DC Database

Rao was the name attributed to the prime divine entity observed in Kryptonian religious practices through books and other texts. The name Rao is also the name given to Krypton's red sun.

Sometime in Krypton's ancient past, Rao was regarded as a god of the sun, and as such, Krypton's star was named in his honor. Erok-El, founder of the El family dynasty considered beings born with red hair a sign of Rao's divine influence and made it a common practice that all male citizens with red hair were automatically accepted into the Kryptonian military.

The Kryptonian leader, Jaf-El, later established a monotheistic culture, wherein Rao was the sole god of all of Krypton. Churches were established in Rao's name and it was common for people of reputable bearing to procure lives for themselves as priests of Rao. Those who follow the path of Rao are often referred to as Raoists.



Known priests of Rao

Modern Interpretation

In the Post-Crisis continuity, Rao was regarded as a mythological figure, whose influence ebbed some time during the 6th historical epoch. Members of the Kryptonian Science Council attempted to revitalize interest in the church of Rao as a means of destabilizing a rival religious faction led by the pacifist Sen-M.

  • The possessive form of Rao is pronounced Ro.
  • Kryptonians would often invoke Rao's name during moments of surprise or duress. Exclamations such as "By Rao!" were a common form of slang.
  • The star system where Krypton is located is referred to as the Rao system.
  • The real-world development of Rao from sun to god took many real-world years. The earliest such reference, even predating the use of "Rao" as an epithet, arguably occurs in Superboy #151 (1968), where Superboy swears an oath by "the holy sun of Krypton." The first reference to "Rao" occurs in Superman #248 (1972).