Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Smallville: Kryptonians

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Kryptonians in general 

A humanoid alien race native to the planet Krypton, Kryptonians were initially a race of warriors before evolving into a peaceful people devoted to science.

Most of the Kryptonian population died when Krypton exploded following a destructive civil war between the Ruling Council and General Zod, but a few of them (most importantly, Kal-El) survived one way or another.

The House of El and Associates
The Mark of El

One of Krypton's most distinguished dynasties, the Els were deeply involved in Kryptonian politics, with patriarch Jor-El acting as both Krypton's greatest living scientific mind as well as an advisor to the Ruling Council and the military. During General Zod's rebellion, the House of El fell into civil war, with Jor-El's resentful younger brother, Zor-El, siding with Zod and helping to trigger Krypton's destruction. Realizing that the end was drawing near, Jor-El and his wife, Lara, loaded their newborn son, Kal-El, onto a spaceship bound for Earth, where he would become known as Clark Kent/Superman. Zor-El, mimicking his brother, sent his own daughter, Kara, on a similar trip, ensuring that the legacy of the House of El would live on.

    Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman 

Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman / The Blur

See The Kents.


     Jor-El (Kryptonian) 


Played by: Tom Welling ("Relic"), Terence Stamp (voice), Julian Sands ("Kandor," "Abandoned")
Jor-El in his pre-Fortress days.

Kal-El's biological father, Jor-El was a brilliant scientist who was regarded as one of Krypton's greatest heroes (next to Zod).

  • Alternate Self: Has one on Earth-Prime, and on Earth-96... as Zod.
  • Broken Ace: Jor-El was a well-respected scientist and regarded as one of Krypton's greatest heroes, but he was crippled by self-doubt and guilt over not being able to save his planet and his people. He even withheld programming his own emotions into the A.I., believing it would hold Clark back in his training.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Zor-El. Kara even remarks to Clark that the two brothers didn't really talk a lot.
  • Badass Bookworm: Jor-El can fight, despite his scientific background.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Jor-El is strongly implied to have had this kind of relationship with his brother, Zor-El. In terms of personalities, Jor-El is the Abel (the good brother who did his damnedest to save Krypton) to Zor-El's Cain (the evil brother who plotted to help destroy Krypton to fulfill a Kryptonian prophecy). When it comes to sibling roles, Jor-El is the Cain (the older brother) to Zor-El's Abel (the younger brother).
    • This trope also applies to Jor-El's relationship with Zod. Simply put, Jor-El is the Abel to Zod's Cain.
  • Chest Insignia: On Krypton, he wore his family's crest on his chest.
  • The Fettered: Heavily implied by Zor-El's claim to Clark that Jor-El couldn't grasp the concept of sacrificing the weak for the greater good. Later, in Season 10, this trope is implied to be the reason why Kryptonian!Jor-El left his emotions out of the A.I.'s programming, believing his pride and regrets prevented him from saving Krypton.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Implied to have been one when he was younger. In Season 3's "Relic," Jor-El admits to Louise that he wasn't a "model son."
  • Good Counterpart: To Zor-El.
  • Happily Married: Screwed up as he was, there are no indications that his marriage to Lara was less than happy. A holographic message in Season 10's "Abandoned" shows them sharing a close, loving embrace during Krypton's final moments.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Both the clone and the real Jor-El have rather negative views of their own achievements.
    (to Clark via a holographic message) The ship I designed to carry you to your destiny can only hold one Kryptonian, one with so much potential, so unlike your father. [...] I am sending with you all my knowledge, and none of my ego or regrets.
  • Ignored Expert: Shown in a flashback scene in Season 9's "Kandor" when he tries to warn the Kryptonian Council that sending cloned Kryptonians to Earth might not be such a great idea.
  • Interspecies Friendship: He was good friends with J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter, and even asked him to watch over Kal-El/Clark on Earth. Jor-El was a Kryptonian while J'onn was a Martian.
  • Interspecies Romance: While visiting Earth in 1961, he had a doomed relationship with Louise McCallum, Lana Lang's great-aunt.
  • Lighter and Softer: The clone (and presumably the real) Jor-El are shown to be much nicer than the Fortress A.I.
  • Posthumous Character: He's long dead when the show begins.
  • Science Hero: Heavily implied in "Kandor," where Zod, in a flashback, notes to the Ruling Council that Jor-El dedicated his life's work to saving and preserving life rather than waging war and causing death.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In a flashback in "Kandor," he interrupts the taking of blood samples from Zod's soldiers in direct violation of the Council's orders; he even tells Zod that "The Council can do what it will. I will not allow my life's work to be used to commit an atrocity."
  • So Proud of You: In regards to his son Kal-El.
  • Take a Third Option: In "Kandor," he interrupts the taking of blood samples from Zod's army so they can be sent to Earth in the Orb. Later, he argues to the Council that he created cloning technology to help the sick and wounded rather than bring the dead (namely super-powered Kandorian soldiers) back to life. After he's ordered to finish the Orb despite his warnings of the Kandorian army potentially using their powers to take over Earth, Jor-El irradiates the Orb with Blue Kryptonite to De-Power the Kandorians.

     Jor-El (A.I.) 

Jor-El (A.I.)

Played by: Terence Stamp, John Glover (Hidden)

When Krypton was about to go boom, the Kryptonian Jor-El copied his brain patterns into the spaceship that would carry his son to Earth.

