Since its successful launch this past July, Superman: Son of Kal-El has brought forth a whole new and well-deserved appreciation for one of the most overshadowed characters in DC Comics: Jon Kent. Issue-after-issue, the half-human and half-Kryptonian teen steps out from behind the legendary shadow of his father, Superman.
The DC Universe’s latest comic book series, written by Tom Taylor (Injustice: Gods Among Us) and illustrated by John Timms (Harley Quinn), explores a world in which Superman Clark Kent bestows his heroic title onto his genetically-superpowered teenage son Jon.
Aside from saving the Earth in Superman: Son of Kal-El, Jon Kent is pretty much your average modern teen. He fears living up to the legacies of his heroic father and his esteemed reporter mother. He’s restlessly angsty but has good intentions at heart. And he even has some major crushes.
In the latest and fifth edition of the series, it just so happens that Jon Kent has a big fat crush on the reporter-turned-accomplice Jay Nakamura. According to an exclusive reveal from internet gaming hotspot IGN, the son of superman is definitely bi-sexual; and in issue #5 out November 9th, his trusted friendship with Nakamura reportedly leads the new man of steel “on a journey of self-discovery.”
Writer Tom Taylor highlighted the announcement of Kent’s coming out by sending a Tweet that pleasantly coincided with the Internet’s celebrations for National Coming Out Day. Per the IGN exclusive interview, Taylor also took the time to emphasize the important role Kent’s visible bisexuality plays in terms of representation’s progression in modern media.
“Over the years in this industry, it probably won’t surprise you to hear I’ve had queer characters and storylines rejected. I felt like I was letting down people I loved every time this happened,” Taylor began, before directly telling IGN why including Kent’s bisexuality was not just an artistically creative decision, but also a choice made to accurately represent today’s modern world and the audience it holds, “But we are in a very different and much more welcome place today than we were ten, or even five years ago. When I was asked if I wanted to write a new Superman with a new #1 for the DC Universe, I knew replacing Clark with another straight white savior could be a real opportunity missed. I’ve always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes. Today, Superman, the strongest superhero on the planet, is coming out.”
Taylor understands that if the character is to be hailed as the hero of a newer – and subsequently queerer – generation, Jon Kent must also uphold morals that reflect those held the very teens he represents. “I think Clark said it best when he left Earth in Jon’s hands. Clark was the Superman of tomorrow. Jon is the Superman for the days after,” Taylor muses. “The question for Jon (and for our creative team) is, what should a new Superman fight for today? Can a seventeen-year-old Superman battle giant robots while ignoring the climate crisis? Of course not. Can someone with super sight and super hearing ignore injustices beyond his borders? Can he ignore the plight of asylum seekers?”
Timms, the renowned DC Comic artist enlisted for the series, adds in a promising note about the series’ dedication to balancing a representative modernity with some traditionally awesome heroicness: “I’m incredibly honored to be working beside Tom on the Superman: Son of Kal-El series showing Jon Kent tackling his complex modern life, while also saving the world from its greatest threats, villains, and menaces.”
Straight from IGN, Timms shares his artistic visions in an exclusive Issue #5 preview: the illustration features an adorably shy Kent and Nakamura sharing what is presumably their first kiss – and the boys are totally blushing.