Superman's son's bisexual in new DC comic series
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The son of Superman comes out as bisexual in the fifth edition of the comic series from DC. The announcement came on October 11, National Coming Out Day, on the DC Comics blog.
"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 writer Tom Taylor on the DC Comics blog. "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."
"I'm incredibly honored to be working beside Tom on the Superman: Son Of Kal-El series showing Jon Kent tackling his complex modern life, while also saving the world from its greatest threats, villains and menaces," said artist John Timms.
In the fifth comic in the series, not unlike his father, Jon Kent falls for a reporter, this time journalist Jay Nakamura.
In a CNN interview excerpted on Twitter, Australian comic writer Taylor explained to host John Berman the reason for the character's coming out as bisexual.
"Having seen the reactions, having seen what it meant to people, from all over the world in different languages... many people say they burst into tears. 'I never thought I'd be able to see myself in Superman.' And queer people said they wish they had this growing up, and are so happy that younger people who haven't come out have this today."
Taylor has also co-created best-selling comics and graphic novels about Batman, Spider-Man, NightWing, Wolverine and Star Wars characters. His previous fourth title in the new series, Superman: Son of Kal-El, was published in July.
"Over the years in this industry, it probably won't surprise you to hear I've had queer characters and storylines rejected. I felt like I was letting down people I loved every time this happened" writer Taylor said in an interview with IGN.
"But we are in a very different and much more welcome place today than we were ten, or even five years ago. 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."
In this version of the Superman series, Kal-El's son replaces him as a defender, but with a more socially aware focus, including taking action at school shootings, and addressing environmental concerns.
The announcement was not without a few critics, including Republican Arizona senator Wendy Rogers, who, in a much-maligned tweet, spelled Lois Lane as 'Louis Lane.' Rogers also typed a mimicked lisp, suggesting he be called "Thooperman."
"Lois Lane's his mom," CNN's Berman said. "How depraved!"
Rogers got many other sassy replies online.
Mark Harris replied, "I don't know who Louis Lane is but he sounds hot."
Rogers and others confused John Kent, the son of Superman, with Clark Kent, the actual Superman character.
Also, in a not surprising snarky comment, Dean Cain, now a staunchly rightwing Republican, who played Superman in the TV show Lois and Clark, called the comic character's bisexuality "not brave or bold." As Pink News reported, he got predictably dragged online.
"Dean Cain was actually thrilled about this news, because it meant he'd get work being Professionally Angry this week," wrote @StorySlug.
Taylor summed up the controversy with his comments on CNN.
"We're going to get some backlash for this, but the key for me isn't the people who are upset. It's for the people who are welcomed into this. This is more powerful than a locomotive."
The new issue of Superman: Son Of Kal-El will be in comic stores and available online on Nov. 9.
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