DC has been making a major push to increase its LGBTQ+ representation recently, with certain notable heroes coming out as queer. For instance, Tim Drake was revealed to be bisexual earlier this year. Now, an arguably even bigger move is being made. In the upcoming Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, DC’s new Superman will likewise be coming out as bisexual.
If you’ve dipped out of Superman’s comic book adventures of late, here’s a brief recap. Following the Future State crossover event, Clark Kent’s son Jonathan “Jon” Kent has assumed the mantle of the Man of Steel himself, with the Son of Kal-El series from writer Tom Taylor and artist John Timms exploring how he grapples with the pressure of living up to his Kryptonian father’s lofty reputation.
But the series also explores the ways in which Jon differs from his dad. Case in point, the 17-year-old hero’s friendship with fellow teen Jay Nakumura is about to develop into a romance. IGN has revealed this first-look image at the incoming issue, which sees Jon and Jay giving into their feelings and locking lips. See the image for yourself below:
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Tom Taylor reflected on the importance of Jon coming out to IGN, revealing that this was always one of his key goals for this series.
“Over the years in this industry, it probably won’t surprise you to hear I’ve had queer characters and storylines rejected. I felt like I was letting down people I loved every time this happened” Taylor said. “But we are in a very different and much more welcome place today than we were ten, or even five years ago. When I was asked if I wanted to write a new Superman with a new #1 for the DC Universe, 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.”
Meanwhile, John Timms spoke about how he’s excited for fans to see Jon grow as a person as well as a hero.
“It is a pretty big deal doing it with Jon Kent as Superman,” adds Timms. “As we have seen Jon grow up in front of our eyes, it will be interesting to see him not only trying to find himself as a person but a global super hero in the complex atmosphere of modern life. On the other hand, I hope this kind of thing will not be seen as a big deal in the future. You could visualize how it could pan in the future when the most powerful man in the world is part of the LGBT community. So many things are on the horizon and beyond.”
Readers probably won’t be all that shocked by this development, as the attraction between the pair has been evident in previous issues. Jay is a hacktivist who’s become Jon’s first close friend – outside of Damian Wayne – since he was aged up several years. While he was unusually unfazed by discovering who Jon’s dad was, he memorably had his mind blown when he found out his mom was acclaimed journalist Lois Lane, his idol.
Jay won’t necessarily be the Lois in his relationship with Jon, however, as Taylor stressed that Jay will never fill the role of the damsel in distress.
“Jay has his own fight,” Taylor says. “He’s obviously an effective journalist, and Lois Lane is his hero. But Jay is also a refugee from Gamorra, so his experience also reflects Clark’s. While this has fortunately changed over the years, historically, Lois has often fulfilled a damsel role. Jay Nakamura will never be that. He and Jon will tackle many things side-by-side.”
Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 is set to release in print and digitally on Tuesday, November 9th.