An actor well-known for playing Superman in the 1990s is weighing in on DC Comics' branding of the character's son as bisexual, alleging that the move is not “bold or brave.”
DC Comics announced Monday that an upcoming issue of the comic book series Superman: Son of Kal-El will profile a romantic relationship between Jon Kent, son of the original Superman Clark Kent, and a male journalist, suggesting that the character is bisexual.
Actor Dean Cain, an outspoken conservative who starred on the TV series "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" from 1993 to 1997, reacted to the news during an appearance on "Fox & Friends First" Tuesday.
Cain pushed back on the idea that making Jon Kent bisexual constituted a "bold new direction" for the Superman franchise by noting the increasingly large number of superhero characters revealing themselves as LGBT.
"I say they're bandwagoning. … Robin, of Batman & Robin … just came out … as bi or gay recently. And honestly, who's really shocked about that one?"
"The new Captain America is gay. My daughter in 'Supergirl' where I played … the father, she was gay. … So I don't think it's bold or brave or some crazy new direction," he added. "If they had done this 20 years ago, perhaps that would have been bold and brave."
The 55-year-old actor offered his assessment of how the Superman comic's authors could be "brave."
"Brave would be having him … fighting for the rights of gay people in Iran, where they'll throw you off a building for the offense of being gay," he asserted.
"They're talking about him fighting … real-world problems like climate change, the deportation of refugees and … he'll be dating a 'hacktivist,' whatever a 'hacktivist' is. Why don't they have him fight the injustices that created the refugees … whose deportation he's protesting? That would be brave."
Cain suggested that Jon Kent should start "fighting for the rights of women to attend school and have the ability to work and live, and boys not to be raped by men under the new warm and fuzzy Taliban," referring to the situation in Afghanistan after the United States withdrew troops from the country.
"There's real evil in this world today, real corruption and government overreach, plenty of things to fight against — human trafficking, real actual slavery going on."
"It would be brave to tackle those issues, shine a light on those issues," Cain maintained. "I'd like to see the character doing that."
He predicted that he would not read the upcoming issue of Superman: Son of Kal-El because he could "just watch CNN or MSNBC to get this information."
Cain elaborated in an op-ed published by Real Clear Politics Thursday titled "'Woke' Superman's Mission is Neither Bold Nor Brave."
The actor delivered a message to the "cultural gatekeepers busily rethinking which of our national heroes — or iconic superheroes, for that matter, belong on pedestals."
"Inclusiveness is healthy, but tinkering with the sexuality or political outlook of fictional heroes does not necessarily improve their character," he wrote. "Here, after all, was the initial description of the man from Krypton: 'Superman, champion of the oppressed. The physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need!"
Cain took issue with the replacement of Superman's longtime catchphrase "Truth, Justice, and the American Way" with "Truth, Justice, and a Better World."
He lamented that "the cool thing right now is to bash America. He defined a "better world" as "one in which people have more freedom and independence" and "protection from government overreach and corruption."
He classified the ideas mentioned above as synonymous with "the idea of America."
The reintroduction of well-established superhero characters as gay or bisexual is not a new phenomenon.
In addition to the characterization of Batman's sidekick Robin as bisexual in the August issue of the DC Comics book series Batman: Urban Legends, the character of Batwoman was portrayed as a lesbian on the CW television series of the same name.
Nearly a decade ago, DC Comics faced considerable backlash for depicting the Green Lantern as gay.
The assignment of characters first created decades ago into the LGBT community is not limited to superheroes.
A 2019 episode of the PBS children's series "Arthur" based on the long-running children's book series featured the title character's teacher, Mr. Ratburn, getting married to another male character.
The portrayal of superheroes and other characters on notable programs designed for children comes as the LGBT advocacy group GLAAD has called for 20% of all television characters to be LGBT by 2025.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org