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Prince Kal-El is the son of King Jor-El and Queen Lara, older brother of Princess Zala Jor-El and half-brother of Bruce Wayne.

Early Life

Ka-El's parents fled the destruction of their home planet Krypton while Lara was pregnant with Kal-El. When they reached Earth Lara was already in labour and gave birth shortly after they landed. The family initially lived in a secluded clearing in the woods, but were forced to reveal themselves when the volcano Mount Kristoff erupted, threatening the kingdom. The Els became close advisors and friends to King Thomas and Queen Martha. When Kal-El was still a baby Martha had a child, Bruce, but revealed that he was not Thomas's son. Kal-El always thought of Bruce as a younger brother, but unbeknownst to either of them, Bruce was in fact Jor-El's son and therefore they were truly brothers. Kal-El, Bruce and their younger sister Zala Jor-El grew up in the castle together.

After Thomas and Martha were murdered by the Green Man, Bruce refused to claim the throne despite the Els encouraging him to, as he believed a bastard could not be king, and so Jor-El and Lara became the rulers of the land and Kal-El became the heir. Kal-El was angered that Bruce chose to follow what he saw as a backward tradition by refusing the crown and it was a lasting point of contention between them.[1][2][3]

Kal-El met and befriended Jimmy Olsen, an orphaned stargazer from Gotham. When Jimmy went missing Kal-El searched for him and he, Bruce and Zala eventually tracked Jimmy and other missing orphans to a cave in the mountains, where they were seemingly being held prisoner by a giant bat. The royals attacked the monster but Jimmy stopped them and told them that the bat was a friend of his from the orphanage called Kirk Langstrom, who had been turned into a monster by Elizabeth Arkham, the cruel orphan keeper of Arkham Orphanage. Kal-El told his parents what they had learned, the orphanage was shut down and Arkham was arrested. Jor-El and Lara were angry at them for going off on their own but told them they had foiled a great evil.[4]

Death of a King

When the princes grew up, Bruce was tasked to hunt down people within the kingdom with "magic" which could potentially harm the Els. Kal-El believed it was immoral to imprison people who had committed no crime, and dishonourable for the mighty Kryptonians to allow a normal man to fight for them and asked to accompany Bruce on his hunts, but neither Bruce or his parents would allow it.

Nevertheless, Kal-El followed Bruce of his own accord to Feist Village where he had tracked a banshee. Bruce was overwhelmed by the banshee's scream and so Kal-El flew in and covered her mouth and restrained her. When Kal-El looked into the banshee's eyes he realised she was afraid and that she had only attacked them because they had gone after her. Back at the castle, Kal-El refused to let Bruce lie for him and admitted he had followed Bruce without his permission or knowledge. He also argued that the people they were imprisoning were innocents, but Jor-El simply replied that he would do whatever was necessary to protect them.[1]

Jor-El took Bruce up to the battlements of the castle to talk. After a while, Kal-El and Lara heard Bruce scream and a red light filled the sky. They raced up to the battlements to find Jor-El dead with an arrow through his eye. Bruce raced off and quickly captured the assassin, but Kal-El blamed him for failing to protect Jor-El. At a council later Kal-El declared that Bruce had no right to speak and that he would interrogate the killer to determine if the El's adversary King Jefferson was responsible before they made any response. In the dungeons, Kal-El confronted his father's killer, who said that the Kryptonians were monsters who had to be destroyed and told Kal-El to kill him and get it over with, but Kal-El responded that his family were not murderers.[5]

The Brewing Storm

A falling star was spotted descending to Earth and landing in the nearby Lands of Magnus. Bruce and the castle's Master-at-arms Alfred rode out to investigate.[6] The next day Zala, who had spent the last few years being fostered on Amazonia, returned home after learning of Jor-El's death. Diana, the princess of the Amazons and Zala's lover, defected from the Amazons to the Els, as her mother had promised to aid King Jefferson in a war against the Els after his son Prince Jacob was murdered, seemingly by Zala.

