Thara Ak-Var was a native of the planet Krypton and lived in the city of Kandor. She was the best friend of Kara Zor-El. A short time before the destruction of the planet, the renegade Coluan scientist Brainiac sent his deadly probes to Kandor to wreak destruction. A Kryptonian Black Zero unit led by Lt. Ursa was dispatched to respond to the crisis. As the Brainiac Probes began slaughtering soldiers, Ursa lost her nerve and was crippled with fear as two of her aspirants Ak-Var and his wife Tes Ak-Var were murdered before her eyes. Ak-Var's young daughter Thara witnessed the carnage, but was trapped behind the force field surrounding the city. Brainiac uprooted Kandor from the planet, miniaturized it, and placed it within his ship's laboratory for future observation.
In the years following Krypton's destruction, Brainiac came upon the surviving floating community of Argo City. He assimilated Argo City with Kandor and Thara Ak-Var met Alura and Zor-El. The Els took Thara into their home and treated her as one of their family. Thara grew very close with their daughter Kara.
As she grew older, Thara began having prophetic dreams of a legendary Kryptonian creature known as the Flamebird. These dreams drove her to join the Kryptonian Religious Guild and she became a devout worshipper of Rao. While living with the other guild members, Thara continued to have dreams. She dreamed of a boy conceived and born in the Phantom Zone and knew that it was her destiny to meet with him. She quit the Religious Guild and returned to Zor-El and Alura. When Kandor was reconstructed on Earth, Thara was reunited with Kara Zor-El. Thara Ak-Var was placed in charge of the Kryptonian Defense Council.
Although the resurrection of Kandor as "New Krypton" showed great promise at first, relationships between the Kryptonians and the people of Earth quickly destabilized, owing largely to the murders of several Science Police officers at the hands of militant Kryptonians such as Commander Gor. Things came to a head when Sam Lane of Project 7734 assigned the super-villains known as Reactron and Metallo the task of going to New Krypton and assassinating Kandorian leader, Zor-El. With the death of Zor-El, his widow, Alura (Superman's aunt), developed an extremely xenophobic attitude towards Earthlings and relocated all of the expatriated Kryptonians to a planetoid in direct opposition to Earth's orbit.
Thara continued to have dreams of the boy trapped in the Phantom Zone. With access to nearly any military equipment she could find, Thara donned a suit of armor and a miniature Phantom Zone Projector and journeyed into the Phantom Zone. She soon united with the boy from her dreams -- Lor-Zod. Lor-Zod was the son of General Zod and her parents' former commander, Lt. Ursa. Held prisoner inside of a material anomaly called Fort Rozz, Thara freed Lor-Zod and escaped from the Phantom Zone. Together, they assumed the costumed identities of Flamebird and Nightwing.
Thara Ak-Var remained on the New Krypton planetoid as Alura's chief of security, but she quickly grew disenfranchised with Alura's leadership capabilities; particularly her decision to exonerate and pardon convicted Kryptonian criminals, General Zod, Ursa and Non. Thara learned that Ursa was responsible for seeding the Earth with Kryptonian sleeper agents, and she knew that these agents posed a tremendous threat to the people of Earth.
Nightwing and Flamebird
As Flamebird and Nightwing, the two began patrolling major American cities, routing out Ursa's sleeper agents. This brought them into conflict with the criminal Tor-An as well as the psychotic Kryptonian lovers, Az-Rel and Nadira.. Thara got uncomfortable with the female attention Chris got, especially after discovering a fan's phone number stuffed into Chris's armor. Thara denied feelings of jealousy, but Chris responded by impulsively kissing her. The two were then attacked by the Kryptonian sleeper couple. They chased them into the subway, only to find that it was really Metallo and Reactron in disguise. Thara and Chris were then swiftly defeated and captured.
The Hunt For Reactron
Main article: Supergirl: The Hunt for Reactron
However, Chris and Thara were teleported away, along with Supergirl. Supergirl attacked Thara, for killing her father and trying to kill her. However, Chris stopped her and told her he was her cousin. The three were attacked by Guardian and the Science Police, for apparently killing Mon-El. Chris tried to tell Guardian that they did not murder Mon-El, but Guardian ignored him. The three managed to escape to Paris. Chris, Thara and Kara talked about what has happened. They then discovered that the two sleepers they were fighting were Metallo and Reactron. However, they were attacked by Squad K.
