When it was announced about a week ago that DC Comics was "re-creating" Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, as a gay character, the news was met with mixed reactions.

Of course you had those who decried it, those who applauded it, and those who - like me and indie comic creator Brian Andersen - thought the news would be bigger.

Knowing that he is one of the coolest and most outspoken creators out there, I asked Brian to offer his two cents on Alan Scott and what it means to him as a gay man, and what it could mean GLBT comic book fans everywhere:

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The Big GAY Deal That Wasn’t -

Much rainbow confetti has been thrown sky high of late in honor of DC Comics recent decision to make one of their second-tier (more like *cough* 45th-tier) characters an out, proud, gay man. And to that I say a buoyant huzzah! Being an out, proud, gay man myself – one who loves and has read comics for almost 30 years and who also cheerfully creates his own indie line of gay-themed comics aimed at anyone and everyone – I couldn’t be happier and more thankful to DC.

The more we GLBTers have a presence in mainstream pop culture, whether in TV, movies or our beloved comic books, the more we have a voice and the closer we get to wide spread acceptance. Not to go all red, white & blue and idealistic on your rear ends, but every minority deserves to have a voice; to see their stories told in our entertainment and to be respected and treated with dignity, regardless of a person’s fundamental, God-fearing feeling towards that group.

While I may be pretty stoked about Alan Scott’s big gay outing I have to be honest; this isn’t quite as HUGE a deal as the internets, bloggers, 24 hr news channels and hateful bigots (what’s up One Million Moms?) proclaimed it to be. I would say it’s more of small, tiny, comic book community ‘deal’ and a not the huge ‘prepare a protest,’ rush to the comic book store to buy twenty-zillion copies DEAL that it’s been made out to be.

A ‘deal’ VS a ‘DEAL’

What’s the dif you might query between ‘'a deal'’ and a “huge mother cracking mondo DEAL?” Welp, the fact that the new gay in the DCU is dear-old Alan Scott aka the-Green-Lantern-that-no-non-comic-book-reader-knows-about-and-get’s-confused-for-Hal-Jordan-and-Ryan-Reynolds only serves to minimize the whole Ka-Pow factor of the announcement. Sure having a Green Lantern as a member of the ever growing comic book homo squad is pretty fabulous but if DC really wanted to be daring and give the world a universe defining, culture changing gay character they could have - and should have - gone bigger.

If it would have been Batman, Superman, Aquaman or hell, Plastic Man, then I would have happily danced the gay jig of joy and joined in on the huge DEAL that has been made of this announcement. Just imagine if DC would have had the cojones to have made their iconic, widely recognized Green Lantern gay, the one who actually carries his own solo title, the one that any laymen could finger in a police line up or on a cereal box. Now that would have been a bold, impactful choice. That would have had weight; that would have been meaningful and powerful. But this former Justice Society old fogey Green Lantern with 55th-tier level of importance (he’s been downgraded since I began this blog post) amongst his comic book peers? Eh. Not so much.

In fact, I tried to explain to my Fox News (barf!) watching dad the history behind Alan Scott and how he was created practically eons ago during the Nazi World War; and how he used to be old, was straight, had two kids, one of which was gay himself; but is now actually a brand new young character in an alternative dimensional Earth where Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are the ‘older heroes” who have died; and that the recently rebooted DC 52 where the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern lives on is an entirely different place, but I lost him at Nazis.

DC Owes a Muffin Basket (or two) to Marvel Comics

The reality is that Alan Scott being gay is no more newsworthy then the Teen Titans having their first gay member in the sassy, cute Bunker. And it’s certainly no where near as groundbreaking than having the fantastic Batwoman kicking ass as a powerful lesbian who is shown kissing and sleeping with other women while starring in own actual solo title to boot!

So while I feel its super freaking awesome and incredible to have Alan Scott join the comic book gayborhood - and being drawn by non-other than the sensational Nicola Scott (who’s art I worship and hug close to me at night while I sleep) doesn’t hurt either - it’s really not the comic book defining moment that the media has proclaimed it to be.

I would argue that the only reason Alan Scott has became the media firestorm that he has exploded into is because of Marvel Comics. DC saw the amount of press and attention Marvel received for their upcoming storyline that finally (FINALLY) gives the sexually pent-up Northstar a boyfriend and features his upcoming gay marriage and decided they needed to horn in on that PR action! But the real story is in gay comic right now is Northstar. I mean 20 years as the first and often only mainstream gay superhero and Northstar is finally getting him some romantic action? Now that, THAT is a huge DEAL.

Brian Andersen is a comic book loving gay geek who creates his own indie line of wonderfully queer comics for everyone (www.sosuperduper.com). He lives in (surprise!) San Francisco with his pretty boyfriend of 11 years, their two baby kitty cats, and too many comic books than he cares to count.