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|First appearance||Action Comics #242, (July 1958)|
|Created by||Otto Binder, Al Plastino|
|In story information|
|First appearance||Action Comics #242, (July 1958)|
|Created by||Otto Binder, Al Plastino|
|In story information|
Kandor is the name of the former capital city of the fictional planet Krypton in the DC Universe. It is best known for being stolen and miniaturized by the supervillain Brainiac. Upon its recovery by Superman, it has been traditionally kept and monitored in the Fortress of Solitude.
Kandor was once the capital of Krypton until it was shrunken and stolen by the supervillain Brainiac, several years before the planet was destroyed. Superman discovered the city in Brainiac's possession when the android came to Earth decades later to harvest more cities (Action Comics #242, July 1958) and rescued it, keeping it in his Fortress of Solitude while looking for a way to restore it to full size. It is later revealed the city had 6 million inhabitants when stolen. In return, the Kandorians provided the superhero with a place where he was an honored guest who was occasionally invited to participate in matters of local government, various professionals to assist him when asked and even occasionally assisted him in the outside with the Superman Emergency Squad who used an expanding gas that briefly grew them to a few inches tall.
Eventually (Superman #338, Aug 1979), Superman was able to restore the population to normal size and they settled on another planet that revolved around a red sun. Originally calling the planet New Krypton, the Kandorians decided to name their new homeworld Rokyn, which is the Kryptonian word for "gift from God" (Rokyn had first been revealed as existing in the 30th century in Adventure Comics #356, May 1967). Later it was revealed the planet was on a dimensional fault, which meant it would at times be sent to another dimension. Superman constructed a replica of the bottle-sized city to keep as a memento but was surprised when thousands of tiny aliens, fleeing the destruction of their home planet, moved into it (Superman #371, Aug 1982). When told the city's original name was Kandor, the aliens decided to call it that as well. On a trial basis, Superman restored two inhabitants to normal size to introduce them to life on Earth, but discovered that the population had a dangerous reaction to the planet's environment which transformed them into mindless, powerful and rampaging beasts who were difficult for Superman to control. As such, Superman decided that for the time being, the New Kandorians would have to remain in the bottled city with a carefully filtered atmosphere until that medical problem was solved.
In Showcase #97, Kara Zor-L (Power Girl) was revealed to have spent her early years in Kandor, as shown in one of her dreams. This version of Kandor was never shrunken, and thus, the city was destroyed along with Krypton. However, a virtual reality copy of Kandor was developed by Kara's father Zor-L, and placed within the symbioship he had constructed. This ship transported Kara during a several decades long journey, in which she experienced approximately twenty years of life within this holographic world. This version of Kandor provided duplicates of Kara's parents and various nondescript Kryptonians with whom she interacted throughout various stages of her life. Upon her arrival on Earth, she was removed from this device, however it had obtained sentience and sought to reclaim her. Kara was reimmersed within Kandorian society for a brief period of real time, although several years of virtual time elapsed wherein Kara married and had a child. She was soon freed with the assistance of newspaper reporter Andrew Vinson, at which point she proceeded to destroy the ship.
In The Last Days of Krypton novel by Kevin J. Anderson, Kandor is depicted as the capital city of the planet of Krypton, home of the Council and the Temple of Rao. The city was besieged by the Brain Interactive Construct, later renamed Brainiac by Commissioner Zod. Brainiac had admired the beauty and architecture of Kandor and wanted to preserve the city from destruction, should disaster strike Krypton as it did on his home planet of Colu. Commissioner Zod permitted Brainiac's taking of Kandor, stating that Brainiac could have the city, as the rest of Krypton belonged to him. Brainiac's ship fired three lasers that pummeled the surrounding crust around Kandor and literally upheaved the city from Krypton's surface. A force field was then erected around the city which contracted, shrinking the city and its inhabitants. Brainiac departed without causing further destruction or seizing other Kryptonian cities.
The Post-Crisis version of the bottle city has a somewhat different history, having been created by an alien wizard named Tolos, who trapped representatives of various races (including Valor's uncle) within, in order to possess their bodies. This city is not literally shrunken, but exists in an extra-dimensional space, occasionally connected to the Phantom Zone. Superman has not, as yet, managed to restore it.
The Superman: Birthright miniseries reinstated several Silver Age elements of Superman, one of which is Kandor. After the mini-series was completed, its place in canon was shown in Superman (Vol. 2) #200. Superman was thrown out of time and saw both versions of his origin: Man of Steel and Birthright. Entering the Birthright he experienced temporary amnesia. Afterward, he discovered/remembered the new history:
In Week Thirty-Seven of the 52 series, Rip Hunter and Supernova use Kandor as a hiding place. They are using the technology of Kandor, along with several other pieces of super-technology, to find a way to fix the timeline before the villainous Skeets finds them. It is revealed Kandor is currently inhabiting the undamaged sub-basements of the then-demolished Fortress of Solitude.
Skeets does show up, banging against the glass of the bottle, terrifying the residents and damaging many of the buildings. In an effort to get to his two adversaries, he actually pushes the bottle off its platform, but Supernova/Booster Gold emerges to full size just in time to save the city. Booster is shown carefully placing the city back. Further shots show nothing more than the initial cracks to the buildings. Rip, still inside the city, is unhurt.
