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Jonathan and Martha Kent facts for kids

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Jonathan and Martha Kent
Jonathan and Martha Kent.jpg
Jonathan and Martha Kent with a young Clark on the cover of Superman: Secret Origin #1
Art by Gary Frank
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Superman #1
(Summer 1939)
Created by Jerry Siegel
Joe Shuster
In-story information
Full name Jonathan Kent
Martha Kent
Supporting character of Superman
Superboy (Kal-El)

Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent, often referred to as "Pa" and "Ma" Kent (respectively), are the fictional adoptive parents of Superman. They live in the rural town of Smallville, Kansas. In most versions of Superman's origin story, Jonathan and Martha were the first to come across the rocket that brought the infant Kal-El, with their adopting him shortly thereafter, renaming him Clark Kent, "Clark" being Martha's maiden name.

The Kents are usually portrayed as caring parents who instill within Clark a strong sense of morals, and they encourage Clark to use his powers for the betterment of humanity. In a few continuities, Martha is also the one who creates Clark's superhero costume.

In DC Comics continuity before John Byrne's 1986 reboot of the Superman story, the Kents die shortly after Clark's high school graduation. In post-Crisis continuity, they both remain alive even after Clark becomes an adult, with the Kents as supporting characters until Pa Kent's death during an attack by the supervillain Brainiac. Ma Kent remains a supporting character in Superman comics until 2011's The New 52 continuity reboot, in which both she and her husband are deceased having been killed by a drunk driver.

Other media

  • Ed Cassidy played Pa Kent in the 1948 Superman movie serial.
  • Tom Fadden played Pa Kent in the pilot for the 1950s Adventures of Superman television series (as Eben Kent).
  • Glenn Ford portrayed Jonathan in 1978's Superman: The Movie. In the movie, the character died of a heart attack on the farm as young Clark approached manhood.
  • Stuart Whitman played Jonathan on the 1980s television series Superboy.
  • On the 1988 Ruby-Spears produced Superman animated series, Alan Oppenheimer provided Jonathan's voice.
  • On the 1990s television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Jonathan was played by Eddie Jones. Consistent with the post-Crisis comics' version of his story, the character was still alive and active in the grown Clark's life.
  • On the 2000s television series Smallville, Jonathan was played by John Schneider.

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