"Family Matters": Years ago, on Kandor, baby Kal-El was introduced to his grandmother Kela, but she had not been excited to meet him. He was the son of Jor-El, whom she regarded as a self-glorifying fool. When the
- So now you know why we Kandorians hate you, child of El... and why we're going to kill you... and help the Phantom King conquer this pitiful planet you abandoned us for!
- — Kela
Synopsis for "Family Matters"
Years ago, on Kandor, baby Kal-El was introduced to his grandmother Kela, but she had not been excited to meet him. He was the son of Jor-El, whom she regarded as a self-glorifying fool. When the people of Kandor went into stasis after the city was attacked by the Collector of Worlds, they remained conscious to the day that Kal-El found them again - but instead of seeing him as their saviour, they saw him as their captor. When Xa-Du finally woke them, they knew who they should hate. Now that Kal-El is in their midst, they make every effort to get revenge.
Meanwhile, in the Ant Farm, Lois Lane notices that Batman has been tapping out an all-hail in morse code over his com-system in an attempt to get a message past Xa-Du. Lois reminds the reluctant Ray Palmer that Xa-Du cannot be taken lightly, and he agrees at last that they should take action, shrinking them down even further to a subatomic level.
While Superman is saddened that his reunion with his family members has been poisoned by Xa-Du, Supergirl is just as upset to learn that her best friend from Kandor, Tali-Zar, has turned on her. She tries to remind Tali of how they were once school-bonded in Argo, and had promised never to lose touch. Tali is too far gone, having spent years in stasis, driven to near madness by it. Superman has to leap in front of a blast of heat-vision to protect Kara, knowing that their reluctance to fight people they love will get them killed if they're not careful. He tries to reason with them, explaining that he had been trying all this time to save them. Unfortunately, they have been brain-washed to hate members of the House of El. Realizing that Superman will be of no use here, Batman drops down suddenly and clubs Kela with a red son generator, unfortunarely, its effects don't last long enough to spare him Mara Lor-Van's heat vision.
Xa-Du taunts Superman and Kara to the point that they lash out, and must beat their own family into submission. Grinning, he calls on all the other citizens of Kandor to kill the son of El. Desperately dodging their attacks, Superman grabs up the red sun generator and absorbs its energies, expelling them in an explosion that robs every Kryptonian in the dome of strength. Turning to Xa-Du, Superman warns him to surrender or be beaten to death. Xa-Du responds that Superman's last attack must have weakened him as well, so he doubts he will be much threat. Suddenly, though, the Ant Farm bursts out of the back of his skull, having implanted a device that disables his technology in his brain. This prevents him from materializing outside of the Phantom Zone, and he disappears, leaving only the remains of Kandor and its ailing citizens. While the Kandorians are freed of Xa-Du's living death, Kela, Mara, and Tali remain bent against the House of El.
After returning Kandor to the Fortress of Solitude, those who are alright remain awake to maintain the city, while the 1.3% who remain stuck in the mental loop seeking the murder of the House of El, are put back into stasis. Lois remarks to Batman that this victory doesn't feel very fulfilling, and he admits that they have to take what they can get. How Superman handles this is what is important. He may steel himsef for the next psychopath, or he may step into the light and count his blessings.
Superman is at the Hollywood Hills visiting Felicity Regan, whose life he had saved once, drawing Xa-Du's attention. Recovering from her injury, Felicity explains that he had saved her life a second time since then, and he can't let worrying about the people he loves stop him from doing his job. She reminds that he has to have faith that no matter what kind of hell faces them outside, everyone is stronger than they think - even Superman.
Appearing in "Family Matters"
- Atomic Skull
- Court of Owls
- General Zod
- The Joker
- Kela (Appears in flashback and main story; brainwashed)
- Tali-Zar (Appears in flashback and main story; brainwashed)
- Mara Lor-Van (Brainwashed)
- Killer Croc
- Lex Luthor
- Arctic Circle
- Hollywood Hills
- Kandor (Flashback and main story)
- Phantom Zone
- Though the typical Kryptonian naming convention for women of Krypton is to take their father's name in their maiden name and then abandon it when married, as "Lor-Van", who was Lara's father, this issue does not conform to it.