DC Comics has made major announcements over the past few months concerning some of their younger characters by announcing that the characters Tim Drake, more commonly known as Robin, and Jonathan Kent, or Superboy, are both bisexual. Seeing how Superman was DC’s first caped crusader, it seems fitting that his son has joined DC Comics’ heroes who are a part of the LGBT community.
Many of the heroes loved by viewers today are a part of the LGBT community, making them more loveable and relatable. Characters such as Catwoman, Aqualad, Impulse, Batwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and many more have identified themselves as a part of this community. The only question is will these newly outed characters properly depict the LGBT community?
A breakdown of each of these characters and their representation is helpful when analyzing their progression. These characters have existed for decades, and for many DC fans, their bisexuality has become headcanon. Robin and Superboy are the newest members of the community, and therefore have been put in the spotlight.
Tim Drake was officially confirmed as bisexual in August of this year. Many fans suspected this, often “shipping” Drake with his fellow Titan Conner Kent, the first Superboy. Many fans were excited by this change, though some were not.
The representation Drake expresses is important. Drake was orphaned and then adopted by Bruce Wayne, or Batman. Drake already had a traumatic backstory, so many believe he should not be forced to become a part of the LGBT community. This is where some readers are wrong.
Announcing Drake’s sexuality is not forced representation. His story on coming out makes sense. He is a young boy discovering himself, like many other young boys around the world. This makes him more relatable to others with the same feelings and makes him a potential role model for young boys struggling with their sexuality.
“I think that they represented the LGBTQ community in a good and bad way,” Olympic Heights sophomore Nick Gast comments. “I don’t think they should have advertised it as much. I feel like it comes off a little forced. Like they wanted to make people happy so they added in some bisexual/gay characters.”
Jonathan Kent, or Superboy, is also bisexual. He is a much younger character compared to the loveable Robin. The sexuality of Kent, like Drake, was always questioned. Many fans saw Kent and Damian Wayne, the newest Robin, as a perfect couple. DC Comics announced this past October that the youngest Superboy will become the new Superman.
Additionally, Kent begins dating a young reporter, Jay Nakamura. Kent is a new face to DC Comics. Although he was created in 1965, he has been revamped and is seen more in comics like Supersons. Kent represents the community and is important because not only is he bisexual, but he is in a biracial relationship.
Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman, otherwise known as the Gotham City Sirens and are all bisexual, with Harley and Ivy being a canon couple. Another common interest these three have is Batman. While Selina Kyle is a more known love interest of the famous Bruce Wayne, Quinn and Poison Ivy have had their crosses with him.
Quinn was given her own animated show in 2019. The second season ended with her and Ivy officially becoming a couple. Unlike the young boys, these girls have known each other for a while and have been “shipped”’ just as long. They are the face of DC Comics’ LGBT characters and have received a lot of praise and love.
Bisexuals are not the only part of the LGBT community that has received attention through DC Comics. In season three of the animated show Young Justice, both Kaldur’ahm, more commonly known as Aquaman, and Bart Allen, known as Impulse, both have boyfriends. Kaldur is even seen publicly kissing his spouse, Wyynde. During a carnival in season three episode 16, Bart is seen on a triple date with his boyfriend Eduardo. While this couple isn’t as intimate as the Atlanteans, they do hold hands throughout the episode.
Nicole Maines is a transgender actress on the show Supergirl. She has been portraying Nia Nal, or Dreamer, since 2018. Maines created the character herself and is working with DC Comics to give Dreamer her own comic series. Maines is an advocate for trans people as she is a trans woman. There are episodes in Supergirl where Nal faces real problems facing the trans community. While the show ends this year, Nal is an ongoing character. Maines brought this new character to life and is working hard to bring proper representation to the trans community.
Having some form of LGBT representation in DC Comics will only help to make people who identify as part of this community feel more accepted and comfortable with who they are as it will become more common. Also, the comics and shows will make others more comfortable with people who are “different” and this will make for an easier life for the LGBT community. This will also make people who are struggling with sexuality and gender identity feel less alone and may help support them in knowing that society is becoming more accepting.