Entertainment

Bisexual Superman makes DC Comics history after ‘unprecedented’ fan response

Maggie Baska October 22, 2021
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Jon Kent, son of Clark Kent and current Superman of earth, kisses reporter Jay Nakamura

DC Comics says they're getting unprecedented orders for Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, the issue where Jon Kent comes out as bisexual. (DC Comics)

The comic featuring Superman coming out as bisexual and sharing a kiss a male love interest has attracted “unprecedented orders” for DC Comics.

DC Comics said on Thursday (21 October) that Jon Kent, the son of OG Superman Clark Kent and Lois Lane, coming out as bisexual in Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 led to “global fan excitement”.

The groundbreaking moment sent sales through the roof and resulted in “more orders for the upcoming issue than the series’ debut issue” – a rarity in comics.

Tom Taylor, the writer behind the series, said on Twitter that the boost in demand for the fifth issue caused “every single issue of our Superman Son of Kal-El” to be reprinted.

DC Comics didn’t reveal the number of orders or any data on what these “unprecedented orders” for the comic are. But it’s still good news for the queer hero as, traditionally, comic book sales peak within the first issue and decline for subsequent issues.

Comic book sales tracking website Comichron estimated DC Comics’ sales of Superman: Son of Kal-El #1 reached 68,000 in July when it first debuted. This dropped to nearly 40,000 sales in August for the second issue in the Superman: Son of Kal-El series.

The series features Jon Kent protecting Earth as the new Man of Steel after his dad leaves to fight evil off-planet. Like his dad before him, Jon falls in love with a reporter.

In Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, fans will see Jon strikes up a friendship, which soon blossoms into a relationship, with pink-haired, bespectacled reporter Jay Nakamura. The young hero eventually becomes physically and mentally burnt out by the responsibilities of being Superman when Jay steps in to take care of him.

Taylor described how Superman’s symbol has always stood for “hope, for truth and for justice”, and said he hoped people could see that symbol representing something more to the LGBT+ community.

“Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics,” he said.

Most fans have welcomed the queer hero into the community. However, the announcement sparked a predictable wave of conservatives voicing their confusion and anger at the news.

Fox News contributor Raymond Arroyo complained about comic books “sexualising” superheroes and demanded to know nothing about their sexual orientation.

“Call me when they have a gender-stable aisle with superheroes whose sexualities we know nothing about,” he said. “Why are they sexualising superheroes?”

Arroyo continued: “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.”

Former Superman actor Dean Cain accused DC comic book writers of “bandwagoning” with the new bisexual hero. He told Fox & Friends that the hero coming out publicly could have been “bold or brave” if it happened “20 years ago”.

He went on to suggest that it would have been brave of the writers to make superman fight for the rights of LGBT+ people who are persecuted and marginalised in Iran and other countries.

Cain’s response received swift backlash online, and even Star Trek icon George Takei weighed in on Cain’s criticism on Twitter.

“So Dean Cain apparently is upset that the new Superboy in the comics is bisexual,” he wrote. “I used to be upset that Dean Cain was straight but he has definitely cured me of that.”

Related topics: Superman

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