DC Comics is pushing for progress in the world of comics in a major way. On Oct. 11, they revealed that Jon Kent, the son of Clark Kent and the current Superman in the comics, will come out as bisexual in an upcoming issue of Superman: Son of Kal-El. The news sparked a minor wave of controversy, even as many celebrated the long-delayed introduction of more LGBTQ+ characters to the world of superheroics.
Jon Kent has been serving as Superman while his dad is in outer space.
Following the events of Future State, Jon, who is Clark and Lois's son, has been serving as Earth's primary day-saver in spite of his young age. In speaking with IGN, Son of Kal-El writer Tom Taylor explained that recent cultural shifts had made this storytelling decision possible. “We are in a very different and much more welcome place today than we were 10, or even five years ago,” Tom said.
“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," Tom continued. "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.”
Who is Jon Kent's boyfriend?
IGN also broke the news that Jon will be hooking up with Jay Nakamura, a hacker and journalist who Jon has grown close to in recent issues of the series. Jay sees Lois as his personal hero, and he's also a Gamorran refugee, so much of his time reporting is spent uncovering truths about the refugee crisis that mainstream outlets aren't reporting on. As a result, he and Superman have become allies in the fight for justice.
In speaking with IGN, Son of Kal-El artist John Timms said that choosing Jon will be hugely impactful for fans. “It is a pretty big deal doing it with Jon Kent as Superman,” John said. “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 superhero 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," John continued. "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.”
Jon is just the latest DC character to come out.
Jon is certainly one of the more high-profile characters to come out in the world of comics, but he's not the only one. Recently, Tim Drake, a former Robin and the current Red Robin came out as bisexual in August of this year. Moving forward, we can only hope that this representation will translate to superheroes in other mediums as well.