Recently, on social media, several comics pros started discussing the nature of Superman/Clark Kent and how they prefer the character to interact.  This brought up the tangential question of whether or not Superman’s parents Jonathan and Martha Kent should be alive or dead in Superman stories which is, to me, the more important query.  I’m of an age where the Kent family has Schrödingered back and forth from both dead to both alive to one dead, with a stop along the way at “Jonathan magically transported himself through time to mess with his son’s head.”  (Because COMICS!)  Interestingly, one writer said that the Kents can be alive, unless there’s a “young Kal-El as Superboy” series, then they should be dead, leading to today’s parental query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) kind of liked when John Byrne resurrected the Kents, solely because it gave us the charming Ma & Pa from ‘Lois & Clark’, asking: Should Superman’s parents be alive or deceased in current-day Superman stories?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Robin Gonzales on

    Honestly, I’ve always felt better if they are alive. Their life or death was never huge plot point like say, Batman or Spider-Man. I mean outside of Lois, having them around always gave someone that Superman could come back to and recenter himself when things got too much.

    But that’s just me.

  2. Though that story in All Star Superman will always make me cry, i do like the idea of Ma and Pa Kent still truckin’ along back at the farm. It shows that someone even like Clark can feel lost and overwhelmed sometimes, and having him come back home to think things over and receive a little folksy advice is always nice. There need to be a few heroes with fairly normal, well-adjusted family histories where nobody was murdered or a secret villain, and somebody as squeaky clean and morally clear-cut (but still occasionally conflicted) as Clark deserves that. Leave the pathos to Bruce.

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