Last Son Of Krypton?1 of 12
This week, a new trailerfor SyFy’s Krypton, which delves into the Kryptonian history of Superman’s family, debuted.
Kryptonians may be rare now, but back before, you know, that whole planetary destruction thing, they were fairly plentiful (though they lacked Superman’s powers thanks to Krypton’s red sun).
Nowadays, they’re a lot harder to find in the universe, but a few of them – besides Kal-El – did manage to survive. Here are ten of the greatest Kryptonians in the DC Universe.
Jor-El & Lara2 of 12
Superman’s parents may be the most famous Kryptonians who never made it to Earth (until recently that is).
Jor-El and his wife Lara were scientists on Krypton. When Jor-El discovered his world was dying, he built a rocket and sent his infant son Kal-El to Earth, knowing he would be safe there, and that Earth’s yellow sun would empower his son with great strength.
Though he was raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent, Jor-El and Lara have been Superman’s guiding light since discovering the truth of his past. They’ve been a constant presence in basically every iteration of Superman’s story, with Russell Crowe playing Jor-El in the most recent adaptation of Superman’s origin, Man of Steel.
Nightwing & Flamebird3 of 12
That’s right, Nightwing is Kryptonian – just not the Nightwing you know and love. Before Dick Grayson, Superman himself took the mantle of 'Nightwing' while visiting the Bottle City of Kandor, bringing his pal Jimmy Olsen with him as 'Flamebird.' Later, Superman’s cousin Van-Zee also used the alias in Kandor.
When Dick graduated to fighting crime on his own, he took the name Nightwing as an homage to Superman, who he considered a mentor just like his surrogate father Batman.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths changed DC’s history, this was slightly altered; rather than being an alias used by Superman himself, Nightwing and his partner Flamebird were legendary Kryptonian heroes from the past.
During the “World of New Krypton” story, Chris Kent, the son of General Zod and the adopted son of Superman, took the mantle, with the Kryptonian Kara Ak-Var adopting the identity of Flamebird.
Jon Kent4 of 12
The newest Superboy is living proof that Kal-El is no longer the 'Last Son of Krypton' – that honor goes to, well, his half-Kryptonian son, Jonathan Kent. Jonathan is Kal/Clark’s biological son with his wife Lois Lane, and current inheritor of the mantle of Superboy.
Introduced just prior to "Rebirth," Jon Kent inherited his dad’s powers, and unlike many heroes with that kind of legacy, his father is still around to show him how to use them. Their relationship is the primary focus of "Rebirth's" Superman.
Eradicator5 of 12
The Eradicator is less a Kryptonian citizen, and more a Kryptonian artifact. A sentient weapon, the Eradicator was built to destroy other civilizations to make way for Kryptonian expansion.
Though he first appeared as a villain, he later became one of the four Supermen who appeared in Metropolis after Kal-El’s death at the hands of Doomsday – another Kryptonian weapon.
Eradicator recently appeared in "Rebirth’s" Superman title.
Superboy-Prime6 of 12
Superboy-Prime is technically from Krypton – but the Krypton of an alternate universe. Our universe.
On Superboy-Prime’s world, superheroes are characters in comic books, idolized by young Clark Kent who thought he was an ordinary kid until he learned that, like his “fictional” hero Superman, he was saved from a dying world and possessed incredible powers under a yellow sun.
Superboy-Prime played a major role in Crisis on Infinite Earths helping save the universe, and returned in Infinite Crisis as a villain, a role he occupied with extreme ruthlessness, even killing Conner Kent, the latter-day Superboy.
Superboy-Prime was last seen being imprisoned in the Source Wall prior to DC’s Flashpoint reboot.
Krypto7 of 12
Just like Earth, Krypton was home to more than just people. In fact, it was also home to man’s (Kryptonian’s?) best friend, dogs. Krypto was baby Kal-El’s pet on Krypton, sent to Earth as an experiment to test the rocket that eventually rescued Kal from the dying planet.
Originally, Krypto was one of many “super-pets,” including a horse, cat, and monkey, all from Krypton. After Crisis on Infinite Earths, there was a version of Krypto from a pocket universe, and one that was just an ordinary dog with the same name. A third modern version was from a fake Krypton created by Brainiac.
After Flashpoint, a new version of Krypto rescued from the Phantom Zone was introduced.
Conner Kent8 of 12
Conner Kent, a.k.a. Kon-El, was technically only half-Kryptonian, inasmuch as he is a clone of both Superman and his arch-enemy Lex Luthor. Created by Project Cadmus, Conner rose to prominence as one of the four Supermen that appeared after Superman’s death.
Though his powers were somewhat different from Superman’s – he lacked heat vision and had “tactile telekinesis” rather than outright super strength – Conner/Superboy was a fan favorite who had his own title for years before becoming a key member of the Teen Titans.
He was killed during Infinite Crisis by Superboy-Prime, though he did eventually return. The character was significantly revamped in the “New 52” with a new origin. Though he was still a clone, he was a clone of Jon Lane Kent, the child of Superman and Lois Lane from an alternate future. This version got bogged down in time travel and alternate realities, before being shuffled out of continuity entirely for the current Superboy, none other than Jon Kent.
Doomsday9 of 12
Doomsday isn’t exactly a Kryptonian in the same sense as Kal-El; created on prehistoric Krypton, Doomsday’s creator left him to die in the planet’s harsh environment before cloning him and strengthening him against what previously killed him. This process was repeated over and over until Doomsday was nigh invulnerable.
Eons later, Doomsday arrived on Earth, laying waste to Metropolis and killing Superman in the process. Doomsday has continued to challenge Superman ever since, looming over him like a destructive shadow.
Doomsday repeated his classic role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, killing Superman in the film’s climactic battle.
General Zod10 of 12
General Zod was a war hero on Krypton before being exiled to the Phantom Zone as a criminal. Alongside a posse of Kryptonian soldiers (whose identities vary based on the era and medium), he became a villain on Earth after being released from the extra-dimensional prison.
Zod has been a fairly constant thorn in Superman’s side for decades, even when the idea of other Kryptonians was verboten at DC Comics. And, with all the same powers as Superman, he’s also the Man of Steel’s equal. He was the primary antagonist of Man of Steel, though Superman killed him at the end of that movie in a not unprecedentedturn of events. His corpse was later used in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to create the film’s version of another Kryptonian villain, Doomsday.
Supergirl11 of 12
Supergirl is probably the best known Kryptonian next to Superman himself, having starred in her own title and her own adventures off and on for the better part of 50 years.
Like Superman, she was sent to Earth before Krypton exploded, but her ship arrived much later, leaving her a teenager though Superman had aged into adulthood.
Supergirl is remarkably popular, with an ongoing series and a well-received television series that is currently in its third season.
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