Jon Kent (DC Comics)
Art by Inhyuk Lee
|First appearance||Convergence: Superman #2 (July 2015)|
|Created by||Dan Jurgens|
|Full name||Jonathan Samuel Kent|
|Species||Human / Kryptonian|
|Team affiliations||Legion of Super-Heroes|
Jon Kent or Jonathan Kent is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Dan Jurgens, he first appeared in Convergence: Superman #2 (July 2015). The son of Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane, Jon is the newest character in the DC Universe to assume the superhero persona of Superboy. In the television series Superman & Lois, Jordan Elsass plays the character.
The character was created by writer/artist Dan Jurgens and first appeared in DC Comics Convergence event in the miniseries Convergence: Superman #2 (July 2015). Jonathan is the firstborn son of Post-Crisis Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane and is half Kryptonian/Human. His parents named him in honour of both of his grandfathers, Jonathan Kent and Sam Lane. On the character, Dan Jurgens said: "The way I describe him is that he looks like Clark but has Lois' spitfire attitude and inquisitiveness." Jurgens also explains: "Lots of people might expect Jon to be something like his dad’s younger self, but it would be a bit of a mistake. His parents are not Jonathan and Martha Kent. It’s Lois and Clark. They’re different people with different ways of parenting."
Following Convergence, he appeared in the eight-issue comic book series Superman: Lois and Clark, as a child who begins to develop superpowers of his own. In the 2016 DC Rebirth, Jon appears with his parents in Action Comics and Superman, when his father became the new Superman in DC Comics. Jon's origins are retconned in the story arc Superman Reborn. In the four-part story, two different versions of Superman and Lois Lane (the New 52 and Post-Crisis) are merged into one complete version, creating a new DC Universe and a new origin story for Jon.
Jonathan is the most recent character in DC Comics to assume the mantle of Superboy. He was officially introduced as Superboy in Superman vol. 4 #6 (Nov. 2016).
He co-stars with Damian Wayne in the Super Sons comic books as Superboy and Robin. The duo first met in the Superman two-part story "In the Name of the Father", and was described as a prologue to the Super Sons series.
Age and appearance
Like his father Superman, Jon has a civilian disguise, which includes a pair of glasses and/or a baseball cap. He first appeared in his Superboy attire in Superman vol. 4 #2 (Sept. 2016). His Superboy outfit consists of red sneakers, blue jeans, zippered jacket with the "S-shield" and cape attached to the back.
On designing Jon's Superboy costume, artist Jorge Jimenez said: "I started trying out some of the more classic designs as a mini homage to the classic Superman, but the guys at DC wanted to experiment with something more casual, as those are the designs that have been working better recently. We are also looking at an incomplete "Superboy;" he's not super yet, so it's reasonable to say that if he's only half super, that he should have clothing that's half super. So we started to play around with clothing that I see as popular right now with teenagers. For example, tight ripped jeans, at least in Spain, are very popular right now and I think they give a lot of mobility to the character when I draw him on the page. I've also used a popular shoe design. I must mention that I like putting effort into what I wear personally, so this way I was able to add a bit of myself to the character. The short length of the cape gives it a younger look, and the zipped hoodie… I did that thinking they might make a real version for people to wear. I also think that this aesthetic could make a connection with the younger readers."
In Superman vol. 4 #9 (Dec. 2016) it was stated that Jon is ten years old. During the 2019 story arc "The Unity Saga: The House of El", Jon was aged up to seventeen years old and given a new Superboy Kryptonian suit of armour.
Fictional character biography
In the 2015 DC Comics "Convergence" storyline, Brainiac gains access to Vanishing Point, which allows him to gain the ability to look back into the histories of the DC Universe. He collects cities and inhabitants from various timelines that have ended, trapping them in domes on a planet outside of time and space. When the Flashpoint resets the DC continuity, Superman and Lois Lane from the Post-Crisis continuity have been trapped on the planet Telos in their world's Gotham City, with the city having been transported there by Brainiac and sealed under a large dome. The couple are trapped in the city for almost nine months, and as Superman's powers are suppressed during this time, he and Lois are able to conceive a child. During the event, Superman manages to get Lois out of danger and into safety, after she has been kidnapped by a mentally unstable Flashpoint Superman, and helps her with the birth of their son Jonathan. At the end of the Convergence arc, Superman, Lois, and Jonathan travel across time and dimensions along with the Pre-Crisis versions of Supergirl and the Flash, and the Zero Hour version of Parallax, where they are able to prevent the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths and save the original Multiverse. Afterward, with their own world no longer existing, Brainiac offers to send Superman, Lois, and Jonathan to a universe of their choosing.
