Jonathan Kent, the new iteration of Superman, is bisexual, according to DC Comics.
The traditionally heterosexual superhero will embark on a same-sex relationship with a friend in a new comic. Kent, who is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, started his tenure in July.
“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 also revealed to have special powers.
Kent’s sexuality is not the only way in which the character has been updated for a new audience and time. Recent issues have seen him protesting against the deportation of refugees, stopping a high school shooting and trying to put out wildfires that were the cause of the climate crisis.
“I’ve always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes and I’m very grateful DC and Warner Bros share this idea,” said Taylor in a statement. “Superman’s symbol has always stood for hope, for truth and for justice. Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics.”
The news follows other recent attempts 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.
But the big-screen worlds of Marvel and DC remain less progressive. Tessa Thompson’s character in Thor: Ragnarok was only revealed as bisexual in a tweet while Deadpool’s sexual fluidity has yet to be fully explored. This November’s Eternals is set to change things with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first LGBTQ+ kiss between Brian Tyree Henry’s Phastos, the first openly gay superhero in a Marvel movie, and Haaz Sleiman, who plays his husband.