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Jonathan & Martha Kent’s wedding anniversary

October 21 All day

Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent, often referred to as “Pa” and “Ma” Kent (respectively), are the fictional adoptive parents of Superman. They live in the rural town of Smallville, Kansas. In most versions of Superman’s origin story, Jonathan and Martha were the first to come across the rocket that brought the infant Kal-El, with their adopting him shortly thereafter, renaming him Clark Kent, “Clark” being Martha’s maiden name.

According to the 1976 Super DC Calendar, Oct. 21 is celebrated for when the kindly Kansas couple married.

The Kents are usually portrayed as caring parents who instill within Clark a strong sense of morals, and they encourage Clark to use his powers for the betterment of humanity. In a few continuities, Martha is also the one who creates Clark’s superhero costume.

Martha and Jonathan Kent had a mostly idyllic relationship, though it was not without its difficulties.

In John Byrne’s Man of Steel introductory pre-crisis series Ma and Pa Kent were alive when Clark Kent was an adult. Martha even designed and created the super suit. 

Byrne did a slew of miniseries focusing on the various worlds of Superman and the following story of Martha and Jonathan’s relationship is from the four issue run of “The world of Smallville,” which was published in 1988. 

In this incarnation of Superman lore, Jonathan Kent and Martha Clark both grew up in Smallville, Kansas. Jonathan lived on the family farm, which has belonged to the Kent family for generations, and later grew to become a farmer himself. Like Lana Lang and Clark Kent, Jonathan and Martha had been childhood friends that later fell in love.

In an interesting plot twist from the pre-crisis era, Jonathan and Martha’s friends and family assumed the couple would get married someday, but Jonathan never proposed. At least not right away.

The Jonathan left Smallville to serve in World War II. He was stationed in the Pacific and was later reported missing in action, captured and imprisoned by opposing forces. Smallville citizens back home assumed the worst and thought Jonathan was dead, including Martha.

In Jonathan’s absence, the head of Smallville’s richest family, “Old Man” Fordman, put pressure on Martha Clark’s father arranging a marriage between his son Dan and Martha. This was mainly an attempt to gain control of the Clark’s General Store. Dan thwarted the attempted takeover, and after his father died, proposed to Martha. Having some affection for the man, and thinking her one true love to be dead, Martha accepted the proposal and married Dan Fordman.

When Jonathan finally returned to Smallville he learned of Martha’s marriage. An overjoyed but sorrow filled Martha explained that Dan Fordman had had lung cancer for years, though it was now in remission. Fordman told Jonathan that he knew his cancer would inevitably kill him and wanted Martha to live a happy, love filled life when he was gone. So he suggested that Jonathan should marry his wife.

Although Jonathan was still in love with Martha, he was shocked by Fordman’s suggestion. Jonathan contemplated over the idea but not long after Fordman’s suggestion, Dan died in Martha’s arms. While dying, he insisted that she build a new life for herself.

Six months after Fordman’s death, Jonathan proposed to Martha and they were married six months after that.

Jonathan and Martha’s marriage was a happy one. Jonathan worked diligently on his ancestral farm and Martha aspired to raising a family of her own. After Martha’s third miscarriage, the two soon realized that they were unable to have children of their own. Dreaming of having a family, the couple went through rigorous testing and attempted to adopt but fate seemed to be against them. Then a falling craft from the heavens changed everything.

As if in answer to their prayers, one-night Jonathan and Martha saw a bright light falling from the sky. Investigating, they found a spacecraft with an innocent infant inside.

The Kent’s decided to raise the child as their own and named him Clark, after Martha’s maiden name. Their choice altered the course of human history forever, both in fiction and reality.

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