Smallville Wiki

"Always hold on to Smallville." - Jonathan to Clark, Finale, Part 2

Jonathan Kent (September 1, 1954/1961-January 26, 2006) was Martha Kent's husband and Clark Kent's adoptive father. A longtime farmer, he ran the Kent Farm until he was elected Senator from Kansas.

Jonathan went to great lengths to protect his son's secret, including almost killing a reporter who was going to expose Clark’s secret to the Earth and making a deal with Jor-El that eventually cost him his own life.

Jonathan's heart was strained while he was imbued with all of Clark's powers. When Jonathan decided to run for a seat in the Kansas Senate against Lex Luthor. Jonathan won the senatorial seat, but after a physical altercation with Lionel Luthor, whom he believed was trying to exploit Clark's abilities, Jonathan suffered a heart attack and died.

He was buried in Smallville Cemetery, adjacent to his family's farm. Sometime later, Jonathan's spirit appeared to console Clark and even attended his wedding. Jonathan's spirit later reappeared at the Fortress of Solitude to present to Clark his Superman suit, reminding his son to never let go of Smallville.

Physical Appearance

Jonathan Kent in Season One

Jonathan Kent had an average look to his person, with dark blond hair and sky blue eyes: he sometimes would have stubble and other times he was clean shaven.

He was around the same height as his son Clark and would nearly always wear simple clothes that consisted of plaid, low collar shirts and blue jeans.

Jonathan Kent in Season Five

He also favored a dark tan/brown jacket, wearing it nearly every day of his adult life.

Jonathan Kent's spirit in Season Ten

Jonathan kept his hair cropped short in the early 2000s while he was seen with medium length hair in late 2005 to early 2006.

Perry White once mistakenly wore Jonathan's jacket because he didn't know that it belonged to Jonathan and Clark also wore it once.[1]

When he visited Clark in late 2010, Jonathan had longer hair and he wore his usual jacket with a plaid shirt underneath and blue jeans.[2]


"You're starting to sound more and more like your father."
"I hope so, Dad." – Jonathan and Clark talking, Jinx

Jonathan was a farmer his whole life: as a result, he had a strong work ethic and very high moral values. He believed people should be honest, ethical and, like himself, upfront and sincere.[citation needed] Jonathan was close to his own father, but eventually chose to remain in Smallville because he knew that his father needed him to help run the farm. He grew to resent his father and by the time Hiram died, Jonathan had many things he never got to say and lived the rest of his life regretting the breakdown of their relationship.[3]

Jonathan was a firm but caring father. He was extremely influential in helping Clark adjust to his abilities and cope with being different. [citation needed] Jonathan was strict with Clark, with high expectations and trusting him to make sound and responsible choices, but because Clark is generally well-behaved and obedient, they still had an extremely close relationship.[citation needed] Clark highly valued Jonathan's approval and often told him that he wanted to be like him.[citation needed] He always considered Jonathan his "real father" and suffered great anxiety over his Kryptonian heritage and destiny, but Jonathan always assured Clark that he was responsible for his own future and encouraged Clark to choose his own path.[4] Jonathan was willing to sacrifice almost anything to protect his family, including his own health.[5]

Jonathan was highly distrusting of people he felt were hiding their true personality, especially Lionel and Lex Luthor.[citation needed] He felt great guilt in helping Lionel gain a foothold in Smallville and openly expressed his disgust for the Luthors.[citation needed] Jonathan was very wary of Clark and Lex's growing friendship and often told Clark that he did not trust Lex, although his opinion of Lex improved after Lex made a genuine effort to help out on the farm when he was forced to live with the Kents for a time.[citation needed]

On many occasions, Jonathan had shown prejudice against aliens, particularly Clark's own race. He believed that Kryptonians were evil and that Clark only escaped his "evil" nature because he was raised with human values. Jonathan also believed that emotions such as love and compassion are synonymous with humans (Although the fact that his only real contact with Kryptonians at this point in his life were the Disciples of Zod and the seemingly manipulative Jor-El would have doubtless impacted his opinion).

Jonathan enjoyed football, but managing the farm left him with little time for any other hobbies or interests.

