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Contents TO JULIUS SCHWARTZixFOREWORDxiiCAST OF CHARACTERSxviCHAPTER 1 The red sun of Krypton loomed in the. The Last Days of Krypton is the epic story of the destruction of the planet Krypton, an explosive event that sent Superman and his legacy to earth. Written b. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Leading up to Superman being jettisoned in a The Last Days of Krypton: A Novel by [Anderson, Kevin J.].

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The Last Days of Krypton book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Before there was Superman there was Krypton, a doomed w. The Last Days of Krypton is the epic story of the destruction of the planet Krypton, an explosive event that sent Superman and his legacy to earth. Written by. The Last Days of Krypton is a novel by Kevin J. Anderson, which chronicles the rise of General Zod, and Jor-El's history, up to the destruction of the planet.

Lara hurried forward, her sketchplate and drawings forgotten. She raised her voice. Are you trapped? Curiosity spurred her on. Is this an experiment of some sort? The desperate expression on his handsome face was the only answer she needed. Drifting in the numb and empty void, Jor-El experienced a moment of bitter irony: For so many years he had dreamed of a place of absolute quiet where he would not be disturbed, a place where he could let his thoughts wander and follow them through to their conclusions.

Now, trapped in this dead and surreal silence, he wanted only to get out. In the initial moments of being trapped here, he had lost his telescoping rod and the imaging crystal. As soon as he had reoriented himself to face the window to his own universe, he had poked at the opening with the rod in his hand, but the barrier recoiled, somehow at a different polarity from this side.

The imaging crystal had shattered, the rod had bent and shot out of his grasp, tumbling off into the nothingness. Jor-El just hung there like a disembodied spirit. Some time later, almost like a consolation prize, his stylus drifted into reach. Jor-El grasped it, not knowing what might eventually become useful. He had no way to measure how much time had passed.

He calmed himself and turned his mind to the challenge rather than succumbing to panic. Normally, when faced with an insurmountable problem, Jor-El would have used his best calculating devices, worked with endless strings of equations, and followed his mathematics to often startling conclusions. Here, though, he had only his mind. Fortunately for Jor-El, his mind was enough. Time to think!

Once created, the portal would be self-sustaining; he doubted he could close it if he wanted to. He pondered the resonances in his crystal control array, the coherent beams of red sunlight and the quicksilver parabolas, until he devised a technique that just might work to get him out of there. But from this side of the barrier, Jor-El was completely helpless.

He needed someone to help him from the opposite side. Then, as he stared out into the laboratory, he spotted a face, a beautiful face like that of an ethereal dryad. Her lips moved, but he could not make out her words through the barrier. They were cut off from each other, separated by a gap between universes. Jor-El thought he recognized the young woman, having seen her once or twice outside.

Yes, she was with the muralists he had invited to embellish the structures on his estate. Maybe she would think to call for help—but who could help him? No one else, except possibly Zor-El, would understand his apparatus or what he had done. But it would take his brother days to arrive from Argo City. The young woman paced in his field of view, deep in thought.

Jor-El found it maddening that he had concocted a possible solution, yet was unable to communicate it to her. If he could just get the young woman to reverse the polarity on the central crystals, he might be dumped back out. Demonstrating amazing patience, the woman cleared her sketchplate and began to write down the Kryptonian alphabet. He quickly grasped what she was doing.

It would be a slow process, but since she could see his face, she would have him spell out words one symbol at a time. Lara stored her drawings in her sketchplate, cleared the screen, and got to work on the problem.

At first she scribed questions that he could answer with a simple nod or shake of his head. Was he in trouble? Was he in pain? Was he in immediate danger? A hesitation, then no. Did he want her to help him? Did he know how to get back out? A pause, then yes. Finally, tapping one letter at a time with the stylus and waiting for him to choose, she painstakingly picked out his message.

With a look of consternation, Lara wrote, What is the main array? But she could get only one question answered at a time.

