A Brief Guide to Kryptonians

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By Chandler Chandler

 A Brief Guide to Kryptonians

Chandler Chandler

Kryptonians

Before Captain Marvel or Black Adam graced comic book pages, Superman the quintessential Kryptonian which has captured our collective imagination. Kryptonite, synonymous with vulnerability, has permeated pop culture for generations. 

In 1938, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster birthed Superman a beacon of morality and an immigrant’s tale. His journey from a dying Krypton to Smallville, Kansas, resonates across time. But Superman isn’t alone. Over 85 years of storytelling, other Kryptonians have emerged heroes, villains, and enigmas. Let’s explore this cosmic tapestry, knowing that in comics, new Kryptonian sagas that you are waiting for:

Superman (Clark Kent / Kal-El)

  • Origins: The iconic Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938, hails from the distant planet Krypton. His spaceship crash-landed in Kansas, where a loving couple raised him to become Earth’s paragon of heroism.
  •  Powers: Superman possesses superhuman strength, flight, invulnerability, heat vision, and freeze breath. He is the go-to hero when the universe faces big trouble.
  •  Family: Currently raising a son named Jon Kent, who also exhibits Kryptonian abilities.

Jon Kent

  • Parentage: The son of Superman and Lois Lane.
  •  Powers: Despite being half-Kryptonian, Jon displays the full alien power set. He is still learning to harness his abilities and absorb yellow solar energy to grow stronger.
  •  Identity: Jon has taken up the mantle of Superman and recently came out as bisexual.

Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)

  • Cousin of Superman: Kara arrived on Earth after Superman but is actually older due to her spaceship getting stuck in a kryptonite-encrusted meteor.
  •  Mentorship: Wonder Woman mentored her, helping Kara find her place among Earth’s heroes.
  •  Role: Supergirl now patrols the skies of Metropolis alongside her Kryptonian family.

Superboy (Conner Kent)

  • Origin: Initially believed to be fully Kryptonian, Conner later discovered he is a genetic clone half Superman and half Lex Luthor.
  •  Powers: He relies on tactile telekinesis to replicate Kryptonian abilities.
  •  Struggles: Superboy grapples with his mixed origins but remains a hero at heart.

Power Girl (Kara Zor-L)

  • Alternate Dimension: Power Girl is another version of Kara Zor-El, originating from a different dimension.
  •  Powers: Like Supergirl, she possesses Kryptonian abilities.
  •  Costume Quirk: Her outfit features an entirely unnecessary “boob window.”

Zod (General Dru-Zod)

  • Background: General Zod is one of Superman’s most formidable adversaries. He was a military leader on Krypton and became a rebel against the Kryptonian Council.
  •  Exile: After attempting a coup, Zod and his followers were sentenced to the Phantom Zone a dimension outside regular space and time.
  •  Powers: Like other Kryptonians, Zod possesses superhuman abilities, including strength, speed, and heat vision.
  •  Motivations: Zod’s obsession with Krypton’s survival sometimes puts him at odds with Superman.

Faora-Ul

  • Warrior: Faora is a highly skilled Kryptonian warrior. She is ruthless, efficient, and a master of hand-to-hand combat.
  •  Phantom Zone: Like Zod, Faora was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. Her release led to intense battles with Superman.
  •  Adaptation: She adapts seamlessly to Earth’s environment and combat situations.

Krypto the Superdog

  • Unconventional Hero: Krypto is Superman’s loyal canine companion. He was sent to Earth as a test subject but got trapped in the Phantom Zone.
  •  Powers: Krypto has all the classic Kryptonian abilities, plus super-canine senses.
  •  Heartwarming Moments: His interactions with Superman and Supergirl add a touch of warmth to the superhero universe.

Kandorians

  • City of Kandor: Before Krypton’s destruction, Brainiac shrunk the city of Kandor and bottled it. Superman eventually rescued it.
  •  Miniaturized Kryptonians: The Kandorians live in a shrunken city, maintaining their Kryptonian culture and abilities.
  •  Challenges: Adjusting to life in a bottle city presents unique challenges.

Doomsday

  • Not a Pure Kryptonian: Doomsday is a genetically engineered killing machine created on ancient Krypton.
  •  Unstoppable Force: He adapts and evolves after each defeat, making him nearly indestructible.
  •  Death of Superman: Doomsday’s battle with Superman resulted in the iconic “Death of Superman” storyline.

Mon-El (Lar Gand)

  • Origin: Mon-El is a Daxamite, a race closely related to Kryptonians. He was accidentally exposed to lead, which is toxic to Daxamites, and placed in the Phantom Zone by Superman.
  •  Powers: Mon-El shares many abilities with Kryptonians, including strength, flight, and invulnerability.
  •  Alter Ego: On Earth, he assumes the identity of “Mike Matthews” to avoid lead poisoning.
  •  Legion of Superheroes: Mon-El is a prominent member of the Legion, a futuristic superhero team.

Alura Zor-El

  • Mother of Supergirl: Alura is Supergirl’s biological mother. She was a brilliant scientist on Krypton.
  •  Phantom Zone Survivor: Alura was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone like her daughter. Her guidance continues to influence Supergirl.
  •  Legacy: Alura’s legacy extends beyond her death, impacting Kryptonian culture and history.

H’el

  • Time Traveler: H’el is a Kryptonian from the distant past. He seeks to alter Krypton’s fate by manipulating time.
  •  Controversial Ally: H’el’s methods often clash with Superman’s, leading to tense alliances.
  •  Unique Abilities: His powers include molecular manipulation and time travel.

Lor-Zod (Christopher Kent)

  • Adopted Son: Lor-Zod was adopted by Clark Kent and Lois Lane. His biological parents were Kryptonian criminals.
  •  Solar Flare: Lor-Zod possesses a unique power, the ability to unleash a destructive solar flare.
  •  Struggles: His upbringing and Kryptonian heritage shape his worldview.

Krypto the Superdog (Again!)

  • Loyal Companion: Krypto remains a beloved character. His loyalty to Superman transcends species.
  •  Adventures: Krypto has his own solo adventures, often involving intergalactic escapades.
  •  Heartwarming Moments: Whether saving the day or just being a good boy, Krypto adds charm to the DC Universe.

FAQs

What gives Kryptonians their powers on Earth?

Exposure to Earth’s yellow sun activates their superhuman abilities.

Who is the most famous Kryptonian superhero?

Superman (Kal-El), the Man of Steel, is the iconic Kryptonian hero.

Are all Kryptonians good?

No, there are both heroes and villains among Kryptonians.

What is the deal with Krypto the Superdog?

Krypto is Superman’s loyal canine companion with his own set of superpowers.

How do Kryptonians adapt to Earth’s environment?

Their cells undergo molecular changes, allowing them to thrive under Earth’s conditions.

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