  • Abusive Dad: The reasons behind his behavior and actions toward Kal-El may have been well-meaning and noble, but the fact remains AI!Jor-El's actions were downright, often unnecessarily, cruel and dickish. He's burned the mark of Clark's Kryptonian ancestors onto his chest as part of his efforts to control his son, even brainwashed Clark outright, froze Clark in a solid pillar of ice, and even disowns him early in Season 10.
  • Anti-Hero: Type IV. Jor-El's intentions are benevolent (he wants Clark to become the hero that Earth needs), but the way he goes about things are often very nasty and cruel.
  • Anti-Villain: Type III. His goals are good (he wants to protect Earth and ensure that Clark becomes the hero he's destined to be), but the methods he employs for achieving those goals are, to put it mildly, highly questionable.
  • Asshole Victim: Jor-El has this happen to him a lot, courtesy of Brainiac, Lex, Earth-2 Lionel, and various others.
  • Because Destiny Says So: He's a total douche about this.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Fortress A.I. was intentionally designed without the real Jor-El's emotions that might get in the way of his son's training. Presumably, the real Jor-El felt they kept him back whilst trying to save Krypton and didn't want to make that mistake again.
  • Genius Loci: When he's in the Kawatche Caves and later the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's on the side of good, but he is generally anything but nice.
  • Hypocrite: In the Season 10 premiere, Jor-El condemns Clark for being willing to kill a clone of Lex. Seasons earlier, he ordered Clark to kill he actual Lex to prevent Zod from using him as a vessel.
  • Jerkass / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Switches between the two.
  • Kick the Dog: When he almost froze Chloe to death in the Season 5 premiere "Arrival."
  • Meta Casting: Kneel before Jor-El! I mean, uh, Zod!
  • Mr. Exposition: Sometimes, such as when Clark asked about Zod and Brainiac in "Vessel," and when Martha came to the Fortress in the Season 6 premiere.
  • Remake Cameo: Terence Stamp previously played General Zod in Superman: The Movie and Superman II.
  • So Proud of You: Said by the Fortress AI to Clark in Season 8's "Abyss" and in the Grand Finale.
  • Soul Jar: The original Jor-El copied his brainwaves into Kal-El's spacecraft.
  • Spirit Advisor: To Clark.
  • The Unfettered: Unlike his predecessor, Fortress!Jor-El will do whatever it takes to get the job done, no matter how extreme it might be.
  • The Voice: Save for flashing lights, pillars of energy, and possessing Lionel Luthor, Jor-El usually manifests as a disembodied voice.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The above-mentioned freezing and intending to trap Clark in the Fortress till everyone he loves is dead firmly put it in this category.



Played by: Kendall Cross ("Memoria"), Helen Slater ("Lara," "Blue," "Abandoned")

Clark/Kal-El's Kryptonian biological mother.



Played by: Pascale Hutton

Jor-El's lab assistant, Raya helped construct the spaceship that Kal-El escaped Krypton in, and was later put into the Phantom Zone so she could survive Krypton's destruction. Years later, she meets Clark after he's sent to the Phantom Zone by Zod and helps him escape, but is believed to have been killed by two of Zod's henchmen. Later on, Raya shows up in Smallville, having been freed from the Phantom Zone herself along with some others, and helps Clark battle Baern, one of the Phantom Zone escapees. She is killed by Baern in the Fortress of Solitude. Appears in "Zod" and "Fallout."

     Kara Zor-El/Kara Kent/Supergirl 

Kara Kent/Kara Zor-El/Supergirl

Clark's Kryptonian cousin, the daughter of Jor-El's brother Zor-El. Kara was sent to Earth by her father, ostensibly to find and look after her cousin Kal-El, only to be trapped in suspended animation shortly after her arrival. Eighteen years later (in Season 7), Kara is awakened following a battle between Clark and Bizarro.

While she initially has trouble fitting in, Kara grows into her role as Clark's cousin, protege and confidante...only to be kidnapped by Brainiac and forced into the Phantom Zone, from which she was not released until Season 8. She made her return in Season 10 and began operating out of Metropolis as a Super Hero. In the second-to-last episode of the series, she travels to the 31st century using a Legion ring.

