Jon Kent
Superman Jon Kent.jpg
Art by Travis Moore
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceConvergence: Superman #2 (July 2015)
Created byDan Jurgens
In-story information
Full nameJonathan Samuel Kent
SpeciesHuman/Kryptonian Hybrid
Team affiliationsLegion of Super-Heroes
Superman Family
Justice League
PartnershipsRobin
Superman
Teen Titans
Notable aliasesSuperboy
Superman
Abilities
See list
    • Superhuman strength, speed, durability, stamina, agility, reflexes, senses, intelligence, and longevity
    • Accelerated healing
    • Invulnerability
    • Solar radiation absorption
    • Enhanced vision
      • Heat vision
      • X-ray vision
      • Microscopic vision
      • Infrared vision
      • Telescopic vision
      • Electromagnetic spectrum vision
    • Solar Flare
    • Freeze and wind breath
    • Flight

Jon Kent is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Dan Jurgens, the son of Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane, he first appeared in Convergence: Superman #2 (July 2015). Jon is the newest character in the DC Universe to assume the superhero persona of Superboy and later takes on his father's mantle as Superman.

Publication history

The character was created by writer/artist Dan Jurgens and first appeared in DC's "Convergence" event in the miniseries Convergence: Superman #2 (July 2015).[1][2] Half Kryptonian and half-human, Jon is the biological son of post-Crisis Superman/Clark Kent and Lois Lane and the couple's child in DC Comics canon.[3] His parents named him in honor of his grandfathers, Jonathan Kent and Samuel Lane.[2] On the character, Dan Jurgens said: "The way I describe him is that he looks like Clark but has Lois' spitfire attitude and inquisitiveness."[4] 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."[5]

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.[6] In the DC Rebirth (a continuity established by DC's company-wide relaunch of its comics books in 2016), Jon appears with his parents in Action Comics and Superman when his father becomes the new Superman in DC Comics.[7][8] 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.[9]

Jon 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).[10] He co-stars with Damian Wayne in the Super Sons comic books as Superboy and Robin. In 2019, the character joined the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st century in the comic book series Legion of Super-Heroes by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Ryan Sook.[11]

In July 2021, Jon began starring as the protagonist in the comic book series Superman: Son of Kal-El, which replaced the Superman monthly title. The series features Jon protecting the Earth as the new Man of Steel in the DC Universe.[12] In October 2021, DC Comics revealed that the character is bisexual and began a romantic relationship with a male friend, Jay Nakamura.[13][14][15] On the creative decision, series writer Tom Taylor said: "It's not a gimmick. When I was offered this job, I thought, 'Well, if we're going to have a new Superman for the DC Universe, it feels like a missed opportunity to have another straight white savior.' So, well, this isn't everything to do with them. And there's a reason this is, this is coming in issue five and not issue one. We didn't want this to be 'DC Comics creates new queer Superman,' we want this to be 'Superman finds himself, becomes Superman and then comes out.' And I think that's a really important distinction there."[16][17][18] Taylor also stated: "I've always said everyone needs heroes and everyone deserves to see themselves in their heroes and I'm very grateful DC and Warner Bros. share this idea. Superman's symbol has always stood for hope, for truth and for justice. Today, that symbol represents something more. Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics."[19]

Age and appearance

Like his father, Superman, Jon has a civilian disguise, which includes a pair of glasses and 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 a 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."[20]

It was stated that Jon is ten years old in Superman vol. 4 #9 (Dec. 2016).[21] 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 armor.[22]

Fictional character biography

Convergence

The birth of Jon in Convergence: Superman #2. Art by Dan Jurgens.
The birth of Jon in Convergence: Superman #2. Art by Dan Jurgens.

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.[23] When the Flashpoint resets the DC continuity, Superman and Lois from the Post-Crisis continuity have been trapped on the planet Telos in Gotham City, with the city transported there by Brainiac and sealed under a large dome. The couple is trapped in the city for almost nine months, and as Superman's powers are suppressed during this time, he and Lois conceive a child.[24] During the event, Superman manages to get Lois out of danger and into safety and helps her with the birth of their son Jonathan, after she was kidnapped by a mentally unstable Flashpoint Superman. At the end of the Convergence story arc Superman, Lois, and their son Jon travel across time and dimensions along with Parallax, the Pre-Crisis versions of Supergirl and the Flash, where they can prevent the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths and save the original Multiverse.[25] Afterward, with their world no longer existing, Brainiac offers to send Superman and Lois 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.[26] 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.[27] After he and his mother were kidnapped and almost killed by Intergang, his parents finally reveal their true origin to him.[28]

DC Rebirth

Jon in his Superboy outfit, art by Jorge Jimenez.
Jon in his Superboy outfit, art by Jorge Jimenez.

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.[29]

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.[30]

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.[31] 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.[32] 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.[33] 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.[34]

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.[35] 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.[36] 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.[37]

Jon in Superman vol.5 #6, art by Ivan Reis.
Jon in Superman vol.5 #6, art by Ivan Reis.

