Is it a bird, is it a plane, or is it just seven years late? DC Comics recently announced their upcoming Superman would be bisexual. Here, artist Rich Simmons, speaks about predicting the positive step in his 2014 mural and what it means for the LGBTQ+ community.
Thinking back to when I created my ‘Between the Capes’ mural in Soho London and New York, it now feels like a real Simpsons-like prediction. Five years later, the premise of a non-heterosexual Superman is reality. And about time.
The artwork depicts Superman and Batman, arguably two of DC’s most notable characters, sharing a kiss – most likely after saving the world, as heroes do. Growing up, every superhero was straight and, guess what, they always got the girl.
Comic books and superhero stories are a way to escape into a whole new world. But, for years that whole new world lacked representation. DC Comics’ decision for Jon Kent, the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, to be bisexual is a great step. More people can now see themselves as the greatest superhero ever created. So, hopefully it might help readers find their own identity and own it like a boss. And that’s what I wanted to get across with ‘Between the Capes’.
Obviously, DC also announced earlier this year that Batman’s Robin came out as bisexual. This is another great step for representation, but let’s face it – people want to be the superhero, not the sidekick. Before, LGBTQ+ people’s relation to superheroes was sadly feeling like they had to keep their identity secret. Now, for more people to be able to relate to world’s most powerful superhero openly is brilliant.
Writer of Superman: Son of Kal-El #5, Tom Taylor, said “Superman’s symbol has always stood for hope, for truth and for justice. Today, that symbol represents something more.” I couldn’t agree more, if only they took inspiration seven years ago!
Check out the ‘Between the Capes’ mural here.