World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0003994412
Reproduction Date:

Title: Zor-El  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Superman, Supergirl, Kryptonian, Kandor, Lex Luthor
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Action Comics #252 (May 1959)
Created by Otto Binder (writer)
Al Plastino (art)
In-story information
Place of origin Krypton
Team affiliations Black Lantern Corps
Abilities Under a yellow sun, the same as his daughter Supergirl.

Zor-El is a Kryptonian that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. He is the younger brother of Jor-El, husband of Alura, father of Supergirl, and paternal uncle of Superman. Zor-El first appeared in Action Comics #252 (May 1959).


  • Fictional character biography 1
    • Pre-Crisis 1.1
      • Earth-One 1.1.1
      • Earth-Two 1.1.2
    • Post-Crisis 1.2
      • New Krypton 1.2.1
    • The New 52 1.3
  • In other media 2
    • Television 2.1
    • Film 2.2
    • Novels 2.3
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Fictional character biography



In pre-Crisis continuity, Zor-El was a climatographer on Krypton, and one of the only scientists to believe his older brother Jor-El's predictions about the impending destruction of Krypton. When the planet exploded, Argo City was somehow blown safely into space with a life-giving bubble of air around it (a later version of the story in Action Comics #316 (September 1964) has the city saved by weather dome that Zor-El had constructed). The explosion had turned the ground beneath Argo City into Kryptonite, but Zor-El and the other survivors covered the surface with sheets of lead. The Kryptonians managed to keep alive for many years, and Kara was born a short time after the destruction of Krypton. The end for Argo City came when a meteor storm punched holes into the lead sheeting, exposing the survivors to the deadly kryptonite radiation. Zor-El managed to build a rocket and use it to send his daughter Kara to Earth. Fearing that Superman would not recognize her because he had left Krypton as an infant, Kara's parents provided a costume based closely on the Man of Steel's own.

It was later revealed to Supergirl through Zor-El induced dreams that her parents had teleported away into the Survival Zone (similar to the Phantom Zone) during Argo's final moments. Supergirl was able to rescue them in Action Comics #310 (March 1964), and Zor-El and Alura went on to live in Kandor. When the bottle city was enlarged, Zor-El and Alura resettled on New Krypton/Rokyn.


In the alternate universe of Earth-Two, Zor-L and Allura (note different spelling) sent Kara to Earth Two where she became Power Girl. This Zor-L was an expert in psychology, and created a virtual reality chamber for Kara inside her spacecraft. As she aged inside the rocket on her way to Earth-Two (taking a different, longer course than Kal-L did), she experienced the type of life she would have had on Krypton. Zor-L and Allura were killed when Krypton exploded. This version of Zor-L lived in Kandor and not Argo City. Zor-L only made one appearance, in Showcase #98 (March 1978).


In "The Supergirl from Krypton" story-arc in Superman/Batman #8-13 (May–October 2004), Zor-El rocketed his daughter away from Krypton before Kal-El left. It was expected that she would reach Earth first and could help raise Kal from his infancy. However, she stayed in stasis and her ship did not reach Earth until years later, so the infant she expected to help raise was a grown man when she arrived still in her teens.

After Lex Luthor uses Black Kryptonite to split Kara into good and evil parts, the evil Kara claims that Zor-El actually sent his daughter to Earth to kill his nephew, since he resented his older brother and hated the idea of Jor-El's lineage continuing past Krypton's destruction. Regardless of the truth or falseness of this, Kara has rejected this aspect of herself.

In the new Supergirl series, new information on Zor-El's history and relations are ongoing.

Zor-El was featured in issue #16 as he appeared as an apparition and explained what truly happened to Kara, and why she was sent to Earth to kill Kal-El, in a dream sequence. Zor-El was against the use of the Phantom Zone as a prison because he felt that it would become abused, since no blood was shed, it became a clean way to deal with criminals. In the Argo City area he lived in he was a very trusted scientist, like his brother Jor-El, and was working at this time on Sun Stones. He fought with Jor-El over the use of the Phantom Zone and tried to stop him from supporting it. Zor-El began to see that each time someone went in, something was also coming out, in the form of Phantoms. These Phantoms possessed people, creating anarchy on Krypton. Zor-El discovered he could stop them using his Sun Stones, although the bodies of the possessed would be destroyed. However, Zor-El was not believed and began to be seen as a dangerous crank.

This tied together and explained fragmented flashbacks that had suggested Zor-El was a villainous character, including his dismissal of schoolchildren taunting Kara as "the dead" (they had already been possessed) and Alura telling Kara to kill her and "make your father proud" (she had also been possessed, and this was not a taunt but a genuine request from what remained of her original personality) as well as the original idea that he wanted Kara to kill Kal-El. As the story ended, it was revealed that the house of El was cursed by the phantoms as they saw them as their jailers. Wherever one of the El blood line went, the Phantoms would follow. To save Earth, he needed to send Kara to remove Kal and stop the El blood line from ever growing.