It was often said that Jor-El spoke of things incomprehensible to the average Kryptonian. He created a gulf between himself and the majority of citizens, who were perfectly content to accept the status quo. Lara looked around, but the whole chamber was full of exotic equipment, none of which made any sense to her.

Which question was he answering? She found a great many crystalline panels, glowing arrays, humming equipment. Lara used quick strokes of her stylus to sketch everything in the chamber. Again, through the meticulous process, she lifted the plate into his field of view and showed him the images. By pointing to each apparatus with the stylus, she gradually narrowed down what he was talking about. Jor-El grew obviously tense, but Lara felt only excitement.

She wondered if the poor man was beginning to doubt his own theory, but she strangely had no such reservations. She believed in him. Lara selected what he had called the master crystal, which glowed a bright emerald green.

Suddenly, the glassy shaft glowed a bright scarlet. The hovering silvery rings that framed the dimensional hole began to spin like thin, razor-edged wheels, then flipped over, reversed position—. Sprawling onto the floor where he had fallen, he brushed off his ser viceable white pants and tunic—which were unstained from his ordeal—and shook his head to clear it.

She ran to him, took his trembling arm, and helped him to his feet. Are you all right? He could barely find words to speak.

At first he flushed, then grinned. What a fascinating experience. When he looked at her, his blue eyes sparkling, he seemed to see more of Lara than anyone else ever had. You saved my life. More than that, you saved me from being trapped forever in that…Phantom Zone. She held out her hand.

My name is Lara. Sorry for the unorthodox way of making your acquaintance. She decided to wait awhile before asking his permission to paint the twelve obelisks.

Since she had been his rescuer, Jor-El invited Lara to dine with him out on the balcony of the manor house. This gesture of gratitude was not a mere formality; it was the right thing to do.

He had laughed when her parents apologized because their brash daughter had disturbed his work. He very much wanted to have dinner with her, and to get to know her better. Now the two of them sat together in the warm, calm night, eating from many small plates, each of which contained a savory delicacy.

Jor-El was something of a loner, not much for casual talk, but conversation with Lara proved to be surprisingly easy.

Using a dainty pearl-tipped prong, she picked up a spiced morsel of eggfruit from a gilt-edged plate, leaving the last piece for him. She removed the lid from a small enameled pot, drawing a deep breath of the warm peppery steam that rose from stewed fleshy leaves wrapped around edible skewers.

This, though, is all delicious. Too busy with other things. With his fingers he took a small triangular patty. He had no idea what sort of meat it was or what ingredients Fro-Da had put into the sauce.

Lara brightened. They both laughed. As if eavesdropping on their conversation, the portly chef arrived and presented the colorful dessert course with a minimum of fanfare. We allow our food to be a celebration of itself, said Fro-Da. Jor-El tried to thank him, but the chef disappeared along with a flurry of helpers who cleared away the dishes. The two of them looked up into a dark sky suffused with pastel colors. In previous years, Jor-El had designed and constructed four telescopes of various apertures on the rooftops of his buildings.

Though the Council would never waste time staring into the heavens, Jor-El had taken it upon himself to produce a detailed sky survey. He gazed at the stars, cataloguing the different types, searching for the other planets he knew were out there.

He could not travel to those amazing worlds, but at least he could look. Perhaps later he would show Lara some of the distant marvels through his largest telescope. But for right now, he was having a surprisingly pleasant time just sitting here.

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No Kryptonian could look into the sky without feeling the poignant loss. What kind of science was behind it? Jor-El was startled by the vehemence of her reaction. What sort of device could crack open the core of a world and cause such inconceivable destruction? More than a thousand years ago, Jax-Ur had attempted to conquer all of Krypton, as well as the other colonized planets and satellites in the solar system. The people of Koron had refused to bow to him, so the warlord threatened to use his doomsday weapons.

