Character » Jor-El appears in 1042 issues.

    Jor-El was a major Kryptonian scientist on the Kryptonian Science Council, the biological father of Superman, and the husband of Lara Lor-Van. He discovered the Phantom Zone and invented the Phantom Zone projector.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Jor-El last edited by JillC on 11/02/21 10:14AM View full history


    On the planet Krypton, Jor-El was born into the family of Jor-El the 1st, and Nimda An-Dor. The El family had a very prominent position in Kryptonian society, being a staple of the scientific world the same way the Zod family were foremost among those of the Military caste.

    Important Els included Gam-El, an important figure in Kryptonian architecture; Val-El, a famous explorer; Sul-El, the inventor of the telescope; Hatu-El, the inventor of the electromagnet and electric motor; and Tala-El, the author of Krypton's first planetary constitution. Jor-El, however, was the inventor of the 'Jor-El', a hovercraft.


    Jor-El is a DC character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, first appearing in More Fun Comics #101

    Character Evolution

    Hard Good-bye
    Hard Good-bye

    During his youth Jor would be mentored by the scientist Non, a relationship that he would keep strong for years to come. He eventually struck out on his own, delving fully into the realms of science and becoming a respected member of the Kryptonian Science Council in his own right. He had a number of useful discoveries that he contributed to Kryptonian society, though his most lasting discovery was that of the Phantom Zone. He lived a healthy life in Kryptonopolis with his wife, Lara Lor-Van, Krypto (the family dog), and his son, Kal-El (who would later be known as Superman)


    During his experiments Jor-El came across startling news. Krypton's core was unstable, and if it continued on its current course, it could result in the destruction of the planet. Alarmed, Jor-El shared this information with both his brother Zor-El, and his former mentor Non. Zor-El would take the warning to heart and begin his own preparations, leading to first his daughter and later his family's arrival on Earth. After having his findings further confirmed, Jor-El took them to the council. Sadly, the Science Council was unmoved by Jor-El's words, branding his findings ludicrous and ordering him to never speak of them again. Jor-El continued to attempt to rally support, until finally he was threatened with accusation of "causing undue panic" and exile in the very Phantom Zone he had found.

    Though the majority of Kryptonians disbelieved him, a few took his words to heart. Among them were General Dru-Zod and his lieutenant/lover Ursa. The Science Council had sent them to apprehend Non, who had continued to preach his protege's findings. Learning of this information, Zod and Ursa realized that he spoke the truth. Though they were to0 late to save him from the Science Council having him lobotomized, they decided to rebel against the Council to save Krypton. They shared their intentions with Jor-El, who, sensing the greed behind their actions, declined their offer of allegiance. When their insurrection failed, Jor-El was chosen to be their Jailer. Zod viewed Jor-El's inaction as a betrayal and assigned him the target of his hatred. Vowing to take over Krypton and make Jor and his son kneel before him, which would haunt Kal-El years later, Zod was consigned to the Zone.

    Abiding by the will of the Council, Jor-El spoke no more of his findings, but began instead to work on a way to save his son. Using his technology to attempt to find a suitable world for his son to be raised on, Jor-El sent a probe to Earth that made contact with Thomas Wayne while he was on a drive with a pregnant Martha. The probe sent a holographic transmission of Thomas' consciousness to Krypton so that Jor-El could better learn what kind of world Earth was in order to help him decide which of many possible candidates he should send his son to. Thomas tells Jor-El that the people of Earth aren't perfect, but are essentially a good and kind race, who would raise the child right, convincing Jor-El to send Kal-El there. Upon returning to his body, Thomas uses the technology in the Kryptonian probe to revitalize a failing Wayne Enterprises. Years later, the alien technology would be the basis of much of Batman's technology. Thomas recorded his encounter in a diary, which was discovered by Bruce in the present day.