Superman: Lois and Clark
In the series Superman: Lois and Clark, after Convergence, the Kent family arrive during the beginning of the New 52. Superman and his family live in secrecy for many years. Moving to California and adopting new identities, taking the surname "White" (a tribute to Perry White) and keeping a low profile, they stay out of the lives of this world's superheroes, with Lois becoming an anonymous author, while Superman continues his superhero duty quietly behind the scenes. Jon grows up in a normal life with his parents and is unaware of their real identities and secret activities. He begins noticing contradictions in his parents' stories and begins to suspect that his parents are more than they claim. Jon is eventually shown starting to develop superpowers of his own similar to those of his father, Superman. After he and his mother were kidnapped and almost killed by Intergang, his parents finally reveal their true origin to him.
In June 2016, DC Comics relaunched its entire line of comic books series with DC Rebirth. DC once again re-established the Post-Crisis Superman as the Superman in DC Comics, along with his wife, Lois Lane, and their son Jonathan Kent.
In the "Son of Superman" story arc, the Kent family relocate from California to a farm in Hamilton County. At the farm, Jon tries to save the family cat from a hawk but accidentally kills both animals. Clark decides to take Jon on a mission. Arriving in the Arctic together, with his father's encouragement, Jon successfully helps Superman rescue a submarine attacked by an Enteroctopus. Afterward, father and son have a long conversation about superhero responsibilities and that soon Jon will have to embrace the superhero mantle himself.
Back at home, Jon falls off a tree and becomes unconscious. Clark and Lois decide to take him to the Fortress of Solitude. At the Fortress, the Kent family is met by the Eradicator, who informs Superman that he is one of a series of robots created by General Zod to seek out and arrest Kryptonian criminals; extract their life force and transfer them to a Phantom Zone projector, where they will await trial with their bodies placed in cryo-chambers. The Eradicator witnessed the destruction of Krypton. Part of his protocol is finding Kryptonian survivors, he eventually found Superman in the Earth solar system, including his son. The Eradicator tells Superman he can rebuild Krypton, but because his son is half human, his human genome will have to be eradicated for Krypton to stay true and pure. He attempts to ingest Jon, Superman fights the Eradicator. After some reassurance from his mother (that he has the best of both worlds and has the ability to do great things), Jon joins his father in the fight against the Eradicator. With the combined forces of Superman and son, the Eradicator's outer shell is shattered, releasing the Kryptonian souls he has captured and causing a massive explosion in the Fortress.
Superman and his family are teleported into a bar in Metropolis. The Kryptonian spirits decide to help Superman and allow themselves to be reabsorbed by the Eradicator, while Superman puts Lois and Jon inside a fully equipped submersible and escapes with his family to Batman's secret Batcave on the Moon. The Eradicator soon arrives in the Batcave and continues his battle with Superman. During the battle, the Eradicator absorbs Superman and begins to search for Jon in the cave. Lois finds and puts on Batman's Hellbat armor and battles the Eradicator with Jon joining the fight. Superman eventually escapes the Eradicator. The entire Kent family fight the Eradicator, who is finally destroyed. Later, after returning to the family farm, Clark gives Jon a pair of glasses and a hat as Jon's new civilian disguise. He takes Jon to the Watchtower and officially introduces him as Superboy to the Justice League.
