Ryan James
Family Mrs. James (mother) (deceased)
Mr. James (father) (deceased)
James Gibson (stepfather)
Debra Burch (stepmother, deceased)
Powers and
Played By Ryan Kelley
Status Deceased (Ryan)

"You changed my life. You're gonna change a lot of people's lives, Clark." – Ryan to Clark, Ryan

Ryan James was a boy gifted with the powers of telepathy and possibly other psychic abilities. Ryan was raised by his mother and his abusive stepfather, James Gibson. He could read other people's minds and emotions, although the extent of his abilities is unspecified.

Ryan shared Clark's crush on Lana Lang and was an avid fan of the Warrior Angel comic book.


Ryan James was a young boy that enjoyed reading and drowning himself in comic books, particularly Warrior Angel graphic-novels. After he came in direct contact with Green meteor rocks, he got infected, as well as felt as an outsider ever since, which explains why he detached from the world sometimes by reading. At first, with his ability to read the minds of others, he couldn't drown them out, causing major stress. He was initially extremely shy and quite timid, although with the 'big brother' model of Clark he came out of his shell to a degree.

Powers and Abilities

  • Telepathy - Ryan could read the minds of other people but only what was on the surface. He also couldn't read Clark's mind.


Ryan could only read what's on the surface and he could read anyone's mind except for Clark's.

Season One

"I like being around you, Clark. It's... peaceful." – Ryan James, Stray

Not much was known of Ryan's early life. It is unknown what Ryan's true parents thought of his abilities. Presumably they wished to wait until a future point in time, such as when their son finished puberty and had a better grasp on life, to test his skills. Fate had other plans, however, as Ryan's father passed away when he was young and his mother remarried a man named James Gibson. Ryan's stepfather, however, had a much more different idea about Ryan's extrasensory skills, and set about exploiting them. Mrs. James seemingly never realized that her second husband was a small-time crook with a criminal record, and that her remarriage indirectly put Ryan in danger. When Ryan's mother died, Ryan was still a minor. As such, the law declared that Mr. Gibson was now his legal guardian. James Gibson set about crafting the life he always wanted, finding a much more attractive woman, Debra Burch, and making her his second wife. James set about making a lot of money, and would do through Ryan. One way was by sending in Ryan to a pawnshop that was near quitting time. The owner was ready to kick Ryan out, but seeing that Ryan made a legitimate purchase of a comic book, approved the sale. Ryan read the owner's mind when he opened his safe as he was about to deposit the day's cash and receipts since Ryan was his last customer. Ryan departed the store, then told his adoptive parents about the safe. The Gibsons, in a "Bonnie & Clyde" manner, broke into the pawn shop and opened the safe, with Mr. Gibson coldly murdering the owner when he resisted. Ryan took advantage of the mayhem to escape.


Ryan says goodbye to the Kents.

Fleeing from the Gibsons, he ran out onto the highway where Martha Kent accidentally hit him with her car. He feigned amnesia and stayed with the Kents, becoming Clark's "little brother" for a few days. He learned about Clark's secret by reading Martha's mind. After his evil stepfather was arrested and his stepmother killed, Ryan moved to Edge City with his aunt.

Season Two


Ryan returns to the Kent farm

When he began to have unexplained migraines, his aunt took him to the Summerholt Research Facility in Metropolis. Dr. Lawrence Garner discovered that Ryan had a brain tumor which was causing his telepathy. Ryan's aunt left him with the doctor and moved to Arizona. Ryan called Clark to tell him that Dr. Garner was holding him against his will and experimenting on him. Clark broke Ryan out and with Lex and Judge Ross' help, he got a restraining order to grant the Kents temporary custody.


Clark and Ryan

Clark considered Ryan the little brother he never had, but shortly after, Ryan fell ill and had to be admitted to the hospital. It was discovered that he had an inoperable brain tumor and Clark did everything he could to prevent his death, including running over 400 miles to convince a famous doctor to treat the boy. However, his treatment was not completely successful and only gave him a few extra days. At Ryan's request, he spent his last few days with Clark: Ryan later died, leaving Clark devastated.



  • Ryan's favorite comic book was Warrior Angel, which is also Lex and his childhood friend Duncan Allenmeyer's favorite comic.
  • Ryan was the first secret keeper outside of Clark's family who saw Clark's spaceship and learned that he was an alien.
  • Ryan was the first of Clark's loved ones to die.