It’s official: Jonathan Kent, the newest version of Superman, is bisexual.

The upcoming issue of the long-running American superhero comic series will feature Jonathan Kent, the son of original Superman Clark Kent and his wife Lois Lane, starting a romantic relationship with a male friend.

In an interview with IGN on Monday, which was National Coming Out Day, Tom Taylor, an Australian and writer of the new series, explained this new iteration.

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I knew replacing Clark with another straight white savior could be a real opportunity missed. I’ve always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes. Today, Superman, the strongest superhero on the planet, is coming out.”

A More Progressive Superman

With a cover featuring the tagline, “The Beginning Story of the Daring Exploits of the 21st Century Superman,” the series, Superman: Son of Kal-El, showcases a more progressive Superman. The series, which began in July, follows Jonathan as he takes on the world’s problems, such as protecting his community from mass shootings, protesting the treatment of refugees, and fighting the effects of climate change.

Jon’s new love interest is Jay Nakamura, a reporter  who idolises his mother Lois Lane. Jay cares for Jon after he “mentally and physically burns out from trying to save everyone that he can”.

“What should a new Superman fight for today?”, Taylor asks rhetorically. “Can a seventeen-year-old Superman battle giant robots while ignoring the climate crisis? Of course not. Can someone with super sight and super hearing ignore injustices beyond his borders? Can he ignore the plight of asylum seekers?” 

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Taylor believes that this 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.”

Superheroes Come Out

While not the first superhero to come out, Superman is arguably one of the most notable. 

Comics have become more inclusive of the LGBTIQ+ community in recent years, with many title characters coming out as queer.

Last year Guardian of the Galaxy’s Star Lord came out as bisexual and was part of a polyamorous relationship. In June, Marvel introduced a gay teen Captain America in The United States of Captain America #1 and Batman’s sidekick, Robin came out as bisexual in an August issue of DC Comics’ Batman: Urban Legends.

Academic human rights lawyer, Dr Senthorun Raj, stresses the importance of this LGBTIQ+ representation and believes that “seeing superhero icons or other pop culture figures who reflect your desires and experiences can be wonderfully affirming, for both children and adults. It’s important that we see a greater variety of characters and storylines in books, television shows, films, comics, plays, and so on that reflect the richness of LGBTIQ communities.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 comes out (pun intended) in November.

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