Adam Strange

The most anticipated character from the upcoming Krypton tv series was probably Adam Strange, portrayed by Shaun Sipos, a classic hero from DC sci-fi comicbooks who was finally shown in the latest trailer…and it’s pretty disappointing. Forget the armor, the jetpack and the ray gun, this time-traveling Adam, who arrives on Krypton to prevent the fall of House of El, is just a random guy with a baseball cap and a hoodie. We can always hope that during the series his appearance changes to match the one in the comics, but as for now, we can only look at the original one, as usual, dreaming of a better live action debut for a guy who’s been around since 1958 with some of the most nostalgic science-fiction stories ever.

Adam Strange was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up with his brother Todd. Not much is known about his early life, apart from the fact that he studied to become an archaeologist, and that he achieved his goal in little time, thanks to a remarkable intellect and a sharp memory. Always a man of action more than a man of libraries, Adam traveled the world opening new excavation sites and personally exploring areas of interest, an habit that would have changed his life forever. One day, while in Peru, Adam Strange discovered the lost city of Caramanga, a formerly legendary Incan civilization…and much to his surprise, he found out that it wasn’t abandoned nor in ruin, as it was still inhabited by a lost Incan tribe who had maintained their pre-Colombian way of life. The Incas weren’t happy at all to find a stranger in their sacred city, and they started hunting him down. As Adam was escaping from them, he desperately tried to leap over a gully, but in that moment he was struck by an unnatural beam of light. In a matter of seconds, Adam Strange found himself transported to Rann, a planet distant 4.5 light years from Earth, a dying civilization crippled by centuries of nuclear war and now reduced to a savage wasteland. Obviously confused, Adam started wandering the new landscape, when he was attacked by a local predator, certainly alien-looking. Unable to react, the man was saved by a mysterious stranger, a raven-hair woman named Alanna. Alanna claimed to be the daughter of the man responsible for Adam’s arrival, so he followed her to her father’s lab. Here, Adam Strange met Sardath, Rann’s greatest scientist, and the one who finally had some explanation for him.

Apparently, Sardath had been trying to communicate with alien civilizations for years, and his latest invention were the Zeta-Beam, that any form of intelligent life would have been able to track back to Rann. Some radiation in the enormous distance between Rann and Earth, however, had clearly modified it, turning it into a teleportation beam, bringing Adam to Rann. Adam also realized that, once the effect of the Zeta-Beam ran out, he would have been teleported back to Earth with no further complication, so his permanence on the alien world was temporary. Reassured by this, and always an explorer, Adam Strange agreed to offer all the help he could to the alien and hostile world, and he was given a space suit, a jetpack and a ray gun by Sardath to try and solve some imminent threats. The cooperation was quite fruitful, and in little time Adam Strange, thanks to his prowess and courage, became the champion of Rann, also finding some unexpected bonus, as the hero fell in love with Alanna. As the effect of the Zeta-Beam was about to run out, however, Adam wanted to stay. Unable to grant this request, Sardath managed to inform him of the coordinates of the following appearances of the Zeta-Beam, with location and time. When he came back to Earth, Adam knew exactly where he had to be and when in order to return to Rann. From that moment, he became the hero of two worlds, traveling from Earth to Rann and back and always intervening to solve immediate crisis, thanks both to his futuristic equipment and his resourcefulness. With his alien tech, Adam was also able to help the mightiest heroes of Earth, the Justice League, in battling Kanjar-Ro, and eventually he even became a member, albeit not a full-time one as he constantly came back to Rann, where he married Alanna and had a daughter from her, Aleea. With time, however, it became clear that Adam’s arrival on Rann hadn’t been purely incidental, as Sardath had hidden a secret from his family and his entire world…

Adam Strange is a brave and brilliant man, an explorer born who found his natural calling far away from Earth. As the champion of Rann, he’s equipped with a Rannian suit and helmet that allow him to resist any kind of environment and atmosphere, with a jetpack he has absolute mastership over, and with a specially designed ray gun, the peak of his large alien arsenal. His most outstanding power, however, comes from his brain, an intellect able to match the one of Batman or Lex Luthor, that makes him a superb tactician and strategist, a quick-thinking and ingenuous warrior who can out-think and outmatch even opponents far more powerful than himself. An experienced and trusted hero, Adam Strange unites in himself the best of two worlds: from an archaeologist wanting to learn about the past, he became a living bridge to a future of inter-planetary cooperation.

