- "Before you arrived, we wanted a child so badly. The day you found us in that field, you were the miracle we prayed for. Now the world needs that same miracle." - Martha to Clark, Finale, Part 1
Martha is the daughter of William Clark. Her father, a lawyer, William mistakenly believed she was forced into a rural life by Jonathan, but she proved many times that she found her chosen path extremely fulfilling. Having a family was something she wanted very much, although she and Jonathan were unable to conceive. During a meteor shower she and Jonathan came across baby Kal-El and his ship. She took Clark's arrival as a gift or an act of fate and without hesitating, convinced Jonathan that they should raise him. She chose her maiden name for their son's first name. Together, she and Jonathan raised Clark to be respectful, selfless, hard working and have a strong moral fiber.
After Jonathan's death, Martha took his position in the Kansas State Senate and focused her energy on her new job. In addition, her and Lionel Luthor's shared background and ideals formed into a close friendship. She served for over a year until the death of Senator Ed Burke. Martha took Burke's U.S. Senate position and moved to Washington, DC, to fulfill her duties.
She has currently taken the alias of the Red Queen to protect her son Clark from the government agency called Checkmate. She returned to Smallville for a short time with her new boyfriend, Perry White. As the Red Queen, she forced Maxwell Lord to get the Book of Rao's location from Tess Mercer and has forged an alliance with Clark's guardian angel, John Jones. After going back to Washington D.C., she sent Clark a present.
At first glance, Martha's heart warming smile would always catch the eye of everyone she knew.
She is a typical woman with an average height and build to her petite frame. She has been notice for her attractive appearance more than once with many, including Lionel Luthor. Her eye color is blue and in earlier seasons she had a ginger (red) color to her hair. In Season Nine and Season Ten, her hair is more of a brownish color that has begun to turn gray at the roots.
Between Season One and Season Six, Martha usually dressed like a farmer, wearing mostly plaid shirts and jeans. Since she has become a senator in the more recent seasons, Martha dresses in a more sophisticated manner.
Through her aging came wisdom, for she was the backbone for both Jonathan and Clark and would play a bigger role in her son's life as he matured.
- "I'm not the kind of person who turns her back on her friends because of what people think." - Martha Kent
Martha is independent and resourceful. She takes great pleasure in helping others in need. She is also extremely level-headed and reasonable. When Clark or Jonathan acted out of emotion, Martha was able to view a situation objectively. Although she and Clark are close, Martha is also stern and has high expectations for him. Despite having no experience of anyone else as gifted as Clark, Martha managed to stay calm and help Clark to accept his emerging superhuman powers.  In his teen years, Clark began to suddenly develop new abilities and Martha and Jonathan always encouraged him to hone his ability and see it as a gift. As a mother, she is aware of Clark's worries that he may never be able to live a normal life or have children and along with Jonathan, Martha tried to reassure Clark that his future is still undetermined. She wants him to be happy but will not hesitate to tell him when he is making a bad choice. She initially encouraged Clark's relationships with Lex Luthor and Lana Lang but after the dissolution of both relationships, she tried to get Clark to realize that he needed to move on. Lionel Luthor also said that she was incredibly straightforward and bluntly honest, finding similar to how his wife was. She also frequently encourages Clark to embrace his humanity as a positive trait, not a weakness. Martha is an accomplished cook and is often seen baking.
During her time as a senator, Martha has become extremely resolute, willing to risk her life in going against Checkmate to protect Clark. She is also very calculating, evident by the fact very few people know that she is the Red Queen. She can also be ruthless as she incapacitated Maxwell Lord after he served his usefulness to her, although it was never stated if he was killed or not. Although, given that is the only time she has been seen to do something like that it is probable she only did that because she knew Maxwell Lord is too dangerous to be allowed to live because he could use his powers against her later on. The fact John Jones willingly worked for Martha Kent, with his ability to read minds does provide support for the idea Martha is only ruthless to dangerous people.
Martha grew up in Metropolis and met Jonathan Kent while they both attended a finance class at Metropolis University. She made up an excuse to talk to him, asking him for some notes, even though she was the note-taker for the class. When she asked how he knew that she would give them back, Jonathan told her that he believed in the goodness of people and Martha told herself that she hoped he married her.
When Jonathan asked William Clark for permission to marry his daughter, William stated that he wanted more for Martha than to marry a poor farmer. Jonathan impulsively and angrily hit William and the two remained estranged until Jonathan's death. After they adopted Clark, Martha and Jonathan decided together not to tell her father Clark's secret. Because of this, Martha's relationship with her parents remains strained and distant. Before she married Jonathan, she had an unspecified career in business, but when she and Jonathan got married against her father's wishes, she moved to Smallville with Jonathan. Jonathan and Martha managed the Kent Farm together growing organic produce.
