about.

THE BASICS:  “Cameron” here is our lead protagonist of the three. He is the character with the toughest emotional journey ahead of him and the most cryptic reasons for going to Hell. To put it simply, the last thing his father said before he died was, “Go to Hell.” Cameron is firmly rooted in denial–unable to believe his father felt that way about him, Cameron is convinced that the words were a code of some sort. He has to tell himself that his father loved him and would never say anything like that, no matter what. The moment that Cameron’s faith is either validated or dissolved will be one of the most emotional scenes of the entire series if it ever comes to light. 

I think that one of the main things I’m going for with Cameron is to toe the line between likeable-yet-human and “Gary Stu” territory. I think that his unwavering faith in his father’s love for him is something that will automatically make us feel for him. I see a character here with whom we identify because we have all been naive, and his friends will see him that way, too. 

THE DRIVING FORCE:  It’s been said that if you don’t know what your characters want, then you really don’t know what you’re doing. I mentioned before that Cameron wants information/validation of his beliefs and, as an extension of that, he wants to fulfill what he has convinced himself is his father’s dying wish. When he finds out whether or not he is right, his basic motivation will change, but right now, at the start, Cameron is the most committed to this pilgrimage. 

THE LOOK:  This is just my sketch and not a potential artist’s rendering of the character, but I wanted to go, again, for the likeable look. He’s not athlete-level fit, but he’s not pathetic either. I think some level of physical fitness is expected of all three of these characters if they’re planning to navigate Hell. The baseball cap is his signature bit, and I’ll admit I was thinking of Ash Ketchum when I did that, but it’ll also have story significance. Also, all three of our main characters will at least start with backpacks, but let’s face it, a backpack was probably outside my artistic range. 

Interested? My e-mail is in the info below. I’m still artist-hunting, so shoot me a line if you’re interested at all!

***********************************************************************************************************

Hunter Lambright is a nerd. A huge nerd. Nerd enough to be editor-in-chief of premier fan-fiction site Marvel Omega. But despite his nerdiness, you can follow him on Twitter, find him on various comic book forums under the handle of “Crawler,” and e-mail review copies (if you really want a blog that no one reads to review your stuff) at hrlambright@gmail.com . 

“Hell On Earth” Update

The first script for Hell On Earth, my potential series about a trio of teenagers who, for various personal reasons, decide to visit Hell, is complete and in dire need of revisions. In the first issue alone, the three encounter Charon, Cerberus, Julius Caesar, and Virgil. Yes, I may be slightly insane.

Anyway, it got me thinking about the comic-writing process. I really don’t know how writers typically do it, but the only way I found myself able to get things going was if I stick-figured the panels out myself and wrote in the dialogue, and then scripted it out from my storyboard.

That said, the first story-arc is going to be called Limbo, and we’re going to get our glimpse at the first of the nine Hell Lords, find out how Limbo does its best to corrupt even the most pious of heathens, and meet our guide into the Second Circle.

If folks are interested, I may post some character sketches, too. I always said this blog wasn’t just going to be about other people’s comics, so it’s high time I stuck to that.