- "Be their hero, Clark. Be their angel, their monument, be anything they need you to be. Or be none of it. You don't owe this world a thing... you never did."
- ―Martha Kent[src]
Martha Kent is a rural farming wife from the small town of Smallville. She is the widow of Jonathan Kent and has an adoptive son, Clark Kent (more commonly known as the hero Superman), who lives in Metropolis.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Clark's Return
- 1.3 Zod's Message
- 1.4 Clark's Future Plans
- 1.5 Kidnapped by Lex Luthor
- 1.6 Saved by Batman
- 1.7 Clark's Funeral
- 1.8 Losing the Farm
- 1.9 Impersonated by Martian Manhunter
- 1.10 Reuniting with Clark
- 2 Personality
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 References
- 6 External links
In 1980, Martha and Johnathan discovered a small spacecraft crash on their farm. Opening it, they discovered a small child inside, whom they took upon themselves to adopt, naming the boy Clark and later hid the ship beneath their barn.
Raising a Kryptonian
They raised Clark as a human child, instilling strong morals to live by. However, Clark soon started to develop astonishing abilities as he aged. When he was 9 years old at school, he struggled to control his powers, which soon frightened Clark so much he hid in a maintenance closet at school, prompting his counselors to call his mother. Martha arrived at the school and, upon hearing of her son's struggles, talked Clark through focusing his abilities. Afterwards, Martha brought her son home for the rest of the day.
Four years later, while 13-year-old Clark was on a field trip, the bus his class was on swerved off a bridge, before Clark pushed the bus to the shore, saving everyone and Pete's life in the process. Martha downplayed the “miracle” to other children's parents. It was at then that she and Jonathan decided to disclose Clark's true origin to him.
4 years later, the family were out in their car when an enormous tornado was moving through the area. Jonathan led Martha and Clark to safety along with others underneath an overpass, as Jonathan helped other people to escape. Jonathan was injured and became stuck and Clark, wanting to help his father, Jonathan made him stay, in order to keep his gifts a secret. Jonathan died wanting to make sure Clark's secret weren't shown to anyone. Martha was devastated, and Jonathan was buried in Smallville cemetery alongside his brother Harry. Shortly after, Clark left Smallville following his adopted father's wishes and searched to find the purpose he was sent to Earth.
Years later, Lois Lane of the Daily Planet turned up at Martha's farm with questions about Clark. Martha was unenthusiastic to reply to her queries about him, and promptly asked her to leave. Not long afterwards, Clark returned home to his mother. He revealed to Martha that he discovered the answers to the questions he was searching for and that he learnt what his birth name is and what his true calling in life was, to provide the world with hope. Martha then told Clark about Lois inquiring about him.
After General Dru-Zod, the former military leader and war criminal of Krypton, broadcasted a communication across the planet looking for Clark, Lois left several messages at Martha's voicemal, attempting to warn Clark through her. Eventually, Clark gave himself up to spare Earth but quickly broke free and escaped after learning of General Zod's overall intentions for Earth. Soon after, General Zod and his forces arrived on her farm looking for Clark and the Growth Codex. Faora-Ul picked a non-cooperative Martha up, and the latter instinctively looked towards her barn. Faora promptly hurled Martha to the ground, and leaped into the barn, finding Clark's infant starship. A desperate General Zod further threatened Martha, until Clark suddenly flew in and tackled him off of Martha, drawing the attention of his forces to downtown Smallville. After Zod's forces left to regroup, Clark returned to the farm to check on Martha, who had survived her ordeal without taking too much injury. They were then approached by Lois Lane, who had a plan of defeating the Kryptonians.
Clark's Future Plans
After the Sword of Rao's defeat and General Zod's death during the Battle of Metropolis, Clark returned to Smallville to visit Martha. He declared to her his intentions to move to Metropolis and start a career as a reporter at the Daily Planet.
Called by Clark
Martha is called by Clark when the latter is agitated by seeing so many on the news discussing him ("The Superman Question") as a figure of controversy. Not having it in him to tell her about his problems right away, Clark instead asks Martha why Jonathan had never left Kansas. A bit confused, Martha says that this was so because her late husband had felt that he was "already there", and he thus had no need to travel. Clark sighs, saying that he wished things were simple. Martha, however, gently disagrees, claiming that "nothing was ever simple."
Visited by Clark
While the rest of the world is debating whether Superman has been a positive or negative addition to planet Earth, Clark returns home to Smallville to visit Martha. There, she advises him that either way he shouldn't worry what others think of him.
Reaction to Bombing
While working at the diner, the TV was tuned in to the ongoing news broadcast at the U.S. Capitol Inquiry. When a bomb exploded inside the building, Martha was startled by the unfolding events, causing her to drop a pot of coffee that subsequently broke on the floor.