Kandor returned after the 2005-2006 miniseries Infinite Crisis with Power Girl and Supergirl temporarily taking the positions of Kryptonian vigilantes Nightwing and Flamebird. A full understanding of the nature of the Post-Infinite Crisis world of DC Comics has not yet been revealed, but it appears that many aspects of Silver Age continuity have been restored to the storyline, including the Brainiac involvement in the reduction of the city, and its future enlargement and rebuilding as a Kryptonian planet, although the future in which this is seen has since been revealed to be an alternate reality.
The city of Kandor is now apparently ruled by Ultraman, brainwashed by Saturn Queen into a speciesist despot, claiming the Kal-El identity for himself, and center of a religion built around himself. The aliens of the city are a repressed minority, subject to arrest or execution on a whim. Ultraman does not treat his 'own' people any better, he murders several for inadvertently seeing politically sensitive information.
Kandor is shown with many Earth-like elements, such as tattoo parlors, alley-ways, common street muggings and movie theatres.
Claims of another Kryptonian city, Argo City, were also brought to light when Supergirl suggested that the city still existed. After exposing Saturn Queen, Supergirl and Power Girl somehow return to Earth. The final fate of Kandor still unrevealed, Power Girl blames Supergirl for having somehow compromised their mission in exchange for information about Argo City.
Sometime between the events of One Year Later and the 31st century of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Kandor was enlarged and put on the new version of Rokyn, an isolationist world that discourages contacts with aliens and strangers.
In Action Comics #846, it is revealed that in New Earth continuity, Jax-Ur was banished into the Phantom Zone after he destroyed Krypton's moon, including the lunar colony of Kandor. It notes that the true fate of Kandor was never known to Kryptonians, however.
In Action Comics Annual #10, Kandor is shown on a page detailing the Fortress of Solitude, though it describes it as having been inspired by the Kryptonian city, not the original.
In Superman #670, it was revealed that the bottled city residing in the Fortress, and containing various alien races, was not the true Kryptonian City of Kandor after all. This bottled city was said to exist in another dimension, with the bottle simply being the link between dimensions. The bottle was destroyed, eliminating the link between Earth and the false Kandor.
The true Kandor is revealed to be possessed by Brainiac. The post-Infinite Crisis Kandor differs from its Silver Age version as it takes clothing and other aspects from both the Silver and Modern Age of Krypton.
Lex Luthor said that the true Kryptonian city of Kandor was so well-respected throughout the universe, that it inspired other planets to name cities Kandor as well, explaining why Superman has encountered several different cities going by that name.
In Action Comics #866, a story arc begins focusing on the "true" Brainiac, who has not left his ship in centuries (those that Superman has met to this point were retconned as only manifestations of his programming) and it is shown that the true Brainiac indeed bottled the city of Kandor and has it in his possession all along. In Action Comics #867 Supergirl tells Superman how Brainiac's attention was drawn to Krypton after Jax-Ur destroyed Kandor's lunar colony. Brainiac arrived months before Supergirl left Krypton and stole Kandor. Supergirl describes the city as "the one, true Kandor" establishing that the previous Kandor that vanished in Superman #670 is still in continuity.
After Superman battles and defeats the true Brainiac, Superman takes the stolen Kandor off of Brainiac's ship. However, without Brainiac's control, the field surrounding the city that keeps it miniaturized becomes unstable. Superman takes Kandor to the North Pole, where it expands to its rightful size, freeing all of Kandor's denizens, fifteen years later, his uncle Zor-El and Alura, who had been placed in the city by Brainiac after he destroyed the floating Argo City. Upon release from the bottle, the Kryptonian residents of Kandor come under Earth's yellow sun, and gain powers just like Superman. After this development becomes public, some members of the Justice League and Justice Society express their concern to Superman about the potential dangers of 100,000 Kryptonians making Earth their home. General Sam Lane recruits Lex Luthor to help address this problem, as part of the covert Project 7734.
After Zor-El is assassinated by Luthor's agents, Alura takes over leadership of Kandor. Spurred by her newfound hatred for humanity and growing anti-Kryptonian sentiment on Earth after the deaths of several police officers, Kandor uses Brainiac's technology to grow an entirely new planet in Earth's solar system, on the opposite side of the sun on Earth's orbit, while the Kryptonians lift the city up and deposit it onto the new world, which they name New Krypton.
In the alternate history story Superman: Red Son, Superman lands as an infant in Ukraine and becomes a Soviet citizen. Instead of Kandor, Brainiac bottles Stalingrad. Superman's failure to restore its size troubles him greatly.
Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Strikes Again originally published as a three-issue limited series (November 2001 - July 2002) sequel to The Dark Knight Returns by DC Comics. There, Superman is the puppet of an America run by Lex Luthor who is holding the miniaturized city of Kandor hostage with the aid of Brainiac- using red sun radiation to keep the Kandorians powerless- who destroys a Kryptonian family every time Superman defies him. Pushed on by his daughter Lara and Batman, he finally fights back and breaks his own vow not to take lives. Kandor is rescued when Lara, pretending to submit to Brainiac's authority, sneaks the Atom into the bottle, the Atom shattering the bottle and allowing the imprisoned Kryptonians to grow and incinerate Brainiac with their heat vision.
In All-Star Superman #10 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, the series includes elements of the Silver Age Superman continuity; Kandor has not been enlarged. Facing death from overexposure to solar radiation, Superman releases Kandor from its bottle on Mars, where they all become super-powered, but are far enough removed from Earth to neither pose a threat to, nor be culturally affected by, humanity. The Kandor Emergency Corps, however, do travel to Earth with Superman to battle the diseases afflicting children in a terminal ward.