Vessel of Jor-El

Jor-El selected or made Jonathan a Kryptonian vessel during their pact with one another about Clark Kent. Jor-El appeared to have "used" Jonathan and was connected with him in a much differently way than he was when he was "using" Lionel Luthor[Citation needed], as Lionel became a direct emissary and oracle for Jor-El wherein he would articulate Kryptonian texts and other writings whereas Jonathan was more of a mouth piece in which he would often hear Kryptonian frequencies and sounds and Jonathan didn't appear affected by the effects of Kryptonite whereas Lionel exhibited some signs as seen in Arrival[Citation needed].

In Exile, Jonathan sees no other alternative to his problem and goes to speak with Jor-El, an artificial entity who resides in the Kawatche Caves' activation wall and is Clark's biological Kryptonian father and uses the Key to converse with him about retrieving his son Clark Kent, who has gotten infected with Red kryptonite and Jor-El obliges under the condition that Jonathan will return him when it is time for him to fulfill his Kryptonian calling and within their pact, Jor-El bestows Jonathan with temporary Kryptonian powers and abilities.

Later on, in Metropolis, Clark as Kal under the influence of Red kryptonite, steals an item from a vault in LuthorCorp Plaza, as well as gets confronted by his father and Jonathan runs at him extremely fast and they fall out a window.

In Phoenix, down below, they take part in a superpowered fight and Jonathan eventually convinces Clark to smash the ring and come home to face his problems and then Jor-El immediately leaves Jonathan's body, although it is later revealed that he retained a direct connection with Jor-El.

In Legacy, Jonathan, after returning from the hospital, is on the roof installing a weather vane, despite his wife's concerns. Then suddenly out of no where, he hears a high pitched whine ringing sound due to his connection with Jor-El and falls off the roof, but Clark manages to save him. Clark presses for what just happened, but Jonathan angrily says, "Damn it, Kal-El. I can get it myself", which alarms Clark and Martha, as well as Clark thinks it has something to do with his dad's deal. Later on, Jonathan heads to the caves with the Key, but is confronted by Lionel and they fight for the Key, which phases through the wall and disappears. Later, Jonathan reveals to Clark that the Key in fact isn’t in the wall but is still out there. It is seen in Dr. Virgil Swann's possession.

Later on in Talisman, Clark gets stabbed by Jeremiah with Palak and almost dies, but Jonathan through Jor-El, heals him.

Jor-El transferred his own Kryptonian power to Jonathan so he could bring his son home, these powers instantly disappeared after the red kryptonite ring was destroyed:

  • Super strength - Jonathan was given Jor-El's strength and therefore was able to quell Clark's uncontrollable power and take him home.
  • Super speed - Jonathan was given Jor-El's speed and therefore could travel at crazy speeds.
  • Invulnerability - Jonathan was invulnerable to anything of Earthly-origin.

Early life

Jonathan was born on 1 September 1954, or late 1961 or early 1962.[6] He was the son of Hiram and Jessica Kent. He lived in Smallville on the Kent Farm his whole life. Jonathan attended Smallville High School and was the star of the football team: during this time, he dated Nell Potter. At one point, he ran away from home one summer and tried out for the Metropolis Sharks.[7]

Jonathan met Martha Clark at Metropolis University. Martha asked Jonathan for some notes, even though she was the note-taker for the class. When Martha asked how he knew she would return them, Jonathan told her, "I prefer to believe in people": Martha still remembers thinking "I hope he marries me" at the time. Martha and Jonathan then began dating. Later, Jonathan asked Martha's father, William Clark, for her hand in marriage, but William rejected him, saying he had raised his daughter for better things than being a farmer's wife. Out of anger Jonathan hit William and he and Martha married anyway. On the day of his wedding, Jonathan's father gave him a compass, just in case he got lost going down the aisle.[8] Jonathan and William remained estranged until Jonathan's death. Jonathan and Martha managed the Kent Farm together and were respected members of the Smallville community.

Jonathan and Martha moments before the meteor shower.