When Bruce returned he met with who he believed to be Kal-El, but was in fact a White Martian wearing his form. When Bruce revealed that he was the son of Jor-El and half Kryptonian, the Martian realised he was a potential threat. He stabbed Bruce through the chest and left him for dead, telling him that the world belonged to his people and there could be no challengers to them.[7]

The next morning, Timothy Drake, Bruce's spy in King Jefferson's court, returned to the castle and told them that King Jefferson was dead, apparently murdered by Zala, and his Kingdom of the Storms was marching to war against the Els in retaliation. Diana warned that Amazonia would join the war on the Kingdom of Storms' side. Hoping to convince the Amazons to stay out of the war, Kal-El flew to Amazonia to speak with Queen Hippolyta. The Amazons attacked him on sight but they were unable to harm him and he just stood there asking to see the queen while their weapons broke on his skin. Eventually Hippolyta came out, but she would not listen to him and simply ran him through with a magic sword.

Kal-El was imprisoned on Amazonia, bound in a magic rope that forced him to tell the truth. Hippolyta's spymaster Lois visited him in his cell; she told him that she was Zala's friend and had always counselled Hippolyta not to believe in the prophecy that the Els would doom the world, but Zala murdering King Jefferson and his son meant that Hippolyta was no longer willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. She confessed that she believed all sides were being manipulated to war and Kal-El begged Lois to convince Hippolyta to wait, but she told him it was too late and the Amazon fleet had already set sail.[8]

War for the Three Kingdoms

Cassandra, one of Bruce's "Robins" acting as a spy on Amazonia, freed Kal-El from his cell and asked him to hurry to the castle and stop the war, telling him that the Amazons desired peace as much as he did. She also gave him the magic rope to take with him, so he could bring truth to the chaos that was unfolding.

Kal-El flew back to the castle where the armies were drawn up and about to attack. He saw what appeared to be Lara flying away from the battlefield and asked her what was happening, but "Lara" did not reply and wordlessly punched him out of the sky to the field below. He crashed down in front of the Amazon army and they charged him, believing he was attacking them. In turn the El's army rode out to defend him.

Just as the two armies were about to clash, Bruce flew onto the battlefield, riding on a dragon. The dragon breathed a sheet of fire down onto the land between the armies to stop the charge and Bruce leaped down to Kal-El. Kal-El told Bruce he was glad to see Bruce back safe, but was confused when Bruce drew his sword, accused Kal-El of trying to kill him and addressed him as "brother".

Suddenly "Lara" was tackled down to Earth by her exact doppleganger. The battle paused as the three armies stopped fighting and for a moment stared in silent shock at the two Lara's, when Alfred suddenly yelled to use fire against her. The Lara who had attacked Kal-El was shot in the chest with a flaming crossbow bolt and burst into flames. She transformed into a white-skinned monster and flew away. Kal-El and Zala chased after the creature but it vanished into thin air.

Alfred said that he was sorry and hadn't known that "they" were on Earth. When Bruce asked him what he was talking about, he changed into a green skinned creature and revealed that he was from another world.[9] Diana tried to attack Alfred, believing he was responsible for what had happened, but Bruce and his dragon defended him. Kal-El gave her Diana the magic rope so she could be certain that Alfred would speak the truth when he asked her if he meant them harm. She bound Alfred with the rope and he told them he meant no ill will to the people of Earth, and was loyal to the House of El.

In a conference with the queens of the three kingdoms, Alfred revealed that his true name was J'onn J'onzz from the planet Mars, and the monster they had seen was a White Martian, the enemy of his people, the Greens. He told them that the White Martians wanted to take Earth after the war between their peoples had devastated Mars, and the queens realised that everything had been a plot by the Whites to get the potential threats of the Amazons, Kryptonians and Pierces to destroy each other and leave the way open to conquer Earth. They decided to join forces to oppose the invaders.[10]

