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Kryptonians from Kandor.

"Kryptonians. Always so hard and cold."
Gloria to Clark Kent. Wither

Kryptonians are a humanoid alien race originating from the destroyed planet Krypton. When Kryptonians became the dominant species on their planet, they were initially a race of fierce and savage warriors.[1][2] Eventually, after many centuries, they became more peaceful as their technology became more advanced and they became a race of science, having a Ruling Council[3] to decide matters on a democratic level instead of an army.[4]

Episodes of Smallville also use "Kryptonian" as an adjective to refer to something created by or associated with the planet itself or the culture that existed on it.

Powers & Abilities

  • Solar battery: When a Kryptonian is exposed to the rays of a yellow star, like Earth's sun, the cells of their body absorb, store, and metabolize solar energy, enabling them to develop powers beyond description. Kryptonians with Blue Kryptonite irradiated DNA gain their powers under a red sun like Krypton's. Without the yellow sun radiation, Kryptonians would not have superhuman abilities. Depowered Kryptonians can regenerate their abilities if they get close enough to the Sun. These abilities seem to be relatively easy to master, or at least most of them, as some do take time and great effort (such as heat vision or arctic breath). Most Kryptonians that have made it to Earth were aware of these powers and even for those who were not aware, such as Jor-El, who quickly adapted to his powers when he was forced to use them to save Louise McCallum from Lachlan Luthor, and Dax-Ur, who later learned of his abilities, saying: "It is Sunshine State had that effect on me." The more solar energy a Kryptonian absorbs, the more powerful they become. However, when Clark fought Zod, the latter easily beat him, despite the fact that Clark had spent far more time absorbing solar energy. When Raya first came to Earth, she raced Clark and was faster in raw speed than he was, forcing him to take a shortcut to win. Both of these prove that just because one Kryptonian has more solar energy inside them, doesn't automatically mean they're more powerful.
  • Super strength: Kryptonians have virtually limitless physical strength, especially under direct sunlight. In terms of what they can do: they can easily overpower and kill humans and most metahumans, bend and break reinforced steel, crush wood panels, lift heavy objects, decimate large structures and level whole cities. Kryptonian strength increases with age, meaning the older the Kryptonians grows, the stronger they become.
  • Super speed: Kryptonians can move, think, dodge, and fly at superhuman speeds, but more commonly just above the sound barrier. That said, a Kryptonian can run much faster than a human or machine and also move so fast that they seem to appear and disappear in a blink of an eye. When a Kryptonian moves at super-speed, they perceive the world around them in slow motion. This also gives them very fast reflexes, allowing them to navigate and travel at supersonic speeds without running into people or objects, and dodge and catch fast moving objects.
  • Super stamina: Kryptonians possess virtually unlimited endurance in all physical activities due to receiving better nourishment from the solar energy their cells process. In addition, a Kryptonian's body stores enough solar energy to negate eat, drink, breathe and even sleep for as long as they want. This is evident as Kryptonians are able to survive in the vacuum of space, as they do not require air. That said, Kryptonians can take part in battle sequences for as long as they want, without difficulty or fatigue (unless they exhaust their reserves of solar energy or are exposed to kryptonite).
  • Super dexterity: Kryptonians are extremely agile and precise in all forms of strenuous movement.
  • Super agility: Kryptonians have perfect balance, which gives them a better degree of flexibility and range of motion.