  • Action Girl: A fighter and superhero, pretty much like her cousin.
  • Alliterative Name: Once adopted into the Kent family.
  • Alternate Self: Has two, one on Earth-Prime, and one on Earth-96. Also has one on Earth-Prime that is a Coluan.
  • Badass Adorable: Very sweet, shy and friendly as well and able to turn concrete into dust with her bare hands.
  • Badass in Distress: Although superhuman, Kara sometimes finds herself in trouble and needs saving.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Often. Just look at the picture.
  • Bash Cousins: With Clark.
  • Berserk Button: Messing with Kara's stuff is a really bad idea. Also, don't mess with her family (Clark).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kara is generally a Nice Girl, but don't get on her bad side. You'll regret it.
  • The Big Girl: In a physical strength sense. Kara is significantly stronger than the average human female.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To Clark. Although Kara seems younger than Clark, this is because she spent 18 years in suspended animation. However, Kara is actually much older than Clark.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Clark.
  • Broken Bird: Primarily in Season 7.
  • Brutal Honesty: Not afraid to speak her mind and her opinions. Kara can be very sarcastic, opinionated and snarky.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returns in Season 8's "Bloodline" and in Season 10.
  • Clark Kenting: In Season 7. By her return in Season 10, she has adopted a wig and glasses as a disguise.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Like her comics' counterpart, she can be quite sarcastic.
  • Death Glare: Gives this to either an enemy, an opponent or someone she doesn't like or trust.
  • Determinator: Kara is a fighter and a very determined individual.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The first thing she did when she met Clark and Lois for the first time was beat them up for touching her ship.
  • The Dragon: To President Evil Lex in the Alternate Universe Clark gets sent to in "Apocalypse." She quickly Heel Face Turns after meeting Clark, though.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: In regards to her father. She thought Zor-El was a good man, until she discovered that he wasn't a good person with good intentions.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Kara is a blonde who is attractive to the opposite sex.
  • The Fashionista: Kara seems to like clothing and fashion.
  • Gaussian Girl: Her first appearance shows her blurred and in a flowing white dress. Under water. When she saves Lex Luthor and flies away, he is convinced she is an angel who is there to make him repent his sins.
  • Genius Bruiser: Largely overlooked, but she once easily hacked to gain classified information (specifically about her blue crystal) on the Department of Homeland Security, while making herself untraceable.
  • Girl Next Door: As Kara Kent. As Supergirl, it's another story.
  • Girly Bruiser: Kara is both a beauty queen and an Action Girl/Super Hero who kicks ass.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Good, but when she becomes aggresive, things go wrong.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Kara has pale blonde hair, which is one of her defining physical characteristics in both the comics and on the show.
  • Hot-Blooded: Kara is impulsive, opinionated and hot-headed.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: In Season 7, Kara originally had problems with controlling her abilities. Clark managed to help her control her powers and train her.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Kara Zor-El is this trope. When Darkseid attempts to mind-control her early in Season 10, she—like Lois Lane in the same episode—has a heart pure enough to resist it.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Kara has clear blue eyes, fitting with her blonde hair.
  • Human Popsicle: Was trapped in stasis until the start of Season 7.
  • Love Hurts: Kara doesn't seem to have much luck in the romance department.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: No, seriously. Her dad Zor-El has got some issues.
  • Mentor: To Clark on the subject of flight.
  • Minidress of Power: Season 10.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She wears a midriff-baring top with shorts, had a scene in her underwear and participated in a Beauty Contest.
  • No Social Skills: At first due to being a complete stranger to Earth.
  • Older Than They Look: She's actually twenty or so years older than Clark. Thanks to her getting trapped in stasis, though, Clark both looks and acts a fair bit older than her. Depending on whether Brainiac stranded her in the Phantom Zone in 1986 or 2008, if the former, then Kara spent an additional 20 years stranded there. Since the Phantom Zone is timeless however, she hasn't aged a day.
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: Kara survived in the Phantom Zone for a year, despite having lost her powers.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: The version of Kara in the alternate timeline of "Apocalypse" wears her hair in this style.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Like her cousin Clark, she is often seen wearing the colours red and blue (sometimes with yellow) to give her the Supergirl look.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of Season 7 she gets trapped to the Phantom Zone.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: Was introduced in an 8-episode story arc (a good one) at the start of Season 7. At the end of it, she's struck by some Laser-Guided Amnesia and left wandering around Detroit (keeping her out of the next several episodes). No sooner does she have her memory restored than in the very next episode, she's forced to go away with Brainiac to save Lana's life (also keeping her out of the next several episodes). When she finally returns near the end of Season 7, she's behaving strangely. In the season finale, we learn it's because she didn't return. Brainiac trapped her in the Phantom Zone and has been impersonating her. She isn't freed until several episodes into Season 8 and is then promptly Put on a Bus until the final season.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Kara's romance with Jimmy Olsen.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Likely the reason why she kept getting written out so often. Kara has all of Clark's powers plus flight which might have made it difficult to build genuine tension if she was a regular cast member.
  • Tsundere Type B. Primarily towards Clark.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: In Season 7. Unlike Clark, she has access to the full range of Kryptonian powers, allowing her to fly, lift cars, Super Speed and take bullets with the best of them, but she has almost no control over her lesser abilities. Clark can carve a pumpkin with his heat vision; Kara tends to make them explode.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Blue ones.



Clark's Kryptonian uncle, Jor-El's younger brother and Kara's father. A scientist like his brother, Zor-El and Jor-El did not get along very well, probably since Zor-El was in love with Jor-El's wife, Lara, and tried to kill Jor-El so he could have Lara all to himself. He later became an ally to General Zod, but only so he could fulfill an ancient Kryptonian prophecy by destroying the planet.

Years later, Zor-El and Lara are resurrected by a Power Crystal he sent with Kara to Earth. He tries to take over Earth, only to be stopped when Clark destroys the crystal that brought him and Lara back to life.

     Clone Jor-El 

Clone Jor-El

Played by: Julian Sands

A clone of Jor-El, created by the Orb from DNA taken from the original Jor-El 20 years prior to Krypton's destruction.

The House of Zod and Associates
The Mark of Zod
The sworn enemies of the House of El, the House of Zod were a Kryptonian military family whose rebellion against the Ruling Council resulted in the destruction of Krypton itself. General Zod and his wife, Faora, were exiled to the Phantom Zone for their crimes, but not before they sent their genetically-engineered son, Doomsday, and their deadliest servant, Brainiac, to Earth in pursuit of Jor-El's son, Kal-El. Like their archenemies, the legacy of the House of Zod lives onto this day, and its members (and their clones) still hope to bring down all of Jor-El's works and, in doing so, complete their long-awaited revenge.

     General Zod 

General Dru-Zod

Played by: Michael Rosenbaum ("Vessel," "Zod"), Terence Stamp (briefly in "Zod"), Callum Blue ("Kandor," "Dominion")
"You have your father's eyes... Hello, Kal-El."

A Kryptonian general and war criminal, Zod's body was destroyed and his spirit thrown into the Phantom Zone following an attempted coup against the Ruling Council. Freed in the Season 5 finale, Zod body-jacks Lex Luthor, using the billionaire's newly-gained superpowers in an attempt to bring Earth to its knees. He is defeated by Clark in the Season 6 opening and imprisoned by the Crystal of El.

In Season 8, it is revealed that Zod and his second wife, Faora, had been unable to have children. Genetically engineering a child, they sent him to Earth as genetic material attached to Kal-El's spaceship. Said child grew up to be Doomsday, and was intended to kill Clark and destroy the world.

In Season 9, Major Zod's arrival leads to important revelations about his genetic predecessor, namely that Zod was once a hero from the war against Black Zero and that his hatred for Jor-El stemmed from the latter's refusal to clone his son, following the death of Zod's family when Kandor was destroyed by Black Zero. The Major was eventually banished by the Book of Rao (see his entry for more on that).