The Winds of War

As the queens still did not fully trust "Alfred", he was imprisoned in a tower of the castle. Bruce felt conflicted at the revelation of "Alfred's" true nature, although Kal-El assured him that J'onn was the same man they had always known, and still his friend. They met outside Alfred's cell to talk, and Bruce confirmed that they were brothers. He told Kal-El he was sorry he had found out this way and it must be difficult to hear, but Kal-El walked up and embraced him, saying he couldn't be happier to know the truth. Kal-El asked Bruce how the shapeshifter impersonating him had managed to stab Bruce if he was half-Kryptonian, and Bruce told him that when he and "Alfred" rode out to find the fallen star, they discovered a crystal from the stars which robbed Kryptonians od their powers. He warned Kal-El that he believed the invaders had the rest of the meteor. Suddenly, Kal-El heard Alfred's voice in his head calling for help. They burst into his cell and found Protex, the White Martian leader, about to kill him. Bruce yelled that they needed to use fire and they set Protex alight with their heat vision, forcing him to flee.

At Alfred's instruction, the queens set up multiple fire-based protections to keep the Whites at bay. He told them that the cowardly Whites would not dare to face such formidable defences, but that they could not keep the fires burning forever and would eventually have to stand and fight. The queens allowed Bruce to free Alfred and, with Lara's permission, Bruce and Kal-El went to the dungeons and released the people Bruce had imprisoned for possessing magic. Kal-El also released Oliver, telling him that, while he had killed his father, he understood he had been manipulated and believed he was saving the world; and that all sides would need to forgive each other if they were to defeat the new enemy.

Lara took Kal-El and Zala to where their ship was buried and retrieved a Sunstone crystal from the console. It contained plans for a Phantom Zone Projector and together the three of them forged the Projector, which they could use to banish the Martians to the Phantom Zone.[3]

Scorched Earth

The next day Lois, Lara's advisor and jester Harley Quinn (Dark Knights of Steel)Harley and the Pierce's advisor Constantine; came up with a plan to defeat the White Martians once and for all by luring them to Mount Kristoff and triggering an eruption; where Bruce, Kal-El, Diana and Zala would battle them when they had been severely weakened by the flaming lava. That night, the Martians somehow brought down the bonfires surrounding the castle, but the Amazon defenders were ready for them and kept them pinned down. A messenger rode to the castle to tell them the Martians were attacking and so Kal-El and the others headed out to face them.

The four dove into the middle of the battle, with Kal-El directly attacking Protex himself. Kal-El challenged Protex to face them and the four flew to Mount Kristoff. The full force of Martians chased after them, and when they had surrounded the mountain King Jefferson's daughters Queen Anissa and Princess Jennifer used their powers to trigger the volcano to erupt. The Martians were doused in lava and severely injured or killed, but Kal-El and the others were unharmed, protected by their powers. They doused themselves in pitch and set it alight, making them even more deadly to the Martians. They battled and easily defeated the Martians. Lara banished the defeated survivors to the Phantom Zone using the Projector.

However, when it seemed like total victory had been achieved, Bruce heard Alfred call for help in his mind. Feeling his friend's anguish and pain, Bruce flew for the first time, flying as fast as he could back to the castle. He arrived to find that Alfred had been assassinated by a traitor working with the Martians.

A week later, the three kingdoms decided to unite into a League. At the ceremony Kal-El met Lois again and flirted with her. Lara asked Bruce to sign the treaty on behalf of the Kingdom of El and said that he should rule as both a Wayne and an El now that he knew the truth. However, Bruce refused and told her and Kal-El that he planned to leave and explore the world to discover who he really was, as Alfred had spent his last years hiding his true self. Kal-El told Bruce he understood, but that when Bruce realised he was worthy to lead and returned, he would be honoured to follow the Bat-King.[11]

Powers

  • Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Kal-El possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
    • Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Kal-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: Kal-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: Kal-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: Kal-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: Kal-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. Kal-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: Kal-El can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
    • Flight: Kal-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, Kal-El is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
    • Superhuman Stamina: Kal-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: Kal-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: Kal-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: Kal-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: Kal-El can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.

Abilities

Weaknesses

Equipment


Related

Footnotes


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