  • Invulnerability: A Kryptonian's cells emit an aura of virtually unbreakable solar energy that results in them being almost invulnerable to harm. Because of this, Kryptonians are nigh-invulnerable to nearly all forms of physical damage. They can withstand the highest and lowest temperatures without sustaining any damage. As such, not even the strongest of humans can hurt them: bullets bounce off them, rockets, bombs and lasers don't even leave a mark on them, and high-voltage energy emissions (beams) cannot penetrate through them. Kryptonians are immune to all earthly diseases and viruses. They can however be hurt by other Kryptonians, beings who can match their strength (such as Titan and Doomsday), magic (which completely bypasses said aura and directly affects their physiology), and kryptonite.
  • Longevity: A Kryptonian's constant absorption of solar energy delays cell deterioration: as such, provided they are under a yellow sun (unless exposed to blue kryptonite to remove this capability). As a result, Kryptonians are biologically immortal.
  • Healing factor: Kryptonians can heal and regenerate instantly from any wound, as long as they are not exposed to gold, blue or green kryptonite. Direct exposure to yellow sunlight greatly augments their healing.
  • Flight: Kryptonians can defy gravity through telekinesis or gravitational manipulation and can reach speeds approaching the velocities multiple times faster than sound. They can maneuver with precision in any direction, as well as hover. They must be mentally trained to handle this capability.
  • Heat vision: Kryptonians are able to generate beams of intense heat from their eyes. Their heat vision is strong enough to melt steel titanium and other metals. Heat vision also generates concussive force which can repel resistant opponents away from them and burn weaker ones. It is activated by thoughts of sexual nature: however, a Kryptonian can learn to focus this energy and project heat in any direction, as well as control the size of the beams and change their intensity. 
  • Super vision: A Kryptonian's vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus. This umbrella ability includes the following:
    • Electromagnetic Spectrum Perception: Kryptonians can visually perceive most of the electromagnetic spectrum. They can see and identify radio and television, as well as all other transmissions or transmitted frequencies. With this ability, they can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows them to see the auras generated by living beings.
    • X-ray vision: Kryptonians can mentally break down the polymers in objects and organisms, allowing them to see through the object or a person: as such, Kryptonians can see through any solid structure, except lead.
    • Telescopic vision: Kryptonians have the ability to see people or objects from meters away (this power does not break the laws of physics: that is, they cannot see something that happens too far away as it happens). This ability operates independently of normal vision and can be activated or deactivated by an act of will.
    • Microscopic vision: Kryptonians have the ability to see extremely small residues, stains or streaks or other objects that humans cannot see with their own eyes. This ability can go so far as to see very small objects and images down to the atomic level.
  • Super hearing: A Kryptonian's hearing was sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. They can eavesdrop on faraway conversations and hear cries for help from miles away. With sufficient control, they can even exclude ambient sounds in order to focus on a specific source or frequency. They may also possess a mental telepathy associated with the sound, as they can hear the screams from space (where there is no air for sound waves to travel through).
  • Super breath: Kryptonians are able to create strong pulses of air and hurricanes by simply exhaling air from their lungs. This also allow them to hold their breath for extremely long periods of time.
    • Arctic breath: Kryptonians can freeze objects and people with their breath.
  • Precognition: Clark was able to have the limits of the future, once exposed to a human psychic.
  • Telekinesis: Kryptonians have the ability to move certain objects with the mind, as evidenced by the fact that they can telekinetically link with Kryptonian technology. For example, Zod was able to influence the movement of the Kryptonian black box with his mind.
  • Technopathy: Kryptonians have the ability to connect and interface with their native technology.


