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"Yeah, see, I'm still getting used to Earth's ways and customs and rules and all, so forgive me, but… for it to be treason, don't I have to be an American? Or at the very least from Earth."
Lar Gand, Superman Vol 1 696
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Lar Gand, also known as Mon-El, M'Onel, Valor and Nomad, is a DC Comics character created by Robert Bernstein and George Papp, he first appeared in the pages of Superboy in 1961. While his past is subject to change and inevitably tied to Superman's he is consistently a hero from the planet Daxam, whose people are distantly related to Kryptonians and have a similar powerset, but a much easier to come by and more irreversibly fatal Kryptonite Factor; lead.

Lar is a longtime Superman ally and has served on many teams, most prominently the Legion of Super-Heroes but also the legion's "modern" equivalent L.E.G.I.O.N., the Green Lantern Corps and the Justice League of America. When he first arrived on earth he was suffering from amnesia so Superboy dubbed him Mon-El and treated him as an older brother. He freed many people from the Dominator's experiments and helped them colonize the planets that would later become the home worlds of several of his future Legion teammates including Cosmic Boy. During this period Lar-Gand was exposed to lead and Clark interred him in the nightmarish Phantom Zone to keep him from dying of it while a cure was found. Said cure was developed by Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes a thousand years later.

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In 1992 Lar received his own ongoing title Valor which ran for twenty-three issues.

For differences between iterations of him see Legion Of Super Heroes Silver Age, for highlights on his relationship to the rest of the Superman family see Superman Supporting Cast.

Lar Gand Appears in:

Notable Comic BooksLive Action TV

Lar Gand/Mon-El/Valor provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Name Change: In Supergirl (2015) his name is changed to actually being "Mon-El" and his father, who is usually named Kel Gand is now named Lar Gand, his mother gets renamed Rhea from Marisa and his brother Del doesn't appear to exist.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In Supergirl (2015) he's married to Imra Ardeen/Saturn Girl, with whom he has zero romantic subtext in the comics since she's generally busy being married to Lightning Lad, rather than his comic wife and teammate Tasmia Mallor/Shadow Lass.
  • Artifact Alias: Mon-El's superhero identity was the Kryptonian name that Superboy gave him when he was suffering from amnesia. His actual name, as he recalled later, is Lar Gand, but he continues to be known as Mon-El.
  • Battle Couple: With his wife and teammate Shadow Lass.
  • Continuity Nod: The "New Krypton" storyline combined elements of his Preboot and Postboot character arcs.
  • Continuity Snarl: Like a lot of Superman characters, Mon-El was written out of existence with Crisis on Infinite Earths. He was reintroduced in an early-'90s Crisis Crossover without any connection to Superman. "New Krypton" (or more properly, the stories leading up to it) restored his first origin... but the '90s version still exists as an alternate-universe character somehow. And so does a third Mon-El from the Threeboot Legion of Super-Heroes. In short, his history is a mess.
  • Depending on the Artist: Some artists draw his Underwear of Power more like blue pants with tight red chaps over them than red pants with blue trunks on top.
  • The Engineer: More so in the "present" than in the Legion's future, but Lar is a very good spaceship mechanic and can build advanced ships (for the time) by deconstructing and repurposing the parts of ships that are far less advanced, as he does with a ship built by Lex Corp in his series.
  • Expy: Mon-El was Retconed to fill the same role as Superboy in the Legion after Crisis on Infinite Earths retconned the latter out of existence.
  • Family of Choice: His parents both end up dying of lead poisoning while he's a teenager/young adult and he tellingly uses the Mon-El handle that ties him to Superman's family more than his own name.
  • Flying Brick: Like any Daxamite or Kryptonian who spends much time under a yellow sun.
  • God Guise: In the "Postboot" Legion continuity, he was worshipped as a god called Valor by many of the humanoid Planets of Hats he founded in the 20th century—which caused problems when word leaked that the Legion was freeing him from the Phantom Zone. Understandably, he was very uncomfortable with this, and he and the Legion worked to keep his actual identity a secret; here, "M'onel" (an alien word meaning "wanderer") was a new alias he invented to hide his identity.
  • Human Aliens: Daxamites are visibly indistinguishable from humans, rather like Kryptonians who are part of their heritage.
  • Interspecies Romance: Lar Gand is a Daxamite while none of his love interests are and his most serious love interest whom he goes on to marry is Tasmia Mallor, a blue-skinned Talokite.
  • Kryptonite Factor: As a Daxamite his major weakness is his vulnerability to lead, which does not exist on Daxam. While Green Kryptonite can eventually kill Kryptonians after prolonged exposure, once it is removed the pain eases and the Kryptonian's strength and powers eventually return to them. For Mon-El, any exposure to lead causes pain and weakness permanently, even after he is taken to safety. He also has no innate defense against magical or psychic powers, being weaker to such attacks than the average human.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Subverted. In Pre-Crisis continuity, Lar arrived on Earth with amnesia. Since he had Kryptonian-style powers, Superboy supposed he might be a long-lost brother or some such whom Jor-El was also able to save, and dubbed him "Mon-El." His memory returned when he was stricken by exposure to lead, which of course would have been harmless to a Kryptonian. Superboy sent him to the Phantom Zone to save his life, and when Lar was released and cured in the far future and joined the Legion, he kept the "Mon-El" name as his superhero guise.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Daxamites tend to be xenophobic jerks, Lar is decidedly not and almost everyone he cares for is from someplace other than Daxam.
  • The Power of the Sun: As a Daxamite, his cells function like a super battery, hyper metabolizing specific wavelengths of radiation as fuel to enable living functions and/or superhuman abilities. Different wavelengths of radiation have different effects on Lar Gand's physiology and well being, but his cells cannot absorb or utilize all types of radiation.
  • Secret Identity: In "New Krypton" he tries to blend in by posing as Science Police officer Jonathan Kent.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Lar was stuck in the Phantom Zone awaiting a cure for his lead poisoning for a thousand years.
  • Star-Spangled Spandex: The black expanses of his Post-Zero Hour costume have a starfield effect.
  • Superpower Lottery: Lar has got the powers available to all Daxamites if they are exposed to a yellow sun long enough including Eye Beams, Flying Brick, Super Breath, Super Speed and Super Strength.
  • Underwear of Power: They're not a part of all of his costumes but traditionally he wore blue briefs over his red suit. They're sometimes part of a throwback to Daxam's past as a Kryptonian colony.

