Jor-El (Smallville)
Biographical Information
  • Smallville Universe
  • deceased
Cause of Death:
  • Planet was destroyed
  • Lara-El †
Romantic Exes:
Media Information
Portrayed by: Tom Welling, Terence Stamp & Julian Sands
First appearance: Relic

Quote1 the truest hero I have ever known. He has dedicated his life's work, not to death...or war...but to creation.
Zod to the Ruling Council in Kandor.
Jor-El (1935-1986) 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. This artificial intelligence could also possess human beings, namely Lionel Luthor.

Early Life & CareerEdit

(All birth dates for those born on Krypton are in Earth years)
When I said I wasn't from here, I wasn't talking about Smallville. Where I'm from, we have colors that you've never seen. Our moons are so close they fill up half the sky. We have sunsets that last for hours.
Joe to Louise McCallum in Relic.

Jor-El was born in 1935 on Krypton, where he was raised alongside his younger brother Zor-El. It was strongly implied that Jor-El had a strained relationship with his father, Seyg-El. [1]

Joe and Louise.

In 1961, as a young man around the age of 26, Jor-El was sent to Smallville by his father as a Kryptonian rite of passage. While on Earth, Jor-El gained superhuman powers like any Kryptonian due to exposure to the planet's yellow sun. During his visit, Jor-El went under two aliases: "The Drifter" and "Joe." As Joe, he met Louise McCallum on June 15 after stopping Lachlan Luthor, who mugged Louise. Joe and Louise fell in love, despite the fact that Louise was married to Dex McCallum, and had an affair.

Jor-El and Hiram Kent in the Kawatche Caves.

On June 17, when Lachlan shot at Joe, the bullets bounced off his invulnerable body, but one hit Louise in the heart, killing her. Joe was greatly devastated by Louise's death, but knew he had to leave Earth if he was to serve the greater good. While on his way to the Kawatche Caves, Jor-El met Hiram Kent, who helped him escape from the police. Thanks to Hiram's selfless bravery and help, Jor-El made it to the caves and thanked Hiram for his kindness.

Jor-El buries the Kryptonian medallion which would be discovered by Clark 40 years later.

After Hiram left the cave, Jor-El used the Key to open a small compartment in the cave wall, hiding a memory pendant so that his father would never learn of his human experiences. He then sealed it, collapsing the entrance to the caves as well, and returned to Krypton.

Sometime after returning to Krypton, Jor-El became a scientist. He and his brother Zor-El had a falling-out over Lara, with whom they both fell in love. Despite this, Jor-El married Lara, driving a wedge between him and his brother.

Later YearsEdit

Put him inside, Lara. Our time has passed. The hourglass is empty. ... Lara, his destiny is set as is ours.
Jor-El, to Lara-El in Memoria.

Jor-El eventually became Krypton's most renowned scientist, and was best friends with Zod, a major in Krypton's army. He created cloning technology for the purpose of healing the seriously injured and ill, but was ordered by the Ruling Council to use this technology as a safeguard in case Rao's prophecy ever became true. Against Jor-El's own wishes, the Council pressed forward with their plans and began taking blood samples from soldiers on the battlefield just outside Kandor during the war with Black Zero. Jor-El stopped the blood intake as it made it to Zod, feeling that the Council's project had to be stopped. He, Zod and the soldiers then witnessed the destruction of Kandor.

Because of his disruption of the blood intake, Jor-El was put on trial by the Council for treason. He made his case before the Council, saying that taking genetic material from the Kandorians and putting it into the Orb so they could be resurrected on Earth would doom humanity. Despite this, Jor-El was sentenced to death for his actions until Zod appeared and made an impassioned plea that the Council spare Jor-El; the Council agreed to do so on the condition that Jor-El complete the Orb and both he and Zod donate their blood to the Orb as well so that the clones would be led by two of Krypton's greatest heroes. Jor-El finished the Orb, using blue kryptonite to nullify the Kandorians' powers, and prepared to send the Stones of Power to Earth so the Kandorians could collect them if they were ever resurrected. Zod then came to Jor-El and begged him to use his cloning technology to resurrect his son, who was among those killed when Kandor was destroyed by Black Zero. However, Jor-El refused, fearing that there would be complications and mutations. Though they both drew their own blood, Zod angrily retorted to Jor-El that he (Jor-El) was as dead to him as his son.

Some years later, Jor-El became a member of the Science Council and was given a victory ring. He created the Phantom Zone, a plane of existence that served as a prison for malevolent criminals from the 28 known galaxies, and became good friends with the Martian Manhunter, who helped Jor-El hunt down alien criminals and send them to the Phantom Zone.

After years of trying to conceive a child, Jor-El and Lara finally had a son named Kal-El. Around this time,[2] Jor-El opposed Zod and his attempt to conquer Krypton, and created the Brain InterActive Construct using Dax-Ur's designs to aid in the war against Zod and his army. He and the Council eventually managed to capture Zod and destroy his physical body, imprisoning his mind and spirit in the Phantom Zone.

Jor-El then contacted Zor-El to inform him of Zod's imprisonment and that, because of his (Zor-El's) association with Zod, Zor-El was under arrest. Knowing of Zor-El's trips to Earth, the Council destroyed all the portals off of Krypton and locked Zor-El in Kandor's mine control room. Zor-El, however, instructed Brainiac to override the lockdown and re-activated the ignition of Krypton's core. After Kara contacted Lara and told her about Zor-El's plans, Lara told Jor-El, who went and tried to stop the ignition.

Baby clark
Jor-El and Lara place their son Kal-El in a spaceship before Krypton's destruction.

Unfortunately, Jor-El was unable to prevent the end of his world. Before Krypton perished, he decided to send Kal-El to Earth to find the Stones of Power and keep them from falling into the hands of Brainiac, knowing that he would be able to free Zod from the Phantom Zone. To ensure Kal-El's safety, guidance and destiny in the Kryptonian way, Jor-El copied his brainwave patterns into his son's spaceship. Along with his care and love, Jor-El sent with Kal-El a cryptic message: "On this third planet from the star Sol, you will be a god among men. They are a flawed race. Rule them with strength, my son. That is where your greatness lies."

Jor-El made other preparations for Kal-El. He decided that he wanted his son to grow up with the Kents; it was therefore no coincidence that Jonathan and Martha Kent found Clark when his spaceship crash-landed on Earth during the meteor shower of 1989. Jor-El also asked the Martian Manhunter to watch Kal-El from a distance, intervening only when it was absolutely necessary, and programmed the Orb with another function: To show the user the way to the Fortress of Solitude so they could control Kal-El by taking away his powers if he ever turned against the human race and did not embrace his destiny.

Jor-El and Lara
Jor-El and Lara's final tender moment.

After sending Kal-El on his way to Earth, Jor-El placed his assistant Raya in the Phantom Zone while he and Lara tried once more to save Krypton from destruction, but they were unsuccessful. As Krypton entered its final moments, Jor-El and Lara recorded a holographic message for their son, telling Kal-El of their failures but assuring him they will love him all the days of his life. Jor-El also stated in the recording that, no matter what trials he'll give his son, he would never lose faith in him and was absolutely confident that Kal-El would fulfill his destiny as the savior of mankind. Once they finished recording the message, Jor-El and Lara died with the rest of their people.


  1. This was implied in Relic.
  2. Lara mentions that she had only known her son Kal-El for a few weeks. (Abandoned)