When they still refused to capitulate, Jax-Ur launched three nova javelins. After the weapons had shattered the whole moon, the warlord revealed that he had at least fifteen more in a hidden stockpile. But Jax-Ur had spread his forces too thin; his conquests were too swift and too widely separated. The seven armies converged at the great river delta in the Valley of Elders, risking everything to defeat Jax-Ur. The traitor poisoned Jax-Ur before he could launch more of his weapons, and the despised warlord died without revealing where his stockpile was hidden.

Jor-El let his imagination roam. If I could find one of those nova javelins, I could determine how it worked. No one should have access to such weapons. He gave her a wan smile. Oh, yes, I know that too well.

I have butted heads many times with the Commission for Technology Acceptance. After the defeat of Jax-Ur, the leaders of the seven armies established a long-standing peace, and Kryptonians turned their attention to other ways they could salvage their civilization. Since Jax-Ur had learned how to build his nova javelins from an alien visitor, the leaders of Krypton chose to block themselves off from any outside influence.

The Seven Army Conference had banned all interstellar travel, all contact with potentially destructive races, and all dangerous technologies. Lara stared up at the shattered moon. I loved reading the historical cycles. In those days every life was part of an epic.

Kryptonians had passions and dreams. Jor-El could not entirely veil his sarcasm. But now the Council says we have everything we can possibly need and should be content. No new discoveries. No progress. Her thin eyebrows drew together, making a gentle furrow on her forehead.

Her green eyes had the most amazing sparkle. She seemed so very alive. Jor-El looked at her and smiled. Astronomy is my main passion. Lara touched her fingertips to his arm, startling him. Look at us—an artist and a scientist.

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My parents want me to specialize in mural painting, like they do, but I also love music, history, epic cycles. Yes, I understand. Well, not those things, specifically. Clinically, I recognize that they require significant work and imagination, and a certain level of skill. Her laughter was like music. Now you know how most people feel about your science.

I wanted to be where real history is taking place. You may well be the greatest genius ever born on this planet. Jor-El had heard such things before, but always discounted them. Now he felt embarrassed to have her say it. She laughed softly when she saw him blush. He quickly pointed up at the sky. Look, the meteors are about to start. He was too shy to look at her, but he knew she was staring at him with that warm expression on her face.

Fireworks streaked across the night sky, radiating from Koron as if the moon were still exploding. Lara was captivated as the shower intensified. Streak after streak, meteors scratched like bright fingernails across the sky.

Shooting stars flared out, then vanished. In Kandor, the bright lights make it impossible to see most of the meteors. The trails are made by ionized gas caused by the frictional heating of—. She brought his words to a halt with more laughter. Sometimes, Jor-El, a scientific explanation serves only to dilute beauty. Just watch and enjoy it. Sitting close to her, he forced himself to lean back and stare at the night.

He did indeed see the beauty of the meteor shower for its own sake, and he felt a surprising elation to be watching it with her. Not a doorway to wondrous new worlds, but a trap. Before the Commission for Technology Acceptance allowed him to keep such a discovery, he would have to demonstrate some incontrovertibly practical application.

When the meteor show had died down, Lara stretched. Jor-El realized that the sparkling rubble of Koron was close to the western horizon; he had been lost in thought for a long time. An unforgettable day. And tomorrow I will take the Phantom Zone to Kandor. He stood to lead her back toward the guest quarters where her parents, younger brother, and all the artist apprentices were staying.

I need to meet with Commissioner Zod. All strata of Kryptonian society attended the spectacular hrakka races, sitting shoulder to shoulder in seats carved from polished bloodstone. They whistled and shouted for whichever racing teams they considered to be the most exciting, and their fickle attentions changed throughout the course of the competition.

Veinrock stairs crusted with crystal dust led from one seating level to another like stone waterfalls. Prominent, private boxes were reserved for special viewers. The eleven members of the Kryptonian Council sat in the middle tiers with the best view. Below, the tan gravel of the track had been raked smooth for the beasts to run on when they emerged. Commissioner Dru-Zod found the event both uncomfortable and uninteresting. The ruddy afternoon sunlight was too bright, too hot. Though ventilation systems dispersed cool air into his viewing stand, Zod still felt sweaty.

