Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, is being reintroduced to the DC Comics universe with one major change: He's gay.
The big reveal officially comes Wednesday in the second issue of DC's "Earth 2" series, which features Scott as the main superhero of a parallel world. Scott, who first appeared in a 1940 comic, is getting a new origin story as a young media mogul as part of DC's universe-wide reboot.
DC confirmed the news about the character Friday after co-publisher Dan Dido told a convention audience in May that a heretofore straight character would be gay.
"He's going to be the leader of the team, this dynamic hero, he'll do anything to save people, the bravest man on the planet. Why not just make him gay as well?" writer James Robinson told USA Today.
Explaining the decision in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Robinson said the original version of Alan Scott was an older man with a super-powered son, Obsidian, who was gay.
"The fact that Scott was young now [due to the reboot] meant Obsidian no longer existed. I thought it was a shame that DC was losing such a positive gay character. I said, 'Why not make Alan Scott gay?' To Dan DiDio’s credit, when I suggested it to him, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation," he said.
Robinson told the New York Post the character's new sexual orientation has no bearing on his heroism.
"He's very much the character he was. He's still the pinnacle of bravery and idealism. He's also gay," Robinson said.
"It's a realistic depiction of society," he added. "You have to move with the times."
DC's announcement comes shortly after Marvel Comics said it would be featuring the first gay wedding between two of its characters.
One Million Moms, an online activist group that has targeted JC Penny for its hiring of Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman, took up a campaign after the initial announcement urging supporters to email DC and Marvel about the character developments.
"[U]rge them to change and cancel all plans of homosexual superhero characters immediately. Ask them to do the right thing and reverse their decision to have sexual orientation displayed to readers," the group wrote.