In the Season 10 episode "Dominion," it's revealed that the General, with Darkseid's help, has successfully taken over the body of Major Zod, who was banished to the Phantom Zone by the Kandorians, and has carved out an empire for himself. He then lures Clark and Oliver to the Zone, and pits them against one another in gladiatorial combat. This backfires badly and Zod, along with two of his followers, is cut off from the Phantom Zone and trapped within a crystalline prison that goes spiraling off into space.

  • Abusive Parents: To Davis/Doomsday.
  • Alternate Self: Has two, one on Earth-Prime, and one on Earth-96.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Jor-El, after their friendship went sour. Clark inherits the grudge, and given that Zod is responsible for corrupting Brainiac, creating Doomsday, blowing up Krypton, and twice trying to Take Over the World, he's probably number two on Clark's hit parade, right behind Lex. After fusing with his younger clone, it becomes very personal for the General as well.
  • Badass Beard: On his real body. He grows one after taking control of Major Zod.
  • Badass Longcoat: While possessing Lex. After performing a Fusion Dance with Major Zod, he adds both a coat and a Badass Cape to the latter's outfit.
  • Back for the Finale: Appears in one of the last episodes.
  • Bald of Evil: When possessing Lex.
  • Beard of Evil: Sported by both his Phantom and Major Zod bodies.
  • Cain and Abel: References the story and invokes the trope during "Dominion" with both Clark and Oliver. He seems desperate for a "brother-in-arms" worth having.
  • Cool Chair: Is seated atop a skull-decorated throne in Season 10.
  • The Corrupter: Tries to tempt Oliver into evil in "Dominion."
  • Deal with the Devil: Made a deal with Darkseid to gain control over the Zone and Major Zod.
  • Demoted to Dragon: In "Dominion," he is reduced to Darkseid's surrogate, ruling the Phantom Zone in the latter's absence.
  • The Disembodied: To even greater extremes than normal for a Zoner. His body was not only destroyed, but his Phantom was altered so that it can only control a body that has been specially prepared. Brainiac has to mutate Lex to make him Grand Theft Me-able; after his defeat by Clark, the General is reduced to being a ghost again until a deal with Darkseid lets him perform a Fusion Dance with Major Zod.
  • Evil Brit: Post-Fusion Dance.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Jor-El. Invoked with Clark in "Dominion," after he seizes control of the Major.
  • Evil Overlord: Successfully conquers the Mordor that is the Phantom Zone and sets himself up as its tyrant, with a little help from Darkseid and Major Zod's body.
  • Fallen Hero: Was once called one of Krypton's greatest heroes (see Major Zod for more on that).
  • Flaw Exploitation: Clark exploits his drive for control to defeat him in "Zod"; in "Dominion," Clark and Oliver exploit his need to kill Clark himself to take his crystal and escape the Zone.
  • Four-Star Badass: Held the rank of General.
  • Fusion Dance: "Dominion" is unclear as to whether the General or the Major is more in control. He has the latter's body, the former's coldness and sense of fashion, and seems to retain both of their memories.
  • Gladiator Games: Oversees them after seizing control of the Phantom Zone in Season 10.
  • Grand Theft Me: Of Lex, and eventually, his own clone, Major Zod. With his original body destroyed, this is the best he can do.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: In Season 5 and 8. He's the one who turned Brainiac into the monster that he is, resulting in almost all of Season 5's unpleasantness, and he's the one who bioengineered Doomsday, who Faora turns loose in Season 8.
  • Happily Married: To Faora.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Fanatical Loyalty in the case of Faora and the Disciples of Zod, Fear in the case of the Zoners in "Dominion."
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Pulls this on Lana in "Zod"; according to Word of God, this is due to his being influenced by Lex's emotions and not any real interest on his part.
  • Insane General: Cold-blooded, ruthless, and visibly off his rocker (although not nearly to the degree of Major Zod, who seems to live one step away from a Villainous Breakdown).
  • In the Hood: Briefly during "Dominion."
  • It's Personal: By "Dominion."
  • Kneel Before Zod: Naturally.
  • Large Ham: Always needs to ham it up, regardless of which body he's in.
  • Mythology Gag: After he was taken out of Lex's body, he resembles the one from the Christopher Reeve movies. At the end of "Dominion," he and two henchmen, who may well be Non and Ursa, are sent spiraling off into space, much like in Superman II.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: When he couldn't take over Krypton, he corrupted the Brain InterActive Construct and helped Zor-El blow up the planet.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: A variant. He has no problem with someone else beating the tar out of Clark, but only he is allowed to deliver the coup de grace. Though that might actually be the Major shining through after the Fusion Dance.
  • Out-Gambitted: By Clark and Oliver in "Dominion."
  • Revenge: Wants payback on the House of El for his imprisonment. Later, his feud with Clark becomes personal, following the latter's defeat of him, and his own subsequent Fusion Dance with Major Zod who hates Clark more than anyone whose name isn't "Lex."
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In the fifth season, Brainiac's primary goal is to release him from the Phantom Zone. He eventually succeeds in the season finale and Zod's first action upon being freed is to put Clark into the same can that he just escaped from. Clark manages to escape on his own, without help from the outside, and subsequently re-imprisons Zod in the Season 6 premiere.
  • Second Love: Faora, who was originally one of the soldiers under his command.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: The General initially targets Kal-El because Jor-El is unavailable. It turns personal later on.
  • Tragic Villain: He lost his first wife and young son in the war against Black Zero, and Jor-El's refusal to resurrect said son is what led Zod to become the villain he is today.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Faora.
  • We Can Rule Together: To Lana and Clark in "Zod," and Oliver in "Dominion."
  • We Used to Be Friends: He and Jor-El.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The loss of his wife, son, and hometown is what twisted Zod into the world destroying monster he became.


