Faora

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Faora
Faora.jpg
Faora in Action Comics #472 (June 1977).
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance (Hu-Ul)
Action Comics #471, May 1977
Created by Curt Swan
In-story information
Full name - Faora Hu-Ul
- Zaora Hu-Ul[1]
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Unrevealed[2]
Species (Both Hu-Ul)
Kryptonian
(Unknown)
Human
Abilities (Both Hu-Ul)
Superhuman strength, speed, stamina and invulnerability, freezing breath, super hearing, multiple extrasensory and vision powers, longevity, flight, and regeneration
(Unknown)
Disruption of molecular bonds

Faora is the name of several female super-villains in DC Comics Superman titles. All of them have some connection to Superman's home planet of Krypton. Most commonly, she is an ally and sometimes the wife or lover of Superman's Kryptonian nemesis, General Zod.[3]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

The first Faora, Faora Hu-Ul, was introduced in Action Comics #471.[4] She was a beautiful Kryptonian woman whose unexplained hatred for men led her to torture and kill 23 men at a secret concentration camp in her home. For this, she was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone to complete a sentence of 300 Kryptonian years, the second longest term after Jax-Ur.[5][6] Ironically this allowed her to survive her homeworld's destruction, along with the other Phantom Zone prisoners, albeit in an invisible ghostlike form. While imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, she was often depicted plotting against Superman with General Zod and Jax-Ur. Her hatred of men was not limited to Kryptonians, as demonstrated by her pointless murder of a young Frenchman who was attracted by her beauty.[7]

Faora was an expert at the Kryptonian martial art of Horo-Kanu, which utilized the pressure points on the Kryptonian body. This made her an extremely dangerous foe for Superman to face in hand-to-hand combat—he was forced to flee from their first encounter.[5] During one of her first appearances,[8] Faora could manifest some sort of "mental lightning" to physically attack other Kryptonians, but did not exhibit this additional power during later appearances.

Post-Crisis[edit]

Pocket Universe[edit]

Panel from Superman #22 (October 1988). Superman (left) executing General Zod, Quex-Ul and Faora (center left to right). Art by John Byrne.

Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, another Faora (renamed Zaora) appeared in the Pocket Universe created by the Time Trapper, along with General Zod and Quex-Ul.[3] The three tricked the Pocket Universe's Lex Luthor into releasing them from the Phantom Zone. After the Pocket Earth's population continued to resist their conquest of it, the three villains destroyed the atmosphere, killing almost all life. Superman defeated them by permanently stripping the three of their super powers with gold kryptonite. He then killed them with green kryptonite in punishment for their crimes, and to protect the real Earth, after they threatened to somehow regain their powers and destroy it as well.[9]

Phantom Zone entity[edit]

In the Eradicator mini-series, the Eradicator was pressured into embracing his programming by another construct of Kem-L's. This artifact, which was trapped in the Phantom Zone, claimed to be called Faora, after Kem-L's grandmother, and to be the ultimate repository of Kryptonian mythology. However it is unclear how much of this is true.

The Eradicator rejected Faora, "downloading" all the aspects of Kem-L's programming that contradicted Dr. David Conner's morality into the Faora program. Unknown to him, this gave it a new, monstrous form and the ability to leave the Zone, and it targeted Conner's family. The Eradicator destroyed it, but not before it killed Conner's wife.

Pokolistanian[edit]

Another Faora was introduced as one of the aides of General Zod of the fictional nation of Pokolistan. This character, who debuted in Action Comics #779 (July 2001), was an orphan metahuman. Faora has the ability to disrupt molecular bonds. She was the creator of the mutagenic virus which was the linchpin of Zod's plan. Her whereabouts following the General's defeat are unknown.[3]

"Return to Krypton"[edit]

In a 2001–2002 storyline, Superman and Lois Lane visited a version of Krypton which is later revealed to have been created by the villainous Brainiac 13 and based on Jor-El's favorite period in Kryptonian history.[10] In this Krypton, Lois and Clark become fugitives and are pursued by Faora and Kru-El, romantically linked manhunters known as "the Hounds of Zod."[11] This version of Faora, calling herself "the Tigress of Zod", later returns as an ally of Jor-El. She and Kru-El are both killed in a struggle against Kryptonian religious zealots.[12][10]

In other media[edit]

Film[edit]

In the movies Superman and Superman II, the Kryptonian villainess Ursa is based on Faora.[13] She has a hatred of all men, young and old, except only Zod. She fights Superman alongside General Zod and Non.

