Krypton was a planet orbiting the red star Rao, home to the Kryptonians. It was destroyed in an explosion, with Superman being one of very few survivors. Radioactive fragments of the planet are known as Kryptonite.
Krypton was a planet populated by a race of super-strong, scientifically advanced humanoids who resemble homo sapiens in every outward appearance. As incredible as it may sound, the Earth-Two Kryptonians spoke English and used the Latin alphabet. The planet was destroyed approximately in the early 1900s (according to Power Girl whose trip to Earth-Two took 60 years), but not before two independent scientists named Jor-L and Zor-L were able to create two different design spaceships that would send their children to safety on Earth-Two. These children would would grow up to become the Earth's super-heroes, Superman and Power Girl.
The planet Krypton was born approximately six billion years ago (by Kryptonian dating standards), as a result of a gaseous mass eschewed by the giant red sun, Rao. It wasn't until approximately ten thousand years ago, however, that human societies began to emerge, giving birth to a race of intellectual supermen.
Many thousands of years ago, Krypton became the target of a conquering race of aliens known as the Vrangs. Kryptonian astronomer Sul-El, ancestor of Earth's champions, Superman and Supergirl, was the first to take notice of their presence when Rao's rays reflected off their fleet ships. Sul-El voiced his concerns to Usk-Mar, the governor of Kandor, but Usk-Mar regarded Sul-El's claims as little more than prankish rambling. Sul-El became a laughingstock in Kandor. Because of Usk-Mar's recalcitrance, the Vrangs found the Kryptonians easy prey. They quickly conquered the continent of Lurvan and enslaved hundreds of Kryptonians, putting them to work mining the Jewel Mountains. Sul-El and his young son, Hatu-El spent many years in the mountains. When Hatu-El was an adult, he witnessed his fellow slave Val-Lor heroically defy the Vrangs. Though he paid for such effrontery with his life, Val-Lor's noble sacrifice inspired Hatu-El and others like him to rise up and rebel against the Vrangs. The key to winning their freedom rested on Hatu-El's ability to harness electricity to power their weapons. As the Vrangs did not have any equivalent resources at their disposal, the Kryptonians quickly turned the tide against them, forcing their alien masters to flee Krypton, never to return.
The Last War
In the Kryptonian year 9846, military commanders from the city-state of Erkol launched an attack against the capital city of Kandor. The Kandorian Science Council met with General-in-Chief Pir-El and instructed him to launch an emergency retaliatory strike against those Urrika nations allied with Erkol. Pir-El deployed four Disintegrator spheres and launched them toward separate Urrika cities, including Erkol.
The Erkol commanders responded by activating their ultimate weapon – a robotic sun-craft that generated intense waves of red solar radiation. The solar ship first struck the city of Krypton polis, completely devastating it. Subsequently, Erkol's warlords issued an ultimatum: unless Kandor surrendered unconditionally to them, they would use the solar ship to destroy the capital city. The Kandorian Science Council grew even more nervous and implored Pir-El to embark upon an emergency plan.
Returning to his command center at Fort Rozz, Pir-El consulted with a team of scientists who labored night and day to design a device to counter the solar ship. A few days later, scientist Jes-Mo provided Pir-El with a special missile, which they hoped could repel future attacks. Pir-El launched the weapon toward Erkol, specifically targeting their solar ships. The missile released a black chemical cloud, which blocked sunlight from entering the city. The solar ships, unable to function without constant energizing from the sun, Rao, began to fall out of the sky.
The dark cloud left behind by the missile descended on Erkol. It contained a chemical agent, which altered the personalities of those caught within its sphere of influence. Everyone affected by the chemical cloud adopted a passive demeanor and elected to make peace with the city of Kandor. The Last War came to a close, and the ruling council of Kandor honored Pir-El as a great military hero.
In the years following the Last War, the Moliom councilors of Kandor strengthened their planetary federation and drafted a new constitution. Kryptonopolis was rebuilt and became the official capital city of Krypton.