Valor provides examples of:

I'm a living time paradox, you see. History—not to mention my own memory—says I'm a crucial player in the development of humanity. I freed the enslaved humanoids that colonized the inhabitable worlds of the galaxy. Without me, the united planets—and the Legion of Super-Heroes—wouldn't exist. But that's thirtieth century history. In the past—now—the twentieth century—I died. Before I did any of that stuff. And history started unravelling. So my future self—me, that is—has been patched into the timestream by the linear men to make sure everything happens the way it should. Don't ask me how—it makes my head hurt just to think about it.
—Lar Gand, Valor 20
  • A God I Am Not: Lar makes sure to tell those who worship him for his power and strength after he's saved them that he's just a man. Glorith is attracted to the way people worship him and it is the reason she decides to try to force him to join her.
  • All for Nothing: Lar gives in and decides to allow himself to be trapped in the Twilight dimension for a second thousand years of torture to patch the broken time-stream when his younger self is killed by Glorith, but he has to try and do all of the things he was meant to be doing while he was being slowly killed. In the end when he comes out of the dimension instead of having his friends there waiting for him it's to a broken world where time is constantly shifting and no one can properly remember their own history, who they're married to or who is dead at the moment, and Lar and the others keep almost fading from reality, until most of the Legion is gone anyway.
  • Alternate Timeline: As time falls apart Lar gets visions of other timelines, some of which are from other periods in DC's publishing history and some of which never happened.
  • Big Bad: Glorinth, who poses as Lar's girlfriend before trying to destroy the Legion and tries to force him to chose between ruling with her or dying. In the end however it turns out Time Trapper is the actual cause of the decaying timelines, which means its likely Glorinth wouldn't have been able to kill Lar and would have had to go through with her fate in the original timeline of trapping him for a thousand years without killing him without T.T.'s interference.
  • Chronoscope: Rip Hunter and co. are tracking and trying to shore up the cracks and alterations to the timeline using one.
  • Cool Starship: Lar Gand's star cruisers Pilgrim One and Pilgrim Two, the ship Kilowog built out of the mostly destroyed Pilgrim One when Lar brought Alia to Oa for medical care while his powers were on the fritz.
  • Delayed Ripple Effect: When Lar's contributions to history get whipped out things start fading and disappearing at different rates, first computer records, then memories starting with those who knew him the least, then the billions of people who'd never been born since he didn't rescue their ancestors from the Dominators and help them set up refugee colonies—starting with Cosmic Boy— and then the rest of the Legion and people from their era because without him their time period would have been entirely unrecognizable.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Shadow Lass is fatally injured in the fight with Mordru and fades out of reality while Lar is holding her.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Lar surrenders to another thousand horrific years in the Twilight dimension to patch the broken time stream and undo his friends' erasure from history. He refuses at first since he remember his first trip there, and unfortunately even his sacrifice doesn't fix what was broken when his younger self was killed before completing his destiny.
  • The Hero Dies: The young version of Lar whose been the star of the series is killed by Glorith, he's replaced by a much older version of himself who'd been time traveling in a failed attempt to patch the very large break in the timestream his early death causes, and then that version allows himself to fade out after Shadow Lass dies.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Lobo spends several pages while Lar is offering him a hand up and apologizing for starting a fight over Lobo insulting his ship imagining different ways to dismember Lar before discarding them as not feasible due to Lar's invulnerability. In the end he decides to trash the ship, so they get to fight properly because Lar isn't about to let him.
  • Inkblot Test: The series starts out with Lar Gand being given an inkblot test, during which he proceeds to lie about what the shapes remind him, claiming things like butterflies, when really they remind him of his time with Eclipso when the villain took over his body. When the therapist is about to give up on his obvious lies he somewhat accidentally answers that one reminds him of his father and gets the therapy session running again.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Lar is constantly punching and picking fights with people he could get along with or at least be allied with if he'd just try talking to people first. He starts trying to be more careful about this when his powers start going haywire.
