Out, out, and away!
The true sexuality of The Man of Steel is now canon thanks to DC Comics, whose next comic book issue confirms that the famed Superman is bisexual, and will be in a same-sex relationship with his friend, male reporter Jay Nakamura.
DC Comics broke the news during National Coming Out Day on Monday, an annual LGBT awareness day started in the US.
In the upcoming issue of Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, 17-year-old Jon Kent, child of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, finds his love interest in Nakamura who cares for the caped superhero after he “mentally and physically burns out from trying to save everyone that he can.” The series follows Kent, Earth’s new Superman, who struggles with the massive weight of responsibilities that come with the new role.
“The idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity,” said series writer Tom Taylor in an interview per The New York Times. He also said 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.”
Superman’s revelation regarding his sexuality isn’t the first time that the traditionally heterosexual, archetypal American hero has grown to adapt to the changing times. Since debuting in July, Jon Kent’s Superman has had to stop a high school shooting, put out wildfires that were the cause of the climate crisis, and protest against the deportation of refugees.
“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,” said Taylor 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 was also keen to clarify that writers sought to steer away from using Jon Kent’s sexuality as a “gimmick.” “We didn’t want this to be ‘DC Comics creates new queer Superman,'” said Taylor. “We want this to be ‘Superman finds himself, becomes Superman and then comes out,’ and I think that’s a really important distinction there.”
“Neither bold nor brave”
Former Superman actor Dean Cain, however, isn’t gladdened by the news. Speaking to Fox & Friends a day after the news made rounds, the 55-year-old actor criticized DC Comics for jumping on the bandwagon of sexuality.
“They said it’s a bold new direction, I say they’re bandwagoning,” said Cain per The Hollywood Reporter. “Robin just came out as bi — who’s really shocked about that one? The new Captain America is gay. My daughter in [The CW series] Supergirl, where I played the father, was gay. So I don’t think it’s bold or brave or some crazy new direction.”
Cain continued: “Brave would be having him fighting for the rights of gay people in Iran where they’ll throw you off a building for the offense of being gay. They’re talking about having him fight climate change and the deportation of refugees. Why don’t they have him fight the injustices that created the refugees whose deportation he’s protesting? Or fighting for the rights of women to attend school and have the ability to work and live and boys not to be raped by men under the new warm and fuzzy Taliban — that would be brave.
“There’s real evil in this world today, real corruption and government overreach, plenty of things to fight against. Human trafficking — real and actual slavery going on. … It’d be great to tackle those issues,” he ended.