In celebration of National Coming Out Day (10/11), DC comics publishers announced that the newest Superman, Jon Kent, will be coming out as bisexual in his Nov. 9 issue, “Superman: Son of Kal-El #5.” Jon Kent, first introduced in 2015 as Superboy, is the son of the original Superman, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane.
First appearing in “Convergence: Superman #2,” Jon Kent is now shedding the title of Superboy for the one his father held before him, Superman. He’s late into his teens and, just like his father, falling hard for a journalist, Jay Nakamura. This isn’t the only way that Jon has diverged from the path of his father. In his time on the page, he has tackled both humanitarian and climate issues. From taking out wildfires, stopping a shooting at a high school, and protesting the deportation of refugees in Metropolis, Jon has used his power for the good of humanity.
Despite this sure-to-be groundbreaking story arch, Jon Kent isn’t the first superhero to be openly queer on the pages of DC’s comics. Harley Quinn, Batwoman, Poison Ivy, the first Green Lantern (Alan Scott), and others are all known members of the LGBTQ+ community that have appeared consistently in the comics. This call for inclusivity isn’t new, but it is notable.
Even though Jon Kent can’t claim the title of the first queer superhero, his coming out has a significant impact because of the mantle he holds. To have the “Man of Steel” come out as bisexual, and not only that but enter into a relationship with another man, is a step in the right direction for the comic industry. Superman is arguably one of the most well-known heroes in the DC hero roster, with countless variations and storylines attached to his name.
“It is not Northstar who your aunt has never heard of,” said Glen Weldon, author of “Superman: The Unauthorized Biography.” “It is Superman. That counts for something— just in terms of visibility, just in terms of the fact that this is going to attract attention.” Jon Kent represents the idea that anyone can be the kind of memorable hero that Superman is.
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