Jonathan and Martha tried to have children, but were faced with infertility. The day of the meteor shower in October 1989, Jonathan and Martha had gone to Nell's flower shop to buy tulips. They were returning home when the meteor shower began to rain down on Smallville and they were caught in a dangerous situation of trying to dodge being hit by pieces of the meteors when their truck flipped over and landed upside-down. Fortunately, they were unharmed. Before they crawled out of the truck, a naked little boy, who appeared to be about the age of 2 or 3 years old, approached them and squatted down to look at them. While they looked at him with shocked expressions, he smiled. They climbed out of the overturned truck and Jonathan grabbed the blue blanket they'd always carried along with them and wrapped the little boy in it. He picked the little boy up and placed him in Martha's outstretched arms. Not far away from where they had landed, they also found a small spaceship, which had apparently fallen with the meteor shower. Without hesitation, especially on Martha's part, they decided to take the boy home with them and Jonathan hid the little spaceship in the back of a nearby truck. On their way home, they came across Lionel Luthor, who asked them for their help, because his son Lex, was unconscious and laying in a cornfield, having been injured in the meteor shower. Jonathan helped by carrying young Lex to their truck and offering to give Lionel and his son a ride to the hospital before he and Martha went home. When they returned home, Jonathan hide the ship in the farm's storm cellar. When Sheriff Ethan visited the Kent Farm, he saw and inquired about the little boy knowing beforehand that the Kents had no children. Put on the spot, Martha lied and claimed that they had just adopted him. Martha and Jonathan then needed to quickly make the story true and enlisted the help of Lionel Luthor, a billionaire with infinite resources, to falsify adoption papers. Lionel drew up the papers but, in exchange, required that Jonathan go to Bill Ross, the father of Pete Ross, and convince him to sell the Ross Creamed Corn Factory to Lionel. Martha named the boy Clark, which is Martha's maiden name.
In Washington DC, Senator Martha Kent gets into the car of a man who calls himself "Bones" and is the director of the secret organization, called D.E.O. Bones, impressed by Martha's achievements on the Vigilante Registration Act, asks her to work for D.E.O. when her term as a Senator ends, but Martha seems not to be interested in collaborating, having already been aware of the organization's actions when she was still acting as "Red Queen" against Checkmate.
Suddenly, they are attacked by a team of super-powered villains that appear out of nowhere. Martha is rescued by a strange woman who defeats a pair of villains, stopping bullets with a pair of bracelets worn on her wrists and forces the others to march away.
Soon after, Martha calls her son Clark and informs him about the attack on her. Clark seems to be very concerned about his mother's health and asks her questions but the only thing Martha can say is that someone saved her.
In Martha's house, they enjoy a good feast and then talk about how Conner is, Martha reveals that he is at San Francisco attending a school that Jay Garrick made. They also talk about the attack, how worried Clark was and the mysterious woman in white who saved Martha. Lois says that the attack had something to do with D.E.O., mentioning they were more than shady when they took Corben into custody last month, they also discussing on how to act now. Clark says he will investigate the D.E.O and Lois will investigate Martha's mysterious savior.
Meanwhile Lois arrives back to Martha's house after taking Shelby out for a walk. Martha and Lois ask what progress Clark is making. He found that the prints belong to a Felix Faust and that they were entered into the system from records collected back in the forties. Clark tries to contact Tess who is offline, but Martha is able to hack the protected files because "when the Red Queen takes down a shadowy organization, no one thinks to change their password". They find out Faust was part of a shadowy anti-occult unit called "Shadowpact" that was formed during World War II. Another members of the unit also include Bones, who according to Martha, looks exactly the way he does now, as well as Zatanna's father, John Zatara, who reportedly left the unit after their first mission. They wonder whether Diana was after Bones or Faust.
When Martha Kent was taking her dog, Shelby, for a walk in her neighborhood, she watched an enormous storm, created by Hades, surrounding the Washington Monument.
Clark and Martha walk through Washington talking about the first time that Clark visited the city as a child. Jonathan wanted him to understand that power comes with responsibility and Clark seems to understand it very well now. In fact, he confesses to his mother that he will take a big step in trying to mediate the rejection of the unknown that is brewing in the country but he is not sure what he must do to turn the tide. Martha tells him that he is already doing very well into inspiring hope. Clark says it's time to inspire change too. Martha then says if he feels in his heart that it is the right thing to do, then he already has his answer.
Three weeks after the battle with the Monitors, LexCorp holds a major press confrence and Lex introduces the public to a new monument built on the former Watchtower site. In a massive turnout Lex publicly admits that if it weren't for the heroes of earth the universe would be lost. Then Superman makes a speech that is broadcast all over the world. Perry confronts a tearful Martha worried that something has upset her but has she listens to the speech and staring a photo of Jonathan and Clark she feels tremendous pride.
Season Ten (Earth-2)
Not much is known about this Martha except she separated from Jonathan after he became obsessed with the Meteor Shower and revenge on the Queens and the Luthors. Jonathan was later shown ringing the buzzer to Martha's apartment.
