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Tal-Rho is a Kryptonian survivor, and the half-brother of Superman. Before the destruction of Krypton, he was sent to Earth to conquer the planet and recreate Kryptonian society, disguised as the businessman Morgan Edge. In the aftermath of his defeat at the hands of Superman and John Irons, Tal-Rho became the Eradicator after absorbing the consciousnesses inside the Kryptonian machine but was restored to normal by John Henry Irons.

Origins

Like all children on Krypton, Tal-Rho was not born naturally but was artificially gestated from his parent's DNA. His parents were Lara Lor-Van and Zeta-Rho. Lara and Zeta’s marriage was a loveless genetic match as was tradition on Krypton, and Lara fell in love with Jor-El and left Zeta-Rho for him. Zeta-Rho created Tal after Lara left and Tal-Rho never met his mother. Zeta told Tal-Rho that Lara did not love him, and Tal grew up both resenting his mother for abandoning him to Zeta's cruelty, yet also desperately wishing he could have a relationship with her.

Jor-El and Lara and began warning the people of Krypton that their planet was dying and Zeta sent Tal, by this point a pre-teen, to Earth to ensure Krypton’s heritage would survive and await the arrival of the Eradicator, a device developed by Lara to store and transfer Kryptonian’s minds. He also gave Tal two Sunstone crystals: one programmed with his mind and another programmed with Lara’s which she had intended to send to Earth with her new child Kal-El.

Tal landed in rural England and like Kal was discovered by a human couple named Jacob and Margaret shortly after landing. Unlike the Kents, the couple were afraid and shot at him, and he immolated them with his heat vision. He was hunted down and imprisoned for years in an underground bunker where the British government experimented on him. He was eventually able to reach a window, absorb the sunlight and charge his powers enough to kill his captors and escape.

In 1987, Tal-Rho made his way to the Badlands, where he used Zeta-Rho’s Sunstone to create his own Fortress of Solitude from desert rock. He told Zeta-Rho that the Eradicator had not arrived yet. Unlike Jor-El’s relationship with Kal-El, the Zeta-Rho hologram was a harsh father figure and believed his time on Earth and desire for other Kryptonians to join him had made Tal weak. He tortured Tal with a beam of energy to remove his “weakness”. Tal’s “training” eventually progressed to the point that he could endure the pain without complaint and Zeta deemed him ready to go into the world and complete his mission. Tal asked to be able to see Lara once before he left, but Zeta refused, as he had sent Lara’s Crystal to Earth only so she could see his plans come to fruition before erasing her forever. The Zeta hologram ordered Tal out of the Fortress and deactivated himself, telling Tal not to return without the Eradicator.

Tal established himself as a businessman named Morgan Edge, becoming wealthy and powerful. Zeta-Rho’s plan was for Tal to absorb and become the Eradicator, which would have erased Tal’s consciousness. He was initially willing to go along with this plan until Superman revealed himself to the world. Tal-Rho realised that Superman was a member of the House of El and quickly deduced that he was his brother, who he had not known was alive. He returned to the Fortress to confront Zeta for concealing the fact there was another Kryptonian on Earth, and believed he could recruit Superman to their cause. He decided to find another way to resurrect Krypton without sacrificing himself, and rejected Zeta, pulling his sunstone from the wall of the Fortress and deactivating him.

Season One

Tal-Rho eventually found the Eradicator and modified it to allow him to implant the consciousness of dead Kryptonians into human bodies. He developed a process using X-Kryptonite and the Eradicator to transform humans into Kryptonians, but found that only people who had grown up in areas with large deposits of X-Kryptonite were viable hosts. He opened mining operations in several towns with X-Kryptonite deposits such as New Carthage and subjected citizens of the towns to the process, but in each case found the people unsuitable.

He eventually discovered that the people of Smallville, Kansas were the ideal subjects as Smallville native Irma Sayres, later known as Leslie Larr, was the only Subjekt whose body did not eventually reject the procedure. Edge opened up mining operations in Smallville to extract the X-Kryptonite he needed, and began recruiting citizens into a “leadership training program” which was a cover for his superpower project. He intended to use the people of Smallville to create an army of Kryptonians to take over the world, and tried to recruit Superman into his army.

Superman rejected him and so Edge activated all the Subjekts and ordered them to attack him. Superman led Edge and the Subjekts into the upper atmosphere and tricked them into channeling their heat vision into the Eradicator which had been modified by Lara, resurrected in Lana Lang’s body. At the last second, Edge realized what Superman was doing and ordered the Subjekts to stop, but it was too late. Superman sent all his stored solar energy into the Eradicator in a single solar flare, creating a blast wave that restored all the Subjekts except Leslie to normal. Edge and Leslie regrouped outside Kal-El’s Fortress, where he had taken refuge.