Brainiac / Milton Fine / Brainiac 5

Played By: James Marsters
"I am the Brain InterActive Construct. No matter my form, my intellect remains formidable. Do not underestimate me."

When Clark began attending college in Season 5, his World History professor was one Milton Fine, who later claimed to be another surviving Kryptonian. Fine convinced Clark to assist him in taking down Jor-El, who had supposedly been a brutal dictator back on Krypton. In truth, Fine was a Kryptonian A.I. under the control of General Zod, who he sought to release from the Phantom Zone. When the truth of Fine's plans were revealed, Clark tried to defeat him; ultimately, Brainiac's "death" was revealed to be the very thing required to release Zod from his imprisonment.

In Season 7, Brainiac returned under his own control, albeit in a badly-battered condition. Manipulating Bizarro and Clark into helping him repair himself, Brainiac 2.0 subsequently trapped Kara in the Phantom Zone and revealed Clark's secret to Lex. Clark destroyed his body, but Brainiac returned once again in Season 8 by body-jacking Chloe and attempting to gain control of Doomsday. He was finally defeated with the aid of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and taken to the future for re-programming; he returns in Season 10 as Brainiac 5.

He is the main antagonist of Seasons 5 and 7, and is a recurring threat in Season 8, giving him the distinction of being the only non-regular to serve as the Big Bad for more than one season.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: We're led to believe this is what happened, but it's ultimately subverted. See Robotic Psychopath below.
  • All There in the Manual: His Season 7 incarnation's identity as Brainiac 2.0.
  • Badass Boast: Following his defeat in Season 5, Brainiac returns in Season 7 in a nearly powerless, deteriorating body that can barely hold itself together. Bizarro accuses him of "barely being able to catch a rat"; Brainiac's response is the section quote. Given the circumstances, it's very badass.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a skinny guy masquerading as a Professor of World History. He's also a Kryptonian AI capable of fighting Superman to a draw.
  • Badass Teacher: Goes hand-in-hand with his Badass Bookworm status.
  • Bad Future: Causes one in an Alternate Universe shown in Season 7's "Apocalypse".
  • Big Bad: For Season 5 and the first half of Season 8.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Lex in Season 7.
  • Body Surf: Seasons 7 and 8.
  • The Chessmaster: So very much. Brainiac is a meticulous planner, and uses almost every character in the show as a pawn at one point or another, often incorporating their schemes into his own.
  • Computer Virus: Unleashes one in the Season 5 finale.
  • Contagious A.I.: Brainiac can take over any computer system he interfaces with, and often acts as a sentient virus.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both pre- and post-Heel–Face Turn.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Season 8, where he's the Big Bad for the first half before being supplanted by his own Unwitting Pawn, Doomsday, as the season's major threat.
  • The Dragon: For Zod in Season 5.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Take Brainiac away from Zod, and there's not much the General can do.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: In Season 5, where he wants a world ruled by General Zod, with humans treated as nothing more than slaves.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Blew up Krypton.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Tries to have the world enslaved by Zod in Season 5, nuked by Lex in Season 7, and slaughtered by Doomsday in Season 8.
  • Evil Genius: Not The Evil Genius in a Five-Man Band sense, as he's generally the Big Bad or The Dragon, but definitely an Evil Genius. In terms of actual IQ points, he's probably the smartest being on the show.
  • Evil Mentor: To Clark in early Season 5.
  • Evil Teacher: As Milton Fine, Professor of World History.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Exploits Clark's need to save everyone close to him, Chloe's refusal to be a burden, Lex's obsessions and drive to know Clark's secret, Davis' crush on Chloe (later even revealed it is part of his programming), Kara's desire to be useful to Clark, and Bizarro's need for Lana at various points.
  • Guile Hero: After his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Half-Truth: In his introductory story arc, he attempts to gain Clark's trust by claiming to be a fellow Kryptonian survivor who recently arrived on Earth. This is technically true since he is an alien entity of Kryptonian origin. He just conveniently left out the part where he's a Kryptonian-built robot instead of a flesh and blood Kryptonian like Clark is.
  • The Heavy: Season 5's.
  • Heel–Face Turn: It's due to being re-programmed though, so it doesn't gain him a lot of sympathy.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: ...And thus deserve to die.
  • In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: He claims this is the truth about humans.
  • Insufferable Genius: For a computer system, he's got an ego.
    "I was created by Kryptonians, but I'm a whole lot smarter."
  • Kick the Dog: Abuses anyone he can get in his power.
  • Kill All Humans: His plan in Season 8.
  • Lack of Empathy: Brainiac's hard-wiring didn't include an empathy drive. It's one of the reasons why he manages to make Lex look good in comparison.
  • Lean and Mean: In the form of Milton Fine.
  • The Man Behind the Man: To President Evil Lex in the Bad Future of Season 7's "Apocalypse".
  • Manipulative Bastard: Excels at playing on people's fears and obsessions in order to make them do what he wants.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Hates humans, and even holds his Kryptonian creators in contempt.
  • Nano Machines: His real body is a black, liquid metal composed of these.
  • No-Sell: Kryptonite has no effect on him since he's a robot and not a true flesh and blood Kryptonian, despite him possessing (or at least being able to mimic) the standard Kryptonian powerset.
  • Not So Different: Brainiac 5 invokes this with Clark in Season 10's "Homecoming". For a good cause, to boot.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Plans to destroy Earth in Seasons 7 and 8, and implies he'll do the same thing to the next planet he visits. Within the context of the setting, it's quite omnicidal.
  • Power at a Price: Specifically:
    • Power Degeneration: In Season 7, following his near-destruction by Clark in the previous season. It takes a visible effort for him to shape-shift, and his body takes on the appearance of someone with a very serious illness.
    • Power Source: Is shown re-charging himself at a power plant in Season 7. Coincidentally, an overload of electricity is every bit as bad for him as not getting enough.
  • Replicant Snatching: He doesn't kill Kara, but he does exile her to the Phantom Zone and take on her appearance.
  • Robotic Psychopath: His programming didn't malfunction; it was deliberately corrupted by Zod.
  • Science Hero: Post-reprogramming. He's the AI behind the Legion flight rings and most of their other tech.
  • Self-Made Orphan: In a way. He not only kills his designer Dax-Ur, but helped Zod wipe out Krypton, killing his builder, Jor-El, in the process.
  • The Smart Guy: To the Legion, post-Heel–Face Turn.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Well known for his sadism and his whisper-soft creepy monotone.
  • Superior Species: Pretends to be a Kryptonian with this attitude. In truth, he hates just about everybody.
  • Superpower Lottery: A major winner. He can fake most of the Kryptonian powers, and has a few of his own, all in addition to his Evil Genius status. Here's the full list:
    • Eye Beams: Uses heat vision during his fight against Clark.
    • Flight: After draining the knowledge from his creator Jax-Ur, he upgrades himself to make this possible.
    • From a Single Cell: He's been utterly destroyed numerous times, but as long as a few pieces of him remain, he can regenerate completely, although it does take time.
    • Grand Theft Me: Body-jacks several people in Season 7 in order to drain their trace minerals and re-build himself. In Season 8, he takes control of Chloe following the destruction of his own body, increasing her intelligence in order to make her a better host.
    • Mind Probe: Typically by means of inserting a finger through the person's eye or temple. Yes, it's as vile as it sounds.
    • Nigh-Invulnerability: Can shrug off getting punched by or shot with heat vision by Clark.
    • Puppeteer Parasite: Related to Grand Theft Me. He enters in his liquid metal form and can be extracted the same way.
    • Self-Duplication: Can duplicate himself, and does so frequently.
    • Shapeshifter: Easily transforms into people, and mimics them with frightening accuracy.
    • Super Intelligence: Has the highest IQ of anyone on the show, and can both process information and multi-task at a speed that would leave most super computers in the dust.
    • Super Speed: Can move fast enough to escape from Clark's sight at times.
    • Super Strength: While he can't overpower Clark, he can give him a lot of trouble and at one point, effortlessly throws a tractor. He boasts that he's strong enough to snap Clark's neck.
  • Take Over the World: In Season 5.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Clark stabbing him in Season 5 is what lets Zod take control of Lex.
  • Treacherous Advisor: To Clark, Bizarro and, eventually, Lex, in both the real world and an Alternate Universe Bad Future shown in "Apocalypse".
  • The Virus: Serves as one himself, with his ability to infect victims via nanomachine implant. He also uses computerized ones repeatedly as part of his plans, shutting down most of the planet on at least two separate occasions. During the Season 5 finale, he was also planning to unleash a real virus to wipe out Earth's human population.



