What Dean Cain Missed in His 'Superman' Critique

Thursday October 21, 2021

Dean Cain
Dean Cain  (Source:Associated Press)

Recently Dean Cain called the announcement that the new Superman will be bisexual as "bandwagoning," reported CNN. "I don't think it's bold or brave or some crazy new direction. If they had done this 20 years ago, perhaps that would be bold or brave," he told Fox and Friends.

"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," Cain continued. "They're talking about having him fight climate change and the deportation of refugees, and he's dating a hacktivist — whatever a hacktivist is."

Salon reports that what has Cain and fellow conservatives up in arms "is the remarkably modern story of Jon Kent, son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, who will be coming out as bisexual in the Nov. 9 issue of DC Comics' 'Superman: Son of Kal-El' series."

Cain, though, apparently hasn't been reading the comic. If he had he would have realized that these topics have been covered. "Since the series' release over the summer, Jon has confronted a variety of uniquely modern crises, and is emerging as a uniquely modern hero, now with the added dimension of his bisexuality. He's fought climate change-induced wildfires, stopped a school shooting, and even protested the deportation of refugees. DC Comics also recently changed Superman's 83-year-old slogan, "Truth, Justice and the American Way," to "Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow." As you might have guessed, conservatives are having a perfectly normal reaction to this change."

Superman writer Tom Taylor responded to Cain in a tweet. "Why don't they have him fight the injustices that created the refugees whose deportation he's protesting? That would be brave, I'd read that."- Dean Cain. That's actually a big part of the story we're telling. Glad Dean thinks it's brave and that he'll be reading our #Superman."

Salon quotes him as saying, "all of these suggested plot points by Cain have either already been told in recent 'Superman: Son of Kal-El' issues, or will be very soon."

"In 'Son of Kal-El #4,' Jon Kent rescues a boat full of refugees, and later, is willingly arrested with them along with other activists protesting the U.S. government's decision to deport them. As for the many other issues Cain raises of human trafficking and the erosion of women's rights in other parts of the world, Superman could very well face these challenges in future issues. Also, there's no reason to go elsewhere to find these problems; he could very well face them right here in the U.S."

Salon also called Cain out for saying that the move is not "bold or brave." "Of course, coming out in a heteronormative society will never not be brave, no matter how many people come out before you. And while all of these aforementioned queer superheroes are an important step in the right direction, onscreen representation of queer superheroes remains minimal or nonexistent."

The question is, would Cain had been brave enough to play Superman as bisexual when he starred in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" back in the 1990s?