The stands were overcrowded, and he could smell the teeming populace even from his private box. Nevertheless, the Commissioner pretended to be enjoying himself. Leadership was all about appearances. The great hrakka races were a cultural event, a circus thrill for people who had nothing important to accomplish. Everyone in the capital city gathered for this monthly spectacle.

It kept them happy. It kept them calm. It kept them under control. Since he supervised the Commission for Technology Acceptance, the eleven-member Council considered his position to be subordinate to their own.

They thought that Zod happily did their bidding. They were fools. The smile on his face was perfect; neatly barbered dark hair and a trim beard and mustache gave him a distinguished appearance. Will your charioteer win today, Commissioner Zod? Shall I place another wager? He smelled of too much perfume masking too much sweat.

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Last Days of the Romanovs

The protective shield was destroyed in a meteor storm, exposing the inhabitants to the deadly radiation. Kara adjusted to her new life on Earth and became known as Supergirl. It was later discovered that Supergirl's parents had survived in the Survival Zone, a parallel dimension similar to the Phantom Zone, from which she released them.

When the bottle city of Kandor was finally enlarged on a new planet that was similar to Krypton, Supergirl's parents joined its inhabitants to live there. Main article: Daxam The people now known as the Daxamites were originally Kryptonians who left their homeworld in order to explore the universe in post- Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity, the Eradicator , an artificial lifeform programmed to preserve all Kryptonian culture, altered the birthing matrices "artificial wombs" that the explorers took with them so that all newborns would be fatally vulnerable to lead and other materials such as greenhouse gases and certain rocks.

Thus, if they persisted in their anti-Kryptonian wanderlust, they would all die from it. This rewrite was started in the Man of Steel miniseries, which addressed Krypton in both its opening and closing chapters.

Krypton itself was the main subject of the late s The World of Krypton miniseries not to be confused with the miniseries of the same name. This miniseries was written by Byrne and illustrated by Mike Mignola , and filled in much of Krypton's new history.

History[ edit ] The new Krypton was approximately one-and-a-half times larger than the Earth and orbited a red sun called Rao fifty light-years from our solar system. Krypton's primordial era produced some of the most dangerous organisms in the universe.

It was for this reason that , years ago, Krypton was chosen as the place to create Doomsday through forced evolution. Until its destruction, many dangerous animals, including ferrophage moles, still existed on Krypton. Kryptonians had to use their advanced technology to survive.

Over , years ago, Krypton had developed scientific advancements far beyond those of present-day Earth, and had discovered a way to conquer disease and aging by perfecting cloning ; vast banks of clones, kept in stasis, held multiple copies of each living Kryptonian so that replacement parts were always available in the event of injury.

All Kryptonians were now effectively immortal , "with all the strength and vigor of youth maintained", [6] and for millennia they enjoyed an idyllic, sensual existence in an Arcadian paradise. A woman named Nyra, seeking what she considered a suitable mate for her son, Kan-Z, had one of her younger clones removed from stasis. The clone gained full sentience and was presented to society as a normal woman. This key incident ignited the Clone Wars which lasted for 1, years, during which Kryptonian science was turned to warfare and several superweapons were developed and used.

Among them was the device known as the Destroyer.


Although the Eradicator's effects altering the DNA of all Kryptonian lifeforms so that they would instantly die upon leaving the planet were felt immediately, the Destroyer's effects were possibly more significant: by the time the Kryptonian government admitted defeat and abolished the clone banks, a pro-clone rights terrorist faction known as Black Zero had started the Destroyer, a device which functioned as a giant nuclear gun, projecting massive streams of nuclear energy into the core of Krypton, intended to trigger an explosive chain reaction within Krypton's core almost immediately.

The use of the Destroyer eliminated the Post-Crisis city of Kandor, but it was believed at the time that the device had been stopped before it could achieve planetary destruction by Van-L, an ancestor of Jor-El. Centuries later, Jor-El himself would discover that the reaction had only been slowed to a nearly imperceptible rate and it would eventually destroy the planet as intended. Destruction[ edit ] Though it survived the war, Krypton was scarred deeply by it.

