Bisexual Superman Should Not Surprise You Too Much, as Queer Superheroes Are a Tendency in DC Comics

CC BY 2.0 / Flickr / DC Comics Presents
DC Comics Presents - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.01.2022
For many comic fans, the news of the bisexuality of the new Superman - Clark Kent's son Jon - was a trigger. Some people objected to the new take on the iconic superhero, and their objections were even reflected in the sales of the new comic series about Superman. But should a bisexual Superman be that much of a surprise?
The new Superman, Jon Kent, who inherited the superhero mantle from his dad Clark Kent, appeared to have caused waves among the community of comic fans and other observers who seem indifferent to the lifestyle of a fictional character. Yet, he is not the only queer superhero in the universe of DC Comics.
The resentment of the younger Kent's bisexuality even seemed to have affected sales: the flagship comic book is not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to sales by dollar (it only secured 45th place as of December 2021, according to ICv2), and it's not even in the chart when it comes to sales by units.
One may ponder as to whether such commercial misfortunes stem from DC Comics "having so many queer superheroes right now it's almost not a big deal", as noted by Polygon's entertainment editor Susana Polo. Indeed, Jon Kent is definitely not the first queer person in the diverse world of DC superheroes.
In the recent issue of "Superman: Son of Kal-El", the young Superman teams up with Jackson Hyde, also known as Aqualad, who is canonically gay. Hyde first appeared in the crossover comic book "Brightest Day #4" in August 2010.
The DC comic universe also has its own gay couple: Apollo and Midnighter, both introduced in February 1998. Apollo, a superhero with solar abilities, power and superspeed, may resemble Superman in a lot of ways for some people, while Midnighter - a strong warrior experienced in martial arts, who is able to predict his opponent's movements - may appear similar to Batman.
Even a terrorist who first appeared in "Suicide Squad Volume 6 #1" issued in February 2020, Aerie, is gender non-binary.
These and many other queer characters were eventually assembled into "DC Pride #1", issued in summer 2021.
DC has continued to push what is now known "Justice League Queer" even though the majority of fans voted no on the idea last year, leading to the elimination of the team from Round Robin.

"For JLQ specifically, the volume of votes and the personal notes that have been shared online all send a great message that fans want to see a pitch like JLQ succeed, so stay tuned for news about where you might see JLQ appear in the future! We're listening!", said Andrew Marino, an associate editor, and Michael McCalister, the editor for titles, including "Justice League Queer".

While many may be unaware of specific secondary DC characters, one would for sure acknowledge big names like Wonder Woman or Batwoman. Their identity also turns out to be a subject of big discussions: for example, many fans question how it's possible that Wonder Woman, who grew up in an all-women society and is generally praised for her beauty, among other things, has never had a lover before her main love interest, Steve Trevor. In 2016, DC Comics writer Greg Rucka confirmed that Diana is in fact attracted to both men and women.
One of DC's Batwomen known as Katherine Kane, who appeared in "52 #7" in August 2006, is an open lesbian. Additionally, among lesbian superheroes (or supervillains) are Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, whose love affair was first confirmed by DC in 2015.
The recent expansion of superheroic sexual preferences and identities has prompted various reactions - from praising the creators for offering more diversity and inclusivity to outright criticism and repulsion by more conservative comic fans.
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