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Super Same-Sex Kiss
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On an otherwise relatively uneventful day for sci-fi news, DC Comics have announced that on November 9, Superman will kiss another man.

Today is national Coming Out Day in the USA.

To be clear from the outset, this isn't Clark Kent. It's his son, Jon. Clark is offworld indefinitely and Jon is currently wearing the Superman outfit and serving in that role.

He will kiss another man. That's happening.

The New York Times article on this details the history of same-sex representations in comic book history, including how a 1954 book written by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham described Batman and Robin as "a wish dream of two homosexuals living together."

That book was followed by congressional hearings and led to the creation of the 1956 Comic Codes Authority. In the same year the character of batwoman was introduced as an explicit love interest for batman.

After that it took 36 years for a comic to bring us a gay superhero - Marvel's Northstar.

But who the hell are they?

Citing Glen Weldon of NPR, the NY Times article applauds DC for giving us a queer superhero who is a household name, rather than some obscure character in one of the more obscure comics.

This is genuinely a big deal.

On the other hand, in his own article on this topic at NPR, Glen's praise is much more tempered. He sees this development as positive and progress but not really enough.

To Retcon or Not to Retcon?

Back in 2016 an Aqualad revealed that he had a boyfriend. But not the original Aqualad from the 1960s. One who replaced him in 2010.

Recently one of the Robins - number 3 - and not the current one, came out as gay.

Now we have son of original Superman coming out as bi, but not the original one.

In the article and attached short audio interview on this, he's very cynical of DC for not changing the sexuality of any of the original characters.

That's a complicated prospect though.

Realistically, statistically speaking there should have always been at least some queer superheroes. But realistically, that era was extremely prejudiced and they wouldn't have been out and proud.

Also, sexuality isn't something you choose or can change.

So realistically - without resorting to anything like alternate universes or magic - how do you explain changing any superhero's sexuality and entire life history?

Part of the problem Disney is now facing with Star Wars is their numerous character retcons. They haven't touched sexuality but they have fundamentally changed multiple characters and Disney are now learning that no, fans don't have to accept that.

A Changed Superhero Landscape

Once upon a time, the superhero mainstream landscape was essentially Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Superman and Spiderman.

Those were the only characters who made it into TV shows and movies and were then rebooted over and over and over and over again.

The separate Fox (X-Men) and Marvel Studios films in the Marvel universe have blown the lid off that.

At least up until they started messing about with alternate timelines, a big part of the appeal of the Marvel (studios) films was that this was a single, persistent fictional universe. The same was true to a lesser extent for X-Men, including one reboot to undo the awful first Phoenix movie.

Mainstream audiences have proven repeatedly that they'll march into cinemas and hand over money to see films about characters they've never heard of.

They might embrace this new Superman, should DC decide to bring him to the big screen.


Gustines, George (October 11, 2021). Superman Comes Out, as DC Comics Ushers In a New Man of Steel. New York Times.

Weldon, Glen (October 11, 2021). Superman's son, Jon Kent, comes out as bisexual in a new comic. It's a big deal — sort of. NPR.

Wikipedia. National Coming Out Day. (viewed October 12, 2021)