(CNN) — Superman has done just about everything since he first appeared in the comics nearly 80 years ago. He has saved the world more than a few times. He has died and has come back to life. He dodged blows from Muhammad Ali and even stood up to white supremacists.
Until this year, however, every iteration of Superman in the comics has had a crush on Lois Lane. But in an upcoming issue of a new “Superman” series, the Man of Steel enters a queer relationship.
The fifth issue of DC’s “Superman: Son of Kal-El” comic series will confirm that the new Superman, Jon Kent, son of Clark Kent and Lane, is bisexual after falling in love with reporter Jay Nakamura, DC announced this week.
The “Superman: Son of Kal-El” series follows Kent as he becomes Earth’s new Superman and deals with the immense weight of his new job. Nakamura, a bespectacled, pink-haired copywriter, first appeared in the third issue of the series as a shoulder for Kent to lean on when the business of being Superman became too difficult.
But in the upcoming fifth issue, due out next month, Kent falls in love with the journalist — like father like son — after he is “mentally and physically exhausted from trying to save everyone he can,” according to DC. .
Plot details will be revealed in November, but comic images show Kent and Nakamura sharing a kiss and sitting together on top of a building, their legs dangling off the edge.
Series writer Tom Taylor said the evolution of this new Superman stays with the values the character has always represented, and more importantly, reflects the experiences of many comic book fans.
“The Superman symbol has always represented hope, truth and justice,” Taylor said in a statement. “Today, that symbol stands for something else. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics.”
In an August interview with Nerdist, Taylor teased that Kent would find “a really good friend early on … and he’d have a big role.”
That friend, it soon became clear, was Nakamura. He and Kent are the newest LGBTQ characters, but they’re far from the only ones, in the DC universe: Earlier this year, the character Tim Drake, one of the many Robins who fight alongside Batman, accepted a date with a male admirer. And before Kent and Drake, there was Batwoman, aka Kate Kane, who was at one point punished for her relationship with another woman under the US military’s old “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy; Harley Quinn, who ditched the Joker for her friend Poison Ivy in recent comic strips; and transgender scientist Victoria October, who debuted in a 2017 Batman series.
NPR’s Glen Weldon, who published a book on Batman and regularly writes about comics, said that characters like Robin and Superman becoming queer is “progress,” but since those characters aren’t the canon iterations of the heroes — Drake he’s not the only Robin in the DC Universe and Jon Kent’s father will always be the most well-known Superman — plot developments aren’t as significant or gender-bending as they seem, Weldon wrote this week.
Still, Weldon said, a bisexual Superman and a queer Robin are worth celebrating: They’re not a one-dimensional villain or quickly dying supporting character, but the “heroes of their own stories.”
Fans can read more about Kent’s blossoming romance when the fifth issue of “Superman: Son of Kal-El” ships on November 9.
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The new Superman will be bisexual in an upcoming comic
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