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  1. #16
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Heh, that's weird because I'm the exact opposite. I grew up post-Crisis, and always knew the Kents to be alive outside of the movie where Jonathan had died. So I grew to like the idea of them alive and I remember when Lois & Clark came out I was so glad they opted to have them alive instead of Jonathan dead. But as time went on and I learned more about pre-Crisis materials, I began to appreciate what they brought to the character in spirit more than I liked what they brought by literally being there.

    But I agree that the change was likely largely due to the omission of Superboy. Without that there was no outlet for them reguarly outside of adult Clark's flashbacks. Frankly I think that would have been enough but they went in another direction at the time. But really with all this time and reflection I think they had it right pre-Crisis. Superboy you have to tinker with to make it work in a more "realistic", less campy history of course, but all of it just crafted the better lore to me.
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  2. #17
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post
    This is generally my view. I’ve never seen much value in having them dead in the present anyway, and it’s fun to be able to have them hang around and do things sometimes.

    It starts to feel like pointless Pre-Crisis revanchism anyways - it’s not even a change that radically alters the character of Superman one way or another when people support them being dead, since even arguably the most dramatically specific use of it, Pa Kent’s death in the original movie supposedly showing Clark’ limits, was eventually contradicted within the same movie.

    I feel it’s a bit like the insistence on Barry as “the” Flash - people expressing the same type of favoritism I and others have for a different status quo, but doing so with a more obstinate and less creative reasoning.
    It arguably does alter him. Better writers can still write him well even when they are around, but DochaDocha makes the good point that it sometimes feeds into the reluctance of allowing Superman to be more self assured and make decisions on his own if he flies back to Smallville for some platitudes every time he's stumped. So having them being alive has potential drawbacks for the main character, and the positives don't really come out to being more than the occasional cute Thanksgiving scene or something. Doesn't seem worth the trade off

    There is also the argument that retconning the Superboy era (where the Kents were the most relevant) after COIE was pretty pointless to begin with, especially as Superman functioned just fine for 50 years with them dead and it was how his creators envisioned him.

  3. #18
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    I dislike the idea of them dying before he becomes Superman. I realize it's the original idea behind them, but it adds a layer of regret to the decision to become Superman (even back then in the Golden Age) that I don't think fits. If it were up to me, I'd have them die somewhat early in his career as Superman. Keeps them around to see him transform the world, but not enough that they may become moral crutches to him.

    But by all means, if you're going to kill one of them before he becomes Superman, make it both. Having just Jonathan die adds a layer of "father is succeeded by the son" that may sound good but more often than not leaves Martha as just the prototypical one-dimensional "mother as source of comfort and nothing else".

  4. #19
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    Honestly, put me in the camp in preferring the Kents dead. To me, it's not just the idea that Clark deciding to go out and help people and learning how to stand on his own but also the idea that because despite whatever tragedy he faces, he still wants to do good in the world and helps whoever he can. Even though he deals with tragedy in his life, but he doesn't let it define or stop it from letting it live his life. I think my favorite takes on how is it handled was It's Superman, with it being a natural death and one dying right before he became Superman and another shortly after he becomes Superman.

    I do agree, most comics that keep the Kents alive does alter him to remove a sort of independence, self assurance and autonomy. Looking back, the initial post crisis ideas doesn't just making up for the lack of superboy and giving a young Superman a learning curve, but a hard attempt to really make Clark feel more human (Making Krypton a cold and sterile planet promoting the argument that it's better it got destroyed, Clark being born on earth and was just in the Kryptonian birthing matrix, the slow burn in getting his powers as well as learning he was Kryptonian when he was 28 and well into his career as Superman, etc). Loosing his parents doesn't mean he loses his humanity, otherwise that's a knock on everything then did and taught him, being Superman is supposed to be Clark being the best of both worlds and honoring everything he's learned on his path to becoming Superman.

  5. #20
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunofdarkchild View Post
    I wouldn't say they HAVE to be around, but most of the time it's better to have more characters to play with than less characters and Superman could use more human and less Kryptonian characters in general.

    The PAD Supergirl series had something I really wish we'd seen more of, the Kents coaching new parents of superheroes and helping them adapt to it. It was a great and logical way to use them.
    This. I know Post-Crisis took a lot of characters away, but I see the early Post-Crisis as the starting point for the expansion that would follow. Maybe because I didn't start reading until '91, those stories were a starting point, not a whole "thing."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I see it as compensation for not having a Superboy (the Adventures of Superman when he was a Boy) comic. If Smallville is a trademark part of the Superman world (trademark = money), how do you keep that relevant if there are no Superboy comics? The compromise was to have the Kents alive and on the farm, so adult Clark could visit them. They might have done an ongoing flashback series (like what became the SMALLVILLE T.V. show), but they couldn't be bothered.
    That's a good point, actually.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue22 View Post
    They don't have to be around and they don't have to be anything more than an occasional part of the supporting cast. I just like having them around because I'm sick of the "heroes can't have parents who are just normal people" trope. So even if they don't contribute much anymore, I gladly accept the Kents being alive.
    YES.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Death and grief are parts of life, and they cannot be avoided. It doesn't have to turn your life into a relentless tragedy though, and not everyone reacts to grief in the same way.
    True, but old age is one, too, and Superman's been in his 30's for how long now? lol

    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    I tend to think that a lot of us who prefer dead Kents probably wouldn't feel that way if there weren't a push to find ways to make Superman less sure of himself. Of course, that's not necessarily a Kent problem. Jonathan kicked the bucket in Man of Steel but that didn't stop Cavill's Superman from second-guessing himself.