    Due to Thomas' testimony, Jor-El decided that Earth would be the perfect home for Kal, especially after his discovery of the effects of a yellow sun on Kryptonian physiology. To ensure his son's safety, he first sent Krypto out on a test rocket, tested for his son, Kal-El. He then set about creating a rocket fit for Kal. Jor also began preparations to ensure his son would be properly educated, and that the knowledge of Krypton would survive. Just as he completed his preparations, Krypton began to shake itself apart, the death that Jor had foretold coming to fruition. Working with his wife, Jor-El sent baby Kal-El to the planet Earth. Years later, an adult Kal, then in contention with Lex Luthor, was able to view his parents through Luthor's time-space communicator. Back on Krypton, seconds before its destruction, Jor-El and Lara see their son alive and well on Earth and know that their efforts were successful. Through his actions, Jor-El not only saved his son, but sent Earth her greatest protector.

    The El family
    The El family

    In the book "Last days of Krypton" Jor-El's brother Zor-El discovered that Krypton's core was going to explode, and Jor-El discovered that the Sun Rao was going to explode. When an unknown alien named Donodon arrives, Jor-El convinces the alien to help with Krypton's core to see if it is right. However, Zod has Nam-Ek sabotage the machine and it explodes, killing Donodon.

    Also Jor-El discovers the phantom zone by configuring crystals and ripping a hole in the space time continuum.


    Most of Jor-El's Pre-New 52 history is still intact. He is still the biological father of Superman, the creator of the Phantom Zone projector, and is still part of the Kryptonian Science Council, and still is one of the few Kryptonians who knew of Krypton's imminent destruction and wished to voice his research to the Science Council. The core research center is destroyed by the Eradicator's henchmen. It is later revealed that the Eradicator knew of Jor-El's findings and wished to enlist him in a doomsday cult.



    Powers and Abilities

    Jor-El possesses Kryptonian Physiology and so is able to exhibit the powers of the average Kryptonian such as solar energy absorption, heat vision, super-hearing, enhanced vision (which included electromagnetic spectrum vision, microscopic vision, telescopic vision, x-ray vision and infrared vision.

    He is invulnerable and possesses incredible stamina levels alongside superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, agility and super breath. Jor-El is also able to fly.

    Jor-El has advanced knowledge of Kryptonian history and is proficient in scientific engineering. Like others of his race, he is vulnerable to kryptonite.

    Physical Appearance

    • Gender: Male
    • Eyes: Blue
    • Hair: Black
    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 190 lbs (86 kg)

    Alternate Versions

    Dark Knights of Steel

    In Dark Knights of Steel, when Krypton was exploding, Kal-El had not been born yet. So, Jor-El and his pregnant wife Lara Lor-Van went in the pod. When they landed on Earth, Lara was in labor. Some knights of the Kingdom nearby went to attack them but Jor-El stopped them and seemingly killed them. Nineteen years later, Jor-El had become King of the Kingdom of Storms. After Bruce Wayne and Kal had successfully captured Banshee, Jor-El and Bruce had a talk. Bruce revealed to Jor-El that he suspected he had dark magic in him, but Jor-El told him that he was his biological father. However, right after, he was seemingly killed by Oliver Queen.

    Other Media


    Superman The Movie (1978)

    Jor-El was portrayed by Marlon Brando in the 1978 movie, and voiced over for every movie after. In Superman Returns (2006), Marlon Brando was digitally recreated to play the "phantom" of Jor-El.

    Man Of Steel (2013)

    For more information see: Man of Steel

    Russel Crowe as Jor-El, just before sending off his son, Kal-El
    Russel Crowe as Jor-El, just before sending off his son, Kal-El

    Jor-El will be played by academy award winning actor Russel Crowe in the highly anticipated re-telling of the Superman legend.



    In the CW TV series, Smallville, Jor-El's role as nearly the same in the comic books, but he doesn't have a physical appearance; just his voice can be heard at first in the ship, after it, the cave, and after the fourth season in the Fortress of Solitude.

    In the series, Clark didn't think of Jor-El as his father; he hated him until Season 9, when Clark understood that he must push away his human side and fulfill his destiny, as the savior of the Earth.

    Jor-El is voiced by Terence Stamp (Who played General Zod in Superman II) in the series.


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