The superhero is one in a recent line of comic book characters to explore their sexualities and bring queerness into the world of DC and Marvel.
In its newest issue of Superman, DC Comics revealed that the superhero would now be bisexual. Jonathan Kent, who is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, is the latest iteration of the character. The traditionally heterosexual character will embark on a same-gender relationship in addition to combatting the climate crisis and protesting against the deportation of refugees, the publication announced. His new love interest is the news reporter Jay Nakamura, who cares for The Man of Steel after he "mentally and physically burns out from trying to save everyone that he can," The Guardian reports.
DC Comics reveal latest Superman is bisexual https://t.co/omMU8icOXZ— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 12, 2021
Series writer Tom Taylor said in an interview with The New York Times, "The idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity." The upcoming edition, Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, is scheduled for release in November this year. Superman's partner Nakamura will also reportedly have super powers. However, Kent's bisexual relationship is not the only new addition to the comic book series. The character has been updated for a younger audience and hence will dabble in more recent issues. This includes protesting against the deportation of refugees, stopping a high school shooting, and trying to douse wildfires that were the cause of the climate crisis.
In Action Comics #1 (1938), Superman stopped a wrongful government execution, beat up a spousal abuser, and stopped government corruption from outside interests.— Oliver Willis (@owillis) October 12, 2021
But some people would have you believe Superman *just* went woke in 2021. pic.twitter.com/SEZQUOzMRA
"I’ve always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes and I’m very grateful DC and Warner Bros share this idea," Taylor shared in a statement. "Superman’s symbol has always stood for hope, for truth, and for justice. Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics." Superman is only one of many comic book heroes to explore their sexualities. In August this year, it was announced that the latest version of Robin would have a boyfriend. Similarly, Marvel also made the decision to have a gay character transform into Captain America in March.
I cannot emphasize enough that Superman was created by Jewish New Dealers and has always been "woke." pic.twitter.com/LIG02eGc73— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) October 12, 2021
Despite the progressive outlook in comic books, the movie versions of both DC and Marvel heroes seem less so. Tessa Thompson’s character in the movie Thor: Ragnarok was only revealed to be bisexual in a tweet, whereas Deadpool’s sexual fluidity has not yet been fully explored. Nonetheless, the release of Eternals this November is expected to set a new precedent for queerness in the superhero world. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will finally feature its first LGBTQ+ kiss—between Brian Tyree Henry’s character Phastos, the first openly gay superhero in a Marvel movie, and Haaz Sleiman, who plays his husband.