When Superman’s human parents first encountered Superman at the crash site, he was an infant. It can be inferred from the comics that Superman is able to eat human food normally even though this would contradict how his biology is depicted as using solar power only. However, Martha and Jonathan Kent should not have known this fact since there was no information on Superman’s race available to them. Furthermore, they are somehow able to guide him through infancy and childhood despite the lack of basic knowledge about his species.

Is there a canonical explanation for how Jonathan and Martha Kent could have acquired the knowledge at the time they found him?

  • 14
    He can eat pretty much anything and you can bounce him like a basketball all day without harming him. At that point, good parenting basically boils down to dealing with his emotional needs.
    – Valorum
    Aug 28, 2023 at 10:24
  • 2
    Maybe use species instead of race. For all they knew, the baby was a white male human.
    – tilley31
    Aug 28, 2023 at 17:58
  • 5
    I remember seeing a comic from the 1950s showing the pediatrician holding a syringe with bent needle after trying to vaccinate him. Did the doctor or the Kents freak out and call the authorities? No. Why? Because stop overthinking comic books!!!
    – RonJohn
    Aug 28, 2023 at 19:41
  • i think he acted much like other babies -- maybe ate despite, on Earth, not needing to. an image i recall is the baby superman lifting heavy furniture.
    – releseabe
    Aug 28, 2023 at 21:01
  • Kal El was fired off in the knowledge that he would essentially be the sole survivor (other fringe cases were not considered when he was being shot into space). Was it ever explicitly mentioned that no baby book made it into that escape pod? That's be the first thing I thought of if I were to fire my son towards a different alien race that just happens to look alike enough that he could assimilate and be one of them even though their biology is radically different.
    – Flater
    Aug 29, 2023 at 7:05

1 Answer 1


They initially believed that the baby they found was human and raised him accordingly. Fortunately, the needs of a Kryptonian baby were similar enough to those of a human one for it to work.

From Man of Steel #1 (1986) enter image description here

  • In the current versions of the story, he's interfertile with a human woman, which seemingly makes Kryptonians (and presumably their offshoots like Phaelosians and Daxamites) a subspecies of homo sapiens.
    – Davislor
    Aug 29, 2023 at 0:18

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