After the solar flare, Superman was weakened and unconscious. Edge used a Kryptonian device to enter his memories while he was sleeping and learned that Kal-El had a human family and secret identity as Clark Kent. Superman woke up and tried to fight Edge, but Edge overpowered him due to his limited stored solar energy. Edge destroyed the Sunstone containing Jor-El’s mind, laid waste to the Fortress and knocked Superman out.

He flew to the Kent Farm, planning to kill Lois and their children and remove Superman’s ties to humanity. Jordan Kent tried to stop him but was no match for the adult full Kryptonian. Before Edge could kill his family, Superman flew in and promised to join Edge in exchange for their lives. Edge agreed and took Superman to his Fortress, he reactivated Zeta-Rho and introduced him to Kal.

Zeta-Rho used the Eradicator to transfer the disembodied mind of General Zod into Kal-El. Kal-El resisted the programming and begged Tal-Rho to help him, telling his brother that they could break free of Zeta together, but Tal-Rho simply told him to submit. Jordan managed to use his super-hearing to locate Tal’s Fortress, but he warned Jordan that anyone he sent after them would not find Superman but someone else.

John Henry Irons came to the Fortress to fight Superman and was able to help him break his programming and the two headed back to Tal's Fortress to capture him. Realising his own plans had failed, Tal decided that his father's way was the only way. He took the Eradicator into space and seemingly destroyed it with his heat vision, but in fact absorbed it as Zeta had intended. Irons shot Tal-Rho down with a Solar Missile that drained his powers, he was captured and imprisoned in a state of the art military prison under a Kryptonite radiation field.

While Tal-Rho was in the process of transforming into the Eradicator, Kal-El visited him in prison and told him that Leslie Larr had been captured trying to free him, that he would spend the rest of his life in prison and the brothers would never see each other again. He also showed him Zeta-Rho's Sunstone which had been recovered from his Fortress. Tal told him to destroy it, but Kal said it would be held in storage by the government. Tal chastised his brother for showing deference to humans instead of ruling over them, claiming Kal-El secretly desired to unleash his power on humanity. Kal-El was shaken by this, because after a lifetime of maintaining constant control over himself, he had enjoyed the sensation of using his powers freely while possessed by Zod.

Eventually, the transformation completed and Tal-Rho was fully possessed by the Eradicator. His eyes glowed blue, his vital signs stopped and his powers were restored despite his depleted solar energy reserves. The Eradicator easily escaped the prison using powers not typically shown by Kryptonians and disappeared beyond the range of Kal-El's senses. He flew into space and spent three weeks orbiting the sun, directly absorbing vast quantities of solar energy to supercharge his powers. He returned to Earth and freed Leslie from prison, and the two went to Metropolis to announce the conquest of Earth.

Kal-El and John Irons arrived to stop them, with Ka-El quickly realising that Tal-Rho had changed. The Eradicator activated four Subjekts hidden among Metropolis civilians and set them loose on the city. Superman and Irons defeated the Subjekts and Leslie, but when they tried to capture the Eradicator he stopped them with a force field and escaped again. He tracked down and kidnapped Jordan and took the boy back to his hideout, where he implanted Zeta-Roh's consciousness into Jordan's body.

At Zeta’s instruction, he went to Smallville and Eradicated six of General Lane’s soldiers, converting them into the Kryptonian Defense Council. The Eradicator returned to the Shuster Mines and began the process of using the main deposit of X-Kryptonite to Eradicate the population of Smallville, while Zeta and the Defense Council would try to prevent Superman interfering. The Eradicator crashed through the rock face into the mines and began to generate the energy needed.

Superman and Irons defeated Zeta and the Council. Superman restrained the Eradicator while Irons threw a red solar enhanced hammer at him from orbit. The hammer hit with maximum force and nullified his powers, changing him from the Eradicator back to Tal-Rho. Defeated, Tal told Kal-El he had only ever wanted a family. He was returned to DoD custody and imprisoned in a cell under a red solar lamp. Superman gave an exclusive interview to Chrissy Beppo, revealing that Morgan Edge was a Kryptonian.

Season Two

Over the next three months Tal-Rho's ability to process yellow sun radiation gradually recovered, but he continued to pretend he was powerless and waited for an opportunity to get out of his cell and recharge his powers. His opportunity arrived when Kal-El visited him in prison. Kal-El had been suffering mysterious seizures and visions, and wanted to know if it was an aftereffect of being possessed by Zod, but Tal-Rho, who had been the host of many more Kryptonian consciousnesses, had not experienced the same symptoms. He suggested that they go to his Fortress where he could perform tests on Kal-El, claiming that his powers were permanently gone and he was no threat.

Kal-El reluctantly agreed and he and Jordan took Tal-Rho to the Fortress. Tal used Lara's Sunstone to activate her hologram, which immediately recognised Kal-El but not him. The Lara hologram claimed that she had always wanted to rescue him from Zeta but had been unable to, however Tal refused to believe her and told her to scan Kal-El to determine the cause of his attacks. While Lara was scanning Kal-El he asked Jordan if his mother also favored his "weakling" brother but Jordan refused to engage with him.

