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|As a result of the New 52 in 2011, the entire line of DC characters was relaunched, incorporating properties belonging to the company's imprints: Wildstorm, Milestone, and Vertigo. As such, elements of this character's history have been altered in some way from the previous incarnation. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
In spite of his jealousy and resentment, Zor-El listened when Jor-El claimed Krypton was doomed. Using Brainiac-based technology he built a dome around Argo City, and a space rocket to send Kara to Earth just in case Argo's force-field failed. He did not warn his wife and daughter about his plans, though. Minutes before the explosion he put his daughter to sleep, laid her on a space pod and blasted her into space.
Argo City outlived Krypton, but not for long. Without a way to sustain themselves, all Argoans eventually died. Zor-El was the only left when Brainiac found the city. Brainiac turned Zor-El into a cyborg, erased his memory and reprogrammed him to serve him.
Still, Zor-El was not a compliant servant. He was obsessed with achieving perfection and getting his lost memories back. The new Zor-El met and fought Supergirl - who gave him the "Cyborg Superman" moniker - several times.
Zor-El eventually rebelled against Brainiac. He was soundly defeated and left for dead. However, his systems rebooted, restoring his memory in the process. Zor-El was appalled at what he had become and what he had done. He became obsessed with bringing Argo City back and recreating Krypton, convincing himself it was for his daughter's sake. Unfortunately, his chosen method demanded the sacrifice of Earth people's lives, forcing Supergirl to stop him.
After defeating him, Kara told her father that he could have looked for another way to save Argo and she would have helped him... but he never wanted that. Ultimately though, she was not willing to give up on her father so Zor-El was taken to Dr. Veritas's lab.
Zor-El was placed inside a pod as Dr. Veritas went about removing his cybernetic components and reconstructing his body using TychoTech's technology. Kara often visited him, but Zor-El pretended to sleep and never talked back.
It was not until Indigo nearly killed Supergirl that Zor-El acted by tearing Indigo into pieces. Although he was only saving his daughter's life, the National City's townsfolk felt his actions confirmed Supergirl was protecting a murderer only because he was her father. Zor-El was captured by the D.E.O., taken to a clandestine base and locked up. There he was visited by Mister Oz, who gave him what he considered a mercy kill by activating the red plasma failsafe in his containment tank, leaving him to drown in it, powerless.
- 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.
- Cybernetic Enhancement: Cyborg Superman was created by Brainiac. When Zor-El lay dying at the machine's feet he was enhanced and perfected to Brainiac's liking and sent forth to find perfection in the universe.
- Energy Projection: Cyborg Superman can fire heat beams from a cybernetic eye that can cut through ships and large chunks of land. He can also fire electricity from his body to electrocute or destroy machines.
- Flight: Cyborg Superman can fly through his own technological means. As with most of his ability he has perfect control of his maneuverability.
- Invulnerability: Cyborg Superman is immune to most, if not all, forms of damage. When a planetary defense space carrier unloads its munitions on him he simply walks through it.
- Metamorphosis: Cyborg Superman's right arm can shapeshift into whatever means he desires. This ability is limited to the technological means available to him, this means he can extend and expand his arm but only to conceivable limits.
- Superhuman Speed: Cyborg Superman can travel through space at high speeds and crack barriers on planets in flight.
- Superhuman Strength: Cyborg Superman is strong enough to hold down fully powered Kryptonians as well as other aliens of heightened strength. He sends his body through ships with enough force to cause them to explode.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Zor-El possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Zor-El was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, first appearing as part of the Superman Family in Action Comics #252. However, in the rebooted Prime Earth continuity his first appearance as part of the DC Universe is in Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Mahmud Asrar's New 52 Supergirl series.
- Steve Orlando confirmed via Twitter that Zor-El also became Cyborg Superman in the post-"Superman: Reborn" revised continuity.
- 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)
- 41 Appearances of Zor-El (Prime Earth)
- 12 Images featuring Zor-El (Prime Earth)
- 5 Quotations by or about Zor-El (Prime Earth)
- Character Gallery: Zor-El (Prime Earth)
|Supergirl Villain(s) |