DC Database

Doctor Emmett Vale was the scientist responsible for creating Metallo.

Doctor Emmett Vale was a scientist who spent the better part of thirty-five years scanning the stars for signs of alien life. His practice became an obsession, and he began to believe that alien lifeforms were one day going to invade the planet. After seven years of studying outer space, Vale witnessed the Kryptonian Birthing Matrix carrying Krypton's last son, Kal-El landing on Earth. Twenty-eight years later, he found the ship buried beneath the ground on the Kent farm and stole it. He brought it back to his laboratory where found trace elements of a foreign mineral—radioactive debris of the dead Krypton that had followed in the rocket ship's wake. He also discovered a computerized message inside the craft which revealed Kal-El's birth-father, Jor-El telling him of Krypton's ultimate fate. Vale managed to translate some of the dialect, and he was convinced that the Kryptonians sent Kal-El to Earth as a scout for an invasion force. Vale quickly learned that the alien occupant of the craft was the super-hero Superman.[1] He began an exhaustive study of Superman, and collected as much empirical data as he could acquire. He also discovered that the radiation from the fragment of Krypton could harm Superman, and he named the mineral Kryptonite.

A short time later, Professor Vale came upon the mutilated John Corben. Corben's body had been virtually destroyed in an auto accident, but Vale took the near lifeless man to his laboratory and managed to save his life. He replaced most of Corben's skeletal structure and vital organs with robotic prosthetics and crafted an artificial heart powered by uranium. Realizing that Corben could be the perfect instrument with which to destroy the "alien invader", he soon replaced the uranium with his samples of Kryptonite. When Corben awoke, he was in a state of shock. Naming him Metallo, Vale told Corben that Superman was an alien invader, and that he now had the power to destroy him. Moments after Corben's rebirth, Metallo rose from the laboratory table and murdered his creator. Superman later discovered Vale's remains and promptly disposed of the body as well as the laboratory so that no one else would be privy to the data Vale collected concerning Superman.[2]

Post-Infinite Crisis

In the new timeline created by Infinite Crisis, Emmett Vale was the creator of the synthetic "Metallo" alloy used in LexCorp's advanced mech suits. In this version of the history, Vale had no contact with John Corben and presumably was not killed by Corben after he became Metallo.[3]


Other Characteristics

  • Paranoia: Professor Vale suffered from increased anxiety and paranoia.

  • Doctor Emmett Vale is the first person to coin the phrase "Kryptonite" (in post-crisis continuity).
  • During Zero Hour, a version of Emmett Vale from an alternate timeline briefly appeared and troubled Superman. This version of Vale had gotten to young Kal-El's Birthing Matrix before the Kents, stolen the technology to help him combat a perceived alien threat, and left the baby to die.[4]



  1. At this point in time, Superman's alien heritage was not a matter of public record. Superman himself, had only learned of his true origins some six weeks prior.
  2. Superman (Volume 2) #1
  3. Superman: Secret Origin #3
  4. Action Comics #703

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