LGBTQ+ fans of graphic novels rejoiced over the revelation the next incarnation of Superman, Jon Kent—who is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane—will be openly bisexual.
Jon Kent will be seen in a same-sex relationship in an upcoming issue of the DC Comic when he falls for a male reporter, Jay Nakamura.
Not surprisingly, conservatives were up in arms over DC Comics' decision.
Among the critics strongly objecting to Superman coming out as bisexual was actor Dean Cain, who once played Clark Kent in the 90s television series, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
During an interview with Fox & Friends, the 57-year-old actor said:
"They said it's a bold new direction. I say they're bandwagoning."
Cain, who once donned the emblematic red, yellow and blue tights for four seasons on the show, added:
"I don't think it's bold or brave or some crazy new direction."
"If they had done this 20 years ago, perhaps that would be bold or brave."
"But brave would be having him fight for the rights of gay people in Iran."
He added that having Superman "fight the injustices that created the refugees whose deportation he's protesting. That would be brave, I'd read that."
"Or fighting for the rights of women to attend school and work and live and boys not to be raped by men under the new warm and fuzzy Taliban."
"There's real evil in this world today, real corruption and government overreach," he continued.
"It'd be great to tackle those issues. I'd like to see the character doing that."
People offered a different take on the bold new direction, starting with famed Star Trek actor, George Takei, who commented:
"So Dean Cain apparently is upset that the new Superboy in the comics is bisexual."
"I used to be upset that Dean Cain was straight but he has definitely cured me of that."
Others joined Takei in mocking Cain for his long-winded rant.
When series writer Tom Taylor was approached for the job, he wondered "what Superman should be today" and thought it would be a missed opportunity to have Clark Kent replaced by another "straight white saviour."
When Taylor was prepared to suggest the character of Jon Kent being bisexual, he discovered DC Comics had already been toying with the idea.
He told BBC:
"There's been a real shift over the last few years - 10 years ago, five years ago this would have been more difficult, but I think things have shifted in a really welcome way."
Despite the backlash to Jon Kent's sexuality, Taylor said there were many positive emotional responses to the news.
"We have people saying they read this news today and burst into tears - people saying they never thought in their life that they would be able to see themselves in Superman... literally the most powerful superhero in comics.
"You'll always have people who'll use the old line of, 'Don't put politics into comics' - forgetting that every single [comic book] story ever has been political in some way," he said. "People who don't realise that the X-Men were an analogy for the civil rights movement."
"We try to bring those people with us, but we are writing for the people who will hopefully see this Superman... and say, 'This Superman is like me. This Superman is fighting for things that concern me'."
In a statement, Taylor wrote:
"I've always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes and I'm very grateful DC and Warner Bros share this idea."
"Superman's symbol 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."
Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, in which Jon Kent strikes up a friendship with Jay Nakamura that leads to something more, will hit comic book store shelves on November 9.