The theft of Kandor
At some point in time, an alien pirate known as Brainiac came to Krypton and used his Hyper-Ray to shrink the city of Kandor and all of its seven million inhabitants. He enclosed the city in a bottle and placed it within a private museum on his spacecraft. As such, Kandor survived the destruction of Krypton many years later. The Kandorians continued to exist inside the city, and even manufactured an artificial red sun, which provided them with the means to thrive. Years after Krypton's destruction, Brainiac discovered the allegedly "last-surviving" Kryptonian, Kal-El, living on Earth. Kal-El (better known as Superman) fought with Brainiac and discovered the shrunken city. He did not possess the means to restore the Kandorians to their proper size, so he brought the bottled city back to his Fortress of Solitude safe-keeping.
Over the course of thousands of years, Krypton'a uranium core grew more and more unstable. As revealed by Kryptonian scientist Jor-El, the planetary core had been setting up a repetitive cycle of "chain-impulses", increasing in pressure exponentially, making Krypton's core dangerously unstable. Jor-El personally undertook a geological survey to confirm his suspicions. He presented his data to the Kryptonian Science Council, warning them that within a short period of time, Krypton would explode like an atomic bomb. For reasons that were never made clear, the members of the science council felt that Jor-El was acting irrationally, and chose to ignore his warnings. Jor-El would not be quieted however, and he began working on designs for a fleet of ships that would affect a massive exodus from Krypton. Time grew short however, and Jor-El knew that he could never mass produce a fleet in time to save the people of his world. Instead, he used a prototype rocket and placed his infant son Kal-El inside of it. Jor-El set the coordinates of the rocket for the planet Earth. He had known of Earth for many years, and believed that it would be an ideal world for his son to be raised. With only hours left to him, Jor-El and his wife Lara Lor-Van bid goodbye to baby Kal-El and launched him away from Krypton.
This geological instability of Krypton did not go unnoticed by other denizens of the universe. The Guardians of the Universe observed this phenomena and assigned an officer of the Green Lantern Corps, Tomar-Re to aid the Kryptonians. Tomar-Re sought to use a rare compound called Stellarium to absorb some of the tectonic pressure, thus saving the Kryptonians. He gathered the compound, and was en route to Krypton when a yellow solar flare blinded him, and forced him to drop the stellarium. He quickly recovered, but discovered he was blind. He gathered what little stellarium he could without his sight, and proceeded towards Krypton. He was closing in when his vision started to clear. He was too late however. The atomic pressure became too grew and Krypton exploded. Argo City survived the demise of the planet owing to being encased in a force field built by Zor-El, Jor-El's brother who later would father Kara Zor-El.
Orbiting a red dwarf star about 27 light-years distant from Earth named Rao, the planet Krypton was once very much like our world. The Green Lantern Corps have dubbed Krypton's sector of space 2813 (Earth's being 2814) and was under the protection of Green Lantern Tomar-Re when it was destroyed. Krypton's primordial era produced some of the most dangerous organisms in the Universe. It was for this reason that Krypton was chosen as the place to create Doomsday through forced evolution. Doomsday was an infant who was released into the dangerous enviroment of prehistoric Krypton and killed, the surviving and strongest genetic matter was cloned and re-released so the process could be repeated untill the resulting being was powerful enough to survive.
He became so powerful, he killed most of the planet's population before clinging to a cargo ship fleeing the planet and went into space with nothing but a strong primal hatred of all life. Doomsday escaped Krypton via a ship that regularly came to deliver supplies to his creator, Bertron, who he also killed and went on a killing spree across several planets. Doomsday faced the Green Lantern Corps, killing several hundred of them, but was ultimately defeated by the alien hero Radiant and entombed. Since it was deemed that keeping them on their planet would be an insult, Doomsday was sent into space, at which time he eventually landed on Earth, tomb and all. Up until its destruction, many dangerous animals, including ferrophage moles, still existed on Krypton.
In fact, Krypton's inhabitants were indistinguishable from humans, though far more advanced. Kryptonians had to use their advanced technology to survive. Over 100,000 years ago, Krypton had already developed scientific advancements far beyond those of present-day Earth, and within a few millennia had conquered disease, learned to delay the aging process, and perfected cloning; vast banks of non-sentient clones held multiple copies of each living Kryptonian so that replacement parts were always available in the case of injury. All Kryptonians were effectively immortal, "with all the strength and vigor of youth maintained", and enjoyed an idyllic, sensual existence in an Arcadian paradise.