Kidnapped by Lex Luthor
After Lex Luthor discovers Superman's identity, Martha is kidnapped by his men (lead by Knyazev), and stored in a warehouse near the port in Gotham. Lex likewise captures Lois Lane, less obliquely, in order to draw Superman to him. Then, Lex shows a distraught Superman photos of Martha in captivity, and uses the threat of her life to get Superman to kill Batman, giving him an hour.
Lex's plan fails, as Superman ultimately manages to forge an alliance with Batman to counter Lex. Batman then proceeds to rescue Martha, while Superman first confronts Luthor, then Doomsday. Martha is saved from being burned alive by Anatoli Knyazev, thanks to Batman and the vigilante ensures she is found by Gotham's police, before flying back to the battle scene. Ultimately, Superman was forced to sacrifice himself to kill Doomsday.
Martha then hosts a function at Clark's funeral in Smallville, attended by Lois, Perry, Jenny, Bruce, Diana, Pete Ross, Lana Lang, and Father Leone, with Martha revealing to Lois that Clark had intended to propose to her.
After Father Leone delivered the eulogy, Martha prepares to pay the funeral director, but to her surprise, Pete Ross tells her that all of the finances have already been taken care of by an anonymous donor.
Losing the Farm
Still recovering from the loss of Clark and having no one to turn to, Martha was unable to make the payments for the Kent farm, leading to the bank foreclosing on the entire farm's property. Martha was able to find a place where she could stay which was near the diner where she worked. After packing her things in her vehicle, Martha paid one more visit to the Smallville Cemetery where she visited the graves of her deceased husband and adopted son. She then drove off.
Impersonated by Martian Manhunter
At some point, the being known as Martian Manhunter caught wind of Martha's troubles. He visited Lois Lane in the guise of Martha Kent. By using Martha's similar disposition with Clark and her current woes as a bridging point, Manhunter was able to help encourage Lois to help herself out of her obsession over Clark's death as well as indirectly inform Lois of Martha's current troubles. During the conversation Lois offered to help Martha with whatever she needed.
Reuniting with Clark
Heading back to the Kent farm, Martha saw Lois and Clark alive and well in the field, as she ran up and emotionally hugged him.
Later, after the world was saved by the Justice League, Martha got all the help from Bruce with a bunch of movers bringing back all of her property in the Kent Farm. When Bruce revealed he bought the bank, Lois gave Clark a gleeful smile as she entered back into the house with Martha.
Martha is a very benevolent, kind, non-judgmental and honest person, who loved her adopted son Clark very much. Despite the many complications caused by his burgeoning superpowers, Martha was always very supportive of Clark, notably helping him swiftly overcome his sensory overload weakness. As Clark began to experience problems early into his career as "Superman", Martha remained supportive, trying to provide him with useful advice.
Indeed, the relationship between Superman and his mother was so strong, with him claiming that she was "his world", that in a possible future (as shown to Batman by that future's Flash), Martha getting killed induced a devastated Superman to become unhinged by his incredible grief, with it inducing him to become dark and malevolent, going so far as to take over the Earth as its tyrant ruler.
Martha is also remarkably brave, refusing to divulge any information concerning Clark when interrogated by the combined efforts of Faora-Ul and Zod, despite her being visibly scared of the malevolent superpowered alien duo.
She is also somewhat insightful, showing little fear of Batman after the latter rescued her, claiming that his cape allowed her to tell that he was a friend of her son.
Behind the scenes
- In DC Comics, originally both Jonathan and Martha died after contracting an ancient fever plague following Clark's high school graduation. In the Post-Crisis continuity, she becomes a widow after Jonathan suffers a fatal heart attack. In the New 52 reboot, both he and Martha are deceased, with them have been killed by a drunk driver.
- Lane was the first cast member hired for the film after Henry Cavill.
- Previously, Julianne Moore, Lisa Rinna, Jodie Foster, Amanda Seyfried, Sela Ward and Elisabeth Shue were all considered for the role of Martha Kent.
- Diane Lane said of her character; “She’s the antithesis of a superhero. She represents mother earth in every way. It’s another era now. Martha got a job. She’s still available as a parent is, forever.”
- Diane Lane used to be married to actor Josh Brolin, who starred in the critically panned DC Comics film Jonah Hex and turned down the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Sara Holden was a stunt double for Diane Lane in the role of Martha Kent.
- Martha Kent in the DC Extended Universe is the eighth live-action incarnation of the character, following incarnations portrayed by Virginia Carroll, Frances Morris, Phyllis Thaxter, Salome Jens, K Callan, Annette O'Toole, and Eve Marie Saint.
- Goyer, David S., Nolan, Christopher (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (June 14, 2013). Man of Steel.
- Man of Steel Prequel
- Cox, Greg (June 18, 2013). Man of Steel: The Official Movie Novelization. Great Britain: Titan Books.
- Goyer, David S., Terrio, Chris (writers) & Snyder, Zack (director) (March 25, 2016). Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Terrio, Chris, Beall, Will (writers) & Snyder, Zack (writer and director) (March 18, 2021). Zack Snyder's Justice League.