The formerly lush garden world was burned and blasted to mostly a lifeless desert, and a sterile society--emotionally unlike its predecessor—emerged. The population became isolated from one another in widely separated technological citadels and shunned all personal and physical contact.

Procreation became a matter of selecting compatible genetic material that would then be placed within an artificial womb called a "birthing matrix". The isolationist planetary government forbade exploring space and communicating with other worlds. The young scientist Jor-El was born into this world. By his adult years, the mysterious "Green Plague" was killing Kryptonians by the thousands, and upon researching the matter, Jor-El discovered that its cause was growing radiation produced by Krypton's increasingly unstable core.

This process was going to cause the planet to explode. Unable to convince his associates to abandon tradition and consider escape, and reasoning that modern Kryptonian society had grown cold, unfeeling and sterile, Jor-El removed the Eradicator's planetary binding genes from his unborn son Kal-El's genetic pattern, took Kal-El's birthing matrix and attached a prototype interstellar propulsion system to the vessel.

Jor-El was not only determined that his son would survive the death of his birthworld, but that he would grow up on a world that vibrantly embraced living, as his forebears once did. The Last Son of Krypton[ edit ] A central theme of this version of the Superman mythos was that the character was to remain the last surviving remnant of Krypton. Thus, Silver Age elements such as Supergirl , Krypto , and Kandor had never existed in this version though Post-Crisis versions of these elements were eventually reintroduced.

The supervillain Doomsday was revealed in the s as a being genetically engineered by Bertron, an alien scientist, on an ancient Krypton. Doomsday left the planet after killing Bertron and Krypton's natives found the remains of Bertron's lab, thus obtaining the knowledge of cloning. In the newer continuity, Superman also became aware of his alien heritage only sometime after his debut as a superhero - initially assuming himself to be a human mutated in some manner and launched as part of an Earth space program - when a holographic program encoded into the craft which brought him to Earth uploaded the information into his brain although Lex Luthor had earlier discovered his alien heritage when his attempts to create a clone of Superman were complicated by the unexpected x-factor of Superman's alien DNA.

Revisiting Krypton[ edit ] In Action Comics May , Krypton was close enough to Earth that the radiation from its explosion traveling only at light speed was able to reach Earth. In a storyline, Superman traveled to the former site of Krypton to discover that the planet was slowly reforming from the vast sphere of debris remaining. It would take millions of years before the planet would be solid again.

This sphere of debris had been turned to kryptonite by the planet's destruction, and the radiation caused Superman to have a hallucination in which the entire population of Krypton came to Earth and colonized the already inhabited planet, prompting Jor-El to initiate a Terran-based resistance movement, pitting him against his estranged wife Lara and now-grown son Kal-El, at which point the hallucination ended.

The story implies that it was this early meeting with a Terran that led Jor-El to study other worlds and eventually choose Earth as the target for his son's spacecraft; at the story's end, Jack gives Jor-El a device with the coordinates and images of Earth. In previous comic versions, it was assumed the "S" shield on Superman's costume simply stood for "Superman"; in Birthright, Waid presented it as a Kryptonian symbol of hope ; he borrowed and modified a concept from Superman: The Movie , wherein the "S" was the symbol of the House of El, Superman's ancestral family.

Post-Birthright revisions[ edit ] Beginning with Infinite Crisis , writer Geoff Johns began laying subtle hints to a new origin for Superman. Last Son , a storyline co-written by Geoff Johns and Superman film director Richard Donner , further delves into this version of Krypton which reintroduces General Zod and the Phantom Zone criminals into mainstream continuity.

The Last Days of Krypton: A Novel

With art by Adam Kubert , the design of Kryptonian society is distinct yet again from Birthright, incorporating elements of both Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity and Donner's work on the first two Christopher Reeve films, in particular the notion of Krypton's Council threatening Jor-El with harsh punishment were he to make public his predictions of their planet's imminent doom.

