The artificial intelligence Solaris was wrested into being during the first age of heroes, the time of Kal-El
- whom is known in the 853rd century as Superman Prime
. Many were the battles waged by the progenitor of the dynasty to foil the catastrophic schemes of the Anti-Sol, and deep the scars. And there came a time when Superman Prime began to falter, he had outlived his time, his friends, his beloved. A great sadness came upon him and he began to drift. Until, finally, at the close of the 21st century, he departed earth to seek the far rim of time and space, and was lost to history. But the son of Krypton
had not left Earth undefended. He delivered his adopted world into the hands of his heir, the hero called Superman Secundus. Solaris wasted no time in testing his new prime adversary. He exerted his neutron gravity pull, attempting to wrench the very planets from their paths, into his own dark orbit. Superman Secundus was equal to that challeng, and again and again, as were his decendants, generation after generation.
In the 25th century, Solaris went mad, launching his scorched Earth rampage, bent on reducing his birth world to a smoking cinder, and it was a Superman, leading that era's Justice League
, that drove him into the boiling sea, extinguishing the apocalypse. The early years of the 29th century saw the computer sun return from an exile in deep space at the forefront of a marauding army of sentient comets. Bent on universal domination, it took the combined might of the Justice League and the Legion of Super-heroes
to defeat that unholy alliance. But, as always, the key figure in this stunning victory was a member of the House of El
. The dynasty was by now long-established, for every generation there was at least one Superman standing guard. As the centuries unwound and new worlds of power were discovered, attained and misused...so too, did the power of the Supermen increase. When the Superman of the 67th century wed Gzntplzk, Queen of the 5th dimension, ten alien sensory powers were conferred upon the sons and the daughters of El. The Supermen were not alone in this time of violently escalating power. Old allies evolved, and other lineages, such as that of the weird and barely-human singularities, appeared. They were heroes all. Still, it was a Superman, leading his Office of Deputy Superhunters, who effectively ended the centuries of Bizarro Scourge that nearly eradicated the human race in the 250th millennium. Through all this, the war with Solaris raged on. In the 364th century, one of the fiery computer's ploys backfired in dramatic fashion, investing a new phase of heroes with the quantum powers of the uncertainty principle. Then, in the 505th century, the interlocking histories of Solaris and the Supermen reached a kind of terrible climax - an epic turning point - as the artificial sun unleashed his cancer plague. Bombarding the system with waves of deadly radiation, he watched from a far vantage as humanity writhed and died in helpless horror. When all else had failed, it was up to a Superman, aided by the 4th singularity and Gravity Witch, to carry the battle to Solaris in his distant refuge. In a desperate action that will echo forever through the halls of time, the singularity and the witch collapsed whole spatial dimensions to create countless hordes of duplicate Supermen, and while the duplicates wasted themselves like water in a massive assault meant to do no more than distract the killer sun, the true scion of El risked all in a daring invasion on Solaris's labyrinthian circuitry. Against incalculable odds, he was able to reprogram the malevolent computer sun. The system had been saved, but the grievous price was the man of steel himself.
From that day forth, the Solaris that had been - the artificial intelligence that had warred on all that lived - ceased to exist. The martyred Superman had succeeded in programming benevolence and servitude into his operating system. Solaris, in effect, became a willing tool in the hands of those who protect the system, and for millennia he remained incapable of independent action. As the wheel of the cosmos grinds forward, many strange things have come to pass, but none stranger than the reemergence of Solaris's intelligence and independence. And, his eventual acceptance as a hero and benevolent protector of the system he previously sought to annihilate.
For a long time he was a member in good standing of that era's Justice League of the Atom
, fighting side by side with the successors of his ancient foes. But, as ever, it was the Supermen who led the way with untarnished deeds of selfless courage, setting a standard almost impossible to match. Even though he followed the lead of his previous enemy, there was always the feeling that Solaris would never measure up to that standard. Unlike the Supermen, there was a part of this Solaris - champion that never seemed completely altruistic.
Even so, Solaris became a very influential power. In an epoch veering towards universal paranoia and instability, he formed the pancosmic Justice Jihad, whose aggressive agenda included preemptive strikes against worlds considered potential threats to the system. Doc Matter [The 7th singularity], The Void, Heaven and Hell, Starman
, The PJJ's role included that time's metahuman elite. Even a Superman joined the ranks early on, although he soon left over policy issues. The fearful populace of those dark millennia venerated the imperialistic actions of the PJJ, and Solaris's influence continued to grow. Many were the supergroups formed under his auspices. Perhaps best remembered is The Legion of Executive Familiars, whose beastly members included Solaris's Sun Dogs, Octus, the 8th Dimensional Cephalopod
, Wormhole, and Krypto-9.
Then one day, at the turn of the 700th century - literally from out of the blue - a haunted Ishmael drifted back to his adopted planet. No longer quite human, yet he had about him an air of deepest melancholy. He looked like one who had gone so far as to crash the gates of heaven - and still not found that for which he searched. His return signaled the beginning of the systemwide great spiritual revival, but he would have nothing to do with hero-worhip - he had grown far beyond societal convention.
He sought out the current Superman, the millennia-distant blood of his blood, and forged a covenant. So long as his descendants would remain loyal protectors of his beloved Earth, so he would grant them powers far beyond any held by any metahuman every - powers gleaned from the very edge of time and space, and administered by the Superman Prime from his new fortress of solitude deep within the hydrogen furnace of the system's own yellow sun. And so he remained in there...alone and waiting.
And what of Solaris? with the return of the Superman Prime and the spread of the great revival, a long age of xenophobia had ended. Public opinion gradually turned against the brutal methods of the pancosmic Justice Jihad and Solaris's reactionary agenda. The PJJ was disbanded, and Solaris went on to form the Academy of Prescient Justice, an organization of psychics, prognosticators and automatons that claimed to be able to forecast and prevent future crimes by manipulating current events. the APJ was generally ridiculed throughout its existence.
In an era that was turned away from "thinking machines" in favor of human mind potential, the once mighty Solaris became increasingly inconsequential. He eventually returned to his status as a passive secondary power source to the system. Solaris had finally capitulated to an erstwhile foe, now an unstated rival, whose seat of power was the system's primary power source. The house of El had finally triumphed, not because its power was greater, but because its sons and daughters were the nobler, the more caring, the more selfless. That dynasty, although of alien origin, always represented what is best about the human race, while Solaris, born of man... did not.
Solaris appears in All-Star Superman
as Lex Luthor
's secret ally in his plan to destroy Superman. The sun assisted Luthor by invading the neural net of one of Superman's Fortress robots
, stealing the blueprints of the serum that imbued Lois Lane
with Kal-El's powers and giving them to Luthor. However, Superman was forewarned by a holograph player sent into the past, the recorder being a descendant of a girl Superman saved in the present. Kal-El wins the battle with the sacrifices of most of his Fortress robots and his former pet Sun-Eater