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Before he knew his strength... before those terrible battles in the sky... before he became the protector of a world... before anyone knew the name Superman... he was just our son Clark. A ten-year-old boy, running across the Kansas plains.
~ Jonathan Kent.
No man on Earth has the amazing powers you have. Promise me you'll use them -- to become a force for good -- a champion -- of the downtrodden -- the oppressed. Never give up the fight to make this world a better place, son.
~ Prime Earth Jonathan Kent.

Jonathan Kent, also known as Pa Kent, is a fictional character in DC comics and universe, and is adoptive father of Superman. Originally a rural farmer from Smallville, he and his wife, Martha Kent, discovered an infant Kal-El in his rocket, and decided to adopt him as their own son. Jonathan and Martha raised Clark, teaching him the importance of morality, humility, and compassion.

He was created by the late Jerry Siegel and the late Joe Shuster, and made his first apperrance in Superman #1 in June of 1939.


Early Life

Jonathan Kent was born in the mid-1920s in the rural town of Smallville, Kansas to Sam Kent and a unnamed woman, and is the brother to Harry Kent. His mother died when he was young, and he helped his father and brother take care of the Kent Farm. During his youth, Jonathan met and fell in love with Martha Kent, who also liked him back, but the two never had the chance to start a romantic relationship. When he was old enough, Jonathan enlisted in the United States Armed Forces to fight against the Japanese in World War II.

Jonathan was later captured by Japanese forces in 1944, and was listed as missing in action until he was released. Upon returning home, Jonathan learned that his brother had died, and that Martha had married Daniel Fordman, a wealthy businessman. Though heartbroken, Jonathan respected Martha's decision, and was later greeted by Daniel in a private meeting, who reveled that he was dying of cancer. Fordman wanted Jonathan to take Martha away from him, so she wouldn't see him waste away from his disease, but Jonathan declined.

Fordman would later die from cancer, and Martha decided to leave the Fordman families' squabbles and his fortune that was left for her in his will. Jonathan and Martha began a relationship, and later married after the death of Jonathan's father. Jonathan inherited the Kent Farm and his father's passing, and he and his wife decided to move there, and take care of it. Jonathan and Martha later attempted to start a family, but Martha suffered from numerous miscarriages.

Raising Clark

When Smallville suffered from the a terrible blizzard, the Kent's were driving down a highway when they discovered an alien ship that crash-landed. Inside the rocket was the infant Kal-El, who was saved from the destruction of his home planet by his parents, Jor-El and Lara-El. The two decided to take the infant into their home, and had to stay in the farm for six months due to the blizzard. Afterward, the two presented Kal-El to the community as their biological son, and named him Clark after Martha's surname.

Jonathan and Martha raised and loved Clark, and taught him to have a strong sense of justice, humility, and morality. Jonathan eventually realized that Clark had powers unlike everyone else, seeing him survive (and not having a mark on his body) nearly being trampled to death by a neighboring farmer's prized bull. When Clark was seventeen years old, Jonathan confessed to him that he was not his biological father, and showed him the rocket ship. Shortly thereafter, Clark left the family farm and traveled to Metropolis, and soon became a superhero known as Superman.

Prime Earth

On Prime Earth, Clark and Martha were killed in a car accident on night of Clark's senior prom, but it was revealed in the Doomsday Cock that their death was caused by the actions of Doctor Manhattan. In the past, Doctor Manhattan caused the death of Alan Scott, thus preventing the formation of the Justice Society. Doctor Manhattan later undid this after being inspired by Superman's words, and realizing that Clark never became inspired to become a superhero as a kid, and undid his actions to allow Alan Scott and Kent's to be alive.

It was later revealed that Batman kept Jonathan and Martha in hiding, and Superman met with them after revealing to the world that he was Clark Kent. Upon meeting with them, they asked for the whereabouts of their grandson, Jonathan Samuel Kent.



  • In the 1948 Superman film, he was portrayed by Edward Cassidy.
  • In Superman: The Movie, he was portrayed by the late Glenn Ford.
  • In Superman: Brainiac Attacks, he was voiced by Mike Farrell, who previously voiced the character in the DC Animated Universe.
  • In Superman vs The Elite, he was voiced by Paul Eiding.
    • Eiding would reprise his voice for the character in The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen.
  • In Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he was portrayed by Kevin Costner.
  • In JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, he was voiced by Tom Gibis.


  • In Adventures of Superman, he was portrayed by the late Tom Fadden.
  • In It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman! tv series, he was portrayed by the late George Chandler.
  • In the 1988 Superman animated series, he was voiced by Alan Oppenheimer.
  • In Superboy, Jonathan was played by the late Stuart Whitman.
  • In Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Jonathan was played by the late Eddie Jones.
  • In Smallville, he was portrayed by John Schneider, who famously played Bo Duke in The Dukes of Hazzards.
  • In Young Justice: Invasion, he was voiced by Mark Rolston.
  • In DC Super Hero Girls, he was voiced by Dean Cain.

Video Games

  • In DC Universe Online, he was voiced by Brandon Young.


Tell you what I did understand, the thing Clark was going after was the biggest thing I ever saw. Underdog? Our boy wasn't even on the fight card. But somehow, he did it.
~ Jonathan Kent.
Nobody knows what the future holds. But the important thing is to meet it with courage and your head held high--because Kents aren't quitters!
~ Prime Earth Jonathan Kent.



  • Though not clearly indicated, it's been suggested that Jonathan is a descendant of Sir Brian Kent the Silent Knight, who has been reincarnated many times, most recent being that of Carter Hall (Hawkman).


           Download-Superman-Logo-PNG-001.png.gif Heroes

Superman | Supergirl | Superboy | Power Girl | Steel

Kent Family
Lois Lane | Jon Kent | Jonathan Kent | Martha Kent

Jor-El | Lara Lor-Von | Zor-El | Alura In-Ze | Lor-Zod | Mon-El

Supporting Characters
Lana Lang | Jimmy Olsen | Perry White | Pete Ross | Cat Grant | Sam Lane | Lucy Lane | Bibbo Bibbowski | Lobo | Lori Lemaris | Maxima | Saturn Girl | Natasha Irons

Krypto the Superdog | Streaky the Supercat | Comet the Super-Horse | Hot Dog

Theatrical Movies
Superman (1978): Superman
Superman Returns: Superman | Lois Lane
Man of Steel: Superman | Lois Lane |Jor-El | Calvin Swanwick | Colonel Nathan Hardy
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Batman | Superman | Wonder Woman | Alfred Pennyworth | Lois Lane | Calvin Swanwick | The Flash | Aquaman | Cyborg
DC League of Super-Pets: Krypto | Ace the Hound | PB | Merton | Chip

Direct-to-video Movies
All-Star Superman: Superman | Lois Lane | Jimmy Olsen | Atlas | Samson
Superman vs. The Elite: Superman | Lois Lane | Jimmy Olsen | Vera Lynn Black
The Death Of Superman: Superman | Lois Lane | Justice League (Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, & Wonder Woman) | Jimmy Olsen
Reign Of The Supermen: Superman | Superboy | Steel | Eradicator | Lois Lane | Justice League (Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, & Wonder Woman) | Jimmy Olsen | Chloe Sullivan

Video Games
Superman (Video Games)