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Kem-L

The second character spotted in the new promo images for Krypton is Kem, portrayed by Rasmus Hardiker. In the show, Kem will be an engineer, and Seg-El‘s best friend, one of the few who doesn’t avoid him because of the disgrace of his family. In the comics, not only Kem is close to the House of El, but he is actually part of it, albeit his name is more often spelled Kem-L rather than Kem-El. He’s also responsible for the creation of one of the most dangerous threats to Earth in our present times, despite living centuries ago. Let’s see together.

Kem-L was born thousands of years ago on planet Krypton, a member of the renowned and celebrated House of El. One of the most brilliant minds on the planet, Kem-L soon joined the Kryptonian Science Council, the ruling assembly, and rapidly rose to become the leader of one of its most extremist factions. Kem-L, in fact, was worried by the many alien influences that had been “tainting” Kryptonian heritage in the last years, and desperately tried to convince his peers that every new alien arriving on the planet was a direct threat to Krypton and its culture. His protests went pretty much unheard until a group of missionaries arrived from a dying planet. The last of their races, the missionaries spread a message of peace, that opposed to the relentless advancement of science (especially cloning). Kem-L once again warned Krypton against the threat they posed, but he was ignored…until the missionaries’ message became a new religion, the League of Life, and became pretty popular among many respected members of the community. Finally, the Council agreed to give free reins to Kem-L, as he was allowed to deal with the problem as he saw fit. Needless to say, the xenophobic extremist unleashed Kryptonian military power on the League of Life, and had all the Clerics (save one) killed.

Not satisfied with destroying an entire race, Kem-L desired to study his enemies’ technology, and soon realized that it was far more advanced than the Kryptonian one. One thing especially attracted his attention: a powerful sentient device programmed to protect and spread the dying planet’s culture all over the galaxy. Fascinated by the technology but disgusted by the way the offworlders had “tainted” it, Kem-L reprogrammed the living computer to protect Kryptonian culture…by destroying all the others, thus maintaining it pure: he christened his “creation” the Eradicator, and activated it on Krypton itself, to cleanse it from all alien influence. The remaining Cleric and his followers, however, managed to steal the Eradicator and to bring it off planet, stopping his action…for the moment: Kem-L knew that his creation would have completed his task wherever in space, so his apparent defeat was actually his greatest victory, as the Eradicator would have imposed Kryptonian culture far beyond Krypton’s atmosphere. Later on, following unknown circumstances, Kem-L found himself facing death, but he managed to cheat it, as he downloaded his consciousness and memories into a semi-sentient hologram. For some reason, however, his hologram was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, deemed too dangerous by the Science Council, and there he stayed for millennia. The holographic Kem-L had all the knowledge and skills of the original, and was just as radical and dangerous: he would have waited eons, if necessary, to see his idea of purity and supremacy of Kryptonian culture prevail.

Kem-L is a brilliant but violent man, a xenophobic maniac who sees in any alien influence on his homeplanet a direct threat to the purity of its legacy and culture. A genius engineer able to understand at first sight even technology far more advanced than his own, he uses his skills only for protecting his twisted version of Kryptonian heritage, better if at the expenses of others. As a hologram, his intellect and personality are now immortal, waiting in the Phantom Zone for the means to make Krypton great again.

Val-El

As we approach the debut date of Krypton, we got some new promotional images for the upcoming series, getting to know some of the main characters. Among these, at least two come from the comics: the first is of course Val-El, portrayed by Ian McElhinney. In the show, Val-El is Seg-El‘s grandfather, a firm believer in space exploration, who defies Krypton‘s authorities and is therefore condemned to the Phantom Zone. Apparently, he’ll be some sort of mentor for the young Seg, and possibly the reason for which the House of El has fallen in disgrace in the series. In the comics, he only appears in one issue of Krypton Chronicles, but is nevertheless a hero in Kryptonian history. Let’s see together.