Kal-El suddenly had one of his seizures and Tal-Rho broke free of his restraints, having absorbed enough sunlight to restore his powers. He tried to kill Kal-El but Jordan stepped in to defend him. Although Jordan's powers had increased since their last fight Tal-Rho was still able to overpower him and began to choke the boy to death. Lara begged him to stop and said she believed there was good in him but after a moment's hesitation he continued strangling Jordan. Kal-El recovered and saved Jordan. Tal-Rho was returned to prison and Kal-El again swore that they would never see each other again, but Tal confidently predicted that he would be back.

Several weeks later, Kal-El was brought to the prison by General Anderson and placed in Tal-Rho's cell. Tal-Rho gloated that humanity had turned on Kal-El as he predicted they would. Kal's seizures had been caused by a duplicate of himself called Bizarro from another universe, who Anderson had become obsessed with capturing and had imprisoned Superman until he gave up Bizarro's location. Kal-El refused to say where Bizarro was and told Anderson the rule danger was a woman called Ally Allston, so Anderson tortured Tal-Rho with Kryptonite until Superman gave up Bizarro's location. Superman gave him the coordinates of the Arctic Fortress of Solitude, which Tal-Rho had destroyed. This bought them time, but Tal-Rho pointed out that Anderson would quickly realise Superman was lying.

The brothers formed a temporary alliance and staged a fight in their cell. When soldiers came in to stop them they overpowered them and Tal-Rho used one of the soldier's guns to destroy the red sun lamp. With their powers restored the brothers retreated to the Fortress in the Badlands. At the Fortress Tal-Rho met Kal-El's doppleganger, who told him that on his world, he and the alternate Tal-Rho had been the best of friends until they had fallen out over a dispute involving Tal's wife. Tal-Rho was intrigued and asked who his wife was, but before he could find out Anderson, who was armed with Kryptonite weapons and had used X-Kryptonite to give himself powers, broke into the Fortress and attacked them.

Anderson hit the brothers with a Kryptonite gas which weakened them and allowed Anderson managed to overpower them both. He attempted to shoot Kal-El but Tal-Rho dove in front of him and was shot three time in the chest with Kryptonite bullets. Under Lara's direction, Kal-El used his heat vision to burn away the Kryptonite while Bizarro fought Anderson, but Tal's powers were too weak to allow him to heal. Kal-El flew him into space and near the sun to charge his powers enough for him to recover. Tal-Rho woke up back in his cell, where Kal-El was waiting. Kal-El had smoothed things over with Anderson's superiors but could not allow Tal to go free. Before he left, Kal-El thanked Tal for saving him, and Tal asked him to apologise to Jordan for him.

A month later Kal-El came to visit Tal-Rho again and told him that he had been to Bizarro's universe. Kal-El told him that his counterpart had helped him and Tal replied that he believed they were best friends in every reality except the one they were living in. Kal-El needed Tal's help to destroy a pendant which Ally Allston was planning to use to merge the worlds together. Tal-Rho agreed to do it if Kal-El would treat him like his brother rather than an enemy, however in order for Kal to be able to bring Tal-Rho into his family, Tal would need to convince Lois that he had changed.

Kal-El took Tal-Rho to the Kent Farm to try and make amends with Lois. He told her that he had followed the path Zeta set him on, hoping that if he restored Krypton he could get his family back, not realising that he could have made a family with the Kents, and promsied her that he would never hurt anyone she loved again. Lois reluctantly deicded to let him help, as Tal was their only chance to stop Ally before she could hurt the people she cared about, particularly her sister Lucy.

Kal-El presented John Henry and Sam Lane with a plan for he and Tal-Rho to combine their heat vision to destroy the pendant, a plan that Lara had originally come up with for Kal-El and Bizarro rather than Tal, much to his chagrin. John Henry calculated that together they had enough power to do it and so Sam agreed, as Kal-El refused to go along with their other plan to collapse the portal between the worlds. They took the pendant to a volcano and blasted it with their heat vision, but as the pendant began to break Ally, who had fused with her other self and gained immense power, appeared to stop them. Tal-Rho attempted to fight her but she was able to somehow drain most of his powers and tossed him aside. Ally took the pendant and Kal-El chased after her, but she drained him too.

John Henry fought Ally off and retrieved the pendant, and Kal-El and Tal used the last of their energy to destroy it. Ally took the pieces and returned to the other world, and Tal escaped while Kal-El and John Henry were distracted.

Powers

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

Abilities

Weaknesses

  • Lead: Tal-Rho cannot see through lead with his vision powers.
  • Solar Energy Dependancy: Tal-Rho's abilities will eventually weaken without replenishing his energy reserves with normal (yellow) sun radiation. When exposed to the same red solar radiation as Krypton's red sun Rao, it causes him to lose his powers and stamina within a large amount of exposure until exposure to yellow sunlight reverses this effect.


Related

Footnotes


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