Former Superman actor Dean Cain has criticized DC Comics’ decision to have the current Superman come out as bisexual.

“They said it’s a bold new direction, I say they’re bandwagoning,” the 55-year-old actor told Fox & Friends on Tuesday. “Robin just came out as bi — who’s really shocked about that one? The new Captain America is gay. My daughter in [The CW series] Supergirl, where I played the father, was gay. So 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.

“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 hactivist is. 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. Or 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 — that would be brave. There’s real evil in this world today, real corruption and government overreach, plenty of things to fight against. Human trafficking — real and actual slavery going on. … It’d be great to tackle those issues.”

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The actor played Clark Kent/Superman on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman for four seasons starting in 1993.

DC Comics’ current Superman is 17-year-old Jon Kent, son of Clark Kent, and he comes out as bisexual in the Nov. 9 issue of Superman: Son of Kal-El. Jon has taken up the mantle of Superman of Earth while his father is off-world in the Action Comics series. Like his father, Jon Kent has fallen for a reporter, only it’s his college friend Jay Nakamura.

“I’ve always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes, and I’m very grateful DC and Warner Bros. share this idea,” said writer Tom Taylor. “Superman’s symbol has always stood for hope, for truth and for justice. Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics.”

Taylor added to The New York Times that “the idea of replacing Clark Kent with another straight white savior felt like a missed opportunity. … A new Superman had to have new fights — real-world problems — that he could stand up to as one of the most powerful people in the world.”

“We couldn’t be prouder to tell this important story from Tom Taylor and John Timms,” noted DC chief creative officer and publisher Jim Lee. “We talk a lot about the power of the DC Multiverse in our storytelling, and this is another incredible example. We can have Jon Kent exploring his identity in the comics as well as Jon Kent learning the secrets of his family on TV on Superman & Lois. They coexist in their own worlds and times, and our fans get to enjoy both simultaneously.”

On The CW’s Superman & Lois, Jon Kent is played by actor Jordan Elsass, who was asked whether the comics’ storyline will be incorporated into the show. “This is a different Earth,” Elsass pointed out to Decider. “This is a different version of Jon Kent. And you have to remember there are other differences as well. Jon Kent, in this universe, as far as we know, doesn’t have powers yet. So there’s always that possibility, for sure, especially growing up, those formative years, there are things to explore. But I don’t necessarily know if that is going to be one of those things. Jon Kent, in this universe, at least for now, has been established as straight.”

The move follows DC’s latest Robin, Tim Drake, also coming out as bisexual in Batman: Urban Legends. Drake has also been added to HBO Max’s live-action Titans series, with actor Jay Lycurgo playing the character in the show’s third season, coming Aug. 12.

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