Jon Kent, aka Superman, is officially bisexual. (DC Comics)
The news of DC’s bisexual Superman has delighted many die-hard comic book fans, but conservative commentators are finding it hard to bear.
DC Comics announced yesterday (11 October) that Jon Kent, the firstborn son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, will take over the mantle of Superman after his father’s departure from Earth – and he’ll be in a relationship with a man.
The story will be revealed in the 9 November issue Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, which will see Jon fall in love with reporter Jay Nakamura.
It’s a small detail that will allow LGBT+ people “to see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics,” writer Tom Taylor said, but many pundits are finding it hard to see the positives.
Predictably the most hysterical takes came from Fox News, where journalist Raymond Arroyo furiously questioned why DC Comics was “sexualising superheroes”.
“Call me when they have a gender-stable aisle with superheroes whose sexualities we know nothing about. Why are they sexualising superheroes?” he asked Laura Ingraham.
“I was a Batman and Superman and Spider-Man kid. I loved those heroes. We just wanted them to get the bad guys, not a venereal disease. Leave our comic book heroes alone.”
Never mind that Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and scores of other characters have been portrayed in heterosexual relationships for decades – the sight of Superman kissing another man makes it suddenly sexual, apparently.
“Why are they sexualizing superheroes?” They’re not, you are. A gay kiss is not hard-core pornography. https://t.co/IPOlijx0s3
— Vyle is Making Some Noise🔞 (@Vylentine) October 12, 2021
Love the implication that straight relationships (Superman/Lois Lane, Batman/Catwoman, Spider-Man/Mary Jane) aren’t in any way sexualised.
Bi people exist, as do bi characters. Cope. https://t.co/IZSZKVg73m
— Murrhurrn Urrv Urr Thurrzurrnd Rurrvurrs (@SentinelM) October 12, 2021
Then there was former Superman actor Dean Cain, who portrayed the Man of Steel for four seasons on the 1993 TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Also appearing on Fox, Cain spoke dismissively of the new LGBT-inclusive storyline. “They said it’s a bold new direction. I say they’re bandwagoning,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s bold or brave or some crazy new direction. If they had done this 20 years ago, perhaps that would be bold or brave. But brave would be having him fight for the rights of gay people in Iran where they’ll throw you off a building for the offence of being gay.”
He said he’d like to see Superman fighting the “real evil in the world today… real corruption and government overreach”.
Great news: Superman already did that, as one actual comic book fan helpfully pointed out.
In Action Comics #1 (1938), Superman stopped a wrongful government execution, beat up a spousal abuser, and stopped government corruption from outside interests.
But some people would have you believe Superman *just* went woke in 2021. pic.twitter.com/SEZQUOzMRA
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) October 12, 2021
Fortunately, many other fans were happy to explain why a bisexual Superman isn’t the catastrophe Fox News would have you believe – and it’s entirely in keeping with the comics.
Here are some of the better takes out there.
Superman is an fictional alien from fictional planet who can fly and shoot lasers out of his eyes who managed to impregnate a fictional human being but the fact that the fictional child from that fictional pregnancy is bisexual is the part some people reject as complete nonsense.
— Andrew 🔴⚪⚫ (@AndrewMcG_90) October 12, 2021
A lot of people getting mad about this probably don’t even know who Jon Kent is. They’re not retconning a legacy superhero to shoehorn in representation, they’re developing a fairly new character (est. 2015).
Clark Kent still exists, he just now has a Bi son. Big deal.
— Odie (@Odie__T) October 11, 2021
Dear Right-wing Bigots:
The new “Gay Superman” isn’t the Superman you are thinking about, which also doesn’t exist.
He is the son of Clark Kent and Lois (not Louis) Lane.
So he’s actually the anchor baby of a father who’s an illegal alien.
— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) October 12, 2021
Superman is an undocumented immigrant.
Batman is a victim of gun violence.
Wonder Woman is bisexual.
Aquaman has to protect a kingdom facing warming oceans and plastic.
Martian Manhunter survived genocide.
Comics. Are. Political.
— Dennis (@Dennisthatsit) September 13, 2018
It’s Comics, dear. Remember that time Batman had a sleepover in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude and they had all these deep, meaningful moments with lots of touching and then a bunch of very phallic space slugs turned up to mate? Fun for all the family! pic.twitter.com/kZRYZdZuCp
— Clodagh Dunne (@ClodaghSnarks) October 12, 2021
God forbid any of these homophobes read a single Batman/Superman comic and saw just how straight their “friendship” is pic.twitter.com/QRCVT3tcs0
— Gayson Whorehees 🔪 Kyle (@justagaynerd) October 12, 2021