Jonathan and Martha were exiting Nell Potter's flower shop in 1989 when the first meteor shower struck Smallville. On their way back home, a meteor landed close to their truck, flipping it over. Jonathan and Martha were still alive, hanging upside down in their seat-belts, when Jonathan noticed a toddler approach the truck.

Jonathan and Martha find young Kal-El in the cornfield.

He was alone, naked, as well as appeared to be about 3 years-old. Jonathan and Martha also found a small spacecraft in the field and assumed the boy had emerged from it. They took the boy with them and hid the ship in the back of their truck.

While fleeing, Jonathan and Martha came across Lionel Luthor, who asked them for their help because his son Lex was unconscious after the meteors hit. Lionel was so grateful for Jonathan's quick actions that he offered him anything in return which, at the moment, Jonathan declined. When Sheriff Ethan visited the Kent Farm later on, he saw and inquired about the little boy. Put on the spot, Martha hurriedly lied, calling the boy "Clark" (after her maiden name) and claimed that they had just adopted him. Martha and Jonathan then needed to quickly make the story true and enlisted Lionel's help to provide fake adoption papers. Lionel drew up the papers, but required that Jonathan go to Bill Ross and convince him to sell the Ross Creamed Corn Factory to Lionel.

Jonathan gives some advice to Clark.

Despite being unsure as to whether or not he could bring up a superhuman child, Jonathan's morals and upstanding spirit enabled him to raise the child properly.

When Clark had to read an essay at school in front of the entire class, parents and teachers, he was very scared but Jonathan convinced him to believe in himself and in what he had written, as well as gave three key phrases to get it right : "Find your center, stand your ground and speak your piece."

Smallville TV Series

Post Mortem

Alternate Realities

Season Seven

The Kent family in a universe without Clark

In an alternate universe where Clark never arrived on Earth, Jonathan was still alive in 2008 and lived on the farm with Martha. They had an adopted son, whom they also called "Clark."

Season Ten (Earth-2)

See: Jonathan Kent (Earth-2)


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 #
Season 1 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X N/A 21
Season 2 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 23
Season 3 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X - - X X X N/A 20
Season 4 X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X - X X X N/A 21
Season 5 X X X - - X X X X X X X X - - - X - - - - - N/A 12
Season 6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 0
Season 7 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 0
Season 8 X - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X - - - - N/A 2
Season 9 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 0
Season 10 X - - X - - - - - - - - - - - - X - - - X X N/A 5
Total 105

In the Comics

Jonathan Kent as he appears in the comics.

Jonathan Kent, also known as Pa Kent, is a fictional character published by DC Comics. The Kents are the adoptive parents of Superman. They live in the small town of Smallville, USA. The couple is usually portrayed age-wise as either late middle age or elderly, in most versions of Superman's origin story, Jonathan and Martha Kent were the first to come across the rocket that brought the infant Kal-El to Earth, with their adopting him shortly thereafter, deciding to rename him Clark Kent. When the comics originated, adoption was not common and it had to be established that the Kents adopted because they couldn't have biological children, which meant that Martha had to be beyond childbearing years, or infertile.

In Superboy vol. 1 #145, Jonathan and Martha are rejuvenated physically and appear younger due to the influence of an alien serum. After Clark graduates from high school, Jonathan and Martha take a vacation to the Caribbean Islands, where they contract a fatal and rare tropical disease after handling materials from a pirate's treasure chest they had exhumed: despite Superboy's best efforts, Martha dies, with Jonathan dying soon thereafter. Before dying, Jonathan reminds Clark that he must always use his powers for the benefit of humanity. Clark mourns his parents and moves to Metropolis to attend college.

In Superman and Superboy stories prior to 1986, both the Kents die before the beginning of Clark's adult career as Superman. However, Jonathan did receive one opportunity to see his adopted son as the Man of Steel. After Superboy assists a group of interplanetary farmers from an alien world, they repay him by granting Jonathan's subconscious desire to see Clark in the future as Superman. Using their advanced technology, they place an artificially-aged Jonathan years into the future, warping reality to make it appear that he had never died and had maintained contact with his son all along. After spending 30 hours in the future with his adult son, Jonathan is returned by the aliens to his proper time period. The incident is removed from everyone's conscious memory and the timeline is restored to normal.

