Jonathan and Martha Kent

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Unstuck in time art by Curt Swan from Superboy No. 53

aka Ma and Pa Kent

Superman's Earth parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, who rescue a young Kal-El from his crashed Kryptonian rocket upon his arrival on Earth. The first names of the Kents are unclear in the early chronicles. Ma Kent is referred to as Mary in Superman No. 1, other stories don't refer to first names at all, and S No. 53 (Jul/Aug 1948: "The Origin of Superman") identifies them as John and Mary. Act No. 132 (May 1949: "The Secret of the Kents") tells of Clark meeting his adopted father during an adventure in the past, and his name in this tale is Silas.

The details of the adoption of infant Kal differ, some accounts tell of a waiting period at Smallville orphanage, and Action No. 1 (1938) tells of the baby being found by a "passing motorist" (also, see Smallville Orphanage). Most texts agree that the Kents are farmers who later move to Smallville so that Jonathan can run a small store.

Naming the young Superbaby Clark, Martha's maiden name, the Kents care for the child as their own and nurture him with love, instilling in him the qualities of morality, hope, and helping to embolden his dreams.

Later stories document a serum from another dimensional world that restores many years of youth to Jonathan and Martha Kent (SB No. 145, Mar 1968: "The Fantastic Faces!").

The chronicles contain many differing accounts of the death of the Kents. Many early tellings state that Ma Kent dies first and Pa some time later, with Pa's deathbed conversation with Clark being important to Clark becoming a hero (S No. 53, Jul/Aug 1948: "The Origin of Superman") or of continuing his career started as Superboy (Act No. 158, Jul 1951: The Kid from Krypton"). Another story tells that the Kents pass away because of a strange virus, the Fever Plague (S No. 161, May 1963: "The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent!"). In most stories, Clark moves to Metropolis permanently after the death of the Kents.

External Links

Wikipedia entry on Pa Kent

Wikipedia entry on Ma Kent

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