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View Poll Results: Should Superman's Adoptive Parents Live Into Clark's Adulthood?
Jonathan and Martha should live into Clark's adulthood. 9 81.82%
Both Kents should die by the time Clark becomes Superman. 1 9.09%
Only Martha should live into Clark's adulthood. 1 9.09%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-08-2018, 03:13 PM   #1
MikeandRaph87
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Jonathan and Martha Kent Dead By Time Clark Becomes Superman?

Originally Ma and Pa Kent are elderly and pass away by the time Clark is a young adult out of college. Superman (1978 ) notably changed it do Jonathan dies when Clark is in high school while Martha lives on. Notably the other media follows up on this having Jonathan alone die while Clark is in high school in both Smallville and the current DCEU. After Crisis on Infinite Earths despite darker times in comics (aside from JLI which itself still had dark moments) both Jonathan and Martha survive and adopted Clark when they were around 40 and the DCAU followed this. Superman meant to be lighter character, while his birth parents die with Krypton should his adoptive parents live to old age while Superman is active? Should just Martha live? Should his adoptive parents live on through his time as Superman? In my opinion, I believe both Jonathan and Martha should live through Clark's time as Superman and his adoptive parents highlight the brightness Superman projects to the darkness of Batman's world which core part of his character. Even Superman needs his parents in adulthood just as we do from time to time.
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:50 PM   #2
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I prefer that they live, but I understand why a lot of writers see more drama in killing one or both of them. It's always explained as, "Clark has to learn that for all his powers, he can't save everyone nor cheat death," but I think there's other ways to enforce that lesson. Besides, he always had a much easier time grappling with his place in the world when he could go home and hash things out with his parents over pie. It's humanizing.

Plus, the 1986-1994 run of Superman books was the all-time greatest in the character's history, and everything from the Byrne/Jurgens era should always be canon.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:11 PM   #3
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No.


Leave the "my parents are dead" plot and motivation to Bruce.

Okay, yeah, Clark's biological parents are dead too, but his adoptive parents were there longer, so they have more of an impact. I think the difference in that is their ages. Clark was an infant when he was sent to Earth from the destruction of Krypton, and Bruce was like....eight? Old enough to remember. And even after that, he didn't really have "true" adoptive parents. Alfred may have been the best surrogate he could be (even with his place in aiding Bruce's upbringing before the murders), but he could never really fill that gap.

Clark Kent is the kind of person whose motivations come from taking his Country Boy upbringing to heart. He doesn't need a tragic shocking loss to be motivated, and that's one of the things that makes him so different from Bruce.


And while we're on this: A bonus that I keep thinking of in regards to this conversation

I think that's another level of why they need to be alive for Clark's story.


(Hey in the 30's cartoons, didn't he grow up in an orphanage???)
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:53 PM   #4
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I believe the 1940s film serials also had him grow up in an orphanage, but it's been a while since I've seen them.

One thing I've noticed with the writers, is that if to them, Superman is "the real guy" and Clark is just a disguise, they kill his parents. If the writer's approach is, "Clark is the real guy and Superman is just his working gimmick", they keep his parents alive. A lot of it centers on whether the writer sees him as more human or more alien.

I've never understood the "Clark is the mask" approach. He was raised as "Clark Kent", lived and acted and thought as "Clark Kent" for an entire two decades before he was "Superman"; why would he be "Superman" in his head once he finds out he's an alien? He'd still be the exact same person he always was, except now he knows why he's bulletproof.

Byrne/Jurgens did it best. His alien heritage was once dismissed by another character as "An accident of birth", reinforcing the idea that Clark sees himself as "human, but gifted," even though he's aware that's not literally the truth. And when he discovered his Kryptonian origins, he mostly dismissed it and went on with his life, realizing quite logically that where he was physically born had very little to do with the person he had become, whereas it was Smallville and the Kents who had shaped him into a "Superman".

