Gay Superhero Sparks Local Reaction - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Gay Superhero Sparks Local Reaction

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For over 70 years, the Green Lantern has been recognized as one of DC Comics most popular superheroes.

He's been married.  He's been a father.  He's fought evil villians in an alternate universe.  And now, he's taking on a new identity.

As part of DC Comics new "Earth 2" series, Alan Scott---the original Green Lantern---comes out, as an openly gay man.

"I would say that we've probably sold more copies of this than we would normally sell," said Books Galore Assitant Manager Doug Phillips.  "Certainly the media attention has increased awareness of this particular (comic book) issue."

According to Phillips, it's not uncommon for major comic companies to put a new age spin on original heroes.

"Diversity is a good thing and we're seeing a lot of the major publishers really diversify their lives," said Phillips.  "Racially, sexual orientation, religious orientation, all that. So a lot more diversity going on these days."

With the ongoing debate in this country over gay couples rights, Mike Mahler of the Erie Gay News says it's reassuring to see comic books discuss the issue.

"There are people out there that certainly go through a certain amount of processing coming out,"  said Mahler.  "But it's not difficult for everybody and it's good that there are characters in popular culture that reflect that."

DC Comics isn't the only publisher addressing this topic.  In the upcoming issue of Marvel's "Astonishing X-Men Number 51,"  superhero Northstar is set to marry his partner Kyle, making it the first same sex marriage in a comic book.

"Marvel and DC...it's like Coke and Pepsi," said Phillips.  "They got to follow suit with each other and they're doing whatever they can to pick up new readers and appeal to those that they already have."

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