    That said, when Superman comes across a situation that involves a lot of tough decision-making, I think it's pretty cool when he tries to figure it out on his own. I dunno, it just feels like there's a reluctance to portray a Superman who's willing to make the hard choices on his own, and when he does it's some BS version like Injustice.
    That's a very good point, too. It seems that there's been a growing push for that for decades, and I've hated it. I didn't connect the Kents being alive as being that, partly because my parents are alive and partly because I saw it more as having them as a sounding board for his own thoughts than a "I can beat this because Pa told me how" kinda thing. But I can certainly see how others would feel differently.

    As for me.. I absolutely prefer them alive, but it's not the end of the world if they aren't. Funny enough, I actually think that Clark revealing his secret works a LOT better (character-wise) if they're not.
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by godisawesome View Post

    I feel it’s a bit like the insistence on Barry as “the” Flash - people expressing the same type of favoritism I and others have for a different status quo, but doing so with a more obstinate and less creative reasoning.

    Preferring Post Crisis concepts and/or incarnations doesn't make your reasoning for doing so less obstinate and more creative.
    Last edited by TheBatman; 06-17-2021 at 07:29 PM.

  7. #22
    Astonishing Member Mutant God's Avatar
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    I prefer them to be alive, someone needs to run the farm.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by The World View Post
    Something about too much tragedy for the Kent's to not be around when Clark is 20-30 years old.
    So I wonder, who told the O.P. that the Kent's absolutely needed to be in Superman's adult life? It seems like this must have been someone in a position of authority.
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  9. #24
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    I think it's dumb to kill them off just because Clark is an adult now. Do your parents just die because you don't need them anymore?

  10. #25
    Astonishing Member Yoda's Avatar
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    I don’t mind Pa Kent dying a la Superman the Movie. But the idea that both have to be dead seems odd to me. Like the point that started this is that they are alive and not being used. So how are they detracting from anything? They are available for cute little one off appearances. And no one has abused them for motivational speeches. Even then, as long as it’s not over done I have never mixed him looking to his parents for advice. I’m in my 40’s and will go to my father and father in law with some tough issues occasionally. I work it out for myself ultimately but getting advice or even just talking it over never hurts.

    I guess my confusion is what does he gain from them being dead?

  11. #26
    Black Belt in Bad Ideas Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue22 View Post
    They don't have to be around and they don't have to be anything more than an occasional part of the supporting cast. I just like having them around because I'm sick of the "heroes can't have parents who are just normal people" trope. So even if they don't contribute much anymore, I gladly accept the Kents being alive.
    More or less where I weigh in on this.

  12. #27
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    For me either will do provided it is done well. For an example of it NOT being done well look at BVS

  13. #28
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue22 View Post
    They don't have to be around and they don't have to be anything more than an occasional part of the supporting cast. I just like having them around because I'm sick of the "heroes can't have parents who are just normal people" trope. So even if they don't contribute much anymore, I gladly accept the Kents being alive.
    Accept he is "super" man not normal man.if his parents are gonna be around they should be super...not normal especially,this late into the game.they mundane as heck.

    My problems is with the emphasis and connection of superman with kents,els..etc in everytake.why does superman existence need to be connected with his parents is beyond me..
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 06-17-2021 at 11:07 PM.
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  14. #29
    I'm at least a C-Lister! exile001's Avatar
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    Why would writers and the universe want less characters to play with? Having them dead makes Superman's world/cast smaller but adds nothing to replace it.

    Frankly, I like Superman having a healthy and positive relationship with his parents. It's wholesome.

    I've heard all sorts of arguments from the purist 'they were dead in original canon' to the narrative 'he needs to learn tragedy' (his whole planet and race are dead. Well, except when they're not) to the outright deranged of 'Superman can't be a functioning adult if his parents are alive.'

    No argument I've seen has ever convinced me that they are better off dead and the New 52 era reinforced this for me as Superman's world felt so small and often miserable/lonely.
    Just. Be. Nice.

  15. #30
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile001 View Post
    I've heard all sorts of arguments from the purist 'they were dead in original canon' to the narrative 'he needs to learn tragedy' (his whole planet and race are dead. Well, except when they're not) to the outright deranged of 'Superman can't be a functioning adult if his parents are alive.'
    It's not that they were dead or alive in the original origin.It was that they were insiginficant..Weren't basic ingredients to make a superman.It was'nt suger,spice,earth parents ,skyparents and everything nice ...boom you got perfect(whatever that is) little boy.
    The origin was kid fell from sky.Kid is super in an orphanage.gets parents(named only).Boom! smashes car and scares jackasses/bullies..It was like a minute detail in the original story.It was really the most uninteresting part of superman.The origin i mean.
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 06-18-2021 at 01:30 AM.
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