I think I'm gonna re-read Byrne's "Man of Steel" one of these days.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:33 PM   #5
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I prefer Ma and Pa Kent being alive
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:17 PM   #6
Utrommaniac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo656 View Post
I've never understood the "Clark is the mask" approach. He was raised as "Clark Kent", lived and acted and thought as "Clark Kent" for an entire two decades before he was "Superman"; why would he be "Superman" in his head once he finds out he's an alien? He'd still be the exact same person he always was, except now he knows why he's bulletproof.

Byrne/Jurgens did it best. His alien heritage was once dismissed by another character as "An accident of birth", reinforcing the idea that Clark sees himself as "human, but gifted," even though he's aware that's not literally the truth. And when he discovered his Kryptonian origins, he mostly dismissed it and went on with his life, realizing quite logically that where he was physically born had very little to do with the person he had become, whereas it was Smallville and the Kents who had shaped him into a "Superman".
Uh...yeah! I guess this is a better explanation for why the Kents have more claim to Clark's parentage than his biological family. They're the ones who raised him, so it doesn't make much sense for him to drop his human upbringings when he finds out where he came from.

I'm pretty sure that's the way a lot of adoptees end up doing in the end.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utrommaniac View Post
Uh...yeah! I guess this is a better explanation for why the Kents have more claim to Clark's parentage than his biological family. They're the ones who raised him, so it doesn't make much sense for him to drop his human upbringings when he finds out where he came from.

I'm pretty sure that's the way a lot of adoptees end up doing in the end.
That would be true. A good friend of mine's older brother was adopted and declared at 18 he would never look up his biological information. He is the last name of the people that raised him. He is proud of who he is because of who shaped him not whoever birthed him.


Its interesting to see the board's perspective. Its one of two DC topics that I have had bouncing around my head lately. At this point it is overwhelmingly in favor of Jonathan and Martha both surviving. I admit I am surprised thinking that Bryne's idea would not be popular. Like most have said I believe Superman needs them alive as a reminder of who he really is, Clark Kent and unlike Batman who is dependent on his parents being dead, it may be dependent on his biological,but not adoptive. The anchor, the get away that others don't have in superhero comics. How many others have their parents to come back to especially both? Barry Allen cannot even say that anymore. It helps bring the humanity and brightness to Superman. Leo is right and i have not really thought of it like that. It depends on the focus, Clark Kent or Kal-el. I like the characterization that comes with the Clark Kent angle and that includes Ma and Pa.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:54 PM   #8
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Whenever a new writer comes on board, and they declare "Superman is the Real Guy", I know I'm gonna have a bad time. It's such a fundamental misunderstanding of the character, and how he sees himself. Double for the writers who think his parents have no value in being actively involved in his stories.

The stuff from "Lois & Clark" and the Snyder films where he looks to his foster parents for guidance whenever he's feeling troubled is so true to the books, and so important in illustrating who he is. One thing I absolutely hate about the Reeve film, is that aside from it being pointed out that he has a check sent to his mother every so often, he more or less just abandons her once he gets "the call" to go hang out in the Fortress with Marlon Brando. I mean, we can pretend/imagine that he kept in touch with her, but we never even see or hear about her again. I hate that. A lot.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:27 AM   #9
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A more interesting question, should DC return to Superman being able to remember Krypton?
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:10 PM   #10
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Byrne's origin had him still in a gestation chamber and he wasn't fully "cooked" yet when he was on Krypton. So no.
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:38 PM   #11
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Wow, then it would really make more sense for Clark to not have any kind of emotional attachment to Krypton or his biological parents.


(Also, how are those...literal water buffalo supposed to drink from their own horns?)
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:46 PM   #12
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"Krypton had its chance!"

In Byrne/Jurgens continuity he generally thought Krypton was kind of creepy and morbid. Very little emotional attachment at all. It was the explanation for his abilities, but that's about it. He didn't even visit the Fortress much, nor did he construct it - it was built by The Eradicator as part of a bid to make Clark reject his humanity and embrace his cold, logical Kryptonian side. He'd visit occasionally but often commented that it felt like a graveyard and it made him pretty uncomfortable.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
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(Also, how are those...literal water buffalo supposed to drink from their own horns?)
Extending trunk?
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