Home Town Boy Makes GoodJonathan Kent and Martha Clark were both born and raised in Smallville, Kansas. Jonathan's parents, Harold and Eliza Kent, owned a farm outside of town, while Martha's, Hudson and Mariah Clark, owned the local general store. Smallville being a small town, they knew each other most of their lives, went to the same school, and had the same friends. Jonathan had an older brother, Harold Jr. (who was killed when he fell under a thresher when Jonathan was a teen), while Martha was an only child. By their early teens, both of them loved to read, and they always ran into each other at the local library. Jonathan loved reading science fiction, and was impressed that Martha did not disapprove, as other girls had, and she liked the fact that he read for pleasure. Their friendship later turned into love, and their friends always thought they would be married.
by Benjamin Grose
But war was on the horizon, and after he graduated, Jonathan enlisted in the army. He was reported missing in action, and most people thought he was dead, but he had actually been captured by the enemy and was being held in a prison camp. During this time, Nathan Fordman, the head of Smallville's richest family, was trying to get Martha's father to sell the general store. Nathan's own son Daniel put a stop to this, and when his father died, Dan took over the family department store. He asked Martha to marry him, and she accepted, thinking that Jonathan was dead.
Jonathan was finally released, he learned of Martha's marriage from a letter from home, and he returned to Smallville. Soon after, he discovered that Dan Fordman had lung cancer. Dan told him that Martha didn't deserve a dying husband, and asked Jonathan to take her from him. Jonathan felt uncomfortable to do such a thing, but he didn't have to think about it for long because Dan shortly died. Waiting six months after Dan died, he asked Martha, she accepted, and they were married six months later.
They had a happy marriage, and Jonathan took over the farm after his father died. They wanted to start a family, but after Martha's third miscarriage, her doctor advised against trying. After what was later known as the blizzard of the century, the Kents were isolated from their friends and relatives, and did not visit Smallville again for five months. When they did, everyone was surprised to find that they had a son during this time. Her friends knew that after two miscarriages and one stillborn, Martha would want to keep her pregnancy a secret. They named their son Clark after Martha's maiden name.
At the age of five, Clark was enrolled at Eisenhower Elementary School in Smallville. He made friends with classmates Lana Lang and Pete Ross. Clark acquired the love of reading from his parents, but also was involved in sports. He was on the baseball, football, and track teams of his school throughout the years. Lana and Pete did everything with Clark, and Kenny Braverman joined them occasionally.
While he was in high school, Scott Brubaker was driving Clark, Lana, and Pete home from a party. Scott had been drinking, and they were in an accident. Clark apparently had no injuries, Pete and Lana only minor injuries, but Scott had suffered the most, and was in a coma for many years before he died. Another event during these years was after a major storm had hit. The Kents were separated from their livestock by several feet of snow, and sent Clark, Pete, and Lana with the truck to go find them. After much effort, they found that all of their cows were dead, and Clark blamed himself for this. Both of these events greatly affect Clark to this day.
During his senior year of high school, he greatly helped the football team win most of its games. Most people thought he would get a football scholarship, but Clark amazingly decided against playing sports professionally. He graduated early, and decided to travel the world. He spent five years learning about different cultures, and thought that he would like to be a journalist. He enrolled at Metropolis University with a major in journalism. He found that much of his travel experience could be applied for additional credit, and earned his degree in an amazingly short two years. He also decided that Metropolis would be his home.
Then Superman appeared. NASA's experimental space plane, the Constitution, was returning from orbit on its maiden flight. Among the crowd waiting for the landing at Metropolis International Airport was Clark Kent. A small civilian plane went off course and entered into the secured airspace. The plane collided with the Constitution, and both were going to crash. Superman, although not with his well-known uniform, appeared out of nowhere. Clark's future wife, reporter Lois Lane, was on the space plane, and she was the one that gave their rescuer the name Superman.
Clark amazingly was the first person to get an interview with Superman, the story that gave him a job at the Daily Planet. Lois Lane also got an interview with Superman, and was upset at Clark for a long time for beating her to it, but later became friends, dated, and then became engaged. Clark rented an apartment at 344 Clinton Street, just 15 blocks from the Daily Planet. He has had his own column that has been syndicated nationwide. He has also written three novels: Under A Yellow Sun, The Golden Throne, and The Janus Contract, the second one being on the bestseller list for 17 weeks. He also became editor of Newstime magazine for a short time before returning to the Daily Planet.
Recently, during Doomsday's battle with Superman, Clark was trapped in an underground shelter for a few weeks, but survived with the food stored inside. He was rescued by a revived Superman, and given a clean bill of health. Sometime after that, Kenny Braverman from Smallville, now known as the supervillain Conduit, was trying to kill Clark, but was stopped by Superman. Braverman escaped, and started attacking Clark's friends and family, including destroying Jonathan and Martha's home. After "lying low" for a short time, and after Conduit destroyed himself, the Kents rebuilt their home.
A short while ago, Clark and Lois thought it would be best, for reasons unknown, that they should break off their engagement. After sometime being a field reporter, Lois returned to Metropolis, she and Clark got back together, and they were married. They now live at 1938 Sullivan Place. Recent events have forced the Daily Planet to close, so Clark is looking for employment while Lois is working at the new LexCom. Clark is also writing another novel.
Well, that's it, my first article. My name is Benjamin Grose, but some of you may know me as Kryptonkid, keeper of Kryptonkid's Superman Page (http://www.bigfoot.com/~kryptonkid). As you can see by my nickname, I am a fan of Superman. Since this issue is about Personal Lives, I decided it would be fun to do a sort of biography of Jonathan and Martha Kent, as well as their son, reporter, columnist, and novelist, Clark Kent. But to make this a little bit different, I wrote it from the perspective of those who know them, with no inside information. Much of this information came from Mayfair Games' Superman: The Man of Steel Sourcebook.
All characters are DC Comics
This column is © 1999 by Benjamin Grose.
Map of Smallville is © 1999 by Benjamin Grose.