Superman writer explains why Jon Kent's sexuality was revealed ahead of comics - and it's not why you might think

Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 variant cover
Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 variant cover (Image credit: DC)

On October 11, DC announced spoiled a major element of November 9's Superman: Son of Kal-El #5. Well, "spoiled" may be the wrong word; since it's a DC book, consider this more marketing to make people aware. But however you frame it, we now know the new Superman Jon Kent is bisexual, and he'll be revealing it in November 9's Superman: Son of Kal-El.

And better for him, his romantic feelings are mutual and there will be a kiss.

But why did DC reveal a major element of a story 29 days beforehand?

Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 page (Image credit: John Timms/Gabe Eltaeb (DC))

First of all, Monday was October 11 - National Coming Out Day here in the US. But there's more to it than that.

DC's Monday announcement seems to follow a pattern by comic publishers in which they hype/tease a big mystery reveal or continuity development for weeks and sometimes months, only to spoil the story themselves before the story is actually released. 

In reporting on the announcement of the new Superman's bisexuality, we mentioned how spoiling this news prior to it actually being revealed in the book could influence the buying patterns for Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 - and the issue that came out before it. Subsequently however, series writer Tom Taylor says the timing was due to leaks inside DC.

"The story was going to break anyway, and rumors, some very misinformed, were getting out there," Taylor tweeted after the news broke. "Too many people see comics before they hit shelves. Would have loved to have let this play out in the comic, but this was the next best option."

Unsourced rumors of Jon Kent's bisexuality began circulating as early as August 2021.

(Image credit: John Timms/Gabe Eltaeb (DC))

DC employed a similar tactic with another spin-off version of a core superhero - the secret identity of its second mainstream Batman, Tim Fox.

According to Taylor, Jon Kent's coming out was "planned for awhile" - possibly even before the idea for Robin/Tim Drake's sexuality reveal in August's Batman: Urban Legends #6.

In a New York Times story on Superman's coming out, Taylor is referred to as saying that "editors at DC were already considering similar lines of the development for the character" before the writer brought up the idea.

Superman: Son of Kal-El #5 goes on sale on November 9.

Superman joins a growing number of iconic LGBTQIA+ heroes in comic books. 

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)