Krypton at one time became an expanding empire that conquered other planets for years. When Krypton was a conquering race, the Kryptonian military was lead by Admiral Dru-Zod the First who commanded entire fleets of ships, seeking worlds ripe for conquest. Some three-hundred years ago, Admiral Zod's capital ship, the Doomsday crash-landed on Earth in the region that would eventually become known as Texas. His Sunstone ship lied buried beneath the ground for centuries. Soon, the Kryptonian Empire was dismantled after the Kryptonian high council decided that their methods were too aggressive. So, ended Krypton's Golden Age.
But as Kryptonian civilization flourished, the planet turned towards isolationism. Space exploration was abandoned as Krypton quarantined itself from the surrounding galaxy. All Kryptonians were unable to leave their planet or they would die instantly. This was the result of the Eradicator altering their genetic codes of Kryptonians to keep them planet-bound after a group of them left Krypton to explore and colonize other planets. The Eradicator punished these Kryptonians by altering their genetic codes to be vulnerable to lead, which resulted in the Daxamites.
It was at this time that the young scientist Jor-El and his brother, Zor-El was both born. By their adult years, Jor-El became a high-ranking member of the Kryptonian Science Council and had a wife Lara Lor-Van, from the Labor Guild, while his brother Zor-El became married to Alura In-Ze, and had a daughter named Kara Zor-El. Jor-El was a protege of the eminent scientist known as Non and together they discovered that Krypton was suffering from severe geological disturbances - disturbances that threatened to destroy the entire planet. Jor-El brought his concerns to the Science Council, but they dismissed his assertions as a vehicle of paranoia and discord. Jor-El and Lara even soon had a son called Kal-El.
Many years ago, the penal system of the planet Krypton sentenced their criminals by placing them in suspended animation. Jor-El discovered the existence of the Phantom Zone and introduced it as an alternative means of imprisonment. He had little knowledge of the true inner workings of the zone but believed that it was a more humane form of punishment over that which they had previously employed. He developed a projection device that could send and retrieve people into the zone with the simple flick of a switch. The first prisoner to be exiled to the Phantom Zone was the renegade scientist Jax-Ur. Jax-Ur, a former colleague of Jor-El's, was responsible for destroying Krypton's moon during an attempt at interstellar space travel. When the moon was destroyed, a lunar colony of Kandor was lost as well, drawing the attention of the Coluan villain Brainiac to Kandor. Brainiac, also known as Vril Dox I, was a Coluan scientist.
At some point, he cloned himself to get a lab assistant; the clone would later be called Vril Dox II. He acquired a spaceship and went on a journey through space, acquiring knowledge and using his robotic drones to capture living organisms of various alien species. Along the way, he came to Krypton some time during the lifetime of General Zod, and kidnapped the entire city of Kandor, miniaturizing it in his spaceship, while Jor- El 's brother, Zor-El and his family stayed behind at Argo City. An elite military unit, called Black Zero, commanded by General Zod's wife, Ursa was killed attempting to defend Kandor from Brainiac, except Ursa herself. Brainiac also created a remote scout unit, which was programmed to think it was the original Vril Dox. After Brainiac's attack, Zor-El created a force-field around Argo City using a Brainiac Probe. Over a short expanse of time, the Kryptonian Science Council began exiling the worst of the planet's criminals into the zone, the most famous of which was the military insurrectionist General Zod.
General Zod, the descendent of Admiral Zod, gained prominence in the Kryptonian Military Guild for his heroic, though futile, efforts to protect the city of Kandor from Brainiac, however lost credibility however when he defected from the Kryptonian Defence Council, along with his wife Ursa, after they had been instructed to arrest Jor-El and Non after they both had made sensationalistic claims of Krypton's pending destruction. But, suddenly Non was abducted by the Kryptonian Science Council for continuing the claims and was brainwashed, lobotomized, and turned into a brutish, mute savage by the Council to be silent. When Zod, Ursa, and Jor-El found out, both Zod and Ursa sided with Jor-El. But, they both and Non were arrested and tried for acts of sedition. They were sentenced to spend eternity in the Phantom Zone, where they would continue to exist as disembodied wraiths by Jor-El, which lead to their revenge against him and his heirs.
