Green Lantern, one of DC Comics' oldest and enduring heroes, is openly gay, according to a new comic coming soon.

The change is revealed in the pages of the second issue of "Earth 2" out next week, and comes on the heels of what has been an expansive year for gay and lesbian characters in the pages of comic books and comic strips.

But purists and fans note: This Green Lantern is not the emerald galactic space cop who's in the Justice League and has a history rich in triumph and tragedy.

Instead, says James Robinson, who writes the new series, Alan Scott is the retooled version of the classic Lantern whose first appearance came in "All-American Comics" No. 16 in 1940.

Associated Press