Val-El was born on planet Krypton, a member of the respected and renowned House of El. He grew up with his brother, Tro-El, but the two were greatly different, despite their similarities: both of them were strong and vehement men, hostile to the Kryptonian strict set of rules and to the short-sightedness of the ruling Council, but they reacted differently to this feeling, and while Tro-El became an outlaw, Val-El was fascinated by exploration, and aimed to expand Kryptonians‘ knowledge and dominion. Following these ambitions, Val-El studied some forgotten Kryptonian authors, starting from Kil-Gor, a scientist and inventor who had become a relative to the House of El via marriage. Kil-Gor had helped the local fishermen with his inventions, in particular with one that allowed them never to get lost at sea, simply using a bowl of water and a piece of silver, that under the right conditions always pointed to North. Understanding the potentialities of this new technology for exploration, Val-El organized an expedition, and along with other wannabe explorers and with a ship captain, Ar-Go, left his home-city and traveled to unknown routes.

The expedition wasn’t exactly an easy one, and the ship Val-El and his companions traveled upon was met by a violent storm, that eventually sank it. All the explorers were saved, but Captain Ar-Go sacrificed his life so that they could continue their mission on land. Val-El arrived to a brand new continent, that he named Lurvan; in sign of respect for his lost friend, Val-El named the first city he founded there after him: Argo City, that would have become one of the biggest and wealthiest cities on the planet. He even founded two other settlements that grew to enormous size, Kryptonopolis and Kandor, but he wasn’t satisfied with “just” that. He continued his expedition, leaving his new settlements behind, and discovered another continent just near Lurvan, and he named it Urrika. The man who was seen as a dreamer and a fool was now revered as a national hero and a pioneer, as the lands he had discovered were far richer and wider than the small continent Kryptonians inhabited up to that point. When he died, Val-El was buried in Rokyn, the El Family Vault, where he was revered as the hero he was finally recognized as.

Val-El is a smart and adventurous man, an explorer born whose sight is always beyond the horizon. Far ahead of his time, Val-El uses the technology of a fisherman to explore the seas and the notes of an inventor to found new cities, shaping in “his” Krypton the one of the following generations: a true pioneer who contributed in a unique way to the birth of modern Krypton.

Seyg-El

With most of the series coming to the end of season, we start to see the trailers for the new ones coming next Autumn, and the first among these is Krypton, set on the doomed planet Krypton a couple of centuries before Superman arrives on Earth. The protagonist of the series will be Superman’s grandfather, Seyg-El (in this version mispelled Seg-El), who’s introduced as a young member of the disgraced and ostracized House of El who fights to reconquer the lost honor of his family. The series will be part of the DC Extended Universe, acting as a prequel to Man of Steel, and as we see from the trailer it will all be told in a message Seg-El leaves to his future grandson Kal-El. Now, waiting to meet Superman’s grandpa in flesh and blood, let’s take a look at his paper version…who surely doesn’t start as a disgraced nobelman at all.

Seyg-El was born in Kryptonopolis, one of the richest and most populated cities on planet Krypton, second only to the capital Kandor; he was the son of Ter-El, and he was a member of the renowned House of El, one of the most important noble families on the planet. Since his birth, Seyg-El was genetically destined to the Kryptonian Science Council, and his formation was programmed so that he could excell in it and lead it. He grew up along with his brother Zim-El, but the relationship between the two wasn’t exactly a siblings’ one, as relations were in general pretty cold within the House. As all the nobles on Krypton, Seyg-El didn’t chose his mate, as she was selected by the Master of the Gestation Chambers to preserve the purity of his blood: he was introduced to a girl named Nimda An-Dor, who became his wife. From her, Seyg-El had two children: a son, Jor-El, and a daughter, Kara Seyg-El. Just as sibling relationship, even the father and son one wasn’t exactly a passionate and warm bond on Krypton, and Seyg-El, who took care of Jor-El’s education personally, treated him with cold interest, making sure that he learnt Kryptonian traditions and science, but with the same attention a particularly detached teacher could have for a promising student. Jor-El, however, wasn’t like his father at all: albeit he properly studied Kryptonian etiquette and history, and he proved to be a versatile scientist and a curious researcher, he didn’t like the strictness of Krypton’s traditions, and dreamed of something more in his life than genetic perfection and oppressively organised society. Seyg-El didn’t understand his son’s ambitions, quite the opposite, he came to consider him a public embarassment, an apple that had fallen far distant from its tree. The greatest dishonor that Jor-El ever brought to his father came when the boy was about fifteen years old, and a great opportunity came to him and to the House of El in general, albeit in one of the harshest times ever for planet Krypton, as the Green Plague was claiming thousands of lives.