Kryptonians are classified as high-tier cosmic beings [citation needed] and are virtually indestructible under a yellow sun. However, super-powered Kryptonians are extremely vulnerable to kryptonite, highly radioactive fragments of their homeworld and there are many different types, all having very different effects. Green kryptonite weakens Kryptonians greatly both physically and mentally, to the point where too much exposure can kill them. Blue kryptonite strips Kryptonians of their abilities. Red kryptonite removes a Kryptonian's inhibitions and judgment.

Kryptonians are rendered completely powerless under sunlight given off by a red sun, a prime example being Krypton's red sun Rao, although this star no longer exists. Kryptonians with Blue Kryptonite irradiated DNA are powerless under a yellow sun like Earth's.

The artificial entity Jor-El has proven capable of removing and restoring inherent Kryptonian powers and abilities possibly be inhibiting the ability to absorb solar energy.

Kryptonians can also be harmed by other aliens that are of the same or higher power. Doomsday was genetically engineered by Zod and Faora to hate the House of El, making him an almost unstoppable foe to Kryptonians of that house, as his inner rage towards them drove him to want to destroy them: as such, Doomsday can easily overpower and kill Kryptonians. Phantoms inhabiting the bodies of living corporeal beings can bring harm to Kryptonians, as can Zoners. Bizarro, after replicating Clark's DNA, gained Kryptonian powers: with them, he could match Clark. Aldar was able to easily overpower Clark and could have killed him. Brainiac can also hurt Kryptonians, but he isn't as strong. John Jones was able to catch a punch from Clark that Clark intended for Lionel, a human, meaning that not much force was put behind it.

Kryptonians can be given permanent wounds or scars by Palak or gold kryptonite.

Kryptonians are also vulnerable to alien weapons. The Persuader's Atomic Axe can bypass a Kryptonian's invulnerability, causing a severe wound which also hinders their ability to heal instantly, although Clark healed two minutes afterwards.[5] The crystals in the Fortress of Solitude can bypass and pierce through their invulnerability and can possibly kill them, as seen when Zor-El tried to murder Kara with them. A Kryptonian dagger can also hurt and kill a Kryptonian, but they can be broken easily.[6]

Kryptonians can be harmed by the effects of magic.[7] Because Kryptonians can be influenced by magic and other such abilities, they are vulnerable to Apokoliptian symbols, as shown with Kara was trapped inside a protective barrier.[8]

Some of the more powerful metahumans can harm Kryptonians with their abilities, but most other low-tier meteor freaks cannot.

Human technology embedded with or powered by kryptonite can affect Kryptonians to a degree.[9]

The Starro device made by Winslow Schott can control the mind of a Kryptonian, as evidenced with Lois Lane when she had Clark's powers, but was still affected by the device.[10]

Kryptonians are vulnerable to some mental and cognitive control. Dr. Hudson was able to invade Clark's mind.[11] Brainiac turned an ordinary rock into silver kryptonite, which was able to cause fear and paranoia in Clark.[12] Clark proved vulnerable to test-tube implants (mostly likely laced with green kryptonite) which sent his brain into a virtual realm where he had no powers. But, with the help of Lois, he managed to fly and escape the simulation.[13]


The Kryptonian alphabet.

The Kryptonian language is an alien language filled with hieroglyphics and shapes that can be read by its people. The Kryptonian language is referred to as "Kryptonian."[citation needed] Written Kryptonian is made up of two separate writing systems: An alphabet and a logographic writing system.

The Kryptonian alphabet is, by incredible chance, phonetically close enough to the English alphabet that a direct transliteration between the two is possible. Like the English alphabet, it has 26 letters, each with a pronunciation corresponding to an English phoneme. Kryptonian uses base 10 mathematics (a much less surprising similarity, given Kryptonians having ten fingers) and has ten numeral symbols, much like the Hindu-Arabic numeral system.

The Kryptonian symbol for "hope" burned into the Kents' barn.

Kryptonian logograms often combine letters in the Kryptonian alphabet into a single character. For example, Clark burned the Kryptonian logogram for "hope" into the side of the Kents' barn. The logogram is made up the four Kryptonian letters corresponding to the English letters H-O-P-E, re-arranged into a single glyph.

The Kryptonian spoken language is rarely spoken on-camera. Even when two Kryptonians speak, they are shown speaking English. For example, in Memoria, when Clark is shown as a baby remembering his birth parents, they are speaking English and during a flashback in Blue, Lara-El, Kara and Zor-El are also shown speaking English. (It is unclear if they are actually speaking English, or if they are speaking Kryptonian but it is rendered as English as a convenience to viewers.) An alternate explanation is that English and Kryptonian are somehow related languages.


Clark learned Kryptonian by having the information downloaded into him and Kara mentions that she "studied" the English language on Krypton, becoming a fluent speaker with command even over idiomatic expressions. It is possible that Kryptonian technology can download a language into someone's brain, turning all interested Kryptonians into native speakers of the English language.