At the end of this story arc, however, it was revealed that the images of Zor-El and the Phantoms subsequently invading Earth as predicted were all a ruse by the Monitors to see if Supergirl belonged in the New Earth universe. Upon discovering she was truly that universe's Supergirl she was left to her own devices to reconcile with all the people she harmed in the wake of the "test". The Monitor does, however, assert that the memories of Zor-El and the phantoms on Krypton were nevertheless real.

New Krypton

A subsequent flashback in #24 apparently contradicts the Monitor, revealing that "New Earth" Zor-El was not a scientist, although Alura was. In current continuity, Zor-El was a Ranger, and got on well with his brother. With his encouragement, Alura designed the ship that sent Kara to Earth, as both Kal-El's protector and the last living being who remembered Krypton (since Kal-El was an infant). Nothing further has been revealed about the real New Earth Zor-El, as yet.

In Action Comics #869 it is revealed the Zor-El saved Argo City from Krypton's destruction by engineering a protective dome with his wife Alura. However, Brainiac, who was the culprit for Krypton's explosion, returned to finish the job. He merged Argo with the Bottle City of Kandor and killed those he considered to be duplicate information. Superman finds the city in Brainiac's ship. Zor-El and Alura are able to make contact with Kal-El to enquire about their daughter. He was later murdered by Reactron.

In Supergirl #43, Zor-El is described as a noted member of Krypton's Artist Guild, and Kara as sharing his creative impulse.

In Blackest Night crossover, while Kara and Alura are visiting Zor-El's tomb, discussing the situation with Earth, Zor-El is reanimated as a member of the Black Lantern Corps, ready to attack his wife and daughter. The scientists of New Krypton manage to place a forcefield composed of a counter-energy to the black ring's power source around the planet, cutting off Zor-El's right hand and preventing him from continuing his attack.

The New 52


  • Zor-El and Argo City at
  • Zor-El at Supermanica
  • Smallville Wiki's Zor-El profile

External links

  1. ^ Supergirl Vol. 6 #22


  • The Zor-El of Kevin J. Anderson's novel, Last days of Krypton, is one of Krypton’s most accomplished scientists, second only to his older brother Jor-El. Zor-El is also the political leader of Argo City, a coastal metropolis on a narrow tropical peninsula off the main continent’s southeastern shore. While investigating tremors originating in Krypton’s uninhabited southern continent, Zor-El discovers a new volcano, an indication of rising core pressure that could lead to the planet’s doom. After the theft of Kandor by Brainiac, Jor-El is able to convince Commissioner Zod to sanction the construction of the Rao beam, which Jor-El and Zor-El use to relieve the pressure at the core. When Zor-El discovers that Zod is consolidating power by kidnapping his most vocal opponents, he leads the cities of Krypton in a coordinated revolt against the dictator. Knowing that Zod plans to lay siege to Argo City, Zor-El commissions the construction of shield generators around the city’s perimeter. These shields are later used to save the city from the destruction of Krypton (though Anderson does not reveal whether Zor-El’s plan to save Argo City is ultimately successful).


  • Zor-El appears in Superman: Unbound voiced by Stephen Root. When Superman and Supergirl visit Kandor, Zor-El and Alura tell them about Brainiac.


  • As a spinoff from the Smallville show, a series of animated shorts were produced called Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton. Originally streamed on the CW website and sent to the phones of Sprint customers Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton showed the last day of Krypton. Zor-El is a miner in Kandor who is in league with Zod. He believes he is the subject of one of Rao's prophecies and that he will create a New Krypton on Earth where he would live as a god. Kara finds out about his scheme to destroy the planet and alerts Lara who thanks her for the warning that will lead to Kal-El's escape. In Kara's fight to escape him, Zor-El is impaled on a crystal. He erases his daughter's memory of the incident and prepares the blue crystal in time to send Kara on her way to Earth.
  • Zor-El first appeared in the seventh season episode of Smallville, "Lara". A replicant of Zor-El (portrayed by Christopher Heyerdahl), and his sister in-law Lara (portrayed by former Supergirl actor Helen Slater) returned in "Blue" due to a crystal technology developed by Zor-El. In the Smallville mythology, Zor-El and Jor-El were bitter rivals who refused to speak, specifically due to the actions of Zor-El. The recorded mind of Jor-El, confronted by his son Clark Kent in "Kara", reveals that Zor-El was a corrupt and evil branch of the "El" line and there was no reason for Clark to know that he was a relative of such a person, very different from the one in the comics. In the episode, it's revealed that Zor-El loved Lara and that he despised Jor-El because he believed he stole her away from him. Zor-El appeared in the 8th episode of the 7th season "Blue" as a replicant, created by a few strands left in crystal technology, when he tricked Clark in to setting a blue crystal sent with Kara into the Fortress of Solitude. It has been recently revealed in Smallville Legends: "Kara From Krypton" that Zor-El worked for Zod, yet in the 15th episode of the 7th Season "Veritas", Kara says that the only thing their fathers did agree on was their "mutual hatred for General Zod".


In other media


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.