Fresh off the heels of Tim Drake (aka Robin) coming out officially as bisexual, it looks like DC Comics might be making one of their most iconic heroes share a space with him under the LGBTQ+ rainbow. Ethan Van Scriver, known for his work on Green Lantern as his independent works like Cyberfrog and Reignbow the Brute, claims that the company is planning to make Superman gay in a recent video uploaded to his ComicArtistPro Secrets channel.
In the video titled “SUPERMAN IS GAY! Shocking DC Comics SCOOP!!” Van Scriver goes so far as to claim, “They are coming for your children.” Before going on to discuss what he has heard are the future plans for the man of steel.
“I just found out, I got a little bit of a scoop about what DC’s plans are. Nobody knows this yet. It hasn’t really been announced except by me. The plan is that Superman’s book. I guess Clark Kent is going bye bye… So anyway, Clark Kent is going bye bye and they are going to replace him with Jonathan Kent and then they are going to announce that Jonathan Kent is gay. So Superman is effectively gay.”
As Jonathan Kent did recently take the mantle of the famous hero in the Superman: Son of Kal El series written by Tom Taylor, which somewhat follows the timeline Van Scriver has presented in the video. In the video, he also discussed how comics have changed from being about, “characters fighting evil, fighting colorful, scary, cool villains and all of that,” to being about something different.
“Somewhere along the line they became almost entirely about identity. It’s almost like, at this point, there is very little money in mainstream comics and the one way to definitely get a little attention, to get some press, is to announce a character is trans or bisexual or there is a trans or bisexual or homosexual in the comics.”
As far back as the 1950s, there were complaints about comics being “too gay” in some way, with Seduction of the Innocent author and psychiatrist Fredric Wertham going so far as to say, “The Batman type story may stimulate children to homosexual fantasies…”
If anything, the reason that homosexuality wasn’t explored often in comics may have been because the Comics Code Authority banned any suggestion of it and didn’t allow LGBT+ characters to appear in any comics that wanted their seal of approval until 1989. At the time the Comics Code Authority was created, characters Batwoman and Batgirl were added specially to counter concerns that the Batman series had homosexual leanings. (Which is ironic as eventually Batwoman was also eventually written as a lesbian.)
It seems that many DC writers simply want to explore new stories surrounding the characters they’ve been given to work with now that they are not forbidden to do so and are more able to bring their visions to life. In titles as recent as The Lego Batman Movie from 2017, characters like Batman and The Joker have been thoroughly queer coded and there’s no avoiding the relationship between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Not to mention Justice League Queer’s existence in general.
While Van Scriver did say, “There should definitely be gay characters in comics,” it feels hard to not see this as a complaint with where DC Comics is going with the character when he also says that the current Superman is lesser because, “SJW writers are writing him.” Van Scriver has previously (and within the video) supported Comicsgate, a movement that has been described as targeting harassment at “women, people of color, and LGBT folk in the comic book industry.”
With Van Scriver using dog-whistling language like, “these weird women, these SJWs, these soyboys,” and painting those with whom he disagrees with the same brush by saying, “not everyone has a problem with their fathers, just these weirdos do.” in his video, it’s hard to believe him when he says, “there is absolutely nothing wrong if you are gay and you are comicsgate, we love you and you are welcome.”
If it does indeed turn out that Superman is gay, he will join the likes of other LGBTQ+ heroes such as Wonder Woman, Dawnstar, Natasha Irons, Midnighter, and many more across DC Comics‘ illustrious publishing history.