The origin of the bottle city of Kandor is unknown. One story has it that the city was an alien ghetto from Krypton, stolen by Brainiac before the planet exploded. Another story claims that the city was first created by the alien wizard Tolos to hold beings whose bodies he hoped to possess.
The bottle city was not actually shrunk, but was placed in a side dimension, with the bottle acting as a bridge between the two dimensions. It was divided between aliens of various species, including human-like aliens with Kryptonian-like physiologies. The environment simulated a red sun, which rendered Superman powerless within its environs. Superman vowed to restore the city to its rightful size, but was unsuccessful.
Years later, Superman returned to the bottle city, only to discover that time flows faster within it: at least a century has passed, during which time the story of Superman’s promise to look after the city and restore it had become the legend of a loving, all-powerful god, watching over the bottle city. When Preus escaped from the bottle city, Superman moved the bottle city to a secure sub-basement of the Fortress of Solitude.
One year after the Infinite Crisis, Saturn Queen took over the bottle city by using Ultraman to take the role of “the Superman” as the focus of a speciesist state religion. Under Ultraman, the city became a brutal dictatorship: aliens were repressed, while those with Kryptonian blood were given extended privileges.
When her reign was cemented, she was opposed by a dynamic duo of crimefighters: Nightwing and Flamebird. The vigilantes were partly successful, exposing Saturn Queen’s duplicitous nature and freeing Ultraman. She tried to bribe them with information about the fate of Argo City, but when this failed, she brainwashed them and they never entered the city again. The future business of the city is unknown.
The city was cast adrift from reality by Amalak, who came looking for the original Kandor, and felt cheated when he found the alien ghetto. He smashed the bottle, severing the link between New Earth and the “bottle city”. Superman promised himself that he would try to re-establish contact, but the arrival of Brainiac and the true Kandor may have distracted him.
- Kara Zor-El (formerly)
- Power Girl (formerly)
- Saturn Queen (formerly)
- Ultraman (formerly)
- Kandor was known to Lex Luthor, who mentioned that it had been named for the original Kryptonian city stolen by Brainiac.
- The city is remarkably Earth-like, having within tattoo parlors, alley-ways, criminality, movie theatres, and motorbikes.