I never expected to see Superman, dressed in his iconic red and blue suit, sharing a passionate kiss with another man in a comic book strip. My gay gasp was so loud that it was likely heard in Metropolis, if not on Krypton.
There was some internet outrage to the revelation, as there is whenever a traditional superhero goes through a transition. However, such critical voices are no longer in the majority as popular culture has increased the representation of LGBTQ persons in the media over time.
Jonathan Kent, the new Superman, and son of the first Superman, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane, came out as bis*xual on Monday, October 11, in conjunction with National Coming Out Day. In November, the fifth issue of the comic book’s most recent series, “Superman: Son of Kal-El,” which is the issue where we see Jon and pink-haired journalist Jay Nakamura in an embrace, will unveil the entire plot.
The report comes one month after Tim Drake, a.k.a. Batman’s sidekick Robin, was shown accepting a date from a man in a “Batman: Urban Legends” issue published by comic book publisher DC.
The Marvel character Northstar has been openly gay since the 1990s. There have been numerous other examples of queer supporting characters in popular comics and heroes in lesser-known series since 2000. In particular, Batwoman Kate Kane is an out lesbian. But the appearance of such iconic figures in culture feels like a paradigm shift.
Taking into account the upcoming “The Eternals” character Phaistos, played by straight-identified actor Brian Tyree Henry (we don’t always win the representation battle), the first gay male superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (married to a man and with a kid, no less! ), and Nia Nal/2018 Dreamer’s debut on the television series “Supergirl” as the first transgender superhero on TV, it is clear that representation is improving.
In particular, as adolescent readers working out our identities, LGBTQ comic book fans have long found superhero stories excellent sources for recognizing queer coding and subtext that resonated with our own experiences. Whether it’s the ageless Wonder Woman, the tortured Batman, or even Superman himself, an actual extraterrestrial on this planet, many of us may find our tales in superheroes’ loneliness, secret, and dual lives. Making comparisons was frequently difficult, as in the “X-Men” comic book and movie series, where the protagonists had to cope with prejudice and legal discrimination due to their birth circumstances.
After my first shock over the Superman news subsided, I began to consider how the current generation of superhero fans won’t need to search for references or innuendo. The queerness of this Superman is evident right there on the page. How could their feelings be wrong if the personification of justice, truth, and the American way are capable of kissing another man?
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Richard Donner’s “Superman,” starring Christopher Reeve, was the first superhero movie I recall seeing as a young child. My dad gave me a collection of Superman comics shortly after that, and I was immediately hooked. Superman had great strength and abilities, but Clark Kent’s emotions and vulnerabilities made the character relatable to me. There was a certain yearning for human connection that felt so true, as expressed by Reeve.
He’s not only my first superhero, either. Superman was the first superhero to gain international notoriety. That has a lot of influence. It feels like a significant change to witness a superhero who was instrumental in developing the superhero genre in a same-s*x embrace. That is genuinely brave.
Fact Or Fiction: Superman In The Comics Is Now Gay?
Perhaps you’ve heard that Superman has been made gay by DC. That is partly accurate. The DC Comics Multiverse is getting a new Superman for Earth from Jon Kent, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane.
Jon Kent firmly attaches to Jay Nakamura, a male reporter like his father. DC’s publisher claims in a news statement that the firm is happy to share this significant tale and that Jon Kent is genuinely bis*xual. On November 9, the comic book containing all these discoveries will be released.
Stay tuned for more updates at Lee Daily.