Among the ones who fell victim to the plague was Zon-Em, a respected nobleman, and his mate-to-be, Lara, was left without her future husband. The Master of the Gestation Chambers selected Jor-El as a replacement for Zon-Em, finding his genetic template worthy of mixing with Lara’s one. Seyg-El, understanding the honor this represented, prompted his son to accept, informing him of the privilege the Lords had granted him (Jor-El had not yet participated to the rite of passage to adulthood, and it was unheard of that a “child” was chosen as a mate for a noblewoman). Much to Seyg-El’s relief, Jor-El accepted the offer…but he managed to put him in great embarassment the moment he demanded to actually meet the woman he was supposed to marry and to conceive children with, a request that nobody, in centuries of genetic perfection-oriented combinations, had ever promoted. Father and son argued harshly about this, with Seyg-El seeing this request just another sign of Jor-El’s disrespect for Kryptonian traditions, a meaningless whim of a maverick; Jor-El, however, was unmovable, and when the Master of the Gestation Chambers actually granted his request and allowed him to meet Lara, Seyg-El rushed away, not wanting to have anything else to do with his rebellious son ever again. Seyg-El completely focused on leading the Kryptonian Science Council, and he did so with total respect of Kryptonian traditions, becoming a renowned conservative judge of any Kryptonian matter. To make things worse, soon Jor-El, who had in the meanwhile fallen in love with Lara and had married her nevertheless, became a scientist himself, subject to the Council as a result. Even more, in the moment when all Krypton’s greatest minds were trying to find a cure to the Green Plague without success, letting it destroy millions of lives, Jor-El started exposing theories about a destabilization of the planet’s nucleus that would have brought to the destruction of Krypton. Seyg-El refused to listen to his own son, and ordered him to keep quite about this not to spread panic among the population: this last act of pride, however, would have costed him much…

Seyg-El is a serious and proud member of the House of El, the heir of a long legacy of rules and traditions who consecrates his entire life to respecting and protecting them. A brilliant scientist and a deep connoisseur of Kryptonian history and customs, he’s the leader of the Science Council, a perfect man shaped by eugenics who doesn’t accept the slightest flaw in himself or in others. Severe and inflexible, Seyg-El represents everything that made Krypton great…and everything that marked its downfall as well.

Vril Dox (Brainiac)

brainiacfilmSecond DC character from casualgamer‘s list is another big bad from Superman‘s rogues gallery: Brainiac, the cybernetic alien. Despite having been rumored to appear in pretty much every live action adaptation of his nemesis, Brainiac has had only one portrayal so far, as the main villain of Smallville‘s Season 5. Arrived on Earth after the destruction of Krypton, the Brain InterActive Construct built by Jor-El disguises himself as Professor Milton Fine and becomes a mentor for young Clark Kent, only to reveal his true, malicious nature after. He’s behind many of the series’ misfortunes, including the return of General Zod and Doomsday, but he’s eventually sent to the XXXI Century to be reprogrammed in a more hero-friendly way. There are countless versions of Brainiac in the comics, but we’ll focus on the main one from New Earth, who’s not a Kryptonian sentient computer like his live action counterpart, but rather an evil alien conqueror with limitless intelligence. Let’s see together.

Vril Dox was born on planet Colu, a remote world near the Magellanic Clouds; Colu was known as one of the most technologically advanced planets in the universe, and in fact its entire surface was covered with futuristic machines and semi-sentient computers. Vril Dox himself was one of the most gifted scientists there, a genius even for Coluan standards. Obsessed with knowledge, he decided that theoretical research wasn’t enough for him anymore, and built a giant spaceship in order to continue and complete his studies throughout the galaxy. Studying from afar wasn’t exactly his style, and he arrived to the point of kidnapping living beings to put them in a zoo of sort inside his ship, so that he could study them thoroughly. Even single organisms weren’t enough to sate his hunger for knowledge, and he resolved to observe more complex and dynamic subjects: entire cities. He deviced a ray capable of miniaturizing matter without destroying it, and used it on many worlds, shrinking down the most relevant and representative cities of those planets and keeping them along with their inhabitants in bottle-like canisters, in a brainiaccomics1personal, perverse collection. Eventually he arrived also on the dying planet Krypton, since he didn’t want to lose the opportunity to study Kryptonian society and people before their extinction: he attacked the cultural capital, Kandor, and all the efforts of the planet’s army were simply useless against his technologically superior ship. The Kryptonian forces were repelled, and Kandor was shrunk, embarked and added to the collection, just months before Krypton was destroyed. That single appearance was more than enough to make all the surviving Kryptonians shiver in fear at the simple mention of Vril Dox’s name. With his researches growing in number, Vril Dox eventually came in need of help, but he didn’t trust anybody with an intellect inferior to his own…so he eventually cloned himself, first in an organic copy he named Vril Dox II, who acted as his lab assistant, and later in entirely robotic copies in which he infused his conscience, and that were sent in any corner of the galaxy as probes to find other research material for Dox. Apparently, nothing could stop his destructive thirst for knowledge.