- Season Four: Blank (deleted scene) (Mentioned only)
- Season Five: Aqua (Mentioned only)
- Season Six: Labyrinth (delusion only)
- Season Seven: Fierce (Mentioned only), Lara (Mentioned only), Wrath (Mentioned only), Hero (Mentioned only), Apocalypse (Mentioned only)
- Season Eight: Odyssey (flashback only), Bloodline (Mentioned only), Infamous (Mentioned only), Eternal (flashback only)
- Season Nine: Metallo (Mentioned only), Persuasion (Mentioned only), Charade (cameo), Salvation (Mentioned only)
- Season Ten: Masquerade (Mentioned only), Kent (Mentioned only)
- Season Eleven: Haunted (flashback only), Olympus
- Smallville Miniseries: Alien (flashback only), Continuity
- Smallville Comic: Raptor, Paterfamilias, Chimera, Part 2, Sojourn, Parenthood, Nature
In the Comics
Martha Clark Kent, also known as Ma Kent, is a fictional character published by DC Comics. The Kents are the adoptive parents of Superman. She and her husband, Jonathan, 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, "Clark" having been Martha's maiden name. 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. Clark mourns his parents and moves to Metropolis to attend college.
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.
In Superman and Superboy stories prior to 1986, both the Kents die before the beginning of Clark's adult career as Superman.
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. In Birthright, Martha is sassier and more at odds with her husband over how Clark should live than in previous comic incarnations. Because Jonathan has little to do with the creation of the Superman identity, Martha plays a more prominent role in this regard. She is also far more technologically savvy than ever before, communicating with Clark via encrypted e-mail as he travels around the Earth. This younger portrayal of the Kents has persisted in the regular DC Universe since Birthright was published.
She was Clark's original tailor, having made his first Superman costume and always keeping another hidden in the house just in case. As in some of the other stories of the Superman universe, Superman's costume was originally baby blankets provided by Lara Lor-van, Superman's true mother, placed in the spaceship prior to her husband's launch. It has also been suggested that she helped Clark perfect his "mild mannered" performance with her small background in drama. Martha, who demands anyone she offers an open invitation to her house to call her Ma, has cared for many heroes and their secrets. On top of her raising Superman, she has also helped guide Supergirl, Superboy, Matrix Supergirl, Mon-El, Krypto and Clark's adopted son Chrisropher Kent onto the path of hope and good.
There has only been one instance in comic history where Martha uncharacteristically turned away a member of the Clark's extended family and that was in regards to Karen Starr (AKA Kara Zor-L/Power Girl). Due to the fact that Karen was only an alternate Universe version of Supergirl and due to her own origin confusions, Martha seemed to not fully trust or accept Karen as anything other than Clark's friend.
Like in the television series and movies, Martha has once again become a widow recently, following a heart attack that Jonathan suffered. This time it was induced when Brainiac attacked the Kent farm. For the first few weeks since Jonathan's death, Martha lived alone on the farm until Krypto, sensing that she needed companionship and being lonely himself, arrived on her front step. More recently, the resurrected clone-hybrid of Superman and Lex Luthor, Conner Kent (AKA Kon-El/Superboy) returned to the farm again.
Martha also demonstrated her strength, during the event of Blackest Night in which she, along with Clark, Conner and Krypto were forced to battle against a zombie-like Kal-L and Lois Lane from the alternate universe of Earth-2 . While Clark and Conner battled Kal-L, Martha along with Krypto defeated the Zombie-Lois setting her ablaze in the cornfields of the farm.
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.
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.
- There is some debate over Martha's first appearance in DC Comics. Originally in 1938, a passing motorist found the infant Kal-El in the character's first appearance in Action Comics #1. A year later in Superman #1 Superman's adoptive parents are introduced, but with "Mary Kent" being the only parent given a name. The Kents' first names vary in stories from the 1940s, until Superman #53 names them John and Mary Kent in 1948. Ma Kent's first name remained Mary until 1951, when it was changed to Martha in Superboy #12.
- Annette O'Toole played Lana Lang in Superman III.
- Clark's first name is Martha's maiden name.
- Martha enjoys watching the Discovery Channel.
- Martha or Jonathan's political affiliation was never outright established. However, both employed (Jonathan as his campaign manager and Martha as her Chief of Staff) Lois Lane, who is a liberal.
- Martha was originally played by Cynthia Ettinger, but was recast with Annette O'Toole. All of Ettinger's scenes in the pilot had to be re-shot with O'Toole.
- Martha was the Red Queen, opposing Checkmate to protect Clark. As the Red Queen, Martha appeared to have had seniority and veto-power over the actions of Checkmate and its operatives such as Amanda Waller.
- Martha was the only main female character that did not make any appearances in Season Seven and Season Eight, but she was mentioned in Odyssey, Bloodline, Abyss, Infamous and Eternal.
- Martha met every main character except Kara, Davis and Zod. She interacted with Tess as the Red Queen from behind at gunpoint.
- Martha was the second non-Kryptonian to interact with Jor-El.
- When Martha was young, she had a Golden Retriever named Shelby, giving inspiration to the Kent's future dog, Shelby.
- Martha has been called by "Mrs. Kent," "Mrs. K.," or "Ma Kent", mostly by Lois.
- Martha was seen through a photograph in Lara.
Other faces of Martha Kent
- Martha Kent on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Wikia