A forthcoming issue of the Superman comic portrays Jonathan Kent as bisexual, featuring a romantic encounter between the Man of Steel and a male reporter.
Kent, the new iteration of Superman, who is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, started his tenure in July.
“The idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity,” Tom Taylor, the series writer, said in an interview with the New York Times.
His new love interest is Jay Nakamura, a reporter who cares for him after he “mentally and physically burns out from trying to save everyone that he can” in an issue of Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, to be released in November. Nakamura is also revealed to have special powers.
— Superman (@DCSuperman) October 11, 2021
Created back in 1938, Superman was always the quintessential American hero: Strong, masculine, and fighting for “truth, justice, and the American way.” However, DC Comics amended this catchphrase in July when Jon Kent’s story began in the first issue of ‘Superman: Son of Kal-El’, swapping his father’s original patriotic declaration for “Truth, justice, and a better world.”
Kent’s sexuality is not the only way in which the character has been updated for a new audience and time. Recent issues have seen him protesting against the deportation of refugees, stopping a high school shooting and trying to put out wildfires that were the cause of the climate crisis.
“I’ve always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes and I’m very grateful DC and Warner Bros share this idea,” said Taylor in a statement. “Superman’s symbol has always stood for hope, for truth and for justice. Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics.”
Fans and conservative pundits angered by Superman as bisexual
However, many fans and conservative pundits were angered by the portrayal of the American hero as bisexual.
“Superman loves Louis Lane. Period. Hollywood is trying to make Superman gay and he is not. Just rename the new version Thooperman so we can all know the difference and avoid seeing it,” tweeted Rep. Wendy Rogers, an Arizona state Republican.
American conservative political commentator and media host Ben Shapiro said on Twitter: “Until Superman is a disabled trans man, spare me your pinkwashing.”
Until Superman is a disabled trans man, spare me your pinkwashing, DC Comics https://t.co/moyY70NVvz
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 11, 2021
Donald Trump loyalist politician Josh Mandel claimed that DC are “trying to destroy America.”
Bisexual comic books for kids.
They are literally trying to destroy America. https://t.co/dI6MR64W23
— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) October 11, 2021
And Fox News followed: “Why are they sexualizing superheroes?” asked Raymond Arroyo, a frequent guest on Laura Ingraham’s show. “We just wanted them to catch the bad guys, not a venereal disease.”
Fox News crying over Superman, Aquaman, Robin, and Loki.. “We just wanted them to catch the bad guys, not a Venereal disease” pic.twitter.com/eutbiRm80p
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 12, 2021