Clark Kent


Disambiguation: Superman

First published in: 1938

Decades ago, the planet Krypton exploded. Moments before that happened, a scientist named Jor-El (earlier Jor-L) and his wife Lara (sometimes Lora) placed their toddler son, Kal-El (earlier Kal-L), in a small rocketship and sent him into space. The craft landed in a field outside of the rural town of Smallville. A couple named the Kents witnessed the crash and found the child inside, completely unharmed. They named him Clark and adopted him as their own son. The Kents soon discovered he possessed remarkable powers, and concluded that they should keep it a secret. When Clark was a young boy, he donned a colorful costume and became the hero named Superboy. During his teen years, Clark was friends with Lana Lang, who often attempted to prove that Clark was Superboy. When he reached adulthood, Clark changed his codename to Superman. Clark Kent became a reporter in the city of Metropolis, where he met and fell in love with fellow reporter, Lois Lane.

Superman and Superboy were created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Clark Kent first appeared as Superman in Action Comics (DC, 1938 series) #1 (June 1938), which included a one page origin story. At first, Clark was a reporter for The Daily Star, however this was changed to The Daily Planet in Action Comics (DC, 1938 series) #23 (April 1940). Clark's Superboy identity was introduced in More Fun Comics (DC, 1936 series) #101 (January-February 1945). Young Clark was first shown wearing eyeglasses as a disguise in More Fun Comics (DC, 1936 series) #107 (January-February 1946). Superman's origin was expanded upon in Superman (DC, 1939 series) #53 (July-August 1948). Superman first learned of Krypton, and kryptonite first appeared in comics, in Superman (DC, 1939 series) #61 (November-December 1949). Young Clark was referred to as "Superbaby" for the first time in Superboy (DC, 1949 series) #8 (May-June 1950). Superboy first met Lana Lang in Superboy (DC, 1949 series) #10 (September-October 1950). Superboy's last day in Smallville was shown in flashback in Superman (DC, 1939 series) #97 (May 1955). Superman's true name, Kal-El, was first mentioned in a comic book in Superman (DC, 1939 series) #113 (May 1957). Superman first appeared as Nightwing, the hero of the bottle city of Kandor, in Superman (DC, 1939 series) #158 (January 1963). The circumstances surrounding the deaths of the Kents were revealed in Superman (DC, 1939 series) #161 (May 1963). Superman's birthday was revealed to be February 29 in the letters page in World's Finest Comics (DC, 1941 series) #164 (February 1967). Clark Kent was assigned to WGBS-TV in Superman (DC, 1939 series) #233 (January 1971). Clark Kent's birthday was revealed to be June 18 in Superman (DC, 1939 series) #263 (April 1973), which is the date his rocket landed on Earth. Kal-El was born on 35 Eorx 9998 as revealed in Action Comics (DC, 1938 series) #429 (November 1973). Superman's history was completely revised in The Man of Steel (DC, 1986 series) #1 ([October] 1986) by John Byrne. Superman was killed by Doomsday in Superman (DC, 1987 series) #75 (January 1993), however he was regenerated in Action Comics (DC, 1938 series) #689 (Late July 1993). Clark married Lois Lane in Superman: The Wedding Album (DC, 1996 series) #1 (December 1996). Superman also received major revisions in Superman: Birthright (DC, 2003 series) by Mark Waid & Leinil Francis Yu, Superman: Secret Origin (DC, 2009 series) by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank, and Action Comics (DC, 2011 series) #5 (March 2012) by Grant Morrison & Andy Kubert. The New 52 version of Superman first appeared in Flashpoint (DC, 2011 series) #5 (Late October 2011). The Lois and Clark from a previous continuity (New Earth) had a son, Jon Kent, in Convergence Superman (DC, 2015 series) #2 (July 2015). The New 52 Superman died in Superman (DC, 2011 series) #52 (July 2016). The histories of the New Earth and New 52 Supermen merged in Action Comics (DC, 2011 series) #976 (May 2017).

Clark Kent has also appeared in his own feature, "The Private Life of Clark Kent". Clark Kent's history as Superboy was erased following the Crisis on Infinite Earths (1986), however it was restored following Infinite Crisis (2006).

It is a common misconception that the Golden Age Superman's birth name was Kal-L. This name appeared in the newspaper strip (see January 17, 1939), but was not used in comic books until the introduction of the Superman of Earth-Two in 1969. See separate character record for the Superman of Earth-Two.

In the comics, Clark's adoptive father was given the names John, Silas and Jonathan, while his adoptive mother was given the names Mary, Marthe and Martha. In The Adventures of Superman radio program (1940), Clark's father was Eben Kent. In George Lowther's novel, The Adventures of Superman (1942), his parents were Eben and Sarah Kent. In the Columbia Pictures film serial Superman (1948), they were Eben and Martha Kent. In The Adventures of Superman television show (1952), they were Eben and Sarah Kent. Clark's parents were never referred to as Eben and Sarah in the comics.

Clark Kent's birthday, June 18, was derived from the birthday of Bud Collyer, the voice actor who played Clark Kent and Superman in the radio program from 1940 to 1950 and in animated cartoons in the 1940s and 1960s.

See also character records for Superman [Clark Kent], Superboy [Clark Kent], Superbaby [Clark Kent], Superman of Earth-Two, Nightwing [Superman], John/Silas/Jonathan Kent, Mary/Marthe/Martha Kent, Lois Lane, Jon Kent [Superboy / Superman], and Lana Lang.

Link: Link:

Golden Age; Mainstream Universe; New 52; New Earth; Post-Crisis Earth-0; Pre-Crisis Earth-One; Prime Earth; Silver Age


    Clark Kent

Additional Names:

  1. Kal-El
  2. Clark Kent / Kal-El
  3. Clark Kent / Kal-L
  4. Kal-L

Appearances With a Character Origin Universe:

Clark Kent [Superboy] (p. 1986) - Pocket Universe
Clark Kent [Superman, DC Animated Universe] (p. 1994) - DCAU - Earth 12

Appearances With a Story Universe:


  1. secret identity of - Nightwing [Superman, as hero of Kandor] (p. 1963)
  2. secret identity of - Superbaby [Clark Kent / Kal-El] (p. 1950)
  3. secret identity of - Superboy [Clark Kent / Kal-El] (p. 1945)
  4. secret identity of - Superman [Clark Kent / Kal-El] (p. 1938)
  5. generalization of - Clark Kent [Superboy, Pre-Crisis Earth-Prime] (p. 1985)
  6. generalization of - Clark Kent [Superboy] (p. 1986) - Pocket Universe
  7. generalization of - Clark Kent [Superman, DC Animated Universe] (p. 1994) - DCAU - Earth 12
  8. generalization of - Clark Kent / Kal-L [Superman, Pre-Crisis Earth-Two] (p. 1969)


  1. republished as - Clark Kent (Dutch)
  2. republished as - Clark Kent [Superman / Superboy] (p. 1939) (French)
  3. republished as - Clark Kent [Superman, Kal-El] (p. 1939) (Italian)
  4. republished as - Clark Kent [Superman] (p. 1950) (German)
  5. republished as - Clark Kent / Kal-El [Super-Homem, Superman] (p. 1938) (Portuguese)