Comics / Comics News

So Superman Is Bisexual?


By Hervé St-Louis
October 12, 2021 - 21:21

On October 11, 2021, DC Comics announced that Jonathan Kent, son of Lois Lane and Clark Kent, also known as Superman, was bisexual. Jonathan Samuel Kent is the second Superman in the main DC universe. He was introduced as a powerless child in 2015 who gradually gained most of his father’s powers. This Superboy was created to help DC Comics get around a copyrights issue with the first Superboy and was closer to the Superman roots by not being a clone of Superman, like the second (or third, if one counts Superboy Prime) which Young Justice fans know better as Connor Kent.

I wasn’t going to write about this as I don’t consider this newsworthy given the history of such things in comics, but a friend suggested that I do, wanting to see my take on this news from DC Comics. I’ll try to focus on the comics aspects as usual. In September 2021, DC Comics made the third Robin, Tim Drake bisexual. In 2011, it made an alternate version of its first Green Lantern, Alan Scott gay. This was extended to the original Alan Scott in March 2021.

For years, it has been hinted that Wonder Woman was bisexual because she lived for centuries on an island full of women with no men in sight. Legends says that the Amazons enjoy one another’s company in the absence of men. John Constantine, the eternal magical trickster of the DC Comics universe has long been established as bisexual. Aquaman’s second sidekick, Aqualad (Kaldur'ahm/Jackson Hyde) has been gay for years. While there are no main characters related that are LGBT, they did pioneer such introductions decades ago with the Pied Piper, a reformed Flash villain.

At this point, announcing that a comic character’s is not straight is hardly news. It was more meaningful when Marvel’s Northstar came out as gay in 1992 than Superman, this week. Iceman, Hercules, Phastos, Wican, it doesn’t matter anymore. Except for Wonder Woman, who is flexible because of circumstances, there are very few changes to mainline characters. The bisexual Superman is not Clark Kent, nor played by George Reeves, Christopher Reeves, nor Henry Cavill. It’s his son. He will never fully replace his father as the Superman.

Another observation is that the announcements of LGBT characters, follows established patterns with the introduction of female versions and black characters. In most cases, new legacy characters based off the main property were changed or created as representatives of a group. This has happened in comics since the late 1960s for Blacks and women.

While Jonathan Kent’s sexuality will remain, no risks were taken by DC Comics. Jonathan Kent did not come out as transgender. Now that would have been a breakthrough as it would have fundamentally altered the character. But DC could not do that as its lawyers would not allow it! Best to create a new character from the get-go who will become transgender rather than mess with a gender-fluid intellectual property. It seems that it’s easier to kill Superman to bump the sales up than to turn him into a transgender woman.

Finally, a question I have is why Jon had to discover his sexuality through another person/partner, rather than on his own?

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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