An orphan is a child permanently bereaved of his or her parents, usually at a young age.
Being orphaned is a major theme on Smallville. Orphans often have a fear of abandonment and feelings of alienation. In contrast, the series emphasizes the importance of parenting in the development of a child.
- Main Characters
- Clark Kent (Kal-El) - Clark's biological parents (Jor-El and Lara-El) were both killed when Krypton exploded. However, Clark was adopted by the Kents (Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent) on Earth.
- Oliver Queen - Oliver's parents (Robert Queen and Laura Queen) were killed by Lionel Luthor.
- Lana Lang - Lana's mom and adoptive father were killed by the 1989 meteor shower.
- Davis Bloome - Davis' "parents" (General Zod and Faora) were both trapped in the Phantom Zone, and Davis grew up alone on Earth.
- Tess Mercer (Lutessa Lena Luthor) - Tess' biological parents (Lionel Luthor and Pamela Jenkins) both died. Before this, they had sent Tess to an orphanage run by Granny Goodness.
- Minor Characters
- Cyrus Krupp - A metahuman with the ability to Heal others; his parents were killed in the 1989 meteor shower.
- Evan Gallagher - A metahuman baby who aged very quickly. His parents died around the time of his birth, and Clark and Lana raised him.
- Ryan James - A telepathic child whose mom died and stepfather re-married. His aunt served as his guardian, and he felt very close to Clark and Martha Kent.
- Orphans on Smallville are often adopted. Clark was adopted by the Kents, while Lana was adopted by her Aunt Nell.
- Superheroes are often orphaned in the comics. In DC Comics, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne were both orphaned at a young and adopted by guardians (the Kents and Alfred the butler, respectively) who raise them to have good values. In Marvel Comics, Peter Parker (Spider-Man) was orphaned as a young man and adopted by his aunt and uncle; it is from them that Peter learns that "with great power comes great responsibility."