In the 2013 feature film Man of Steel, Sub-Commander Faora-Ul is portrayed by actress Antje Traue. In the film, she is Zod's lieutenant, and is sentenced to 300 cycles in the Phantom Zone along with Zod and his forces. After Krypton's destruction, Faora and the other prisoners are freed from the Phantom Zone, and search for Kal-El and the Codex, a device containing the genetic code for all future Kryptonians, which were able to escape the planet's destruction due to Jor-El's last-minute actions. After finding him on Earth, Faora is responsible for bringing Kal-El and Lois Lane aboard Zod's ship. After they escape, Faora and another powerful Kryptonian grunt named Nam-Ek, confront Kal-El and the U.S. Military in Smallville, but are defeated because Kal-El is better adapted to Earth's environment. After Zod begins terraforming the Earth with a world engine retrieved from a Kryptonian Colony that they visited before arriving to Earth, Faora and all the other Kryptonians (except Zod) are sent back to the Phantom Zone after the ship that brought Kal-El to Earth is re-purposed into a strike weapon. As in the comics, Faora is a major threat to Kal-El in hand-to-hand combat, outfighting him easily at first. However Kal-El is able to hold his own against her and Nam-Ek, since the two Kryptonians have yet to attain heat vision and flight and he is stronger than they are due to his longer exposure to solar radiation.

Television[edit]

Faora appeared in the 1988 Superman episode "The Hunter" voiced by Ginny McSwain. She appeared alongside General Zod and Ursa as a Phantom Zone prisoner and helped General Zod to create The Hunter (a creature that can transmute itself into any substance that it touches).

In the Legion of Super-Heroes animated TV series, the pre-Crisis version of Faora can be seen in a cameo in the episode "Phantoms" as one of the many Phantom Zone villains attacking the Legion members when they were temporarily trapped there.

Faora made her live action debut appearance on Smallville. In the season eight episode "Bloodline", Faora's disembodied form escapes the Phantom Zone via an "escape hatch" portal and proceeds to possess Lois Lane (Erica Durance). Faora (Durance) searches Metropolis where she encounters Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) and reveals that she's General Zod's wife and then reveals to Davis Bloome (Sam Witwer) that he is her and Zod's genetically engineered son (the Smallville incarnation of Doomsday) after they discovered they could not have children. Faora also remarks that Davis strongly resembles Zod. After a fight with Clark Kent (Tom Welling), Faora's spirit was removed from Lois's body by Kara Kent (Laura Vandervoort). After the Orb in the possession of Tess Mercer (Cassidy Freeman) released the Kandorian duplicates, a younger clone of Faora (played by Sharon Taylor) became a recurring character. During season nine, Faora (Taylor) is both a loyal soldier and lover to Major Zod (Callum Blue). The episode "Pandora" shows an alternate future where Faora gained her Kryptonian abilities through Zod's solar tower and served Zod, wearing the Mark of Zod on her chest. The episode "Conspiracy" reveals that Faora has a younger sister Vala (Crystal Lowe). In the episode "Sacrifice", Amanda Waller (Pam Grier) takes Faora from the Kandorians (including Vala) and Faora offers to work with Checkmate when Zod attacks. Zod, angry with Faora's betrayal, strangles her, realizing too late that she was pregnant with their baby. Grieved by what he had done, Zod listened to his child's last heartbeats in Faora's womb. In the season finale "Salvation", Faora is avenged by Clark and the Kandorians once Zod's deception comes out much to the Kandorian's (including Vala's) shock.

Faora appeared in The Looney Tunes Show episode "SuperRabbit", voiced by Sonya Walger.

Video games[edit]

The Man of Steel version of Faora appears via DLC as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pocket Universe duplicate of the pre-Crisis character
  2. ^ The Pokolistanian character's true name has yet to be revealed.
  3. ^ a b c Jimenez, Phil (2008). "Faora". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 118. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017. 
  4. ^ Action Comics #471 (May 1977)
  5. ^ a b Action Comics #472 (June 1977)
  6. ^ Phantom Zone #1 (January 1982)
  7. ^ Phantom Zone #3 (March 1982)
  8. ^ Action Comics #473 (July 1977)
  9. ^ Superman (2nd series) #22 (October 1988)
  10. ^ a b Kelly, Joe (w), Ferry, Pascual (p), Smith, Cam (i). "Return to Krypton II, Part Four: Dream's End" Action Comics 793: 20 (September 2002), New York: DC Comics
  11. ^ Schultz, Mark (w), Mahnke, Doug (p), Nguyen, Tom (i). "Return to Krypton Part Three: The Most Dangerous Kryptonian Game" Superman: The Man of Steel 111 (April 2001), New York: DC Comics
  12. ^ Schultz, Mark (w), Kerschl, Karl (a). "Return to Krypton II Part Three: Blood and Heresy" Superman: The Man of Steel 128 (September 2002), New York: DC Comics
  13. ^ Brownfield, Troy; Matt Brady (2008-10-18). "New Krypton Countdown: When Kryptonians Walk the Earth". Newsarama.com. Imaginova Corporation. Retrieved 2008-10-20.