On Nov. 9, the life of Jon Kent, the new Superman, will take what DC Comics calls "a bold new direction." That's when the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane will begin a romantic relationship with a male friend, the comic book publisher and media giant has announced.
"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," writer Tom Taylor said, per DC Comics. "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."
"The idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity," Taylor told The New York Times. He added that a "new Superman had to have new fights—real world problems—that he could stand up to as one of the most powerful people in the world."
Jonathan Kent, who took the mantle of Superman alongside his father earlier this year, will soon share a kiss with budding journalist Jay Nakamura. The new Superman, now said to be bisexual, differs from his father in other ways too. Since his series, Superman: Son of Kal-El, began in July, the new Superman has fought wildfires caused by climate change, stopped a high school shooting and protested against the deportation of refugees in fictional city Metropolis, per The New York Times.
Kent is not the first comic-book hero to leave the closet; in August, Robin of Batman and Robin fame came out as bisexual, joining "more than 65 other LGBTQ superheroes and villains." But genre fans see particular significance in this announcement from the creators of Superman.
"It is not Northstar, who your aunt has never heard of," said Glen Weldon, the author of Superman: The Unauthorized Biography and the co-host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. "It's not Hulkling. It's not Wiccan. It's not Fire and Ice. It's not Tasmanian Devil. It is Superman. That counts for something—just in terms of visibility, just in terms of the fact that this is going to attract attention."
But not everyone applauded the move. Conservative commentator Jon Robberson shared his opinion in a pithy tweet:
apparently Superman Jr's son is now gay— Jon Robberson (@RobbersonJon) October 11, 2021
So add Superman to the pile of America's cultural ashes pic.twitter.com/L5HEdEHVN9
Former Trump administration appointee Sebastian Gorka added his thoughts via Twitter, noting, "Another brand is toast":
Just how dumb can a woke corporation be? @DCComics panders to the radical sub-fraction of 1% of the population.— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) October 11, 2021
Another brand is toast.
Well I'm off to watch Chris Reeve as the real Superman. #GoWokeGoBroke pic.twitter.com/p4V6Q5Hc0A
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