At some point in his life, the Ruling Counsel of Krypton ordered Zor-El to work with his brother to create the Medusa Virus. Much to Jor-El's dismay, Zor-El had no problem creating the virus. The virus was a fail safe mechanism to protect Krypton, which eradicates all visiting extra-terrestrial life on the planet.
Sending Kara to Earth
Zor-El and his wife Alura sent their daughter Kara to Earth as their home planet was dying. Before sending her off, Alura told Kara that the trip would be long, but she and her father will be with her in her dreams. Zor-El prepared his daughter's pod and watched as the latter boarded her ship, leaving right before the planet self destructed.
Zor-El appears as a hologram when Supergirl accesses the console at the Fortress of Solitude. His hologram tells her of Project Medusa and his firm belief he was saving Kryptonian lives while creating it, despite Kara not seeing it that way.
Initially, Zor-El appeared to be a kind, caring, selfless and moral individual. In truth, Zor-El was actually cold, cruel, immoral, deceptive, and a manipulative liar. He created the Medusa Virus: a virus that had the capacity to kill any non-Kryptonian alien life form. Zor-El tried to justify this unspeakable act as a way to save lives; claiming that the virus would defend Kryptonians from alien threats. Zor-El also never created a cure for Medusa, implying that he had a sociopathic demeanor.
Like most Kryptonians, Zor-El was arrogant, prideful, self-righteous and hypocritical to the point where he was incapable of owning up or taking responsibility for his actions and mistakes. According to Kara Danvers, Zor-El did not try to save Krypton during its destruction; as he was no hero in the end.
Powers and abilities
- Kryptonian physiology: Normally, like all Kryptonians, Zor-El's capabilities were no greater than a normal human of his physical conditioning. However, if he had been charged by the energy of a blue or yellow sun and metabolized into his body, he would have become able to perform various inhuman feats. However, this never happened as he wasn't ever exposed to a sun different to the the Kryptonians' natural red one.
- Genius-level intellect/Expert scientist: Zor-El was highly intelligent, as he was one of the most, if not the most intelligent scientist on Krypton, since he was a member of the esteemed House of El, Zor-El was able to create the synthetic virus Medusa alongside his brother.
- Multilingual: Zor-El was capable of fluently speaking English and Kryptonese.
Adventures of Supergirl
- "Chapter 1" (mentioned)
- "Chapter 6" (dream)
- "Chapter 7" (hallucination)
- "Chapter 8" (pictured)
- "Chapter 13" (mentioned)
Behind the scenes
- Zor-El debuted in Action Comics #252 (May, 1959), as the biological father of Kara Zor-El, who also made her debut in the same issue. The latest incarnation of the character becomes the second version of the villain, Cyborg Superman.