DC just announced that the most recent reboot of Green Lantern would hearken back to the 1940s version of GL…but he’s now a gay man.
The creators involved with this probably had very good intentions. I for one would love to see gender represented better in mainstream comics and I believe most creators do, too. However I believe that this is just not right, for 2 main reasons:
1. Reboots and convoluted What Ifs do seem to spike sales from people who are already fans of comics, but I don’t believe they are very welcoming and easily understandable to new readers who may not be comics fans. We have an industry based off of regurgitated characters from the 40s rather than new properties that might pull new people in to expand and sustain the industry for decades to come.
2. You can’t just wave a magic wand and BOOM a pre-existing character is now gay. Being gay is more than a stereotype. Gay people are people first.
Here’s an idea – why don’t mainstream comics concentrate on writing good, relevant characters that may be gay or straight or black or white or asian rather than rebooting something and putting a sticker on their forehead that says, “Hello, I’m gay!”
I applaud them on making a gay hero – I really do. I just don’t think this is the right way to do it. you can’t just send a marketing pixie around to change things about your characters just to get a rise out of the press and seem serious to me. This concept of making a spectacle out of killing/changing characters for press is what pushed me away from mainstream comics in the first place.
Marvel came out with a gay character then DC had to. It’s nothing more than the same type of marketing that pop stars use to generate headlines. It’s so transparent. “OMG POP STAR DYED HER HAIR BLACK FOR HER SECOND ALBUM SHE IS SOOOOO CONTEMPLATIVE AND EMO NOW BUY BUY BUY.”
No she didn’t. She dyed her hair black because her management thought it would be a good headline, make them more money, and differentiate her album from the first album enough to convince people it wouldn’t be the same as before.
The problem is that it usually IS the same as before.