While riding along a dirt road in Smallville, Kansas with her husband, Jonathan, a meteor shower rained down around them, causing their truck to be driven off the road and into a ditch. Curious as to what it was that had fallen from the sky, the Kent's ventured into the crater the meteor had created and found a spaceship containing a young boy inside. The Kent's could not have children of their own, and Martha saw the boy as a gift from the heavens. So they stowed the ship in their storm cellar, forged the boys adoption papers, and named him Clark.
One half of the fantastic parental guidance that brought the world Superman, Martha Kent is a down to earth individual who is always kind and loving.
She was Clark's original tailor, having made his first Superman costume, and always keeping another hidden in the house just in case. It has also been suggested that she helped Clark perfect his "mild mannered" performance with her small background in drama. Martha, who demands anyone she offers an open invitation to her house to call her Ma, has cared for many heroes and their secrets. On top of her raising Superman, she has also helped guide Supergirl, Superboy, Mon-El, and Krypto onto the path of hope and good.
The Earth-3 version of Martha Kent is a lowlife in an apparently abusive relationship with Jonathan Kent. Martha and Jonathan was in the middle of a physical argument as the kryptonian shuttle holding Ultraman crashed straight through their house. Ultraman or "Kal'il" demands that the Kent's take care of him during his juvenile years. Eventually as Kal'il has reached the age of 7 he decided he no longer needed his parents and killed them both as well as burning the farm down.
Martha Kent was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster for use in DC Comics. Her first appearance came in Superman #1 which was released in 1939.
Martha Kent is generally regarded as the model motherly figure; loving, understanding, compassionate, kind-hearted, and with a good soul. Martha alongside her husband take in baby Kal-El and raise him to be a good man, with a strong moral compass, encouraging him to use his many powers for the good of mankind. For every life Superman has every saved, you could make the argument that if not for Martha, that person would have died.
Powers and Abilities
Martha Kent has no innate super-powers or abilities; however, her strong disposition and...
Martha Kent, with her husband Jonathan, has a long and distinguished history in other media. In fact, (with the exception of some minor, one-season absences) she has been in nearly every Superman film and television series with the exception of the first- the Fleischer brother's 1931 animated Superman serials.
The Adventures of Superman (Novel): 1942
In the original Superman novel, Superman's adoptive mother is known as Sarah Kent.
This 1948 Superman serial starring Kirk Alyn was the first time that we see Martha Kent, played by Virginia Carroll. Throughout all of her film and TV incarnations Martha's character (like Jonathan's) has remained relatively stable. The ultimately supportive mother, seemingly the only level head in the Kent household and Clark's oft-times source of strength.
Adventures of Superman (1952 TV series)
In the Man of Steel's first television appearance Frances Morris plays Martha.
Superman (1975 TV series)
A short lived series with Irene Tedrow taking on the role of Martha Kent
Superman: The Movie (1978)
In her first significant cinematic appearance in 30 years, Phyllis Thaxter plays Martha Kent. Her role in the film is fairly minimal, confined to the first
30 minutes or so (and her role in subsequent films is primarily in flashback). However, her role is still an important one, as she helps form the basis of Clark's moral stance.
Superman (1988 TV series)
1988 In this extremely short-lived series Tress Macneille plays Ma Kent.
Superboy (TV series 1990-1992)
In this series Salome Jens plays Martha Kent, and a considerably younger one than was seen in years. Due to the nature of the show she was also more active in the course of events.
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1997)
In one of the great Superman series of the 1990s K. Callan plays Martha Kent- an older, retired Martha but she still maintains the qualities of Martha that have been the staple of her character in all previous incarnations.
Eva Marie Saint plays Martha Kent. Again, a relatively minor role but it is evident in her scenes just how important she is to Clark.
Smallville (TV series): 2001-2011
In the most recent Superman franchise, Annette O'Toole plays a much younger, active version of Martha Kent. Watching the series it becomes clear that this Martha is not the retired, one-liner providing source of moral strength but rather she plays an integral role in plot points and how events unfold.
Also the series makes it clear that Martha Kent is an incredibly important part of Clark's life, providing one half of Superman's unshakable moral foundation.
Man of Steel (2013)
In the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel directed by Zack Synder, the role of Martha Lane will be played by Diane Lane.
Superman V Batman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Diane Lane reprises her role of Martha in this Movie.
Superman: The Animated Serie (1996-2000) and DC Animated Universe
In this animated series Shelley Fabares voices Martha Kent in the K Callan style- older, retired, not necessarily actively involved in day-to-day superhero activities but nevertheless is a significant part of Clark's life (Shelley Fabares would continue to voice Martha in The Justice League, Brainiac Attacks and other animated Superman stories).
Legion of Superheroes: Aanimated Series (2006-2007)
In this short lived animated series Jennifer Hale voices Martha.
Superman: Doomsday (2007)
In the film representation of possibly the most significant Superman story ever told, Swoosie Kurtz voices Ma Kent.
Martha makes a cameo appearance at the end when The Kents return to the farm, only to find that it was devastated during the fight Superman and Supergirl had against Darkseid. She has no speaking lines.
Young Justice: Invasion
Martha appears in the episode "True Colors" with Jonathan Kent. She has no speaking lines.
Martha appears in the movie, with Jonathan having passed away before the movie. She is voiced by Frances Conroy.
Frances Conroy reprises her role in this movie.
Super Best Friends Forever (DC Nation Shorts)
She appears, with no speaking lines, in the episode "Grounded", breaking up a fight between Supergirl and Superman.
Superman vs. The Elite
Martha appears briefly with no speaking lines.
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
The Kents appears in the movie, with Martha voiced by Erica Luttrell.
DC Super Hero Girls: Super Hero High
Supergirl lives in the farm with the kents. They encourage her to be her best, reassuring her that she will be able to control her powers. She is voiced by Helen Slater (Supergirl in the 1984 Supergirl Movie).
DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year
Supergirl is having a hard time thinking about the Kents being her family (she is feeling homesick lately). That changes when Eclipso kidnaps them (along with Queen Hippolyta and James Gordon) in order to force Kara to give up her crystal necklace. After being rescued, Martha and the other prisioners end up in the Super Hero High in the middle of the fight against Eclipso. When she learns about the weakness the shadows have over light, Martha starts chasing them with her flashlight and defeats some of them. When the fight is over, Kara hugs the Kents and embrace them as her true new family, Aunt Martha and Uncle Jonathan. In the finale, The Kents host an event to celebrate the Hero of the Year award, which Bumble Bee won. She is voiced by Helen Slater (Supergirl in the 1984 Supergirl Movie).
DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games
Martha makes a cameo in the movie. She's the crow, attending the Intergalactic Games with Jonathan Kent. she has no speaking lines in the movie.
The Death of Superman
Martha Sawyer appears in the movie, voiced by Jennifer Hale.