Played by: Erica Durance ("Bloodline"), Sharon Taylor ("Kandor")

Zod's second wife, Faora escapes the Phantom Zone in Season 8, possesses Lois Lane, and goes hunting for her son Doomsday, whom she and Zod genetically engineered due to her own inability to bear children. Finding him in his human form as Davis Bloome, Faora murders him in order to kick-start his mutant genetics and transform him into the killing machine she and Zod intended him to be. She is sent to the Phantom Zone once again by Kara, through the use of the Martian Manhunter's crystal.

In Season 9, we learn that Faora was originally one of Zod's soldiers during his days with the Kryptonian army. She grew close to her commander after the death of his first wife and son, eventually becoming his partner in the plot to take over or destroy Krypton.

     Nam-Ek and Aethyr 

Nam-Ek and Aethyr

Two of Zod's henchmen (or "disciples"), Nam-Ek and Aethyr come to Earth during the second meteor shower that strikes Smallville at the end of Season 4, having escaped Krypton before its destruction inside of a black spaceship (which also contained Brainiac). After they raise some hell in Smallville searching for Clark, Clark finds them and manages to send them to the Phantom Zone. They return in the Season 6 premiere. Nam-Ek is killed by Raya; Aethyr's fate remains unknown.

     Davis Bloome/Doomsday 

Davis Bloome/Doomsday

Played by: Sam Witwer (Davis), Dario Delacio (Doomsday)

A paramedic who befriends Chloe in Season 8, Davis suffers from constant blackouts and memory lapses, and has his own connections to Krypton and Zod. Faora eventually reveals that he is Doomsday, the genetically-engineered son of herself and Zod—news Davis does not take well. At first determined to end his own life, the knowledge that this is more or less impossible, combined with his growing crush on Chloe and his obsession with protecting his secrets, slowly drive Davis mad, turning him into a dark mirror of Clark Kent.

Discovering that he can keep Doomsday under control by committing murders as Davis, the paramedic becomes a Serial Killer in both his identities; while this prevents Doomsday from hurting others, it causes Davis to become increasingly evil, transforming him into the season's Big Bad. The two are separated by Black Kryptonite in the finale; in the aftermath, Doomsday is imprisoned underground, while the de-powered Davis FaceHeelTurns, kills Henry James Olsen, and is in turn killed by Henry.

  • Unstoppable Rage: As Doomsday.
  • Vigilante Man: Targets drug dealers, drunk drivers, and other low-level criminals for termination.
  • Villainous Crush: On Chloe.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Somehow, the show managed to turn him into a somewhat sympathetic character. He certainly crosses the boundaries of what you can do and remain sympathetic, but early on, when he was first realizing what he is and was absolutely terrified of what he was.

     Major Zod 

Major Zod

Played by: Callum Blue

"You chose to fight me! You forced me to unleash my power! We could have made this planet a paradise!"