Escaping from Squad K, the three went to Lana Lang's apartment. They decided to get Lois's help in clearing their names. Chris and Lana went to find Lois while Kara and Thara stayed in Lana's apartment.
Once more while being left alone, the two girls argued over their perceived betrayals of another, with Supergirl blaming Thara for her father's death and Thara being angry due to Kara not believing her about the Flamebird entity. After a brief argument, the two along with Chris, were once more forced to flee. During the attempt to flee, they once more encounter Squad K however the three opted to surrender in order to clear their names. While they managed to persuade the Squad K commander, Reactron quickly murdered his teammates and attempted to kill the three.
During their conflict, Thara was injured while attempting to protect Supergirl. As Reactron was about to kill Chris and Kara, Thara manifested her Flamebird powers and personality in which she easily overpowered and defeated Reactron. The Flamebird decided to kill Reactron but was swayed to show mercy after Reactron revealed that Mon-El was alive and was talked down by Supergirl. The Flamebird was once more submerged after sharing a kiss with Chris. Following their battle Thara and Kara made up, deciding to renew their friendship.
Donning new costumes, Thara and Chris continued to protect the world, making sure to conceal their Kryptonian status. Thara showed slight jealousy over Chris getting fangirl attention, and in the ensuing argument, shared another kiss. On their return to their apartment, however, Chris undergone another aging spurt becoming an old man. Under Kimiyo Hoshi's direction, Thara took Chris to the renowned Dr. Pillings, who unbeknownst to anyone, was actually the Kryptonian sleeper agent Jax-Ur. "Pillings" intentionally subjected Chris to a treatment that causes him extreme pain, causing enough emotional stress in Thara for the Flamebird to become dominant again. Realizing who the doctor really was, the Flamebird was forced into an unspecified agreement with Jax-Ur, after which he ensured the Nightwing/Chris's survival.
Jax-Ur's grand plan was later revealed as he used Nightwing's essence to grant himself a connection to Vohc the Builder. He also unleashed a crude replica of Rao the Sun God on Earth. He was stopped by the combined might of Nightwing, Flamebird and various members of the JLA & JSA.
During War of the Supermen, General Sam Lane and Lex Luthor unleashed a weapon made from the dissected body of Rao to turn the Sun red. Thara sacrificed her life to turn the Sun yellow again and saved the Kryptonians stranded in space.
Powers and Abilities
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Thara possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Thara's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. Her 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 her 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: Thara can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. She can vary the heat and area affected.
- Super-Hearing: Thara's hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, she can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- Enhanced Vision: Thara'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: Thara can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. She can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, she can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows her 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. Tharas can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. She 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: Thara can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Thara 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 her dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Thara is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, her extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Thara is able to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. This based on her body converting yellow solar radiation directly to energy, but is limited by physiological and psychological needs to eat, drink, and sleep.
- Superhuman Strength: Thara's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of her musculature. Her strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables her 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: Thara is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to her 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: Thara is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from her lungs. She can chill the air as it leaves her lungs to freeze targets. She can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into her lungs.
- Longevity: Thara can live longer than regular humans, remaining at her prime as long as she was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
- She possess an undefined connection to the mythic Flamebird entity. This connection to the Flamebird seems to be symbiotic in nature, as Thara has referred to herself as we when attacking the warriors who threatened Chris Kent. This connection provides the following:
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Thara possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- She has shown an immunity to gold kryptonite.
- Action Comics
- Supergirl (Volume 5)
- Superman (Volume 1)
- Superman: New Krypton Special
- Supergirl: The Hunt for Reactron
- Superman: War of the Supermen
- 38 Appearances of Thara Ak-Var (New Earth)
- 23 Images featuring Thara Ak-Var (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Thara Ak-Var (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Thara Ak-Var (New Earth)
Superman Family member