In the two-part story "In the Name of the Father", when Christmas break starts, Jon explores the Dead Man's Swamp. He encounters Maya Ducard and Goliath (sent by Damian Wayne to spy on Superboy) and is taken to Gotham City sedated and restricted by Damian, who distrusts him. Batman finds them and orders Damian to release Superboy before an enraged Superman arrives. After a brief confrontation, Batman takes them to the Batcave and runs a diagnosis on Jon's DNA for further analysis. Jon tries to befriend Damian but Damian taunts him for incinerating the family cat, instigating a fight between them that destroys the genetics lab. Batman and Superman send them to a mountain boot camp where Jon and Damian have to face several tests and challenges. After some initial conflict, the duo eventually learns to work together.
Jon's origins are retconned in the four-part story "Superman Reborn". Jon is kidnapped by Mr. Mxyzptlk and taken to the Fifth Dimension. As Superman and Lois race to his rescue, Jon encounters the spirits of the deceased New 52 versions of Superman and Lois and begs them to help. Taking their power in his hands, Jon attacks Mxyzptlk and accidentally transforms his parents into their New 52 counterparts. Though they no longer remember him, Jon manages to get them to remember who they truly are and their love for each other. The two versions of Superman and Lois merge, forming a new, complete version of Superman and Lois and rewriting the DC Universe's history. In this new reality, Clark and Lois conceived Jon shortly after they got married after the death of Superman. Lois ran afoul of a ring of arms smugglers who blew up the Kents' apartment in an attempt on her life. Fearing for Lois's life, the couple left Metropolis, and Lois gave birth to Jon in the Fortress of Solitude. Clark and Lois then took sabbaticals and moved to California to raise Jon. They eventually moved to Hamilton County and went back to work at the Daily Planet.
When Jon's grandfather Jor-El visited the Kent family, he offers to take Jon on a trip to better educate him about the known universe. Lois and Clark initially refuse, but Jon reveals his fears and insecurities to his parents, and this could be an opportunity to understand himself better. Lois agrees to go with them, but doesn't stay with Jon and Jor-El for long. While Lois soon returned to Earth, Jon and Jor-El traveled through space for some time afterward, until their ship suddenly fell into a black hole. Jon found himself on Earth-3, where he was quickly taken prisoner by Ultraman. After being imprisoned in a volcano for years, Jon was eventually rescued by Jor-El and sent back to Earth, finding that while years have passed for him, only three weeks have passed on Earth since he left.
Following a battle against Rogol Zaar, the Houses of El and Zod meet with the heads of several planets to discuss Zaar's and Jor-El's roles in Krypton's destruction. Jon suggests forming the United Planets, and the Legion of Super-Heroes appears and offers Jon a membership in their ranks.
Powers and abilities
The first superpower Jonathan developed was super hearing. Other powers (invulnerability and superhuman strength) began to manifest when both he and his mother were put in danger. He has also been shown to have heat vision. In Superman vol. 4 #3, it's revealed that because of Jon's unique human and Kryptonian genomes, his powers are still developing and adapting, resulting in a lack of consistency in his invulnerability, which means sometimes he is vulnerable to injury and can still get hurt even if all of his other powers are active. However, Jon's power instability was, in fact, the result of Manchester Black's manipulation. After Black is defeated, Jon's powers are restored to normal.
According to Batman, Jon's mixed biology could have the potential of him becoming more powerful than his father, Superman. Due to Jon's young age, his powers and control often fluctuate with his emotions. He is shown to have developed: X-ray vision in Trinity vol. 2 #1, freezing breath in Superman vol. 4 #10, super speed and enhanced vision in Action Comics #966, super breath in Super Sons #4, flight in Superman vol. 4 #25 and the super flare in Super Sons #11.
- In the two-part story, Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? which told the final story of the Silver Age Superman. After his last battle, Superman removed his powers using gold kryptonite, he settled down and married Lois and lived an anonymous normal life under the alias, Jordan Elliot. He and Lois had a son named Jonathan, who inherited his father's superpower.
