- The killing. That's my favorite part. Zod -- strong, sure, brilliant Zod -- doesn't understand that. He finds victory in planning, in preparation, in the discovery of every little detail. He calls that strategy. He calls that tactics. There's a better word for it. Anticipation. And that's why he is the general... and I am the weapon.
- — Ursa src
Ursa was a proud young commander, leading the elite Black Zero unit. When the Kryptonian Science Council discovered that two of their most revered scientists, Jor-El and Non, had determined that in a short matter of time, Krypton would suffer geothermic upheavel that would destroy the entire planet, they branded the two as heretics sent General Zod and his militants to Jor-El's laboratory to arrest him and Non. Ursa was in charge of placing the two scientists under arrest and handing them over to the council. The Science Council administered a stern warning to them, and set them free.
Before long, Zod and Ursa discovered that Jor-El and Non had been right all along. Krypton had little time left. Non ignored the Council's warning and preached to the populace of Krypton, revealing everything he knew of the pending disaster. Zod and Ursa defected from the military and joined Non's cause. Soon after, Non was captured and lobotomized under orders of the Science Council. This incident drove Zod over the edge, and Ursa and he began an insurrection that made them the most wanted criminals on the planet. They were eventually captured and brought to justice. Jor-El argued on their behalf and swayed the Science Council from sentencing them to death. Instead, Jor-El elected for a more peaceful means of punishment - exile in the Phantom Zone.
Ursa, Non and Zod remained in the Phantom Zone for many years. During this time, Zod and she mated and produced a son, Lor-Zod. Their child eventually escaped from the Phantom Zone and arrived on the planet Earth. He came under the care of the last surviving Kryptonian, the Son of Jor-El, Superman. Shortly after this event, Ursa and the others broke free of their confinement and journeyed to Earth to reclaim the Kryptonian child. They attacked the city of Metropolis, and Ursa raided the offices of the Daily Planet, where she found Lor-Zod in the care of Lois Lane. Cornering her in a stairwell, Ursa incapacitated Lois with a simple flick from her index finger.
Superman fought against the Kryptonians and Ursa and her confederates were returned to the Phantom Zone.
When the city-state of Kandor was returned to its normal size, Kandorian leader Alura In-Ze had it relocated to its own private planetoid directly opposite the Earth in its orbit. Alura pardoned General Zod and all of his followers and Ursa was reinstated in the Kryptonian military guild.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Ursa possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Ursa'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: Ursa 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: Ursa'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: Ursa'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: Ursa 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. Ursas 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: Ursa can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Ursa 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, Ursa is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, her extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Ursa 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: Ursa'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: Ursa 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: Ursa 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: Ursa can live longer than regular humans, remaining at her prime as long as she was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Ursa possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Laser baton
- Knife with a blade made of kryptonite
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the comic book stories considered to be set on New Earth. It is an adaptation of Ursa. The original character was created by Richard Donner and first appeared in the film Superman.
- Played by Sarah Douglas, Ursa played a minor role in the 1978 film. It constituted little more than foreshadowing events for the 1981 sequel, Superman II. In Superman II, she was one of the three primary antagonists who escaped confinement in the Phantom Zone and came to Earth with plans of conquest.
- The role of Ursa is similar to that of Faora Hu-Ul, a female Phantom Zone prisoner who worked alongside General Zod in Pre-Crisis continuity. Faora was distinguished from other Kryptonians due to her mastery of the deadly Kryptonian martial arts form Horu-Kanu.
- Ursa's ability to function on Earth owes largely to material established in the 2003 limited series Superman: Birthright. Birthright provided what is now considered the definitive origin of Superman, as well as that of his Kryptonian upbringing. Originally, Post-Crisis canon established that during Krypton's 5th historical epoch, a scientist named Kem-L, an ancestor of Superman, created a device known as the Eradicator. On a historic day, the Eradicator was activated and produced a wave of energy that genetically bound all Kryptonians not only to each other, but to the planet as well. Because of this, if a Kryptonian ever attempted to leave Krypton, he or she would die. All Kryptonians born after the time of Kem-L inherited this same genetic defect, which helped to explain why there were never any Kryptonian Green Lanterns. In Krypton's final days, Jor-El managed to find a cure for the defect, and administered it to his son Kal-El before sending away from the planet. When Mark Waid wrote Superman: Birthright, this aspect of Kryptonian biology was excised from the new history. As Kryptonians no longer suffer this genetic defect, characters such as Ursa are able to leave their home environment and travel to new worlds.
- 40 Appearances of Ursa (New Earth)
- 13 Images featuring Ursa (New Earth)
- 4 Quotations by or about Ursa (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Ursa (New Earth)
- Ursa article at Wikipedia
- Sarah Douglas Official Website
- Sarah Douglas biography at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
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