Although for Coluans science and research were almost sacred, they couldn’t stand by as one of their best minds committed one genocide after the other, so Vril Dox was eventually arrested by his peers and sentenced to death. After putting his collection in a safe hiding place, Dox let himself being brought to Colu for the execution…but projecting his conscience in other “vessels” was a long-learnt trick by then, and he escaped death by transferring himself in open space, looking for a mind powerful enough to contain him; the right opportunity arrived on a remote planet, Earth, where a mentalist named Milton Fine was performing in a sideshow. Unwillingly, Fine (whose stage name was “Brainiac”, a moniker Vril Dox quite enjoyed) opened his mind enough for Vril Dox to enter it, and the alien took control of his body and erased his previous persona as a virus on a computer. He even got access to all brainiaccomics2of Fine’s memories and knowledge, as well as to his latent psychic abilities. Since the alien needed cranial fluid to mantain his connection with Milton Fine’s brain, he eventually went on a murder spree, and he was stopped by a local hero, Superman, who turned out to be one of the last living Kryptonians. The alien was intrigued, but he had to postpone all his projects involving Superman, as his human body was captured by Lex Luthor, somewhat his equivalent on Earth: brought in one of Lexcorp‘s secret labs to be studied, Brainiac used his superior intellect and his psychic abilities to take control of the entire corporation from the inside. Under Brainiac’s orders (which appeared to be Luthor’s), the scientists followed unknown specifics and rebuilt a fully-functioning cyber-organic Coluan body, that Brainiac eventually took possession of. Now free from the limitations the human body imposed to him, Brainiac recovered his ship, as well as his entire collection of shrunken cities…but now he wanted to add some more from Earth, specifically MetropolisParisRome and New York. He sent another drone, just to challenge Superman: the hero, who defeated the drone without problems, was warned just in time by his cousin Supergirl of what kind of nightmare their adoptive planet would have soon faced…

Vril Dox is an absolute genius, but also a cold-minded and rational conqueror, a genocidal megalomaniac who sacrifices entire worlds and races to his thirst for knowledge. As Brainiac, he possesses numerous superpowers, which however can vary depending on the body his conscience is inhabiting; usually, he displays superhuman strength and durability, vast psychokinetic powers, telepathy, the ability to interface with any technological or digital device, and of course the capability of projecting his conscience into other bodies, being them organic or mechanical (sometimes, he’s also been able to duplicate the powers of a Kryptonian under a yellow sun). With an unlimited intellect and a just as wide knowledge, now the head of a “bloodline” of clones and descendants who refer to him as the “great ancestor” Brainiac 1, Brainiac is the ultimate conqueror, an alien genius who aims to seize the entire universe to work out its secrets…even if that means destroying a big part of it in the process.

Dev-Em

MAN OF STEELIn Man of Steel, the army of General Zod‘s followers is a real mine of cameos. For a start, we’ll begin from the one who looks younger among the soldiers exiled in the Phantom Zone, the one who follows the General in his riot on Krypton but is among the ones that never leaves the ship once on Earth: it’s Dev-Em, portrayed on screen by Revard Dufresne. This one is the very first live action appearance of Dev-Em, but maybe the character deserved something more than a little appearance without even a line. Let’s see together who this teenager Kryptonian is in the comics.

