Universe Guide

Jonathan Kent - Justice League

Jonathan Kent from Justice League played by John Schneider

Jonathan Kent is a fictional male in the Justice League comic series who was played on screen by John Schneider, Kevin Costner. Jonathan Kent is the adoptive father of Clark Kent, the human identity of Superman. Clark is a farmer by trade and owns a farm in Smallville, Kansas with his wife Martha Kent.

In most adaptations, Jonathan Clark dies however in the 90's series, Jonathan is still alive and occasionally visits Metropolis to visit his son with Martha.


In the television series Smallville, Jonathan is played by John Schneider who was previously best known for his role as Bo Duke in Dukes of Hazzards in the early eighties.

There are a few nods throughout the series to the Dukes of Hazzards. When Jonathan is driving down the road at the start of an episode, the radio is playing the theme tune to Dukes of Hazzards. Tom Wopat who played Luke Duke guest stars as a friend of Jonathan Kent in the episode Exposed. "Good Ol' Boys" is mentioned a few times in dialogue.

Whilst some interpretations of the Clark Kent storyline has Jonathan being killed off early, in the Smallville series, he lasts a number of series before his demise leaving Martha and Kent alone.

Jonathan is seen as being very protective and when Clark wanted to join the football team, the Smallville Crows, Jonathan was against it because Jonathan was afraid that Clark might hurt someone. Clark went ahead and joined the training session and Jonathan watched from the seats.

Jonathan has a strong dislike of Lionel Luthor. On the day of Clark Kents arrival on Earth, Lionel and his son Lex were in Smallville at the time. When Lionel's helicopter crashed, it was Jonathan who helped Lionel get his son to hospital. Lionel offered to do Jonathan a favour, any favour he wanted.

Jonathan and Martha approached Lionel to arrange their adoption of Clark and Lionel agreed. Jonathan and Martha became the legal adoptive parents of Clark. When everything seemed to be going well, Lionel stabbed Jonathan in the back and got Jonathan to persuade some landowners to sell to Lionel. Jonathan regretted it ever since.

When Lex Luthor returned to Smallville as an adult, Jonathan took an instant dislike to Lex, ordering Clark to return the present that Lex had given Clark for rescuing him from the river at the start of the series. Over the course of series, Jonathan grew to like, whilst still disliking Lionel and Jonathan actually accepted Lex's invitation to come to Lex's wedding to his and Doctor Helen Bryce.

Justice League

Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent in Justice League

For the big film adaptation of Superman starring Henry Cavill, Kevin Costner was cast as Jonathan Kent. Jonathan is in always similar to the Smallville interpretation, wanting what is best for Clark Kent.

Jonathan dies when his vehicle gets stuck in a convoy and goes back for a dog. Whilst the dog lives, Jonathan decides that is too important that Clark's identity be kept a secret and tells Clark not to save him.

Kevin Costner returns in Justice League when Clark Kent goes off to see solace and find his place in society. Jonathan appears in a scene where he is talking with Clark Kent on a mountain top before disappearing for good.

Jonathan Kent Facts

ActorJohn Schneider, Kevin Costner
Last UpdatedTuesday, February 19, 2019

Copyright: DC Comics

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