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Jor-El was the father of Clark Kent.
In his youth, Jor-El was sent to Earth by his father as a lesson. To teach the young man that his actions have consequences. While in Smallville, Kansas Jor-El encountered and fell for a human woman named Louise McCallum. One night the two were confronted by a man, trying to kill Jor-El. However, the man's bullets just bounced off Jor-El's invulnerable body, with one of them hitting Louise and she died. Jor-El fled the scene and tried to stay hidden. He was found by Hiram Kent, who believed that he was innocent and help him escape to the Kawatche Caves. Afterwards, Jor-El returned to Krypton and went on to become the planet's greatest scientist. He also married a woman named Lara.
During the war against Black Zero, the council ordered Jor-El to construct an Orb, that would create clones of hundreds of Kryptonians, should Krypton ever be destroyed. Reluctant, Jor-El followed their orders and included his own DNA among the samples. However, not being willing to doom mankind, Jor-El exposed the Orb to blue Kryptonite, robbing the future clones of their natural powers under a yellow sun.
20 years later, Jor-El and his wife had a son, Kal-El. However, once more Krypton was at war. One that would be the end of their world. Jor-El blamed himself for the planet's fate. But, he wasn't going to let his son die with the rest of their world. With all portals to other worlds closed, by the council, Jor-El constructed a small spaceship, that would take the boy to Earth.
Hoping that his son would be able to save Earth from the same fate as Krypton, he arranged for tests to prepare the boy to become Earth's protector. He also asked his good friend, J'onn J'onzz, to watch over the boy. But, he instructed J'onn to keep his distance, unless intervention proved necessary. Kal-El had to complete the tests on his own. Jor-El's final act of preporation was to create an A.I. duplicate of his own consciousness, to help guide Kal-El, when the time came. Jor-El perished when Krypton was destroyed.
The A.I. Jor-El revealed himself to Kal-El, now known as "Clark Kent", in 2003. Jor-El wanted Clark to begin his training, but Clark responded with fear. Partially brought on by Clark misunderstanding a message left by Jor-El, where he had told Clark to "rule them with strength". Jor-El warned Clark, that not going with him, would bring suffering to those he loved, but Clark didn't listen. Instead, Clark blew up the spaceship (that seemingly housed the A.I.), which caused Martha Kent to suffer a miscarriage and Clark ran away. Months later, Jonathan Kent offered to bring Clark back to him, if Jor-El gave him to power to bring Clark back home. Jor-El agreed, but Jonathan didn't keep his end.
Eventually, Jor-El had no choice but to send an emissary to collect Clark. Jor-El sucked Clark into a wall and placed Jonathan Kent in a catatonic state. His reason for doing this remains unknown. A few months later, Jor-El released Clark with a mission to collect the stones of knowledge, that had been sent to Earth with the Orb, that would create a Fortress of Solitude, with all the knowledge of the 28 known galaxies.
However, once more, Clark fought Jor-El at every turn. It wasn't until one of the stones had been used to commit murder, which summoned the Brain InterActive Construct, that Clark completed the task that he had given him. With the new Fortress, Jor-El urged Clark to do his training, as it was the only way to save Earth. But, something unexpected had happened. When Clark had been teleported from Smallville to the Arctic, he had accidentally brought with him his friend Chloe Sullivan, who was running a danger of freezing to death. To save the girl's life, Jor-El let Clark leave, on the condition that Clark returned before sunset. When Clark failed to do so, Jor-El punished him, by removing his powers.
This would prove to have dire consequences, as Clark managed to get himself killed, forcing Jor-El to bring him back to life. Something that was possible but didn't come without a price. Someone else had to die in Clark's place. This only served to make things worse, in Jor-El's relationship with his son, as the person who died was Jonathan Kent. Which angered Clark, who blamed Jor-El.
Clark would eventually calm down, just as the threat of Zod was emerging. However, Clark failed to do as Jor-El had asked him. Releasing Zod and damaging the Fortress. With the last of his power, Jor-El saved the lives of Lois Lane and Martha Kent, whom he thanked for guiding his son.
The Fortress and Jor-El were eventually restored. However, a new crisis emerged when Jor-El's niece showed up on Earth and Clark was tricked into creating a clone of Zor-El. An act that nearly doomed mankind. Due to Clark's actions, Jor-El had no other choice, but to punish him and placed Clark in suspended animation. However, he soon found himself needing to release Clark, to take care of an escapee from the Phantom Zone.
It wasn't until after the defeat of Doomsday, that Clark finally began the training that Jor-El had planned for him. However, Jor-El began to sense a darkness within Clark. When Darkseid arrived on Earth, Jor-El feared that Clark wouldn't be able to avoid being corrupted. So, Jor-El recruited Kara, but eventually went back on this and told Kara that it was up to Clark to defeat Darkseid.
As Apokolips was approaching Earth, Jor-El gave Clark a vision of the trails that he had gone through over the past ten years and announced that Clark was ready to seize his destiny. He even gave Clark, a suit that had been made by Martha Kent, before Jor-El sent him off to save the world from Darkseid. A task Clark was able to complete. After that, the A.I. considered Clark's training complete and the program ended, with Clark no longer needing him.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Jor-El possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Jor-El's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. His biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and his bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
- Heat Vision: Jor-El can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. He can vary the heat and area affected.
- Super-Hearing: Jor-El's hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, he can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- Enhanced Vision: Jor-El's vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus.
This umbrella ability includes the following:
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Jor-El can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. He can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, he can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows him to see the aura generated by living thing.
- Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
- X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Jor-Els can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. He can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived—such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans—is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
- Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
- Infrared Vision: Jor-El can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Jor-El is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
- Invulnerability: Due to the interaction of his dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Jor-El is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Jor-El is able to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. This based on his body converting yellow solar radiation directly to energy, but is limited by physiological and psychological needs to eat, drink, and sleep.
- Superhuman Strength: Jor-El's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of his musculature. His strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables him to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass.
- Superhuman Speed: Jor-El is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to his perceptions and allows for feats such as catching bullets in mid flight as well as covering vast distances in little or no time.
This also confers:
- Super-Breath: Jor-El is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from his lungs. He can chill the air as it leaves his lungs to freeze targets. He can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into his lungs.
- Longevity: Jor-El can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
- Science: Jor-El is a brilliant scientist with an advanced knowledge of Kryptonian history.
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the television series Smallville and its tie-in and comic book series, Smallville and Smallville Season 11. It is an adaptation of Jor-L. The original character was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first appeared in Superman #53.
- Jor-El was portrayed by four different actors over the course of the series.
- For the majority of his appearance, Terence Stamp provided his disembodied voice.
- In the episodes "Kandor" and "Abandoned" he was portrayed by Julian Sands
- In the episode "Relic" he was portrayed by Tom Welling.
- For the brief period during "Hidden" when Jor-El possessed Lionel Luthor, John Glover portrayed him.
- 37 Appearances of Jor-El (Smallville)
- 3 Images featuring Jor-El (Smallville)
- 5 Quotations by or about Jor-El (Smallville)
- Character Gallery: Jor-El (Smallville)
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Calling
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Kandor
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Fallout
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Phantom
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Lazarus
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Exodus
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Exile
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Covenant
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Crusade
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Commencement
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Arrival
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Hidden
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Reckoning
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Vessel
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Zod
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Blue
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Persona
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Salvation
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Supergirl
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Prophecy
- Smallville (TV Series) Episode: Finale, Part II
- Smallville Season 11 #5