Multi-ethnic versions of Kryptonians that resemble Africans and Asians have also made appearances in the stories.

Previously, "black" Kryptonians were mainly confined within the Kryptonian continent of Vathlo Island , but a storyline depicted Kryptonians resembling black and Asian humans who were more integrated into Kryptonian society than they were in the Silver and pre-Modern Age DC Universe.

A scientific utopia.

I wanted to explore Krypton as the world of super people. What would happen if they worked it all out, if they lived for years with amazing technology? If his strength makes him the Man of Steel, then the ideologies that rule his planet make Superman the Man of Tomorrow.

Tyson assisted DC Comics in selecting a real-life star that would be an appropriate parent star to Krypton. He picked Corvus, which is Latin for "crow", [18] [19] because Superman's high school mascot is a crow. He explained that many artists may only use bits and pieces of science, allowing for greater latitude in their creativity, but, he said, he wanted to show that using real science, particularly astrophysics, allows for just as much creativity.

In the radio show, Krypton was part of our Solar System , a Counter-Earth sharing Earth's orbit but on the opposite side of the Sun, hidden from view of the Earth "Krypton" derives from the Greek word for "hidden". Some comics of the early s suggested a similar theory, but in general the comics have depicted Krypton as being in a far-away star system. Live-action[ edit ] In the pilot episode of the s television program Adventures of Superman Jor-El, portrayed by Robert Rockwell , was Krypton's leading scientist, who tried to warn the ruling council of Krypton's demise.

In this take on the story, Jor-El proposed transporting the entire Kryptonian population to Earth via a fleet of rockets. He was laughed at by the council, and the planet began to break apart sooner than he expected anyway, leaving him only with a small test rocket, in which he and Lara placed Kal-El and his red-and-blue blankets.

The explosion of Krypton was visualized through low-budget special effects and stock footage of simulated earthquakes. Of note is that the flight to Earth was depicted as occurring in a matter of seconds. The narrator had characterized Krypton as being "millions of miles" from Earth. At the end of the third season, it was revealed that a sizable colony had survived the planet's destruction. From what was shown of the colony called New Krypton , the society, despite the advanced technology, had numerous archaic elements, like hereditary rule, arranged marriage for nobles, often as early as birth, and trial by combat being legal for nobility although seldom practiced.

Unlike many incarnations, New Krypton was not as isolated from other races; it had starships, including a large vessel which served as its palace, and the main antagonist of the story arc Nor dealing with the colony was able to hire an assassin from another race to attempt killing Kal-El.

The television series Smallville presents a version of Krypton where it mirrors the Superman: The Movie aesthetic but has more ties to Earth then thought of. Numerous Kryptonian artifacts come into play during the show like the "Stones of Power" in season 4 used to contain all information in the known 28 galaxies and become the Crystal of Knowledge to make the Fortress of Solitude , "The Orb" in season 8 containing DNA of fallen Kryptonian citizens , and it's bible , The Book of Rao used to transport Kryptonians to "Heaven" during season 9.

In season 2 as elements of Krypton came to light, more Kryptonian glyphs appear on Earth via the Kawatche Caves as there were prophesies discovered by various characters about a " Traveler " planted by a young Jor-El visiting Smallville. It was considered by the universe as a peaceful and advanced planet until civil war broke out, leading to its destruction in by General Zod and the renegade Zor-El after they used Brainiac to ignite Krypton's unstable core. The destruction of Krypton was featured in the pilot episode of Supergirl.Once created, the portal would be self-sustaining; he doubted he could close it if he wanted to.

He walked around the rings, looked at the flat opening from both sides, but could determine nothing. That said, I liked this book because it was not about Superman, but his family and where he came from, and thus where he's coming from. He ignored the pain, kept running. All in all this has something for everyone, from the die-hard Superman comics fans, to those who only know him from the movie.