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Friday, June 08, 2012 

Roy Thomas doesn't approve of turning Alan Scott gay

A Spanish-language blogger on Bronze Age comics got an email from Roy Thomas, who did a lot of work on the Justice Society in the All-Star Squadron and Infinity Inc. back in the 80s, including Alan Scott and the 2 children who've now been erased from continuity, and he's said he doesn't like what DC's editors are doing to Alan at all:
Hi Pedro--

Just learned of this this morning. I've nothing against gays, but I think the notion of making Alan Scott retroactively gay (even if this is a new Earth-2 version, an abomination of an idea in and of itself) is ludicrous and offensive.

It is also a slap in the face to Dann, Jerry Ordway, Mike Machlan, and I, who co-created his children Jade and Obsidian... and of course Dann and I also engineered his fathership with Thorn and his later marriage to Harlequin... as it even undercuts the potential economic value of our creation.

I believe this concept shows contempt for us and for long-time faithful readers. And I think we should return the favor. But, in the end, it's all just word and pictures on paper (or in cyberspace), and is no more valid re the original Green Lantern created by Mart Nodell and Bill Finger than was the retroactive continuity we did back in the '80s.

Best wishes,
Roy
And this alludes to just what I was thinking, that if there's anyone the editors slighted the most, it was Bill Finger and Martin Nodell. The reason why they did this, of course, is because they clearly see Scott as an easier property to victimize than Hal Jordan or even Superman himself. Obviously, they think nobody could possibly care a whit about a Golden Ager who's long been out of the main spotlight for a long time, when here Thomas and company came up with a successful series throughout the 80s (first All-Star Squadron and then Young All-Stars) that would highlight the Golden Age heroes in their prime, and a special spinoff series (Infinity Inc) that would focus on their children and proteges.

Thomas also has a point that this can do potential damage economically, since now, there's less chance we'll be seeing kids wearing an Alan Scott GL costume on Halloween, and maybe not at conventions either. Nor will many parents be buying their children toy action figures based on Alan, or even coloring books (as for Obsidian, his chances have probably already been totaled in the past several years). Yes, the damage they're wroughting could be tremendous, and just think of how it could rub off upon Hal Jordan and other GLs as well. This is exactly what they obviously won't consider, that long-term, it can and does have a very negative effect on spinoff merchandise they can publish, to say nothing of the source material itself, since some potential buyers could be discouraged even from trying those out.

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I'm glad Roy Thomas is speaking out against this nonsense. It's unfortunate that we don't have writers of his caliber in the industry today.

Amen, Carl. I do know that Thomas had toyed with the idea of making the second Icicle gay, then decided against it. I haven't read any of the post-Crisis JSA (including the new multiverse); I'd rsther read my back issues of All-Star Squadron and the 1980s run of All-Star Comics.
I grew up reading Roy's stuff, both during his tenure at Marvel in the 1970s and the early-to-mid 1980s. I enjoyed his writing and respected his work because he obviously cared about the Golden Age characters and treated them and their creators with the respect both deserved then and still deserve today.
Having said that, would it be bad form (to coin a phrase) for me to point out that if Disgusting Comucs had not gotten rid of Obsidian,they could be used "Alan Scott's" coming out as a unusual case of "like father, like son?"

Indeed, Thnunumber 6... I just stick to the older better-written stuff when they actually told stories and didn't pander to political correctness. And Thomas' "Kree-Skrull War" is my all-time favorite comics storyline. He actually cared for the characters unlike today's writers.

I believe this concept shows contempt for us and for long-time faithful readers. And I think we should return the favor.Solar power undercuts the potential economic value of our creation.

Elektrownia fotowoltaiczna

I was pretty peeved about Obsidian, Alan Scott's son, being turned gay as well. He was one of my favorite characters and quite distinct from other superheroes of his time in his attitude and personality. He reminded me a lot of Wildfire--he was almost what would happen if someone like Flash Thompson became a superhero. He was a cynical, hot-tempered loner, but he also was possessed of an iron-will and true courage. That sort of sounds cliche, but most tough-guy heroes such as Wolverine are as sensitive as they are tough. Obsidian and Wildfire were really, truly flawed in a way that made them more believable and made their strengths shine through. Anyway, he became DC's sacrificial lamb to political correctness. It's funny--if comics are going to be anything approaching legitimate fiction, shouldn't the story dictate the nature of the characters, rather than half-baked perceptions about reader self-esteem and multiculturalism? The vast majority of the world is neither Greek nor Jewish, yet for hundreds of years we have read and loved the Bible as well as the works of Homer. I am not made of anti-matter and I'm also not a living shadow, but I thrilled to the adventures of Obsidian and Wildfire.

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