By Niko Balkaran
Superman is one of the most recognizable heroes in the world. The title “Superman’’ is often associated with kindness, strength, and justice. But it is just that – a title. In the character’s 80-year history, there have been many who assumed the mantle of Superman. The most well-known is Clark Kent. But there is also Metal Superman, who as the name goes, is made of metal and an android. Then there is John Henry Irons, the first African American version of the character and who uses a suit of armor similar to Iron Man. The latest in this line is Jon Kent.
This new version of the character better represents the potential of humanity in the volatile socio-political climate in
the real world. Truth, justice, and the American way have always defined Clark Kent’s Superman. This was a good slogan that helped people to oppose the Nazis in the Second World War. But DC Comics has realized the world has evolved, and there is a need for a new slogan.
Of course, there is no better slogan than the one of Superman. As a result and to reflect his ideals, Jon Kent’s new slogan is truth, justice, and a better tomorrow. But who is this new Superman we now know as Jon Kent? He is the son of Lois Lane and Clark Kent. After Clark left Earth to rescue prisoners, Jon was thrown headfirst into shouldering the responsibilities of Superman.
As the new Superman, Jon has begun to differentiate himself from his father. As Jon stopped villain after
villain, he saw he was not really making a difference. Instead, he noticed social issues that parallel today’s society in the real world. This ranged from global warming to governments persecuting people for undocumented immigration. Jon realized, thanks to the help of his father, that he was in a unique position to make the world a better place. Unlike his
father, he was a citizen of earth. And he also has the powers of Superman. This gives him leeway to try to change the status quo for the better.
The fifth issue of the comics also revealed that Jon is bisexual. Like his parents, Jon has also
fallen for a reporter. His love interest is student journalist, Jay Nakamura. Since their first meeting, the two became fast friends who relied on each other. In the same issue, Jay was the only one able to convince Jon to rest because he became drained after forcing himself past his limits to save people.
The portrayal of healthy LGBTQ+ relationships, especially with well-known characters such as Superman, is one step forward in positive representation. According to CNN, Superman Series Writer Tom Taylor said, “Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics.”
Jon fighting for change in the world is a relatable experience for many young people. However, there are times when such a fight seems hopeless because you may not see the results in your lifetimes. This is where characters such as Superman come into play. They continue to inspire people and encourage them to keep up hope and fight for a better tomorrow.