A clone of the original Zod from his time as a Major, he and his cloned Kandorian army arrive in Season 9, following Clark's defeat of Doomsday and Tess' activation of the Orb in the Season 8 finale. Determined to gain Kryptonian powers for his initially depowered army, Zod is nevertheless horrified by the knowledge that his own future self destroyed Krypton. Clark attempts to use this knowledge to save the Major from himself, but to little avail; Zod slides further into villainy even as people within his own army begin to question his leadership. In the Bad Future of "Pandora", Zod and the Kandorians have conquered the world. In the main timeline, Zod stays one step ahead of Clark by posing as the Blur and convincing Lois to give him information.

Following the collapse of his alliance with Tess and his own murder of Faora whom he regards as a traitor, Zod declares war on the entire world. Clark is able to reveal the full extent of his crimes to the Kandorians, however, and the entire army is ultimately sent away from Earth by the Book of Rao, though not before Zod and Clark engage in an epic fight to see who will truly control Earth's future.

The main antagonist of Season 9, Zod is a quick study, and a capable political and business leader, in addition to being the superb tactician and strategist that one would expect Krypton's greatest war hero to be. He returns in the Season 10 episode "Dominion," where it's revealed not only that he's conquered the Phantom Zone in Darkseid's name, but he's been possessed by the Phantom of the original Zod. See General Zod, above, for more on that.

  • Accidental Public Confession: He confesses to killing Faora in front of his army. He's whispering, but they all have super-hearing, thanks to him.
  • Ax-Crazy: Zod is consistently one hair away from a violent Villainous Breakdown.
  • Back from the Dead: Thanks to cloning, as revealed in "Kandor."
  • Badass Army: Led one.
  • Badass Boast: He gets two in the Season 9 finale:
    Unlike you, I would lead from the throne, not from the shadows! Every human, including the woman you love, will kneel before Zod!
  • Badass Longcoat: He starts wearing one early on into Season 9.
  • Bad Future: In a truly bad one, he is the ruler of a post-apocalyptic Earth.
  • Big Bad: Of Season 9.
  • Broken Pedestal: To Faora, Vala, and later the other Kandorians.
  • Catchphrase: "Kneel before Zod" pretty much becomes this.
  • Cloning Blues: Created with memories he doesn't fully understand and a mission he can't fulfill.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Briefly. He founds the RAO Corporation, fully intending for it to be bought out by Tess and LuthorCorp so that they can fund RAO's solar energy towers.
  • Cultured Warrior: He quotes Shakespeare, Kierkegaard and Paradise Lost, enjoys a good fine wine, and is obsessed with Kryptonian culture and history.
  • Dark Messiah: His portrayal has definite aspects of this, with Season 9 setting him up as a rival messianic figure to Clark.
  • Deal with the Devil: The deal with Darkseid that enabled him and General Zod to fuse together is implied to have been a mutual one.
  • Doomed Hometown: Kandor was destroyed during the war against Black Zero, along with Zod's wife and son.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: He was already badass. Then he gains the Kryptonian powers he should have had all along, and holy crap.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His wife and son were killed during a war on Krypton, and the reason he turned evil is because Jor-El refused to clone his son.
  • Evil Brit: He is played by a British actor.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Jor-El or Clark, depending on how you look at it.
  • Evil Is Hammy: The best example on the show. The eviler he gets, the more over the top he gets.
  • Evil Is Petty: As soon as he gains his Kryptonian powers, he impersonates The Blur to Lois. Considering she was under the impression he was a government agent, there seems to be no reason to do that other than to screw with Kal-El/Clark.
  • Fallen Hero: He was one of Krypton's greatest military heroes. He then grew up to become General Zod.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's a truly terrible person, and only gets worse as the season progresses, but his Large Ham tendencies, sheer badassery, and The Chessmaster skills make him a lot of fun to watch.
  • Fusion Dance: With the Phantom of the original General Zod. We're really not sure which of them is in the driver's seat, or if they've truly fused.
  • Genius Bruiser: Smarter than pretty much any person alive, turns LuthorCorp into the most technologically advanced company in the world, and can punch through concrete and bench press two trucks at once.
  • The Heavy: Season 9's.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Twice in under 10 minutes—his army turns on him after they learn that he killed Faora after he whispers it to Clark and they all hear it, thanks to their super-hearing...which wouldn't have happened if Zod hadn't restored their powers a few episodes earlier; then Zod stabs Clark with his Blue Kryptonite dagger and lets him fall to the streets below with the dagger still in his body, allowing Zod's powers to return and the Book of Rao to recognize him as Kryptonian and transport him to the new world...and reunite him with the army that just turned on him.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Authority and Fanatical Loyalty. He's the clone army's legitimate commanding officer (and the highest-ranking Kandorian on Earth) and has, in his own words, saved the lives of more than half his troops on one occasion or another.
  • It's All About Me: It becomes increasingly clear that, for all his talk about the good of his people, his plan is designed only to benefit him, and he kills Faora when she turns against him.
    Zod (to Faora): If I had known that insurrection rose across my my ranks, if I had discovered that my men turned against me...I would raze this planet. I would burn it to the ground till the last ember went cold beneath my boot! Only I can lead us into the next age. All will follow Zod.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Of course.
  • Knife Nut: Carries two Kryptonite knives, one Green and the other Blue. This leads to a Knife Fight between him and Clark in the Season 9 finale.
  • Large Ham: Big time.
  • Majorly Awesome —> Four-Star Badass: He starts out with the rank of Major, but gets promoted to General in "Sacrifice."
  • Manipulative Bastard: An expert at it, playing Clark, Tess, Lois, and the entire Kandorian army for suckers, and making it look easy. These traits were passed onto the General after their Fusion Dance in "Dominion" and used on Clark and Oliver.
  • Necromantic: His Start of Darkness was when Jor-El refused to clone his son.
  • Never My Fault: Blames Jor-El, and subsequently Clark, for most of his own screw-ups.
  • Offing the Offspring: When he murders the Faora clone. Turns out she was pregnant with his child. Whoops. He blames Clark for making her betray him.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look on his face as the Book of Rao forcibly ascends him.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: While he did have designs for Earth, he and his army were lacking powers after their release, so early on, he adopted this approach. In "Rabid", he chews out one of his men, who happens to be an expert in bioterrorism; for a dangerous gambit to expose Jor-El's usage of his natural Kryptonian abilities (actually Kal-El/Clark bearing his family crest), by infecting Metropolis with a virus that turned the populace into zombie-like creatures. Zod told him of the potential risk to the Kandorians of the possibility that humanity discovered that the virus was a designed as a weapon. Not even revealing that there was indeed a Kryptonian with powers prevented that soldier's execution.
  • The Rival: To Clark, rather than Jor-El's clone, in contrast to the General. The Major isn't quite up to his older self's level of cunning, and he and Clark directly compete for the loyalty of the Kandorians. When they meet again, the combined Zod shows the General's maturity and calm in all but one aspect: he won't stop randomly beating on Clark. The rivalry between the two becomes the combined Zod's greatest flaw.
  • Rousing Speech: "Let Black Zero feel the bite of your weapons and the bravery in your hearts!" Very badass considering he's yelling it in a trench with death and destruction surrounding him, Jor-El, and his troops. However, the glimmer of hope is shot down when Kandor is destroyed.
  • Sanity Slippage: That business with Faora really sends him over the edge.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Was originally in the Orb; is sent to the Phantom Zone in the aftermath of the Season 9 finale.
  • Second Love: Subverted heavily with both Tess and Faora. He's simply too damaged to have a functional relationship with anybody.
  • Start of Darkness: The deaths of his wife, son, and everyone else he knew from Kandor. Oh, and his best friend Jor-El refusing to clone his dead son.
  • Take Over the World: His goal. He convinces Tess that he'd be a benevolent tyrant, but as the Bad Future shows, it's more of a case of 0% Approval Rating, at least among humans.
  • Unholy Matrimony: With Tess and, later, Faora. Neither one ends well.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Tess.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He spends most of Season 9 slowly deconstructing, shifting from the calm, if slightly twitchy, man we see in the first episode of the season, to the ranting Large Ham who appears in the later episodes. He snaps repeatedly but always seems to pull himself back together...until the events of "Salvation" when his army's defection causes him to fall apart completely, pull a knife, and charge at Clark, Chewing the Scenery the entire time.
  • We Can Rule Together: Tries this on Clark.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Him and Jor-El.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: "Krypton will rise again...and all humankind will kneel before Zod."

