Once upon a time, male superheroes only kissed girls. If they kissed anyone at all.
However, now that it can be publicly declared that boys kiss boys and lead vast companies and girls kiss girls and become mayor of Houston, superheroes are coming out of the phone booth too.
Indeed, today it was announced by DC Comics that the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, is re-emerging as a gay man.
As USA Today reports it, he will be in the second issue of DC's Earth 2 series and be the main superhero.
Indeed, he emerges at a time when it seems as if all the old guys from the movies -- like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman -- may have all disappeared six feet under.
James Robinson, the writer behind the Earth 2 series, told USA Today: "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?"
Why not, indeed? It's not as if he's the first ever gay superhero, after all. In the DC Comics world, Batwoman, aka Kate Kane, is a red-headed lesbian, and the world seems to have survived that just fine. Indeed, it was saved from extinction once or twice.
In case anyone is confused that this might be a statement on the sexuality of Ryan Reynolds, who played Green Lantern in a recent movie, well, it's not. That Green Lantern is not this Green Lantern. Although Robinson told USA Today that, at some point in the saga, he intends for the two to meet.
Naturally, there has been a little moral saber-rattling at the news. The One Million Momsorganization -- which may or may not enjoy the pleasure of a million moms -- fulminated foamingly.
Indeed, on its rather aggressive little Web site, One Million Moms said:
This is ridiculous! Why do adult gay men need comic superheroes as role models? They don't but do want to indoctrinate impressionable young minds by placing these gay characters on pedestals in a positive light. These companies are heavily influencing our youth by using children's superheroes to desensitize and brainwash them in thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable.
The issues seems to be a pulsating one, as, earlier this month, Marvel Entertainment declared that Northstar, its super speedster, would marry his boyfriend in the "Astonishing X-Men."
Sometimes, though, getting an anti-gay superhero message out through social media does have its issues.
The New Civil Rights Movement reports that One Million Moms tried to warn its Facebook followers that the Green Lantern had Lanturned.
Next to a WARNING sign, they declared that the Green had gone Pink.
However, before the page could be monitored closely, it was full of pro-gay commentary, including such delightful gems as this from poster Meg Navitsky: "Looks like I'm gonna go buy some Green Lantern memorabilia from JC Penney."
This was a reference to One Million Moms attempting to organize a boycott of the retailer after it had hired Ellen De Generes as a spokesperson. (Incidentally, JC Penney -- now run by former Apple retail head Ron Johnson -- replied by unpeeling a new ad featuring two gay dads.)
It appears that all of this pro-gayness caused One Million Moms to remove its Facebook post.
I have, however, more troubling news for those who believe that superheroes ought all to be straight.
Alan Ladd Wellington Scott -- to give this Green Lantern his full name -- has, as do all superheroes, a weakness.
His is not a weakness for yellow, or anything so fey.
At the core of Scott's power is his ring. At the core of that ring is the mystical Starheart. The Starheart is a very powerful thing. It severely slows down the aging process. In fact, the Starheart is said to be one of the most powerful forces in the whole world.
However, when Scott first went into action all those years ago, he was caught off-guard by someone wielding a club.
Ever since, this original Green Lantern has had a weakness for wood.