Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tales From The Quarter Bin--Clark Kent's Missing Relatives?!?

Because of typical Silver Age shenanigans, the Kents are forced to abandon Smallville and adopt new identities in another town, leaving their old lives completely behind...

Wait wait WAIT!!!

Jonathan Kent had brothers?!? Clark Kent has uncles?!?!

Yup. Pretty damn obscure characters, but they exist. Way back in Superboy #119 (1964) we meet Burt Kent in essentially his only appearance, as he forces Clark to go to summer camp (where he defeats an alien invasion, of course!). He died at some point, but it's revealed in Superman Family #191 that he has a daughter, Jillian!!! Clark Kent has a cousin!!

Kendall is a bit more complicated. In Adventure Comics #159 (1950), we meet Kendall CLARK, Martha Kent's rich brother: "When Clark Kent’s rich uncle Kendall Clark suffers a shock and believes he has adopted Clark, the Boy of Steel has to play along with him or see his uncle suffer mental imbalance."

Sometime after that, DC actually began to try and firm up continuity in their own way, and they decided that Martha had no siblings. So they rewrote and redrew the story for Superboy #119 (1965), and declared that he was Pa Kent's brother. Oh, retcons!!

Kendall last appeared in Superboy #180 (1971), when once again Clark had to pretend to let Uncle Kendall adopt him because comics.

Now, I had never heard of these guys until Jonathan's passing remark in the one panel--so, yes, obscure. But the story ideas?!?! Clark Kent has relatives, and we've basically ignored them for 40 years? We can keep going back to verdammt Krypton for more and more relatives and family history, but we ignore Clark Kent's actual living relatives?? A nutty rich uncle? A hot cousin?!? Actual ties to Clark's past? Oh, DC, what the hell is wrong with you pre-Crisis and post-Crisis and nu52?!?!

Also, this is the story where Superboy adopts a new secret identity, as blind student Chuck Kendall:

Take that, Daredevil!!

From Superboy #137 (1967)

No comments: