This week my Random view falls onto another Superman supporting characters, all in celebration of Superman’s 75th Birthday! And this time, we shall take a look at the wonderful people who raised Clark Kent into Superman, Ma and Pa Kent.
This can get kinda complicated. How they legally got Clark, what their early names were, their ages, how and when they died, their occupations, and about a million other details have shifted quite abit over the decades. I have read the various histories several times, and even the uber Geek that I am could not make them all make sense. Basically, Ma and Pa Kent got a rocket from Krypton landing near them, they take the child in, and raise this special baby as their own. The one constant is that their love and support and gentle guidance bring out the hope and compassion and leadership in their boy when he becomes a man.
The Best Ma and Pa!!
My experience with most versions of Ma and Pa Kent is very very limited. For awhile in the early eighties, I collected the new Superboy comic and remember Ma and Pa Kent being his rock. But despite my love of the Smallville, youngified, versions of them, and the quiet love of the Superman movie type, my fav was always the ones after the 1980’s Man Of Steel reboot. This is the Ma and Pa Kent who survived and thrived and have the joy of seeing their son Superman save the day, time after time. Helpful talks and happy prodding, all between bites of Ma’s apple pie, can fill the few minutes Clark flies out to see them at lunch. Putting her engagement ring into Clark’s luggage after a visit is Ma’s little bite of advice on what should happen next with Lois, is a pure moment between parent and child. And Pa’s showing Clark his fateful spaceship, then defending him against a misunderstood Jor-El hologram, is a father doing his duty. These two were excellent until Geoff Johns mucked them up.
The Man Of Steel Movie!!!
While killing Pa Kent seems to be a favourite sport at DC for quite a few years now, I had hoped this trend would dissipate with the Man Of Steel movie, but no such luck. Despite these death edicts, I quite enjoyed Ma and Pa Kent in the film. Ma knows her son has problems, and knows they all stem from wherever that rocketship came from, but her job is to help him adjust, live and become something special. Pa loves his son unconditionally, but is worried constantly about what the world would do to him, his boy. This love is so all pervasive that he would rather die then hurt his son. This gravity they feel over this child whom they view as a gift ripples all through this tale. Just as it should.
Ma and Pa Kent, aka Martha and Jonathan, have for the most part been the solid foundation of turning Kal-El into Clark Kent and eventually into Superman. They should always be with their son, remember that DC.
…is currently reading How To Curse In Hieroglyphics by Lesley Livingston and Jonathan Llyr.
P.S. This post is one of several I hope to do this year to celebrate the 75th Birthday of Superman. Happy Birthday Kal-El! Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
P.P.S. Superman Man Of Steel opened Friday, June 14th 2013 and is now on dvd. For an indepth look at the creation of this landmark movie, check out Jeffrey Taylor’s columns.