In the 1986 The Man of Steel limited series, that was a reboot to Superman's origin, one of the changes were made was keeping Jonathan and Martha Kent alive into Clark's adulthood. The Kents have the same role as in the earlier stories, instilling within Clark the morals needed to become a strong and heroic figure.

In the Man of Steel mini-series and afterwards, the Kents remain farmers through Clark's adult years, although a storyline features them having opened a general store in Smallville. Although Jonathan is still alive in the comics, he suffers a heart attack after The Death of Superman storyline and he meets Clark in the afterlife and encourages him to return to life with him.

Jonathan and Martha Kent as they appeared in Superman: Birthright.

The Kents were altered in 2003's Superman: Birthright limited series, which again revised Superman's origins. Jonathan and Martha are depicted as far younger at the time of Clark adopting his Superman identity than in past portrayals, appearing here to be scarcely middle-aged. The Kents' appearances were altered to resemble the younger versions of actor and actress from the show. Although now shown wearing glasses, Jonathan has a full head of blond hair. This younger portrayal of the Kents has persisted in the regular DC Universe since Birthright was published.

As it currently stands, Jonathan loves his son very much, but had a more strained relationship with him. He was critical of Clark for "showing off" by playing football with his human peers and the strain in their relationship is such that father and son barely spoke to each other in Clark's late teens. Jonathan had conflicting feelings regarding Clark's powers and his decision to use them for the benefit of humanity: he seems to feel that he has lost the affections of his newly-adult son, partly due to Clark's fascination with his Kryptonian origins. Jonathan was not particularly encouraging in the formation of Clark's Superman identity or mission, although they eventually reconciled.

As Clark's role of Superman went on, Jonathan eventually learned how to not only accept Clark's life as Superman, but became a major encouraging factor, acting as a source of advise for Clark in regards to important decsions that Superman needed to make. Jonathan and Martha also began to open their home to Clark's extended Kryptonian family, including Krypto, Mon-El, the Matrix Supergirl, as well as most notable Clark's clone, Superboy (AKA Conner Kent/Kon-El). The few members of Superman's family (in the current continuity) who they did not share particularly close ties to were Power Girl (AKA Karen Star), who was an alternate universe version of Supergirl and Supergirl herself (Kara Zor-El), who chose a life of independence from her cousin's life, upon arriving on Earth. Jonathan also became a grandfather to Clark's foster son Christopher Kent.

Unlike the series, Jonathan didn't have any political ambitions, though he was running for city counsel in an unresolved Superboy storyline. He is consistently portrayed as a man with a strong moral focus, who is simply happy with living his life on the family's farm with his wife by his side.

The death of Jonathan Kent.

In may incarnations of Superman in comics and other media, Jonathan had died many times before seeing his son as the Man of Steel, but the character staying alive in Clark's adulthood has proven to be an interesting addition to Superman's supporting cast.

In Action Comics #870, Jonathan died of a heart attack after saving his wife from an incoming attack from Brainiac. Although Jonathan died his legacy continues somewhat as Martha Kent suggested to the Daxamite superhero Mon-El, a brother-like figure to Superman that he use the name for his human identity.

Jonathan and Martha's graves.

In the New 52, both Jonathan and Martha Kent have passed away and Clark Kent has to grow into his role as Superman without them. They were still not elderly when they found Clark, but they die before his time, due to injuries sustained in a car accident the night of Clark's prom. Clark was informed of the accident while he was dancing with Lana Lang and when he arrived at the hospital Martha had already passed away but Jonathan was still alive. He asks his son to take him in the farm because he wants to die at his home. There in his deathbed Jonathan makes a speech as his final words, urging Clark to use his powers for the benefit of humanity.

In Batman/Superman series it is revealed that Jonathan and Martha's counterparts in Earth-2 are still alive and live in the Kent farm admiring their son as Superman.

Jonathan is named after his Grandpa Kent.

The Legacy of Jonathan Kent lives on as his grandson is named after him by his parents Lois and Clark in the official cannon in Dc's Rebirth.