Jor-El was later threatened by the Science Council with the harsh penalty of exile to the very Phantom Zone he himself had discovered if he were to make public his predictions of their planet's imminent doom or otherwise attempt to "create a climate of panic." So he decided to create a star-drive ship designed for his only son, Kal-El, to escape the planet and its people's fate. Also, Jor-El had created a serum that he invented that would allow a Kryptonian to leave the planet safely; which he gave to his son Kal-El upon leaving for Earth. He also had his family dog in his household, Krypto used for a test flight of the rocket that would carry baby Kal-El to Earth. His niece, Kara is actually older than Kal-El; she was a teenager when he was a baby.
But, before he can do so, Jor-El explored the galaxy in search of a suitable planet and sent out dozens of probes designed to collect various data. His research revealed that Kryptonians living in a yellow-star system developed enhanced physical characteristics including super-strength, speed and agility. One of Jor-El's probes landed on the planet Earth where it was discovered by motorist Thomas Wayne while he was on a drive with a pregnant Martha. When Thomas touched the probe, his consciousness was instantly transported to Krypton where he met Jor-El so that Jor-El could better learn what kind of world Earth was to help him decide which of many possible candidates he should send his son to. Although their meeting was brief, Jor-El developed a fondness and respect for Thomas Wayne. Thomas tells Jor-El that the people of Earth aren't perfect, but are essentially a good and kind race, who would raise the child right. He decided that Earth would be the perfect planet for his son to be raised. Thomas recorded his encounter in his diary,which was discovered by his son, Bruce Wayne in the present day.
The planet was an enigma to all but itself when internal pressures in Krypton's volatile core led to its destruction. Within a period of time, Jor-El's worst nightmares came to pass. Massive ground quakes erupted across the planet and Krypton literally shook in its death-throes. With little time to spare, Jor-El and Lara placed baby Kal-El into his rocket ship and sent him towards Earth. Meanwhile, Brainiac returned to consume Argo City, Kara's parents had no choice but to send her in a rocket headed for Earth.
However, her rocket was caught in a large Kryptonite encrusted meteor and she arrived on Earth years after her cousin did. It was because of this, she obtained Kryptonite Poisoning where she would seem to act petulant, having sudden mood swings causing her to shift from one personality to another, had trouble concentrating on what she was doing and had crystals that appeared out of her skin (crystallized blood). Also, Krypto was too sent to Earth, but his rocket was blown off course and drifted in space for many years until the rocket picked up the signal from Kal-El's rocket that landed on Earth. Krypto arrived when Kal-El was a teenager, and the two got along famously. Krypton exploded and everyone on the planet, including Jor-El, Lara, and the Kryptonian Science Council were killed. Now, all that remains of a once great world is a particle cloud of radioactive dust.
Points of Interest
- Also known as the Isle of Thieves, this was the birthplace of the psychic criminals Az-Rel and Nadira.
- Kal-El's great ancestor Val-El and his brother Tro-El discovered the island and Tro-El was marooned there after a failed mutiny aboard the 1-Van, making some of the inhabitants indirect relations to Superman.
- Fire Falls
- This was a natural geological formation found on the planet Krypton where streams of magma poured through a fissure and cascaded down a cliff.
- Fort Rozz
- This was a military command center located in the city of Kandor on the planet, Krypton. General Pir-El operated from this fort during the waning days of the Last War.
- Plain of Wanan
- This desolate region existed outside the city of Kandor on the Pre-Crisis version of the planet, Krypton. In Kryptonian year 9852, a contest was held on the plains to arbitrate on the nature of Krypton's system of government.
Bodies of water
- Boiling Sea
- Cogo Sea
- Dandahu Ocean
- Eiau Sea
- Gorv Ocean
- Morstil Ocean
- Red Ocean
- Sea of Banzit
- Striped River
Krypton's two moons were first described in detail by Sul-El. Wegthor hosted Krypton's first lunar colony, and its destruction preceded that of Krypton; while Mithen was blasted into a solar orbit after the destruction.
- On Earth-Two, Krypton was located in the system of the star-sun Negus-12, though the actual Golden Age stories never specified any location. The Adventures of Superman radio show had Krypton "situated on the other side of the Sun" from Earth, putting Krypton in the Sol system. In the 1978 movie Superman, it is placed in the Xeno Galaxy. Earth-One and New Earth establish the planet's sun as Rao. The latter continuity also places it in the Andromeda Galaxy.
- Green Lanterns #28 revealed that 10 billion years ago Prime Earth Krypton sent out its first colonization mission. It is unknown if this reflects the age of New Earth Krypton.