Books | October 12, 2021 12:34 pm

The Current Superman Is Bisexual, Says DC Comics

A new issue of the superhero comic finds Clark Kent and Lois Lane's son romantically involved with a male reporter

Superman (Jonathan Kent) has entered into a relationship with a male reporter in the Superman comic books, shown here as he kisses pink-haired reporter Jay Nakamura
Superman (Jon Kent) has entered into a relationship with a male reporter in the Superman comic books.
DC Comics

DC Comics has announced that Jonathan Kent — the latest Superman — will begin a romantic relationship with a male friend, as reported by The New York Times.

“Superman Comes Out, as DC Comics Ushers In a New Man of Steel” is a bit misleading as a headline, at least for casual readers or people who only know Superman from the movies or earlier TV series. As noted, this isn’t Clark Kent; the current Superman in DC Comics is Jonathan Kent, the son of Clark and Lois Lane (if that dynamic also surprises you, their marriage is also the current setup on The CW series Superman & Lois, although the storylines involving their children differ from the comic book).

As of now, DC is labeling Jonathan Kent as bisexual, at least on their official site. As that site describes Superman: Son of Kal-El issue #5: “Jon Kent has fallen for a reporter. After initially striking up a friendship with reporter Jay Nakamura, he and Jon become romantically involved.”

“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,” current Superman: Son of Kal-El writer Tom Taylor said 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.”

Taylor has been bringing very real world problems into his comics title; as the Times notes, the junior Kent has so far dealt with wildfires caused by climate change, thwarted a high school shooting and protested the deportation of refugees in Metropolis.

This new Superman revelation follows an earlier storyline this year at DC where Robin — Tim Drake, one of many Batman sidekicks to share the moniker — accepts a date with a male friend. As we noted then, Robin was certainly not the first gay character in a major comic book, or even a major character who has the same sort of personal epiphany long after their debut.

Still, it’s nice that the mainstream comic-book community is creating heroes that more accurately reflect the outside world, and not just shoehorning that acknowledgement awkwardly into a larger narrative (yes, that example is a movie and it’s Marvel, but the point stands). Be happy for your fictional heroes and the lives they want to lead … before they are eventually rebooted, canceled, killed or reborn.