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Ma and Pa Kent (Superman characters) (DC Comics)

Ma and Pa Kent


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • These are quick notes mostly based on the early 2000s Supergirl run.

Background

  • Real Name: Martha Fordman Kent and Jonathan Kent
  • Marital Status: Jonathan and Martha are married to each other
  • Known Relatives: Clark Kent (son), Matrix/Supergirl/Linda Danvers (daughter), Lois Lane (daughter-in-law)
    Martha’s parents are Hudson and Mariah Clark. Jonathan has a brother, Harold Kent II who is married to Sarah Kent. Jonathan parent’s are Harold Kent I and Eliza Kent.
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Their farm in Smallville


Powers and Abilities

Ma and Pa are ordinary farmers, with skills and abilities typical of small American towns. They are also incredible human beings – not only are they bastions of moral rectitude and humanist values, but they are also incredibly understanding, patient, warm and able to quickly establish a deep, respectful rapport with anybody. They both fit the traditional definition of a mensch to a T.


History

Jonathan Kent and Martha Clark both grew up in the quiet community of Smallville, Kansas. Jonathan lived on the family farm and became a farmer himself as an adult. Jonathan and Martha knew each other since childhood and fell in love with each other: While their friends and family assumed they would get married someday, Jonathan did not actually propose.

Then Jonathan left Smallville to serve in World War II. He was stationed in the Pacific and was reported missing in action. The people of Smallville assumed Jonathan was dead, but he actually was being held captive in a Japanese prison camp.

In Jonathan’s absence, the head of Smallville’s richest family, “Old Man” Fordman, put pressure on Martha Clark’s father in an attempt to gain control of the Clark’s General Store. Fordman’s son Dan thwarted the attempted takeover, and after his father died, proposed to Martha. Apparently Martha knew that Dan Fordman was dying of lung cancer and she felt sorry for him. With Jonathan gone, Martha accepted the proposal, and married Dan Fordman.

Jonathan finally returned to Smallville after learning of Martha’s marriage. Martha explained that Dan Fordman had had lung cancer for years, though it was now in remission. Fordman told Jonathan that he knew that the cancer would eventually kill him. Telling Jonathan that Martha deserved better than marriage to a dying man, Fordman asked Jonathan to take Martha away from him. Although Jonathan was still in love with Martha, he was shocked by Fordman’s suggestion. But not long afterward Fordman died in Martha’s arms, asking her to build a new life for herself.

Martha had asked Fordman not to leave her any of his money, although he did bequeath to her a ten acre area of property that she liked. Six months after Fordman’s death, Jonathan proposed to her, and they were married six months later. Jonathan and Martha’s marriage was a happy one, and Jonathan worked contentedly on his own farm. But they never had any children of their own. After Martha’s third miscarriage, her doctor advised her not to try to have any more.

As if in answer to their prayer, one night a year later Jonathan and Martha saw a bright light falling from the sky. Investigating, they found a spacecraft with a baby inside. Jonathan suspected, correctly, that the baby might be from another planet, but since the infant looked entirely human, he and Martha decided that he was an Earthborn baby who had been subjected to some insane experiment.

The Kents decided to raise the child as their own and named him Clark, after Martha’s maiden name. The Kents’ isolation on their farm that winter enabled them to convince their friends months later that Clark was their natural child.

Clark had actually been sent to Earth by his true father, Jor-El, from the planet Krypton just before its destruction. Clark had no superhuman powers as an infant, but as he grew older he began to develop them, much to the Kents’ astonishment. They kept Clark’s unusual abilities secret. After a football game during which the boy took unfair advantage of his schoolmates, Jonathan took Clark to the site where the spacecraft lay hidden and told him how they had found him as an infant.

Jonathan told Clark that he had been given his great powers for a nobler purpose than to win in sporting events. Stunned by the revelation of his true origin, Clark decided to devote the use of his superhuman powers to the good of humanity. Clark soon left Smallville, after revealing the secret of his superhuman abilities to his closest friend, Lana Lang.

