Jon Kent, who in current DC Comics has succeeded his father Clark Kent as Superman, comes out as bisexual in "Superman: Son of Kal-El" No. 5, set for publication Nov. 9, the publisher announced Monday.
"We couldn't be prouder to tell this important story from [writer] Tom Taylor and [artist] John Timms," said DC chief creative officer and publisher Jim Lee in a statement. He added that with DC's comic books and TV series existing in separate fictional realities, "We can have Jon Kent exploring his identity in the comics as well as Jon Kent learning the secrets of his family on TV on [The CW's] 'Superman & Lois.' They coexist in their own worlds and times, and our fans get to enjoy both simultaneously."
In the comics, Jon Kent — who took on the mantle of Superman when his father left to help free the enslaved people of another planet in the sister series "Action Comics" — works in his civilian identity as a reporter. His friendship with fellow journalist Jay Nakamura leads to them becoming romantically involved. Following a scene in which the new Superman "mentally and physically burns out from trying to save everyone that he can," said DC's announcement, "Jay is there to care for the Man of Steel."
"I've always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes and I'm very grateful DC and [parent company] Warner Bros. share this idea," Taylor said in a statement. The "S" symbol on Superman's costume, he added, "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."
DC's current continuity — the consistent fictional reality that DC occasionally revamps from scratch, retaining only the broad basic points — came about in 2016 under the name "DC Universe Rebirth." In it, says DC at its website, the married Clark Kent and Lois Lane from a previous continuity "found themselves within the new continuity and had been living in secret along with their son, Jon. It's all a little complicated … but the long and the short of it is that the events of Rebirth slotted the married versions of Clark and Lois back into the main timeline, which is where we find ourselves now."
Monday was National Coming Out Day, which is celebrated annually to help raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in society.