Imagine idolizing a character who represents truth and justice so much that you turn to issuing credible threats against their creators when you don’t like a story arc. The irony is honestly too much to bear. But that’s now the reality for a number of DC Comics illustrators and staff who’ve received credible threats following the character Jon Kent, son of Clark Kent, coming out as bisexual in a recent issue of Superman: Son of Kal-El.
According to a report by TMZ, Los Angeles police were dispatched to patrol the employees’ homes following the threats. Thankfully, none of the threats have resulted in actual violence.
The issue that sparked the backlash hit stands three weeks ago and featured Jon — who has taken up his father’s mantle of Superman — entering into a romantic relationship with and kissing his friend, a “hacktivist” reporter named Jay Nakamura.
At the time, writer Tom Taylor shared his excitement about creating a story that would offer queer fans representation in the Superman story. “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,” he told IGN. “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.”
Taylor went on to say how happy he was to see how much things have changed over the years, to the point where a bisexual Superman was even a possibility for the iconic publishing company.
“Over the years in this industry, it probably won’t surprise you to hear I’ve had queer characters and storylines rejected. I felt like I was letting down people I loved every time this happened,” Taylor recalled. “But we are in a very different and much more welcome place today than we were ten, or even five years ago.”
Now fans face their own choice: Evolve and grow, or continue to be the antithesis of what the hero they purport to admire would champion.