While Lois was pregnant with Joel, Lex Luthor and the Joker exposed her unborn child to Gold Kryptonite radiation, which caused him to be born human, without any of his father's powers. To protect him from the shame of being born the powerless son of Superman, Clark and Lois vowed that they would never reveal to Joel that his father was Superman.
At age nine, Joel was paid a visit by Lex Luthor, who told him his father purposely exposed him to Gold Kryptonite radiation was that he feared his son would have greater powers than him. This revelation led to a rift in the relationship between himself and his parents, particularly Clark, who had no idea how his son found out.
At age nineteen, Joel joined the military and served in Vietnam fighting the war. He led his troops to a village that he believed was hiding Viet Cong troops. Though they laid waste to the village, his soldiers couldn't find any evidence of hidden troops and so begged Joel to order a retreat. Ignoring their request, Joel ordered them to massacre the remaining survivors so that they won't alert their "Commie masters" to the presence of U.S. troops being there. His troops turned against him, shot him, took his dog tags, and left him for dead.
However, a young Vietnamese woman named Mei-Lai found him and nursed him back to health. She got in contact with Lex Luthor, whom Joel had considered a real father to him, and they both came home to America and became married. In 1979, Lex Luthor gave Joel a formula that would restore the powers he had lost as well as a green and purple battle suit, with which he used to attack his father Superman with intense Kryptonite radiation and then blast Supergirl away with a powerful energy pulse during Bruce Wayne Jr.'s and Kara Kent's wedding.
Kara flew off in pursuit of the attacker, who she initially assumed to be Luthor, only for Joel to shatteri the battle suit with his restored powers and reveal his true identity to her. The two then engaged in battle, Joel ranting about how Luthor was the only man who had been honest with him, ranting about how Luthor had told him that Superman deliberately de-powered Joel to prevent his son challenging him while leaving Kara empowered as he knew a girl would never be his equal. The fight concluded when Joel plunged his hand into Kara's chest and ripped her heart out, leaving her corpse in the rain for her grieving husband to find. Upon returning to Lex Luthor's lab, Joel found his body starting to shrivel up and die. It was then Lex Luthor revealed that the formula he gave Joel was intended to kill him after a few hours, mockingly informing Joel that his father had always been honest with him while Luthor had lied about everything.
Superman reached Lex's lab and found Joel dead by the time he got there. He also found out that Joel had a son with his wife Mei-Lai (who would later be named Clark Wayne), who like Joel also was born with no powers.
The formula Lex Luthor had given to Joel gave him the following powers,
The formula would wear off in a few hours, resulting in death.
- Joel wore a battlesuit that was capable of flight, plus could fire a beam of intense Kryptonite radiation as well as a powerful repulsion burst.
- This character is native to the Superman & Batman: Generations series of stories.
- The battlesuit Joel Kent wore is similar in appearance to the one worn by Lex Luthor in the pre-Crisis Earth-One reality. He also wore a purple and green bodysuit similar to the one the pre-Crisis Earth-One Lex Luthor wore.
- 7 Appearances of Joel Kent (Earth-3839)
- 2 Images featuring Joel Kent (Earth-3839)
- Quotations by or about Joel Kent (Earth-3839)
- Character Gallery: Joel Kent (Earth-3839)