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Biography for
Jor-El (Character)
from Superman (1978)

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Jor-El is a fictional character appearing in Superman stories. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, he first appeared in a newspaper comic strip in 1939 with Superman. A Kryptonian, Jor-El is Superman's biological father, the husband of Lara, and a leading scientist on the planet Krypton before its destruction. He foresaw the planet's fate, but was unable to convince his colleagues in time to save the inhabitants. Jor-El was able to save his infant son Kal-El (Superman), sending him in a homemade spaceship towards Earth, just moments before Krypton exploded. After constructing his Fortress of Solitude, Superman honored his deceased biological parents with a statue of Jor-El and Lara holding up a globe of Krypton.

In the DC Animated Universe, Jor-El served Krypton's ruling council loyally for many years. At some point, he married Lara, daughter of Councilor Sul-Van. With her, he fathered one son, Kal-El. Sul-Van said once that Jor-El's primary flaw was his ego, that he was incapable of admitting that he could be wrong. Sul-Van may have been correct, but Jor-El carried it well because he was usually right, and never let concern for his reputation stand in the way of doing what he believed necessary.

Among his many accomplishments was thwarting High General Jax-Ur's attempted coup d'tat. Discovering intelligence of the uprising, Jor-El gathered a small force of militia and captured one of the rebel parties, using their communications equipment to send out a signal that disabled the rest of Jax-Ur's forces. He did not deign to appear at Jax-Ur's trial, a decision Jax-Ur called cowardice.

Years later, Jax-Ur would call Jor-El "a clever man" with poor judgment in choosing sides.

Conducting research on a series of earthquakes rocking Krypton, Jor-El discovered evidence which he said predicted the planet's imminent destruction. Before sharing his findings with the Council, he prepared a rescue plan for the planet's population that required sending all of Krypton's populace into the Phantom Zone, allowing himself, traveling in a one-man spacecraft, to release them on a new planet.

However, his findings were deliberately dismissed by the supercomputer Brainiac. The Council sided with Brainiac. Unwilling to admit that he might be mistaken, Jor-El investigated, and found that Brainiac had deliberately lied in order to give himself time to escape. By then, it was too late, as Krypton was to explode in a matter of hours. Jor-El could only put his backup plan into effect: to use his spacecraft to save his son, Kal. Programming the ship to carry Kal to Earth, Jor-El offered to send Lara with him. She refused, saying that her place was with her husband.

Before the ship departed, Jor-El and Lara recorded a message, telling their son that they loved him, and to always use his powers in a responsible way.

Jor-El watched the ship depart, and then kissed his wife as the world ended around them.

To honor his parents' memory, Superman carved two colossal statues of them in the Fortress of Solitude, holding aloft a globe of Krypton.

In "Smallville", Jor-El was the Kryptonian biological father of Kal-El, as well as the most renowned scientist on Krypton and an influential member of the Science Council. He and his brother Zor-El were the sons of Seyg-El. Before his death, he cloned a powerless version of himself and placed it in the Orb, and also copied his brainwaves into his son's spaceship, creating an artificial intelligence that often serves as Clark Kent's guide on Earth.

In the original Superman movies, Jor-El was a member of the Science Council of the planet Krypton, who discovered that the planet and its sun are on the verge of destruction. However, his warnings to the Science Council fell on deaf ears, as they considered this to be inciting sedition. Earlier on, Jor-El was involved in the sentencing of three dangerous criminals, General Zod, Ursa, and Non, for the crime of inciting sedition against the government and banished them to eternal imprisonment in the Phantom Zone amid threats from Zod that someday his adversary and even his heirs will bow down before him. Undaunted by the ignorance of the Science Council, Jor-El built a star ship for his infant son Kal-El to travel to Earth in, placing within the ship a green glowing crystal and an energy module containing the last remanining energies of Krypton. Lara sees the Earth as being primitive and that Kal-El will be a stranger among them, but Jor-El assures her that his son shall never be alone. As they watch the star ship rise into the sky and depart from Krypton, the ground crumbles underneath their feet and everyone else's until both Krypton and its sun explodes.

About 18 years after reaching Earth, Kal-El who became Clark Kent was summoned by the green glowing crystal to travel to the Arctic Circle and cast it into the sea from where it created a Kryptonian-style structure called the Fortress of Solitude. Inside, Clark activated a holographic representation of his biological father Jor-El, who taught his son the true nature of himself and his true name being Kal-El, spending 12 years teaching his son everything the memory crystals have recorded. At the end of the teaching, Kal-El now stands in the uniform of a superhero that the world will call Superman, bearing the family crest of El as a symbol upon his chest as did his real father before him.

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