Titans: Superboy Justifies Pa Kent's Man of Steel Advice

DC Universe's Titans uses Superboy to show that Pa Kent's advice may have had a point in Man of Steel. Zack Snyder's Man of Steel drew a great deal of criticism for its portrayal of Jonathan Kent. Jonathan was shown advising his son to hide his powers at all costs, insisting the world wasn't ready for him - and, in truth, that he wasn't ready for the world.

In the end, Pa Kent proved willing to pay the ultimate price in order to keep his son's abilities secret. Jonathan Kent died when he was caught in a tornado; Clark could have saved him, but only by revealing himself to everybody nearby. Jonathan signaled to him to let him perish instead, accepting his tragic fate. Clark Kent's secret was kept for a few more years, until he was finally ready to emerge as Superman.

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RELATED: Batman Is Really Bad At Hiding His Identity In DC Universe's Titans

DC Universe's Titans has just demonstrated the wisdom of Jonathan Kent's words. The latest episode introduced viewers to Superboy, a clone of Superman created by Cadmus Labs. Superboy's situation had interesting parallels with Clark Kent's in Man of Steel, albeit because he'd escaped from Cadmus Labs and was being hunted down. Superboy's creator Eve gave him the same kind of counsel as Jonathan Kent, but in the end he ignored her, instead saving Jason Todd from a potentially fatal fall in an act of heroism. That decision cost Superboy dearly, when Lex Luthor's aide Mercy Graves shot him with a Kryptonite bullet.

Titans Superboy

Now, it's true that there are a lot of differences between the Superman of Man of Steel and the Superboy of Titans; but the similarities are quite striking. In both cases, the two would-be superheroes were advised to keep their heads down and avoid being a hero, because they lacked the emotional maturity to understand the consequences of their heroism. Both Jonathan and Eve understood that their respective charges needed to learn the value of restraint, to find their own moral center and understand their place in the world before they could step into the spotlight. For Clark Kent, the heartbreaking decision to allow his father to die was a painful step on the road to maturity. Superboy made a very different choice, and made himself a convenient target of opportunity for Mercy Graves, who was attempting to track him.

To his credit, he saved the life of a falling Jason Todd, but we've seen Batman and his various sidekicks find ways to walk away from more serious falls than that a number of times, so there's no way to know if Superboy was truly Robin's only hope.

All this suggests that viewers have been too hard on Pa Kent. Jonathan Kent's philosophy may have been jarring for audiences more familiar with the classic comic book version, but he had a point; the world wasn't ready for his son, and frankly Clark Kent wasn't ready for the world to see him as he is either. Superboy ignored that, and he's paid the price; it's safe to assume he isn't dead, and instead will be helped by the Titans, but his survival is more by luck than judgment. The interesting question is what kind of person Superboy will become because he lacks the restraint Zack Snyder believed Superman needed to cultivate.

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