     Clone Faora 

Clone Faora
Played by: Sharon Taylor

A clone of Faora from before she and Zod were in a serious relationship. At first loyal to Zod, Faora eventually begins to gravitate towards Kal-El/Clark as she attempts to create a new life for herself on Earth. She is slain by the Major in cold blood when he discovers she no longer wants a part in his scheme to Take Over the World; he then discovers she is carrying his child after the one night they spent together.



One of Zod's cloned soldiers. Clark faces an alternate timeline version of her who kills herself by accident. The real Alia is revealed to have killed the clone Jor-El; Zod shoots her in retribution.

  • Afraid of Needles: She states this in a flashback in "Kandor."
  • Face Death with Dignity: After admitting to killing Clone!Jor-El, she hands Major Zod the gun she recovered from Tess, and kneels for her execution
  • Future Badass: The Alia from Zod's Bad Future is very badass, and can maintain her powers under a yellow sun.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Sports a pair of these.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: She admits to killing Clone!Jor-El to Zod, fearing that he would have them destroyed. Zod kills her in response.
  • Noble Demon: Most of the things she does is not out of malicious intent, but what she considers to be appropriate responses. For instance, her Bad Future self hunts down Lois only to stop Clark from erasing the timeline she came from. After dueling Clark, she sustains a fatal wound and apologizes to Clark as she dies. In the main timeline, she kills Clone!Jor-El, fearing that he'd have the Kandorians destroyed. She admits this to Major Zod, knowing it means certain death but accepts she'll have to be killed in response. Say what you want about her, but at least she has a sense of honor.



Played by: Adrian Holmes

A captain in Major Zod's Kandorian army, Basqat led the mutiny against the Major in the Season 9 premiere alongside Faora. He later becomes Zod's Number Two, a position he faithfully holds until the season finale.

  • All There in the Manual: His name and rank, which are never said aloud in-show.
  • The Dragon: Major Zod's Number Two, he sticks by the Major even after Clark accuses him of killing Faora. It takes the Major himself confessing to shake his loyalty.
  • Heel–Face Turn: When Zod confesses to killing Faora.
  • Scary Black Man: The only African-American among the Kandorians and one of the most dangerous.
  • You Look Familiar: His actor portrayed Lex's PI, Griff, in Season 5.



Played by: Crystal Lowe

Faora's sister.

  • Badass Bookworm: Vala specialized in cybernetic engineering back on Krypton. On Earth, she has a job in a bookstore.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Dr. Bernard Chisholm, whom she had experimented on, kidnaps her as part of a plan to expose the Kandorians to the world at large.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In no small part due to a hero crush on Clark.
  • Human Popsicle: Chisholm's plan for her.

Other Kryptonians



Played by: Marc McClure

A Kryptonian scientist who invented Brainiac, Dax-Ur fled to Earth a couple of centuries ago after finding out that Brainiac had the potential to destroy planets. Using Blue Kryptonite to depower himself, he lived as a normal human, even settling down with a wife and son, and working as a mechanic. In Season 7's "Persona," he helps Clark defeat Bizarro, only to later be killed by Brainiac.

     Ruling Council 


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: