Some months prior to the cataclysm which destroyed Krypton, Zor-El built a protective dome around Argo City. Although his intent was to create a germ-proof atmosphere to keep the Argonians healthy, said dome saved the city when Krypton exploded, as predicted by Jor-El. Hurled far away from Rao's orbit, Argo City would drift aimlessly through space for several decades.
Soon after the explosion, Zor-El was chosen leader and saw that the nutrition machines and air-recyclers worked correctly. Zor-El also noticed Krypton's nuclear explosion was turning the ground radioactive, so he had it covered with sheet leads. Several years later, Zor-El would marry Allura In-Ze, and they would have a child named Kara Zor-El.
Zor-El was aware they couldn't wander over space indefinitely, though, and when his daughter was a toddler he managed to build and install a jet-drive to lead the city towards some habitable planet. Shortly after Argo City came near from a yellow Sun and its inhabitants started developing powers. Zor-El, who had been observing other planets and discovered the existence of his nephew on Earth, planned to lead the Argonians to Superman's adoptive homeworld. Though, a man called Jer-Em opined Kryptonians weren't meant to have powers, and pushed the city far away from the yellow Sun. The Argonians lost their powers and couldn't drive their city back to the yellow sun because the jet engine ran out of power.
Nearly fifteen years later, a meteor swarm damaged Argo's lead shielding, releasing radioactivity. Knowing the inhabitants of Argo City had only a month left to live, Zor-El developed a ray gun to transport people to the Survival Zone and tested it on himself and his wife. The device appeared to fail, so Zor-El and Allura set to the task of building a Kryptonian Rocket which sent their daughter to Earth where she'd be safe.
After Kara was blasted off into space, the Kryptonite radiation slowly killed every man, woman and child in the city until only Kara's parents were left. Then they found out Zor-El's gun worked, but it had a delayed reaction because of the atmospheric radiation. Zo-El and Allura were sent into the Zone and became Argo City's only survivors.
Years after Argo City's destruction, a race of aliens known as the Vrangs (the original conqueror race of Krypton) discovered the ruins of Argo City floating through space. They examined a stone monolith inscribed with the words, "Whoever finds this monolith, know that you stand before the final bastion of the obliterated planet Krypton... [sic] and the final resting place for the souls of the last survivors of the noble Kryptonian race! Let it be known that we called our home Argo City... and that its citizens died with dignity!"
Many years later, Supergirl visited the floating City again as trying to recover her missing memories.
Zor-El (New Earth) and Alura In-Ze lived in Argo City together with their daughter Kara and, for a while, Alura's father.. When Kara was a teenager, Brainiac stole Kandor. Zor-El and his wife heeded Jor-El's warnings, and using an android left by Brainiac, managed to recreate his force-field technology and build a dome which protected Argo City when Krypton exploded.
Zor-El unsuccessfully tried to talk the Argo Council into looking for worlds where to settle on as he built a space rocket just in case. Eventually, Brainiac tracked Argo City down thanks to his android and attacked the City. Zor-El and Allura managed to send their daughter to Earth as Brainiac killed most of Argonians. Zor-El, Allura, Thara Ak-Var and other survivors were integrated into the Bottle City of Kandor afterwards. Thirty-five years later they were rescued and enlarged by Superman and Supergirl.
Zor-El's plan worked, but only partially. Although the city was spared, they lacked means to support themselves artificially. Zor-El dismantled the engine which powered the City in order to call for help, but nobody came. Two months after destruction, Argo City was pulled by a blue star's gravity. Six months later, Zor-El was the only survivor. He was found by Brainiac who wiped his memory out and transformed him into Cyborg Superman.
Many years later, Supergirl flew her way back to the city, finding it deserted... except for Reign, who was looking for leads to solve her origin's mystery. Both super-beings clashed and Reign left Supergirl for dead. Still Kara managed to free herself. Before flying back to Earth, Supergirl thought she saw Argo City plunging into the blue star.
Over one year later, Zor-El escaped from Brainiac and got his memories back. Zor-El made his way back to the City and became obsessed with bring it back to life. Zor-El turned the dead Argonians into cyborgs and planned to bring them back to life by leading them to Earth in order to suck humannity's life-force. His plan found his daughter's opposition, who had no other option than crash the city into the ocean.
- Argo City made its first appearance in Action Comics #252, but back then it was told it was a nameless town casually protected by an air bubble. Next retellings would give it a name and flesh its backstory out.
- Initially Argo City's bedrock was composed of Green Kryptonite. Further developments in Superman comics forced DC to change it to Anti-Kryptonite. Alternate versions did away with that plotline or changed it to Red Kryptonite.
- In Pre-Crisis continuity, Supergirl was fifteen when she arrived on Earth before Superman's twenty-ninth birthday. Since Kal-El was two when he was rocketed to Earth, Kara Zor-El must have been born one decade after the destruction of Krypton.
Links and References
- Action Comics #252
- Supergirl: The Untold Story of Argo City
- Supergirl (Volume 5) #35
- Supergirl (Volume 6) #4
- Supergirl: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen
- ↑ Action Comics #309
- ↑ Action Comics #548
- ↑ Supergirl (Volume 2) #19
- ↑ Supergirl (Volume 5) #35
- ↑ Action Comics #866
- ↑ Action Comics #869
- ↑ Action Comics #870
- ↑ Supergirl (Volume 6) #0
- ↑ Action Comics (Volume 2) #23.1: Cyborg Superman
- ↑ Supergirl (Volume 6) #4
- ↑ Supergirl (Volume 6) #5
- ↑ Supergirl (Volume 7) #2
- ↑ Supergirl (Volume 7) #6
- ↑ Action Comics #358
- ↑ Action Comics #270
- ↑ Superman #380
- ↑ Action Comics #500