- I know you hate Brainiac for all he's done to us. To our friends. We all do. But who we are should outweigh that hatred. Outweigh that need for vengeance. We should be above it, as leaders. We are Kryptonians.
- — Zor-El src
For a time, it was believed that Zor-El thought that Krypton was being devastated by a "phantom plague" and so he genetically altered Kara's biochemistry to enable her to defend herself against such threats. As such, Kara developed powers even beyond that of a Kryptonian exposed to yellow solar radiation. It was also thought that Zor-El sent her to Earth to kill her cousin, Kal-El, whom he suspected was also infected by this phantom plague. This was later revealed to be false, and was actually Kara's warped perceptions of her father caused by severe Kryptonite poisoning.
In fact, Zor-El was a very noble figure. Having migrated his friends and family to the bottled city of Kandor, Zor-El used technology from leftover Brainiac Probes to bolster the city's defenses. Zor-El, along with thousands of Kandorians, was eventually freed from Brainiac's ship and Kandor was returned to its normal size. It was situated in the North Pole, not far from Superman's Fortress of Solitude.
At this time, Washington was attacked by Superman's old adversary Doomday. Zor-El and several other Kandorians assisted Superman in fighting him. Attacking Doomsday en masse, they brought him to the moon where they finished him off, seemingly killing him.
Taking the attack to heart, Zor-El then began to question Kara for information about Kal-El's most dangerous enemies. Zor-El authorized the Kandorians to capture the most dangerous of these and bring them to Kandor, where they would be placed within the Phantom Zone. When Superman found out, he confronted Zor-El, Alura, and Kara, as several Kryptonians used lethal force against guards and police officers to capture the criminals. Kara was horrified at the revelations, and Zor-El was both surprised and remorseful about the deaths. Zor-El was then shocked to learn that not only did Alura know about the deaths, she had authorized the Kryptonians to use lethal force if necessary.
Shortly thereafter, Zor-El was in New Krypton when it was attacked by Metallo and Reactron, as well as dozens of Brainiac Probes. The villains possessed Kryptonite, which made the Kryptonians vulnerable to attack. Reactron stabbed Zor-El through the chest, killing him. Funeral services for Zor-El were held at the Fortress of Solitude and were presided over by his widow, Alura.
Powers and Abilities
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Zor-El possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Zor-El'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: Zor-El 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: Zor-El'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: Zor-El'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: Zor-El 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. Zor-Els 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: Zor-El can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Zor-El 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, Zor-El is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, his extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Zor-El 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: Zor-El'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: Zor-El 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: Zor-El 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: Zor-El can live longer than regular humans, remaining at his prime as long as he was under the exposure of the "yellow" sun.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Zor-El possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
Main article: Supergirl Recommended Reading
- Supergirl Recommended Reading
- Action Comics (Volume 1)
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1)
- All-Star Comics (Volume 1)
- Supergirl (Volume 1)
- Superman Family (Volume 1)
- Supergirl (Volume 2)
- Infinity Inc. (Volume 1)
- Power Girl (Volume 1)
- Supergirl (Volume 3)
- Supergirl (Volume 4)
- Supergirl (Volume 5)
- Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 1)
- Power Girl (Volume 2)
- Supergirl (Volume 6)
- Worlds' Finest (Volume 1)
- Supergirl (Volume 7)
- 44 Appearances of Zor-El (New Earth)
- 10 Images featuring Zor-El (New Earth)
- 3 Quotations by or about Zor-El (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Zor-El (New Earth)
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