Clark spent the next five years mastering his powers and secretly using them to help other people, to save lives, and to prevent disasters. He was finally forced to use his super-powers in public in order to prevent the crash of a NASA space-plane. Mobbed after the rescue, Clark fled before he could be identified. He went back to Smallville to seek guidance from his parents.

Inspired by the costumed super-heroes of the 1940s, Jonathan Kent came up with the idea that Clark should adopt a costumed secret identity in which he could publicly use his powers for good. Clark and his foster parents thus devised his new identity of Superman, taking the name that reporter Lois Lane, who had been aboard the space plane, had given her mysterious rescuer: It was Martha who created Superman’s first costume, using Clark’s own suggestions. Clark and his foster parents also decided on the ways in which Clark would conceal his resemblance to the unmasked Superman, such as by wearing glasses.

Ever since, Jonathan and Martha Kent have been valuable sources of emotional support for Superman. They are his most trusted confidants, to whom he can always turn for advice and understanding. The Kents are genuinely good, self-sacrificing people with a strong sense of morality. They brought Clark up to believe just as strongly in their system of moral values, thus enabling him to overcome the temptations to misuse his enormous power: More than anyone else, Jonathan and Martha Kent are responsible for Superman’s becoming the greatest hero and champion of justice on Earth.

In more recent years, Clark entrusted the Kents with the protomatter entity called Matrix, which the Kents preferred to call Mae. They raised the confused alien as if she was their own daughter and helped her weather various episodes of identity confusion until she adopted the identity of Supergirl. They grew nervous when Supergirl began dating Lex Luthor II but still remained supportive of her. When she and Luthor broke up, she was able to turn to her “parents” for comfort and centering.

When Mae fused with a dying human, Linda Danvers, the Kents were instrumental in helping Danvers’s parents accept the two families’ daughters becoming a single entity. They also housed Superboy for a time, although the Teen of Steel was a much more modern kid than either Clark or Mae and had trouble adjusting to life in Smallville.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

The Kents are your typical American Dream family – hard working, very honest, successful.

Pa is quick with a joke and loves the lifestyle he has created. He is something of a workaholic despite his age, and proud (but never pompous) about his accomplishments.

Ma is a generous and loving woman, quick to offer remarkably sensible words of support or advice. She cares for her husband, making sure he doesn’t work too hard and that he always has a full glass of lemonade.

Both are pretty much perfect parents for both Superman and Supergirl – deeply caring without being invasive, and always offering and receiving heartfelt support to the incredible creatures they have lovingly raised.


Quotes

Martha “Ma” Fordman Kent
“So let’s talk about Supergirl, Sylvia. Mom to mom.”

Jonathan “Pa” Kent
“We can talk about Linda, if you’d like. Or anything else on your mind. I guess your wife is your major concern at the moment.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Martha “Ma” Fordman Kent

Dex: 02 Str: 01 Bod: 02 Motivation: Upholding the good
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Farmer
Inf: 03 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 006 HP: 005

Skills: Artist (cooking): 04

Advantages: Scholar (Ma Kent’s rhubarb pie recipe), Misc.: Parent figure

Connections: Superman (High), Supergirl (High), Superboy (Low), Lois Lane (High), Fred and Sylvia Danvers (High)

Drawbacks: Age (old)


Pa Kent

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Upholding the good
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Farmer
Inf: 03 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 006 HP: 005

Skills: Animal handling (farm animals): 03, Vehicles (land): 02, Weaponry (firearms): 03

Advantages: Expertise (farming, Sci-fi literature), Misc.: Parent figure

Connections: Superman (High), Supergirl (High), Superboy (Low), Lois Lane (High), Fred and Sylvia Danvers (High)

Drawbacks: Age (old)


The Parent Figure Advantage

Both Kent spouses are pretty much ideal parent figure, and their personalities resonate extremely well with people who have psychological issues relating to their mother and/or father – like Batman or Supergirl. When attempting character Interaction with such people, the Parent Figure Advantage allows the Character to lower OVs by one CS.

By Mayfair Games and Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Mainly Superman and Supergirl comics

Helper(s): History from the DC loose leaves Who’s Who. Also John Colagioia, Roy Cowan, Ethan Roe, William Chamberlin

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