In the DC Universe, it’s a good time to be the important ward/next generation of a legacy superhero mantle and get a date, apparently.
Revealed at IGN this morning, DC Comics announced that Jonathan Kent will hook up with Jay Nakamura, the hacker friend and Lois Lane fanboy readers have been seeing Jon get close to in the pages of Superman: Son of Kal-El. For those who aren’t familiar, Jon is Clark and Lois’ son, the former Superboy, and now currently the actual Superman of the DC Universe after the events of Future State. While Clark has been off-world, Jon’s been tackling duties on Earth as the Man of Steel, even at his young age. He’s really just been saving the day over and over, but now he’ll at least have someone to confide in by his side.
“We are in a very different and much more welcome place today than we were 10, or even five years ago,” Son of Kal-El writer Tom Taylor told IGN about the decision to have Jon come out as bisexual now. “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 saviour 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.”
Image: John Timms/DC Comics, Other
Image: Travis Moore and Tamra Bonvillain/DC Comics, Other
Image: Inhyuk Lee/DC Comics, Other
Jon’s coming out follows the recent waves made when Tim Drake — former Robin and current Red Robin — also came out as bisexual in August, in the pages of Batman: Urban Legends. He’s just the latest in a line of several legacy DC characters to have come out as members of the LGBTQ+ community in recent years. While it’s important for publishers like DC to forge a path with newly created diverse characters, being able to include familiar characters in these kinds of stories — and acknowledging that coming out is a universal queer experience that happens at any and all ages, and is something that happens multiple times in a person’s life — lays important groundwork for the stories to come. And while Jon is one of several characters now to have taken on the Superman and Superboy mantles in his time, beyond his role as a hero it’s a big moment for one of DC Comics’ most iconic characters to now have a queer member of their family.
“It is a pretty big deal doing it with Jon Kent as Superman,” Son of Kal-El artist John Timms told IGN. “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 visualise 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.”
Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, featuring Jon and Jay’s first kiss, will be on shelves and released digitally on November 9.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.