Jor-El was a respected scientist from a planet known as Krypton. He lived in Krypton's capital city along with his wife, Lara, and their infant son, Kal-El.

Jor-El discovered that Krypton's red sun had become unstable and had begun generating sporadic waves of deadly solar flare activity. Such intense ultraviolet radiation threatened to consume and ultimately destroy Krypton. He brought these concerns before the reigning Science Council, but rather than take immediate action, they instead decided to deliberate in committee so they could properly analyze the situation. Enraged by the council's ineffectiveness, Jor-El raced home to his wife and son.

They began constructing a special teleportation device designed to transmit solid matter across great galactic distances. It was Jor-El's hope that with another time and research, he could adapt the device so that it could relocate all of Krypton's major population centers to a surrogate home world far away from the deadly red star. Without the Science Council's support however, his work proceeded slowly and he was unable to perfect the device to his desired specifications. He succeeded in completing a prototype model, but it was only capable of transmitting small volumes of material.

As the time of Krypton's imminent destruction grew near, Jor-El and Lara knew that it would be impossible to perfect the teleporter in time to save the populace. However, they were able to save their son. Lara placed baby Kal-El inside the teleporter and transmitted his atoms across galaxies where rematerialized safely on a world known as Earth-Prime.

One of the Science Council members, a man named Durkin, witnessed the experiment and barged into Jor-El's home. He threatened to revoke his diploma and immediately began tampering with the transmitter device. The machine short-circuited and exploded, killing Durkin. All hopes of ever leaving the planet Krypton were forever lost.

Within hours, a wave of deadly solar radiation washed across the planet destroying everything. Jor-El died in the arms of his wife, content in the knowledge that his child would grow up healthy on a safe, new world.


Under a red sun, Jor-El possessed no superhuman powers. If he had lived on Earth, he would have possessed powers similar to that of Superman.


Jor-El was highly skilled in various unspecified fields of science.


Kryptonian matter-transmitter device

  • This version of Jor-El (Earth-Prime), including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • The original character of Jor-El was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The Krypton-Prime version of Jor-El was created by Eliot S Maggin and Curt Swan.
  • Jor-El's physical statistics are approximated based upon those of his other-dimensional counterparts.
  • Jor-El's physical appearance and attire are similar to that of Jor-El of the Earth-One continuity.
  • Actor Marlon Brando portrayed an alternate version of Jor-El in the 1978 Warner Brothers movie, Superman.
  • Actors Terence Stamp and Tom Welling have both contributed to the role of Jor-El on the WB television series, Smallville (Welling, who normally plays the title role of Clark Kent, played his own character's father in a flashback episode).