The Kryptonian language has only been spoken one time in the entire series, when Casey Brock was babbling incoherently in what Bizarro identified as Kryptonian hex codes.


Virtually all Kryptonians perished when Krypton was destroyed due to the war with Zod. However, there are a few survivors who escaped the planet's destruction, by either being in a spaceship, in the Phantom Zone or on Earth.

In a spaceship

  • Kal-El: Survived because his parents sent him to Earth in a spacecraft. After learning of his true origins, Clark Kent assumed that he was the last son of Krypton.
  • Nam-Ek and Aethyr, the Disciples of Zod: Survived due to being inside the Black Ship at the time of Krypton's destruction. Nam-Ek was killed by Raya many years later while in the Phantom Zone.
  • Kara Zor-El: Survived by being sent to Earth by her father Zor-El in a red spaceship.
  • Jor-El as an artificial entity: The brainwaves of Kal-El's father traveled to Earth stored in his son's spaceship.
  • Doomsday as genetic matter: Doomsday was created by Zod and Faora, and attached to Kal-El's spaceship as genetic matter which grew on the three-year journey to Earth and formed a camouflage persona named Davis Bloome.
  • Brainiac: Survived when he was put into the Black Ship: now re-programmed as Brainiac 5.

In the Phantom Zone

  • Zod: Survived by being sent to the Phantom Zone, but no longer had a corporeal body. Zod possessed Lex Luthor on Earth in 2006, but was stopped by Clark using the Crystal of El.
  • Raya: Survived by living in the Phantom Zone, but was murdered years afterward by Baern after Clark released her.
  • Faora: Was sent to the Phantom Zone along with her husband Zod. She escaped and possessed Lois Lane, but was stopped by Kara using the red crystal.

On Earth

  • Dax-Ur: Survived Krypton's destruction due to living on Earth as a human for 100 years until he was presumably killed by Brainiac.

Clone Technology


In their distant past, Kryptonians were primitive beings using swords and daggers, fighting amongst each other as brutal but honorable warriors. Kara alluded that modern elevators on Earth were ancient technology on Krypton. Major Zod, after he was resurrected on Earth by the Orb, was seen bearing a sword inscribed with Kryptonian glyphs.[14]

Over the centuries, Kryptonians became more advanced beings and started to use technology that was far more complex than that of most other worlds, including Earth. Each Kryptonian was known to have carried a shield pendant that emitted a particular beacon which was tuned in accordance to that of their family house. Kryptonians could also store vast amounts of data and information in objects. They could somehow strip corporeal beings of their physical bodies: in this regard, Jor-El, with the help of John Jones, stripped many criminals of their bodies and cast them into the Phantom Zone.

Kryptonians could somehow embed or store Kryptonian powers and abilities inside objects. Palak was a mythical dagger that was embedded with abilities similar to those of Kryptonians to protect it until it could be delivered to the true Naman. The Kryptonian black box was Brainiac's hard drive and it also contained Kryptonian abilities, but only he could access them. Many Kryptonian technologies are shaped like crystals, probably inspired by Krypton's crystalline texture.

Kryptonian devices, artifacts and sacred areas

No matter what type of device or artifact, if it's Kryptonian, it can't be broken, or even scratched, by anything earthly.

