WARNING: SPOILERS for Titans Season 2 episode titled “Conner.”
Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel bombed in both critical reviews as well as at the box office. Yet many consider it to be the best Superman movie ever told. One if its biggest criticism was regarding Jonathan Kent’s advice to a young Clark Kent. When Clark saves a bus full of kids from drowning then Pa Kent admonishes him. In response Clark asks him if he should have let them die. Pa says “maybe.” But this episode of Titans may have proved that Pa Kent was indeed right.
What Jonathan Kent’s Advice To Clark Meant In Man Of Steel
Many viewers were rightly aghast at hearing this from Jonathan Kent who, in comics and in other live-action media has always urged Clark to inspire others. But it’s important to understand what he actually meant by this.
First of all, Pa Kent didn’t actually say that “maybe” because he wanted people to die or because he wanted his son to not save them. Jonathan Kent understood that his son was still a boy and not ready to face what the world would heap on him. Once he came out as someone who was not from this world then everyone from the media to the government would be after him. At that time, what mattered for Pa Kent was the survival of his son. He knew his son would show himself to the world but he just wanted his son to understand the implications of it and be ready to face what was to come.
Superboy’s Example Shows That Pa Kent Was Right
In Titans, Eve Watson gives a similar advice to Superboy like the one above. She too doesn’t want him to be harmed anymore because she sees his humanity. Made out of Superman’s DNA and Lex’s genes, he spent his life being tested on. But Superboy still desperately wants to be good. Yet, fearing for his safety, Eve tells him to stay out of situations which require him to use his powers. But Conner doesn’t understand why Eve’s telling him this and even when he does he still wants to follow his moral compass.
This is not to say that he doesn’t follow Eve’s advice. When CADMUS tracks them and he flees, he witnesses a squabble taking place outside but reluctantly doesn’t interfere. But Conner doesn’t follow this advice till the end. He saves Jason Todd from Deathstroke’s trap. As a result, he has to take a couple of Krypyonite bullets fired by Mercy Graves which leaves him dying.
Just like Clark in Man Of Steel, Conner’s intentions were altruistic as well. But also like boy-Clark, he didn’t have the training or the maturity to deal with such situations. In Man Of Steel, Pa Kent was able to hold Clark back, even going to the extent of sacrificing himself to protect his son. But Conner has no one to offer him that kind of constant advice and support. So he ends up following his heart and pays a huge price.
Titans Season 2 is streaming now on The DC Universe.