  • In this new younger incarnation, Jonathan's hair had a medium-dark blond color and appears to be almost the same height as Clark.
  • Jonathan's birthday is listed as September 1, 1954 on his grave and he died January 26, 2006. However, when Jor-El visited Earth in 1961 when he met Hiram and Jessica Kent, Jonathan had not yet been born.
  • Jonathan was almost named after the singer Gene Autry.[9]
  • Jonathan's favorite book was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.[10]
  • Jonathan played football for the Smallville Crows and helped them win their first state championship for the 1979-1980 school year under Coach Walt Arnold.[11] His son Clark also led the team as quarterback to a state championship in 2004.[12]
  • Jonathan earned a full scholarship to Metropolis University.[13]
  • Jonathan sometimes wears eyeglasses.[14]
  • Jonathan was the third main character to die and the first main character who knew Clark's secret to die.
  • According to an interview with Greg Beeman it was John Schneider who convinced the writers to write his character in the Fortress scene giving Clark the suit in Finale, Part 2.[15]
  • Jonathan Kent might have been the last blood member of the Kent family.
  • Jonathan was Clark's hero, as he told the Jonathan Kent of Earth-2 in Kent.
  • Jonathan had no lines in Crush or Delete.
  • Jonathan was a fan of Westerns.[16]
  • During the prologue of the Smallville episode "Nicodemus", Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) is driving along in the family truck listening to 'The Dukes of Hazzard' theme song on the radio ("The Good Ol' Boys" written and performed by Waylon Jennings).


  • Jonathan built Clark's loft in the barn and called it his "Fortress of Solitude."
  • Jonathan and Clark went on an annual fishing trip from the time Clark was 7 until he was 14 when Clark admitted that he did not like fishing anymore.
  • Jonathan was born around 1961 or 1962 and graduated from Smallville High School in 1980. He turned down his scholarship to Metropolis University, but Hiram's death date (seen in Legacy) means that he died when Jonathan was around age 19. Presumably, after his father's death, he attended Met U anyway, since he met Martha there. There is some confusion as to how old Jonathan Kent really was as his grave in Homecoming gave his birth date 1954.
  • Jonathan was good friends with Sheriff Ethan Miller before Ethan framed him for the attempted murder of Lionel Luthor.
  • In Smallville and the comics, Jonathon dies both times by a heart attack and also dies directly or indirectly from Brainiac. As Brainiac was the antagonist in season 5, he indirectly was manipulating Clark many times caused his heart to get worse of the stress and anger. In conclusion, Brainiac not only destroyed Clark's home world but also indirectly and directly caused the death of Clark's adoptive father.
  • Jonathan is the first of four non-Kryptonian characters to have spoken to Jor-El. (Exile) The other three were Martha, Chloe and Lois. (Zod, ( Traveler, Prophecy).
  • Jonathan's death had been foreshadowed throughout the series. And obviously, the writers always planned on killing him.
    • In Hourglass, curiously, it was Jonathan who was using the saw after Clark came home worried after seeing a vision of everything he loves die.
    • In Hereafter, Clark comes into the barn and finds Jonathan on the floor, and ends with him saying, "I love you, son," and then passing out.
    • In Fanatic, he almost gets shot.
    • And in Reckoning, Jonathan sadly dies.

Other faces of Jonathan Kent


Male Relationships

Female Relationships

Love Triangle

See also


  1. Hostage, Kent
  2. Lazarus
  3. Jonathan tells Clark this in Forever.
  4. Rosetta, Talisman
  5. In Exile, Jonathan strikes a deal with Jor-El and gains Kryptonian powers, which prove too much for his body to handle. In Hereafter, he suffers a heart attack.
  6. Relic
  7. Martha sarcastically referenced this incident in Hothead.
  8. Exodus
  9. This is revealed in a flashback from the memory pendant between Jor-El and Jonathan's father in Relic.
  10. Mentioned by Martha in Crusade.
  11. Jonathan reveals that he played for Coach Arnold in Season 1's Hothead.
  12. Clark wins the championship in Jinx.
  13. Forever
  14. Jonathan is seen wearing eyeglasses in Stray.
  16. Velocity

External Links

  • Jonathan Kent on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Wikia