May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #2 (November, 2023)

Alan recounts how he got his lantern. It's not pretty.

I remember reading the first issues of these JSA-related solo mini-series, and at the time, I was perhaps least interested in Alan Scott’s story.  But then Wesley Dodds’s turned out kinda disappointing in the first issue while Jay Garrick’s was fun but slight.  Alan’s, though, was actually the best of the bunch, and this second issue continues that trend.

Or it would if I didn’t stop reading Wesley’s.  Who knows?  It might have gotten better.

Issue:  Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #2, November 2023

Writer:  Tim Seeley

Artist:  Cian Torney

The Plot:  Alan does a stint in Arkham Asylum.

Commentary: I had some minor mixed feelings when DC made the Earth-1 Alan gay.  Earth-2’s Alan was gay in part because Obsidian, a gay character and Alan’s son, didn’t exist in the New 52, so someone decided to fix things a bit there.  But then this mini-series came along, and it seems to be about, among other things, how hard it was to be a gay man in the 40s and 50s.  Sure, there’s the threat of this mysterious Red Lantern, but for the most part, this issue is about how Alan was for a period a patient in Arkham Asylum.

To be fair, this is a pre-Batman Arkham, so no Jokers or Two-Faces or anything like that in there.  Instead, the Asylum seems to be filled with mostly gay men and one older trans woman, a patient where only Alan cares enough to address her by her preferred pronouns.  And sure, the staff isn’t exactly being gentle since they were still operating under the assumption that being gay was a mental illness, but that seems to be the role Alan is playing here as the voice of the 21st century.  I mean, would even other LGBTQ+ types have used a trans person’s preferred pronouns back then?  I don’t know.  I suspect not, but I don’t know.  And yet, Alan does because, well, it is his name on the cover.

Essentially, this issue covers a bit more about how Alan got his lantern.  Classically, there was a train crash involves, and there still is here, but Alan’s stint in Arkham was a new addition that largely worked, and while he got some electroshock therapy, probably as a punishment, he’s also quick to point out he was a voluntary inmate, so…

This is an issue that points out two things we should be thankful about:  how we treat homosexuals and trans people today is much better than it used to be, and mental health treatment in general has come a long way.

Really, social commentary like this makes me kinda down on the fact that the Red Lantern needs to be dealt with.

Grade:  B+