  • Posthumous Character: Lar's father sacrificed his life to convince Daxam to turn on the Invasion! force and aid earth prior to the start of the series.
  • Properly Paranoid: Lar's therapist seems irritated that he's so guarded during their therapy sessions, but given that she works for Lex Luthor and Luthor is watching and manipulating their sessions he's probably not guarded enough.
  • Ret Gone: It becomes apparent somethings gone horribly wrong when the Legion's records suddenly are missing all mention of Lar, despite the fact that he was instrumental in many of their worlds ever being populated. Then the Legionaries start forgetting him and fading from the timeline, Brainiac 5 has a bit of a meltdown as he realizes time itself has been badly damaged, and while he comes up with a possible way to repair it he too fades before he can implement it.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: There are a few, like disappearing from records, but the most stark is when people start just fading away right in front of their friend's eyes.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Lars holds on to his memory longer than the others in the 30th century as time falls apart, but it doesn't last:
    Tasmia: This is going to sound stupid but...I have this feeling, and...are we, um, married?
    Lar Gand: I remember you, looking so beautiful...your hands in mine...but I don't know...I can't remember for sure.
  • Rubber-Band History: Time is described by Waverider and Brainac 5 as something flexible which will generally repair itself and find ways to keep close as possible to the original despite the meddling of time travelers. Unfortunately it got stretched to the breaking point.
  • Sapient Ship: Pilgrim One has a slightly sarcastic male AI named Babbage who is generally unimpressed with Lar even when Lar manages to save the ship despite Babbage calculating it to be doomed. He doesn't care for the risks Lar takes to protect the ship even though those risks are precisely to save Babbage, since Lar is fairly invulnerable. Part of the issue is that Babbage is programmed by and loyal to Luthor.
  • Stable Time Loop: Lar and Waverider try to fix the timeline by having the Lar from the future do everything the murdered modern era Lar was supposed to do (and which future Lar already did in his own past) and while it appears to have helped at first, with the Legion's timeline briefly stabilizing, time starts falling apart shortly thereafter.
  • Temporal Paradox: Too many of these build up, and Lar was too important too far too many people's lives for his timeline being drastically and repeatedly altered to go unnoticed so time starts falling apart.
  • Time Crash: Everything after leaving earth is ultimately leading to Zero Hour!, at which point time was borked it had to be rebooted, and reality starts falling apart in earnest in the last few issues. It doesn't help that both characters that could be described at the biggest villain of this series are intentionally messing around with time, causing massive damage to the integrity of the time stream.
  • Time Master: Glorith's powers allow her to warp time, age people (or parts of their biology) prematurely, de-age them, and grab things from other points in the timestream.
  • Time Travel: The Legion travels to the past to try to fix whatever's happened to turn Lar into a short footnote in history about a guy who had a short superhero career and died young instead of helping to found multiple civilizations of refugees and then getting stuck in a limbo for a thousand years before joining the Legion.
  • Variant Chess: Lar describes and flashes back to playing Paragon, a chess-like game native to Daxam.
  • We Can Rule Together: Glorith's whole plan hinged on making Lar have to agree to team up with her and become her lover and fellow galactic conqueror in order to live. He turns her down and dies due to the way she's sped up the effects of his lead poisoning, meaning she killed the man she "loved" instead.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: Between Lar's impulsive brashness, Lobo's rude barley reigned in murderous tendencies and Brainiac II's disinterested jerky behavior it's no wonder Lar didn't last in L.E.G.I.O.N. Brainiac offers to repair his ship and then sets the auto pilot to take him to a prison that's all set to depower him and pays the warden to keep him there for life, and he hadn't even started any fights with Brainiac at the time.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: As Waverider says:
    Like it or not you are a child of destiny[...]Haven't you wondered about the familiarity of this Khund attack? Before Glorith fouled history, this was young Valor's very next mission! He—you—vaporized this prototype craft![...]Despite your best efforts your flight here wasn't random. You're still at fate's mercy. You can't reject your destiny Valor. You're seizing it...whether you realize it or not.
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