Kal-El's ship was an egg-shaped metal pod encased within a structure shaped like a Kryptonian pentagon. When first seen, it was covered with a charred, scale-like shell, but by the time of its next appearance, this shell was gone.
Powers and Abilities
Powered by the Key and made from high-density materials, Kal-El's ship was capable of intergalactical travel and designed to withstand a journey of huge distances. It contained a protection program which prevented kryptonite radiation from harming it or others, and possessed the ability to emit a Healing light on humans or Kryptonians. The ship's interstellar drive and propulsion system, however, has never been determined. While on Earth, the ship showed itself capable of hovering in place and flying.
Kal-El was placed inside the ship as a baby; when he emerged from the craft after arriving on Earth, he was roughly 3 years-old. This suggests that the ship must have somehow placed Kal-El in a state of suspended animation that provided him with nutrients while still allowing him to age. (Alternately, his young age could be explained by the sort of time dilation that Einstein's theory of specific relativity predicts would happen at speeds approaching the speed of light.)
The ship was capable of containing the brainwaves of a single Kryptonian. Before sending the ship off on its journey to Earth, Jor-El copied his brain patterns into the craft; this supports the suggestion that the ship had some degree of a pre-programmed intelligence approaching some level of sentience. The ship guided itself from Krypton to Earth, and not only found Smallville, Kansas, but also made sure to land near Jonathan and Martha Kent in Miller's Field, not at the Kent Farm where they lived.
The ship also appeared to have the ability to detect Clark. When the ship powered up after Roger Nixon inserted its Key, it immediately took off and flew towards the tornadoes, possibly to search for and protect Clark.
The Heart is one component of Kal-El's ship. The Kryptonian inscription on the Heart translates as "Jor-El" and "Kal-El."
This device appears to activate the craft's memory banks where pre-recorded messages are stored. Before Krypton's explosion, Jor-El inserted the Heart at the front of the ship's interior; when he did this, the craft's interior lit up with the Kryptonian message for his son Kal-El: "On this third planet from this 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." The Heart does not appear to be necessary for the ship to fly or for any other functions of the craft.
Jonathan Kent showed Clark the Heart when he revealed to Clark his extraterrestrial origins, and explained that he removed the Heart from Clark's ship before it closed. About two years later, Clark opened his ship with the Key and inserted the Heart to receive the message from his Kryptonian birth father.
It is unknown what happened to the Heart after Clark destroyed the ship, though it can be assumed that it was destroyed along with the ship.
Kal-El's ship required the Key in order to be active and fly. Without it, the ship would power down and lay dormant. The Key would sometimes meld with the ship once placed in its slot. The Key fell out twice: First when the ship crash-landed in Miller's Field, and years later when the ship flew into the tornadoes that hit Smallville and was struck by lightning; the high-powered winds then blew the Key away from the ship.
When Krypton began to suffer massive tremors caused by Zor-El after he ignited the planet's core using the Brain InterActive Construct, Jor-El and his wife Lara-El placed their son Kal-El inside the ship, and Jor-El copied his brainwaves into the ship. Before Kal-El's ship left Krypton, General Zod and Faora attached the hybrid genetic matter of their "son" to the ship.
After Krypton exploded, Kal-El's ship traveled trillions of miles through space before arriving to Earth amidst the first of two meteor showers that rained down on Smallville, Kansas, crash-landing in Miller's Field. It, along with its young passenger, was discovered by Jonathan and Martha Kent shortly after. After adopting Kal-El, the Kents hid the spaceship in the storm cellar on their farm.
Meanwhile, the genetic matter of Zod and Faora's "son" landed along with the ship in the form of a burnt cocoon. The cocoon hatched and liquid leaked out to form the body of a young, fragile 3-year-old boy. The boy was eventually found and put in an orphanage, eventually growing up to become Davis Bloome.
While Ryan James was staying with the Kents, he found out that Clark was indeed an alien and went into the storm cellar to see Clark's ship for himself until he was found by Clark where Ryan confessed his telepathic abilities to Clark.
When Roger Nixon was listening in on a conversation between the Kents, he overheard that Clark was an alien and hid the ship in the storm cellar. Nixon went to the Luthor Mansion to get the Key from Lex Luthor's desk and put it in the ship, activating it.
Once the Key was reunited with the ship, it unleashed a healing ray upon Martha and cured her infertility. The spaceship then set out to find Clark while he was saving Lana Lang from a tornado, but was struck by lightning, causing the Key to fall out and the ship to power down and fall into a cornfield, where it remained for three months.
Pete Ross found the ship, and tried to have Clark bring it to his house to open it, but it was later stolen by Dr. Steven Hamilton. Clark and Pete found the ship and returned it to the Kent Farm, where it was hidden in the storm cellar once again.
The ship saved Clark's life several times, once by neutralizing Lana's meteor rock necklace, and again by releasing a burst of energy which cured both Clark and Martha of an illness brought on by kryptonite spores.
After learning about his heritage from Dr. Virgil Swann, Clark opened the ship and read a message from his Kryptonian birth father, which indicated that Clark was sent to conquer Earth. When it was time for Clark to fulfill his destiny, Jor-El spoke through the ship and tried to force Clark to do his bidding. To stop Jor-El, Clark stole a kryptonite copy of the Key from Lionel Luthor and placed it in the ship. Once Clark did this, the ship imploded and then exploded; the resulting energy wave caused a car accident in which Martha miscarried her unborn child.
When Clark went to stop Lex from undergoing a kryptonite-based treatment to revive lost memories that could uncover his secret, he was lured into a trap set by Lionel and Dr. Lawrence Garner so Lionel could uncover Clark's secret for himself. Weakened by the kryptonite water in the tank, Clark was paralyzed and placed into the tank. Under the influence of the kryptonite and the machinery, he dreamt about his earliest memory and barely remembered being placed into the ship by his parents.
In the Comics
The Kryptonian Rocket is the usual term used to describe the spacecraft that carried the infant Kal-L/Kal-El from his homeworld of Krypton to Earth in any number of realities. In Post Crisis, Customarily on Krypton, children are raised in a birthing matrix separate from their parents until a certain age is reached. The scientist Jor-el, believing Krypton was doomed, redesigned the chamber for interstellar travel capabilities, and equipped it with a hyper-light drive. It was used to send the Last Son of Krypton, young Kal-El to the planet Earth before Krypton exploded. The craft landed in Smallville, where it was discovered by Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent. This was used until 2004.
In the New 52 universe the ship Clark was placed into as a child was described as having "Brainiac AI" as well as a Kryptonite Rocket Core. Superman then uses his rocket from Krypton that had also been miniaturized with Metropolis to attack Brainiac's mind, which the rocket was able to do since it's primary mission was to protect Kal-El.
- Season One: Pilot, Stray, Obscura, Tempest
- Season Two: Vortex, Duplicity, Lineage, Skinwalker, Fever, Rosetta, Visitor, Exodus
- Season Three: Memoria
- Season Five: Splinter
- Season Seven: Apocalypse
- Season Eight: Eternal (flashback only)
|Kryptonian artifacts in Smallville|