- In the Elseworlds graphic novel Son of Superman, Jon Kent is a 15-year-old teenage boy who never knew his father Clark Kent or that he was the superhero, Superman, as his father disappeared before he was born. When a solar storm's radiation triggers his Kryptonian powers, he learns the truth about his father from his mother Lois Lane. Jon dons a costume inspired by his father's, and later successfully rescues his father from a secret facility where he is being held as a prisoner. Superman reunites with his family. When it's revealed that Lex Luthor was responsible for Superman's capture, Jon teams up with his father to stop Lex. After a prolonged battle, Lex is defeated. Superman decides to temporarily retire from being a superhero and focus more on his family. This leaves Jon to be the first of a new generation of superheroes.
- In the New 52 Batman Beyond book, Jon is the Superman of the future, who was put into captivity for study by Brother Eye with the rest of the future Justice League. It's unknown what happened to his father. Jon's costume and role are the same as his father's from his appearance in the Batman Beyond animated series, though Jon is younger than his father was in the cartoon.
- In the 2006 film Superman Returns after Superman returns to Earth after five years, he learns that Lois is engaged to Richard White (the nephew of editor-in-chief Perry White) and the two share a young son, Jason White. When the boy begins to exhibit superpowers, he is revealed to be the son of Superman.
- In John Byrne's Elseworlds comic book series Superman & Batman: Generations, Superman and Lois have two children, Joel and Kara Kent. When Lois was pregnant with her son, Joel, Lex Luthor and the Joker exposed her to Gold Kryptonite radiation, causing Joel to be born without any of his father's powers. Their daughter Kara, began developing superpowers at age 6 and eventually took on the superhero identity of Supergirl. Joel gains powers from a formula created by Luthor, and is manipulated into killing his sister before dying from the formula's side effects, leaving his own son to be raised by Batman's son Bruce Wayne Jr.
- In the Elseworlds series JLA: Created Equal, Adam Kent, the son of Lois and Superman, born shortly after a mysterious plague which nearly kills the entire male population. Adam possesses the same superpowers as his father Superman.
- Clark Kent Jr. first appeared in World's Finest #154 (Dec. 1965). The character has appeared in various stories in DC comics as the son of Superman and Lois Lane.
- Jon Lane Kent is the son of Superman and Lois Lane, born in an alternate New 52 future. Another version of Superboy and the genetic template for the New 52 version of the clone Superboy, Kon-El, Jon becomes both a deadly supervillain and briefly, just before his death, a superhero.
- Boyzarro, the son of Bizarro and Loiz is the mirror image of Superboy. He first appeared in the four-part story "Boyzarro Re-Death." After the destruction of Bizarro World, Boyzarro and other characters in the Bizarroverse, including Robzarro (the mirror image of Robin) relocated to Earth. The character was originally named Bizarro Boy, but creator Patrick Gleason changed his name due to fan suggestions on social media. This allowed for the Super Sons counterpart to later be named Bizarro Boyz.
- In the "Super Sons" three-part graphic novel series by Ridley Pearson and Ile Gonzalez, Jon Kent and Damian "Ian" Wayne have to work together to save their city from global climate disaster.
In other media
- Jonathan makes his live-action debut as a baby in the 2019 Arrowverse crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths".
- Played by Jordan Elsass, Jonathan Kent appears in the Arrowverse television series Superman & Lois with his twin brother Jordan Kent. The character is described as modest and kind-hearted. In the series, Jonathan is a 14 years old freshman in high school. After the death of his grandmother Martha Kent, his parents move the family from Metropolis to Smallville. Along with his brother, they learn that their father is Superman. His brother Jordan is showed to have superpowers, and it's hinted in the series that Jonathan may also have his father's powers.
- He has a cameo in the animated series Teen Titans Go! in the episode "Chicken in the Cradle".
- In the animated series Young Justice: Outsiders episode "Home Fires", Jonathan is an infant, his mother Lois brings him to the home of Iris West for a playdate with the children of other superheroes.
- Jon Kent appears as a playable character in the DC Legends video game.
- Superboy appears as a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains, voiced by Yuri Lowenthal.
- Jonathan Kent and his dog Krypto are featured in Kotobukiya ARTFX+ series.
- Superboy and Robin (Super Sons) are part of the DC Icons action figure lines.
- Prime 1 Studio released a Superboy & Robin statue from its DC Comics series.
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