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Superman Gets Woke

Christopher Reeve in Superman (Film Export A.G.)

The new Superman (son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane) is going to begin a relationship with another man, DC Comics has announced.

The New York Times, in an article celebrating the news, notes that it is only the latest example of the great woken-ing of Man of Steel comics:

That same-sex relationship is just one of the ways that Jonathan Kent, who goes by Jon, is proving to be a different Superman than his famous father. Since his new series, Superman: Son of Kal-El, began in July, Jon has combated wildfires caused by climate change, thwarted a high school shooting and protested the deportation of refugees in Metropolis.

“The idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity,” Tom Taylor, who writes the series, said in an interview. He said that a “new Superman had to have new fights — real world problems — that he could stand up to as one of the most powerful people in the world.”

There’s no particular reason to get worked up over a comic-book character, of course. This development — as well as Superman getting more political — just strikes me as a boring and lazy way to try to generate headlines and put the iconic franchise on the correct side of the cultural divide. But the latest turn also seems to be a bit behind the times — in 2021, a character being gay does not quite generate the shock value it did decades ago.

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