The DC Comics superhero Jon Kent—aka one of the current iterations of Superman—is now officially bisexual, dating a guy named Jay Nakamura in the upcoming comic Superman: Son of Kal-El #5. It’s a cool revelation for fans of queer superhero comics, but it’s also leading to some predictably absurd backlash. Namely, homophobes complaining about Superman being ruined.
A lot of the detractors seem to have heard this news via social media, misunderstanding who “Superman” actually is in this scenario. Regrettably, DC Comics isn’t brave enough to have Clark Kent come out as bisexual. This particular Superman is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and he’s better known as Superboy. Kind of a B-list character. The silliest reaction came from Arizona senator Wendy Rogers, who earned a viral dunking for tweeting, “Superman loves Louis Lane. Period. Hollywood is trying to make Superman gay and he is not.” An impressively inaccurate statement on multiple levels.
DC timed this revelation for National Coming Out Day, with Jon Kent joining an ever-growing pantheon of canonically queer DC heroes including Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Tim Drake, one of the more prominent Robins. Tim Drake (whose coming-out comic arrived in August) is more relevant here because he and Jon belong to a younger generation of superheroes—and a lot of DC fans want Tim Drake and Superboy to hook up. Just not this Superboy.
Kon-El (aka Connor Kent) is another one of Superman’s sons; the cloned offspring of Clark Kent and Lex Luthor. He’s also known as Superboy, and a lot of fans ship him with Tim Drake due to their friendship in Young Justice and Teen Titans. So when Tim Drake was revealed to be queer, this pairing took one step closer to canonical viability. In the eyes of some fans, DC chose the wrong Superboy to come out as bisexual. Not in the sense that Jon Kent is necessarily a bad choice, but it’s an amusing decision in context. Kon-El is widely interpreted as a queer-coded character, whereas Jon Kent, well… isn’t.
Honestly, DC should just go for a hat-trick and have Kon-El come out as well. Why not!
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