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.[38] Lois agrees to go with them. While Lois soon returned to Earth, Jon and Jor-El traveled through space for some time 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 a few weeks have passed on Earth since he left.[39]

Super Sons

Jon and Damian Wayne, the son of Batman, are a dynamic duo in the "Super Sons" comic book series: Super Sons, the 12-issue miniseries Adventures of the Super Sons, and the digital-first series Challenge of the Super Sons. 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.[40]

"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 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.[41]

Legion of Super-Heroes

Following the battle against Rogol Zaar, the last survivors of Krypton, the Houses of El and General Zod gathered all the alien political factions in the galaxy to brings an end to their destructive wars; and discuss an idea that could ensure lasting peace and safety for the people in the galaxy. When Jon suggests forming a United Planets, which can maintain peace and stability, much like the United Nations on Earth, the Legion of Super-Heroes appears from a time portal. They have come to the present to ask the creator of the United Planets, Jon Kent, to join the Legion in the 31st century. Initially hesitant, after consulting with Damian, Jon accepts the invitation and goes to the future with Saturn Girl.[42] After spending some time in the 31st century in the Legion of Super-Heroes comic book series, Jon eventually returns to the present day in the Action Comics story arc "The House of Kent".[43]

Superman: Son of Kal-El

Superman: Son of Kal-El #1, art by John Timms.
Superman: Son of Kal-El #1, art by John Timms.

Jon is the protagonist in the comic book series Superman: Son of Kal-El, which began publication in July 2021, written by Tom Taylor and art by John Timms. The series features Jon taking over his father's mantle as Superman and is entrusted with the protection of Earth, while his father (whose stories take place in Action Comics) is away from Earth.[44][45] The series premise has been described as "Truth, Justice, and a Better World."

Powers and abilities

The first superpower Jon developed was super hearing.[46] Other powers, invulnerability and superhuman strength began to manifest when Jon and his mother were in mortal danger.[27] Due to Jon's young age, his powers and control often fluctuate with his emotions. It is revealed in Superman vol. 4 #3, 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. And sometimes, he is vulnerable to injury and can still get hurt even if all of his other powers are active. Jon's power instability is later revealed to be the manipulation of Manchester Black. Jon's powers are restored to normal after Black is defeated. According to Batman, Jon's mixed biology could have the potential of him becoming more powerful than his father, Superman.[47]

He is shown to have developed: heat vision in Superman vol. 4 #1, 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 super flare in Super Sons #11. Other powers include superhuman stamina, telescopic vision, microscopic vision and accelerated healing. Like his father, Jon is vulnerable to magic and kryptonite.

Other versions

In other media

Arrowverse

Born on Krypton's Argo City, Clark and Lois have a baby boy named Jonathan in the 2019 Arrowverse crossover event "Crisis on Infinite Earths". At the end of the world-shattering Crisis event, the couple now has two sons.

Superman & Lois

Jordan Elsass and Alex Garfin as Jonathan and Jordan in the television series Superman & Lois.
Jordan Elsass and Alex Garfin as Jonathan and Jordan in the television series Superman & Lois.

In the television series Superman & Lois, Clark and Lois have twin sons, Jordan and Jonathan, played by Alex Garfin and Jordan Elsass.[53] Jonathan is described as modest and kind-hearted, while Jordan is wildly intelligent with social anxiety. The twins were named after Clark's adoptive and biological fathers, Jonathan Kent and Jor-El.

At the start of the series, Jonathan and Jordan are 14-year-old teenagers in high school. After Clark's adoptive mother Martha dies, Clark and Lois move the family from Metropolis to Smallville, where the brothers learn that their father is Superman. Only Jordan seems to have inherited their father's superpowers he has so far developed: heat vision, invulnerability, freeze breath, accelerated healing, superhuman strength, hearing and speed and the ability to fly. It was also shown in the season 2 finale that Jordan also was capable of flying in space, meaning that he acquired the abilities to survive without oxygen, the harsh vacuum of space, freezing cold temperatures and cosmic radiation without the need for proper protection equipment; proving that Jordan also has the powers of self sustenance, temperature and radiation resistance.

In the Bizarro World featuring in the episode "Bizarros in a Bizarro World", Superman's families are celebrities and a family of heroes. Jonathan has powers instead of Jordan and is known to the world as Jon-El, son of Kal-El, and saving the world along with his father. His superhero outfit consists of a black leather jacket and boots, red pants and leather gloves, and a black t-shirt with the "S-shield". However, Jonathan eventually turns against his parents and allies with the cult leader Ally Allston in her effort to take over the world. However when Jon-El travels to the regular earth in order to merge with Jonathan Kent he is eventually beaten by Jordan after the latter defeats him. He is later broken out of prison by his aunt Lana-Rho, but is once again sent back into government custody after the 2 are defeated by Jordan and Natalie Irons.

Teen Titans Go!

Jon has a cameo in the animated series Teen Titans Go! in the episode "Chicken in the Cradle".

Young Justice

Jon has appeared in the animated series Young Justice voiced by Grey Griffin. He first appears in the season 3 episode "Home Fires" when his mother Lois brings him to the home of Iris West for a playdate with the children of other superheroes. In the season 4 episode "I Know Why the Caged Cat Sings", Jon is at the Kent farm in Smallville for a family gathering while his parents explain the recent passing of Conner Kent. In the season 4 finale, Jon is delighted to learn that Conner is alive and serves as a ring-bearer at his wedding to Miss Martian. In the series, Jon's powers have begun awakening.

Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons

Jack Dylan Grazer will voice Jonathan Kent in the upcoming animated film Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (2022). An 11-year-old Jon, the son of Superman, discovers he has superpowers and is thrust into the world of superheroes and supervillains and joins forces with Damian Wayne (Jack Griffo), the son of Batman, to save the planet by becoming the Super Sons they were destined to be.[54]

Video games

Merchandising

Collected editions

# Title Material collected Published date ISBN
1 The Truth Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol.1 #1-6 May 31, 2022 978-1779515322
2 TBA Superman: Son of Kal-El Vol.1 #7-12, Annual #1 November 29, 2022 978-1779517388

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