Jon Kent, aka Superman, is bisexual. (DC Comics)
Jon Kent, Superman of Earth and son of Clark Kent, coming out scene in the comics has been in the works for two years, says DC comics writer.
The young superhero came out as bisexual in Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, which hit shops earlier this month. In the comic, Kent falls in love with Jay Nakamura, a pink-haired reporter, after the hero becomes “mentally and physically burnt out” from his new role.
Writer Tom Taylor told the Washington Post that the series was an “opportunity to do something different, something not seen before” within DC Comics. He added that this new Superman was a chance to “represent people who haven’t been represented before and haven’t been able to see themselves” in the Man of Steel.
“To pitch something like this [to DC] is a little bit daunting,” Taylor said. “You go, are they going to go with this?”
He continued: “Because historically, I have had queer characters erased or rejected [at other publishers]. But there’s been a real shift, a really welcome shift in comics.”
But before Kent could publicly come out, Taylor explained he wanted to establish the younger Kent as Superman. He said he didn’t want the “narrative to be DC Comics creates” a new bisexual Superman. Instead, he wanted Kent to come out later in the series because “that is much more powerful”.
“The next issue isn’t going to be some big speech about it,” Taylor shared. “The kiss is just something that happens in the comic.”
Marie Javins, DC Comics editor-in-chief, told the Washington Post that the idea Jon Kent would come out as bisexual was “greeted with nothing but support” when it was revealed to the “higher-ups”. She added Kent’s sexuality “makes perfect sense in the context of the world that he lives in”.
“Gender and sexuality is so much more fluid to young people today,” Javins said.
She continued: “Our fans know that. Our retailers know that. Our staff knows that.
“It’s not like we’re all off in this little bubble and don’t know 20-year-olds.”
Taylor hinted that the young Superman will reveal more about his love life to those closest to him in upcoming issues. This reportedly will include one of his close friends, Damian Wayne, who is the son of Batman and one of several people who take on the mantle of Robin.
Taylor added that the young Kent’s “thing” will be that he “stands for everyone”, including those who are “oppressed” or “underrepresented”.
The news that Jon Kent is bisexual has been widely celebrated by fans, and DC Comics reported receiving an “unprecedented” number of orders for the issue.
There has been some anti-LGBT+ backlash. Journalist Raymond Arroyo lashed out at DC Comics for “sexualising superheroes”.
Former Superman actor Dean Cain, who portrayed the Man of Steel on the 1993 TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, dismissed the new LGBT+ storyline as “bandwagoning”.
“I don’t think it’s bold or brave or some crazy new direction,” he added. “If they had done this 20 years ago, perhaps that would be bold or brave.”
TMZ reported that police officers were dispatched to the homes of the artists that worked on Superman: Son of Kal-El to protect them after they received death threats over Kent’s sexuality and coming out storyline.
Anonymous sources told TMZ that the Los Angeles Police Department was approached by DC Comics about concerns for their staff’s safety. These sources said none of the threats was acted on and the “situation has since settled down”.