One character, many stories, as it always happens for DC Comics characters. The first and most famous Dev-Em was a juvenile delinquent on Krypton, a rogue teenager who was known as the Knave of Krypton. Despite his really bad attitude, Dev-Em was one of the few Kryptonians who actually believed Jor-El‘s warning about the imminent planet destruction, and tried to save himself and his family with suspended animation in a space ship orbiting around Krypton. When the planet exploded, Dev-Em’s ship was blasted through the galaxies, and, while his parents didn’t make it, the boy survived; after some years of drifting away, Dev-Em finally arrived on Earth, where he discovered that another Kryptonian survivor was living. Plus, this Kryptonian was none other than the very son of Jor-El, Kal-El, now a boy around his own age who was called Superboy. Dev-Em befriended Kal-El, but, faithful to his nature, was already planning a way to ruin the hero’s reputation. Dev-Em arrived to the point of locking Kal-El in the Phantom Zone and replacing him as Superboy to achieve hisdevemcomics1 goal, but living as the best hero in the world for a few hours was more than enough to show him that a different life was indeed possible: Dev-Em repented, freed the real Superboy and left the planet. After a very brief galactic exploration, Dev-Em finally decided to let the XX century itself, travelling one thousand years in the future. In the XXX century, Dev-Em finally reformed, and became a member of the Interstellar Counter-Intelligence Corp, space secret agents fighting for the better good. He also became friends with Mon-El, a Daxamite alien who was also one of the most prominent superheroes of this time. Dev-Em fought at Mon-El’s side on several occasions, and he even allied himself with the entire Legion of Super Heroes (the most important and active super group of the XXX century); he also fought the villanous Darkseid, and after a hard victory he was offered a place in the Legion, but he declined in order to stay with the Corp.

Dev-Em suffered major changes during the various continuity reboot, and at certain points he also became a telepath from Titan who obtained Kryptonian-like powers thanks to his mind powers, or even a mad Daxamite powerful enough to beat the whole Legion and Superman, come to their aid. Finally, after the last (at least for now…) crisis, Dev-Em regained his Kryptonian origins, but with a completely different personality. In this version, Dev-Em was a Kryptonian criminal, arrested for murder, perversion and many other violent acts. Extremely dangerous, Dev-Em was sent to Fort Rozz to attend his own trial, and was condemned to be devemcomics2exiled into the Phantom Zone. Just before the Phantom Zone Projector was activated, however, a riot started, and the device got broken, sucking the entire fortress and its occupants in the dimensional prison. Since, being in Fort Rozz, the prisoners weren’t directly exposed to the Phantom Zone’s environment, and could mantain their physical body. Thanks to his strength and his cruelty, Dev-Em became one of the leaders of the prison, and his position allowed him to meet another famous host of the Zone, General Zod: recognizing in the military leader someone stronger than him, Dev-Em agreed to become his follower. When Zod and his officers escaped from the Phantom Zone, Dev-Em chose to stay behind, so that he could have become a leader once again: when Zod, on Earth, battled and defeated Superman, the hero was sent in the Phantom Zone, where Dev-Em was ready to face him. In the Zone, no Kryptonians retained his powers, and Dev-Em was a combatant far stronger than Kal-El: the latter was defeated and almost killed, but another Zoner, Mon-El, intervened, saving Superman and knocking Dev-Em out. When the heroes escaped from the Phantom Zone, Dev-Em was left behind, lingering in his prison.

Arrogant and characterized by an abrasive nature in every incarnation, Dev-Em is both an immature teenager with quite a vocation for troubles, but ready to take some responsibilities and fight for a better good, and a murderous psychopath with no ethics and no compassion at all. As all Kryptonians, if exposed to a yellow sun he develops amazing powers, such as superhuman strength, stamina, speed, durability and reflexes; invulnerability; heat vision; freezing breath; x-ray vision; super breath; flight and more. Depending on the incarnation, Dev-Em is either a formidable force for good, or a remarkable enemy to deal with.

Jax-Ur

Jax-UrThe long awaited movie Man of Steel has finally been released in several countries (not mine, not yet at least), and we can take a look to some more of the characters featured in the film. For first, we’ll speak about one of General Zod‘s Kryptonian followers, the scientist Jax-Ur, portrayed in the movie by Mackenzie Gray. This is the first live action appearance of the character, despite in Smallville, season 7, a character with a similar name appeared: Dax-Ur, the creator of Brainiac. Since this portrayal is quite different from Jax-Ur’s usual incarnation, we can assume that the two are not related, despite the many similarities. Now, let’s see who Jax-Ur is in the comics.