  • Brain InterActive Construct, or Brainiac: Krypton's supercomputer that was designed by Dax-Ur and later made by Jor-El. It was later corrupted by Zod. Brainiac survived Krypton's destruction by uploading itself into the Black Ship.
  • Kal-El's ship: The spaceship that brought Kal-El to Earth.
  • Black Ship: A large spacecraft containing the Brainiac and Zod's disciples Nam-Ek and Aethyr.
  • Kara's ship: The red spaceship that brought Kara to Earth.
  • Key: A small, octagonal device that can access Kryptonian devices of the House of El, such as Kal-El's ship and the technology located in the Kawatche Caves.
  • Kawatche Caves: A series of underground caves that have historical connections to Jor-El and Krypton. Also contains Kryptonian technology.
  • Memory pendant: Kryptonian device used to record memories that occurred in a given time as interactive experiences.
  • Starblade: Kryptonian dagger that gave its possessor Kryptonian abilities and revealed Naman's true enemy Sageeth.
  • Kryptonian dagger: A handheld weapon used by Kryptonians.
  • Phantom Zone: A plane of existence created by Jor-El as a prison for extraterrestrial criminals from the 28 known galaxies.
    • Phantom Zone bracelet: Metallic bracelet that can form into a vortex to the Phantom Zone and suck their victims inside.
  • Stones of Power: Kryptonian stones that are each encoded with the teachings of the 28 known galaxies. They must be united to form the Crystal of Knowledge.
  • Crystal of Knowledge: Diamond-shaped crystal that is formed when the Stones of Power are united. Holds all the knowledge of the universe and can create the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Fortress of Solitude: Vast Kryptonian structure that holds the artificial intelligence of Jor-El. A storehouse for all the knowledge of the universe as well, the Fortress uses native Kryptonian technology to achieve feats of immense power.
  • Blue crystal: Contains Lara-El and Zor-El's DNA, memories and clothing. Capable of shutting Jor-El's essence out of the Fortress.
  • Crystal of El: Kryptonian crystal displaying the Mark of El. This crystal has the ability to wipe out memories, fend off phantoms by emitting a burst of light and remove phantoms that have possessed humans.
  • Dax-Ur's shield: Kryptonian beacon owned by Dax-Ur.
  • Orb: A device created by Jor-El and designed to control Kal-El and resurrect the Kandorian army as clones.
  • Book of Rao: Created by Jor-El, this octagonal device was designed to send the Kandorians to a New Krypton: by doing so, this fulfills Rao's prophecy. This device looks similar to the other octagonal key that came from Kal-El's ship.
  • Mirror box: Kryptonian device that allows Kryptonians, as well as humans, to travel to parallel universes.

Gallery of Kryptonians

In the Comics

In the comics, Superman/Clark Kent has displayed some other Kryptonian powers that were not displayed on Smallville: super smell and on one occasion he displayed super scream. Superman, in other versions, has displayed some form of telekinesis.

In the comics, the Kryptonian language and characters are quite different. For example, the symbol for "hope" is Superman's logo rather than the symbol that appeared in Rosetta. Incidentally, the reverse of Superman's logo means 'resurrection'.[citation needed]


  • Unlike the comics, in the show, Clark's alien physiology doesn't give him any special advantages, other than to be able to breathe on Krypton. (Apocalypse). This is shown by the fact that every time Clark's robbed of his abilities, he's totally as vulnerable as humans, whereas in the comics, his physiology gives him some advantages even without his powers.
  • It was shown several times in the show that kryptonians have a different spectrum of fears than humans have. Even Clark, although raised by humans, was shown multiple times to not be afraid of certain things, which humans are mostly innately afraid of.

See also


Kryptonians in Smallville
Main Clark KentKaraZodBrainiacDavis Bloome
House of El Jor-El (AI, clone) • Lara-ElZor-ElConner Kent
Kandorian army Kandorian army: BasqatValaFaoraAliaCoats
Houses House of El (crest) • House of Zod (crest)
Other Disciples of Zod (Nam-Ek, Aethyr) • Dax-UrRayaFaoraKrypton

Kryptonian artifacts in Smallville
Major Stones of Power (Crystal of Fire, Crystal of Air, Crystal of Water) • Book of RaoOrb
Fortress Crystal of KnowledgeFortress of Solitude (console, dagger)
Ships Kal-El's shipBlack Ship (Black box) • Kara's ship
Kawatche Kawatche CavesMemory pendantAltarKeyPalak
Other Phantom Zone crystalBlack crystalBlue crystalCrystal of ElDax-Ur's shieldMirror box