First Robin and now Superman too?
Before we get started, we’ll be honest with you that this is a rumor and not a confirmed story. But it’s a rumor being spread by a DC Comics insider, so it’s getting some traction among comic book fans.
There’s some early word going around that DC Comics is considering having Jonathan Kent come out as gay after becoming Superman. The news comes from former DC Comics artist Ethan Van Sciver, according to Cosmic Book News.
Van Sciver shared this potential leak on his YouTube channel ComicArtistsPro Secrets. He started the topic by alleging that DC is looking for a way to get rid of the classic Clark Kent version of Superman. His reasoning being, the claim that DC is tired of having to deal with the families of the character’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. But as Bleeding Cool points out, this is not true. Siegel and Shuster will be credited and their estates will be paid whenever any Superman or Superman-derived character is used by DC.
“I just found out, I got a little bit of a scoop about what DC’s plans are. Nobody knows this, yet. It hasn’t really been announced, except by me. The plan is that… Superman’s book… I guess Clark Kent is going bye-bye,” said Van Sciver. Bleeding Cool and We Got This Covered, two publications that often break similar news such as the openly gay hero in The Eternals or that Birds of Prey villain Black Mask would be queer, backed up this idea.
“DC Comics has had a lot of problems maintaining the trademark for Superman because you know, he’s old. He’s an old character, and the family would desperately like money because their family, their ancestors who created Superman got completely f’d over,” explained Van Sciver, though, again, this part of the news has been refuted. “I mean Superman has made billions and billions and billions of dollars in revenue and those two boys who made up Superman got ‘bupkis,’ they were Jewish, so they got ‘bupkis,’ they got nothing.”
Evan Van Sciver then revealed that not only is DC considering passing over the famous mantle to Clark Kent’s son, but he says they plan to make Kent gay as well.
He then added, “Clark Kent I guess is going bye-bye and they are going to replace him with Jonathan Kent, and then they are going to announce that Jonathan Kent is gay. So Superman is effectively gay, everyone. He is gay.”
Some possible early evidence of this may have come in the form of Jay Nakamura. Tom Taylor, who’s currently making Superman: Son Of Kal-El with John Timms, spoke with Bleeding Cool. Taylor revealed Nakamura will be an influential figure in Jon’s life.
“[Jon] gets one very good friend very early on, by issue three,” said Taylor. “Someone that he can talk to, that can be a confidant like Damian Wayne. And they’re going to have a big role in this.”
Then on August 24th’s Superman; Son Of Kal-El #2, we’re introduced to Jay Nakamura. Not only does Nakamura encourage Jonathan Kent to think and act more politically, but he’s featured on the cover, seen above, caring for a wounded Superman. At the moment, this is not a confirmation of queer representation, but it raises an eyebrow.
But who is Jonathan Kent? Well, he’s a character that already has sparked lots of controversy with DC fans. Jonathan, or Jon, Kent is the biological son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. He was introduced in 2015 in Convergence: Superman #2 and was used to help sell the idea of Clark Kent becoming a family man. In that attempt, DC succeeded. Comic book fans loved Jon Kent and the new Kent family.
It wasn’t long, however, before Jon Kent started crime-fighting alongside his father. On top of that, the comics established a friendship between young Jon Kent and Damien Wayne, aka Bruce Wayne’s biological son and the youngest Robin. The two even had a popular series titled Super Sons.
But in 2018, DC Comics and writer Brian Michael Bendis decided to age up the character. After traveling through space, the character returned as a young man. Once back on Earth, Jon Kent discovered that what was several years for him was only three weeks of time on Earth. Then most recently, the aged-up Superboy has been contemplating creating a new identity for himself, with the help of Damian. Will that new identity perhaps be… Superman?
Keep in mind, this is just a rumor for now and one from a disgruntled former employee. And while some of the story is looking true, it’s a leak about talks within DC offices. The gay revelation does not seem set in stone. But with the recent news of Tim Drake, aka Robin, coming out as bisexual, could DC take the risk of making Superman gay? Not only was the aging-up of Jonathan Kent not received well by DC fans, but the Tim Drake reveal was also divisive. Will DC add more to their recent controversies?
Though seeing as the character is still relatively new, only coming into comics in 2015 and being aged up in 2018, there’s no history to refute the change. The character has never had a romantic relationship before. That, at least, is in support of a possible gay Jon Kent.
In the end, though, we just have to wait and see what happens. What parts of this insider scoop are true? Will the change make it out of DC Comics office discussions and onto the page? Is Jay Nakamura more than a friend? And how will readers react to it? We’ll see in due time.
Note (8/26/2021): This article has been updated to refute the claim that Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster will not be paid for the use of Superman and/or Superman-derived characters and to include information from Tom Taylor.