|Appeared in||Man of Steel|
- "You will give a people of earth an ideal to strive towards, they will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join in you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
Jor-El was lead scientist on the planet Krypton, having been specifically bred for this role. In this role he became friends with Krypton's military leader, General Dru-Zod. He was married to Lara Lor-Van, who agreed with him that Krypton had grown stagnant through the use of the Genesis Chamber, a technology designed to genetically modify a genetic registry of citizens yet to be born so the would fulfill specific roles in Krypton's society. Jor-El and Lara felt this robbed their society of choice and chance, for the potential of a child to be greater than what society determined they should be. Because of this belief, they chose to have a child through natural birth, a baby boy whom they would name Kal-El.
Jor-El came to realize that the Kryptonian Council's orders to tap into Krypton's core to harvest energy had made the planet unstable. Seeking to save Krypton's future, he pleaded with the council to give him the registry of Kryptonian citizen, the Codex. Unfortunately, his former friend General Zod had staged a coup, planning on retrieving the Codex for himself for he could chose what bloodlines would survive by picking what aspects would form his new Kryptonian society. Jor-El refusal to aid him caused Zod to take him into custody to face judgement until after the coup was over.
However, Jor-El managed to escape custody and took his mount H'Raka, to retrieve the Codex before Zod could corrupt the genetic templates stored on it with the Genesis Chamber. After retrieving the Codex, he returned to his home where he and Lara prepared to send their son to another world. To ensure hope for Krypton's future would continue to exist, he bonded the DNA of the billions of citizens contained within the Codex within the cell structure of Kal-El. He also created a Command Key embossed with the symbol of the House of El, with a artificial copy of his personality within it in the hopes Kal-El would one day be able to find the scout-ship on Earth to use it. Selecting a planet with a young sun and weak gravity which would embue Kal-El with superior abilities, both tearfully wished their son farewell before loading him on his ship.
Unfortunately, Zod had learned of Jor-El's theft and arrived to retrieve the Codex. While Lara prepares to launch baby Kal-El, Jor-El shoots Zod's soldiers and the two engage in a short but violent struggle that Jor-El eventually wins, leaving Zod with a brutal scar across his cheek. Zod pleads with Lara to stop. Unwilling to allow Kal-El to fall into Zod's hands or share Krypton's fate she activated the launch mechanism. While Jor-El and Lara both look upward for one final glimpse of their son before he disappeared forever, Zod ejected a blade from the gauntlet on his forearm and stabbed Jor-El in the side. Jor-El painfully looks at his former friend turned enemy before falling to the floor and dying.
Kal-El, renamed Clark Kent on Earth, discovered an ancient Kryptonian scout ship, where he unknowingly inserted Jor-El's artificial consciousness into the ship's mainframe. The holographic Jor-El explained Krypton's history, Zod's intentions, and Kal's reason for being on Earth. Jor-El provided his son with his trademark uniform afterwards.
After being captured and held hostage on Zod's ship, Lois Lane summoned the holographic Jor-El on board, who helped her escape from Zod's ship. Jor-El then approached his son, freeing him by altering the ship's atmosphere into that of Earth's. Jor-El then sent Kal to stop Zod from obtaining the codex on Earth.
Later, Zod took over the scout ship and met Jor-El's hologram, whom he referred to as a "ghost". Jor-El urged Zod to give up on his attempt at recreating Krypton, but the sectarian forces the A.I. to disappear.
Powers and Abilities
- Kryptonian Physiology: As a Kryptonian, Jor-El's alien body adapted to Earth's atmosphere and gravity and absorbed the yellow radiation emitted by the sun. This process of adaption would have gained Jor-El superhuman powers. However, this never happened as he wasn't ever exposed to a sun different to the the Kryptonians' natural red one.
- Genius-Level Intellect: As the most illustrious member of the Kryptonian Thinker Guild, Jor-El was extremely intelligent and wise, Jor-El's intellect extends to his superb scientific and tactical skills, making him a formidable opponent to his former friend Zod, who despite Kal deeming Zod as his equal in intelligence, he ultimately proved to outsmart Zod due to being much calmer, more intellectually experienced and wiser, as Jor-El's intelligence proving critical in Zod's defeat by his son as well as an effective mentor to his son Kal-El.
- Master scientist: As an illustrious member of the Kryptonian Thinker Guild, Jor-El was one of Krypton's foremost scientists. He was able to accurately predict that that mining Krypton's core would result in its imminent collapse and, by extension, the destruction of the entire planet. Jor-El was an innovative character who was breaking the thinking boundaries programmed into his engineered DNA.
- Master Marksman: Jor-El also possessed amazing marksmanship with weapons, such as the Kryptonian Rifle, as seen when Zod's men arrested Jor-El, and Kelex intervened.
- Master Hand-To-Hand Combatant/Martial Artist: Jor-El was also a very skilled in hand-to-hand combat, even going toe-to-toe with Zod and winning.
- Kal-El - Son.
- Lara Lor-Van - Wife; deceased.
- Dru-Zod - Good friend turned enemy and killer; deceased.
- Lois Lane - Ally.
- H'Raka - Mount; deceased.