The New Superman Is Bisexual. But These Superheroes Were Queer Before They Were Straightwashed
It's time to move beyond Superman AKA Clark Kent and Lois Lane.
Jonathan Kent, son of Clark and Lois, is the new iteration of Superman. He is bisexual, according to DC Comics.
The traditionally heterosexual superhero is set to embark on a same-sex relationship with a friend in a new comic.
“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 said to have some superpowers.
Taylor and artist John Timms both applauded the decision to explore Superman's identity.
"Superman's symbol has always stood for hope, for truth, and for justice," Taylor said. "Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics."
The Superman series occurs within the "main continuity of the DC Multiverse," according to DC Comics.
There have been attempts lately to add queerness to the world of comics. In August, it was announced that the latest version of Robin would have a boyfriend while in March, Marvel also made the decision to pass the mantle of Captain America to a gay character. Marvel Comics' first superhero to come out as gay was Northstar.
While there are several queer superheroes in comic books, the silver-screen worlds of Marvel and DC remain pretty heterosexual and less progressive.
Valkyrie made her debut with Thor: Ragnarok, and was supposed to have a scene confirming her bisexuality. It never made it to the movie.
Mystique in X-Men needs no introduction. But despite her strong character, who has had several romantic entanglements in the movies, nothing has ever been mentioned about her bisexuality, or one of her most meaningful relationships with Destiny, the psychic woman with whom she raised fellow mutant Rogue.
In the comics, Deadpool is a pansexual anti-hero - he makes no distinction between genders or gender identity in his choice of partners.
The sole instance of interspecies intimacy in the film is confined to its animated closing credits. Deadpool is shown rubbing a unicorn’s horn until it ejaculates rainbows.
Despite progressive comics, superhero movies have had a history of failing in showing queerness to their audience.
DC gets a lot of praise for Batwoman, and there’s no denying that she’s a monumentally important character.
However, her representation has been limited over the years, as Batwoman hasn’t had a series and characters like Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have had their romantic relationship consistently walked back or outright erased.
It is also interesting to see is that almost all of these storylines are told by straight writers, so despite moving forward, it does seem like it’s at a snail’s pace at times.