Like most of DC Comics characters, also Jax-Ur underwent several continuity rewritings, following the many Crisis and similar reboots. The first incarnation of the character was also the first and worst criminal ever imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. Jax-Ur was a genius scientist on Krypton, who committed himself in researching nuclear energy: he built a nuclear missile, and wanted to test it on a passing space rock. Unfortunately, Jor-El, another famous scientist, was testing his own spaceship around the same orbit, and the missile’s trajectory was modified. As a result, the colonial moon Weghtor was completely destroyed, along with its hundreds of inhabitants. The test was anyway succesfull, and Jax-Ur started the mass-production of his missiles planning to overthrow the High Coucil with them. Jor-El tracked the source of the first missile, and arrested Jax-Ur: showing no remorse at all for what happened to Weghtor, Jax-Ur was sentenced to eternal imprisonment in the jaxurcomics1Phantom Zone. Years later, other criminals arrived in the Phantom Zone, and Jax-Ur allied himself with some of them, like General Zod and Faora. From them, he learnt that Jor-El’s son had survived Krypton’s destruction, living on Earth. Driven by vengeance, Jax-Ur used his genius to escape the Phantom Zone and travelled to Earth, reaching the little town of Smallville. In here, he kidnapped Jonathan Kent and used his technology to imitate his appearance. Jax-Ur made young Clark Kent believe that his father had become a superhero too, but was unmasked the moment he signed an invoice with his true name (not so smart, in fact…). Clark fought him as Superboy, and imprisoned him again in the Phantom Zone. Jax-Ur kept planning and plotting against Kal-El from the Phantom Zone, until he managed to escape once again; this time, however, he allied himself with adult Kal-El, Superman, to fight Black Zero, the alien who had destroyed Krypton. Using the new powers obtained with the Red Kryptonite used by Black Zero himself, Jax-Ur killed the alien, avenging his home planet; he then came back to the Phantom Zone on his own will.

After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Jax-Ur was still the Kryptonian scientist responsible for the destruction of Weghtor. This time, his actions drew the unpleasant attention of Brainiac, the Coulan cyborg that “stole” Kandor, another colony. Jax-Ur was found guilty for the destruction of both colonies and the mass-murder of the inhabitants, and sentenced to imprisonment in the Phantom Zone. This one was used just as a storage until Jax-Ur’s incrimination, and became a dimensional prison only from that moment on. Years passed, and Krypton was destroyed during a natural planetary crisis. Jax-Ur was later released from his imprisonment by General jaxurcomics2Zod, a Kryptonian warlord who was searching for allies; wanting to help Zod with his conquest plans, Jax-Ur became one of his Sleeper Kryptonians, agents disguised as humans while posing on Earth as normal citizens. Jax-Ur was hidden behind the identity of Dr. Phillings, one of the most brilliant xenobiologists on the planet. Secretly, he was conducting a series of atrocious experiments on Earth creatures, humans included, while publicly he was one of the world’s top experts in Kryptonian DNA. When Dr. Light asked Phillings to do some research on Chris Kent‘s accelerate aging, the man used the occasion to investigate about the connection of Kent with Kryptonian demi-god Nightwing, and of his fellow Thara Ak-Var with Flamebird. His researches led Jax-Ur to understand that the boy and the girl were avatars of the demi-gods, just as him was an avatar of their nemesis, Vohc the Breaker. Using the heroes’ DNA, Jax-Ur/Vohc created a clone of Rao, the Kryptonian main god, and used it as a weapon to unleash on the world. Jax-Ur was ultimately defeated by Nightwing and Flamebird, who destroyed the Rao clone and left an unconcious Jax-Ur to be collected by the Justice Society.

Jax-Ur is a completely amoral and unscrupolous scientist, ready to crash anything and anyone who stands on his research’s path. As a Kryptonian, he possesses all Superman’s powers (superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes and senses; heat vision; freezing breath; flight; x-ray vision and many more), but, being a scholar and not a warrior, he doesn’t stand a chance in physical confrontation with Kal-El. His most dangerous weapon is his own intellect: a genius with no ethical limitations, he’s able to conceive and build any kind of weapon of unthinkable destructive power.