In 2015, DC Comics introduced Jon Kent, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. The exact specifics of how this new character came into existence would take about hours to explain in full; the basics are that a few years ago Clark Kent and Lois Lane were able to get pregnant during a storyline where Superman temporarily lost his powers, and Jon was the result.
Later stories rapidly aged Jon into a middle schooler and then into a teenager. Pretty soon Jon, who shares his father’s powers, was a superhero too. He first became Superboy, and joined the Legion of Super Heroes like his dad had decades earlier. Then, in 2021, he became DC’s latest Superman, and even inherited the title role in DC’s main Superman comic, which was renamed Superman: Son of Kal-El.
The changes aren’t stopping there. As part of National Coming Out Day, DC announced that in the pages of next month’s Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, Jon will come out as bisexual when he kisses his friend, Jay Nakamura.
The issue is written by Tom Taylor and illustrated by John Timms. Here was Taylor’s comment on the announcement, via IGN:
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.
For many years, depictions of any sort of sexuality, gay or straight, were verboten in comics because of the strict censorship rules enforced by the Comics Code Authority that was created in the mid-1950s. (One of the codes’ dictums read “Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Rape scenes, as well as sexual abnormalities, are unacceptable.”)
While the Code’s restrictions loosened over the decades, and then were abandoned entirely by the early 2010s, comics’ representation of LGBTQ characters has lagged. So this news is another important step in that regard — because DC is not just introducing a random new character to their universe who happens to be bisexual; it’s Superman.
Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 will be released on November 9.