Jax-Ur

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Jax-Ur
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Adventure Comics #289 (October 1961)
Created by Otto Binder
George Papp
In-story information
Place of origin Krypton
Notable aliases Dr. Phillings[1]
Abilities Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, invulnerability, flight, super breath, freeze breath, super hearing, multiple extrasensory and vision powers, and heat vision.
Post-Crisis: Genius in xenobiology/genetics

Jax-Ur is a fictional character, a Kryptonian supervillain in the DC Comics Universe. He first appears in Adventure Comics #289 and was created by Otto Binder and George Papp.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

Jax-Ur was an amoral and criminally deviant scientist on the planet Krypton. He was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone for destroying Wegthor, an inhabited moon of Krypton (population: 500), while experimenting with a nuclear warhead-equipped rocket. His sentence for his act of mass murder was imprisonment for eternity.[2] He called himself "the worst criminal in the Phantom Zone". Jax-Ur was bald, chubby and had a thin mustache.

Jax-Ur's intention was to launch a nuclear missile to destroy a passing space rock. If this test proved successful, Jax-Ur would then commence the build-up of a massive, privately held nuclear arsenal with which he would overthrow the Kryptonian government, and place the entire planet under his dominion. In the World of Krypton miniseries, his missile collided with a spaceship piloted by Superman's father Jor-El and went off-course to destroy Wegthor. Because of this, space travel was forbidden on Krypton.

In his first appearance, Jax-Ur escaped from the Phantom Zone and posed as a super-powered version of Jonathan Kent.[3] Superboy eventually sent Jax-Ur back to the Phantom Zone. Most of his later Silver Age appearances show him in his ghostly Phantom Zone form, except during rare escapes. He was often depicted plotting against Superman with fellow Phantom Zone inmates General Zod and Faora Hu-Ul. Although he possessed typical Kryptonian super-powers when on Earth, the out-of-shape Jax-Ur was no match for Superman in combat.

Jax-Ur would later redeem himself somewhat by helping Superman defeat Black Zero, the alien saboteur who ensured Krypton's destruction under the orders of the Pirate Empire. It is shown he has a code of honor, as Kryptonian criminals swear by a master criminal who escaped a prison to help each other. Struck by a Red Kryptonite bullet that Black Zero had created, Jax-Ur began mutating through a series of serpentine forms, until he became a Medusa-like creature, and turned Black Zero to stone with his gaze before the villain could destroy Metropolis in revenge for Superman foiling his plan to destroy Earth. Jax-Ur then shattered Black Zero's body, avenging Krypton, and willingly returned to the Phantom Zone.[4]

Post-Crisis[edit]

Jax-Ur did not appear after the Crisis on Infinite Earths for some time, as until the recent appearance of Supergirl there was a rule that no Kryptonians survived except Superman. On the occasions that a pseudo-Kryptonian villain was required, writers have usually gone for General Zod. At that time however, Jax-Ur's name was referenced in Superman: The Essential Guide to the Man of Steel, suggesting he may have indeed existed but presumably had died either before or during Krypton's destruction since the Phantom Zone was used as storage rather than a prison.

Jax-Ur's first post-Crisis appearance is in Action Comics #846, written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner.[5]He is one of the criminals unleashed from the Phantom Zone by Zod. In the current continuity, Jax-Ur destroyed Krypton's moon during an attempt at interstellar space travel. When the moon was destroyed, a lunar colony of Kandor was lost as well, drawing the attention of the Coluan villain Brainiac to Kandor.[6]

Jax-Ur reappears in Action Comics #875, as one of General Zod's "sleeper Kryptonians", who have adopted human identities to help further Zod's goals on Earth.[7] He is using the cover of Dr. Phillings, and works for S.T.A.R. Labs as one of the world's top xenobiologists, while secretly conducting his own gruesome studies on Earth's lifeforms, as well as researching Kryptonian DNA to find links to the Flamebird and Nightwing entities. While in his "Dr. Phillings" identity he's tasked by the female Doctor Light to investigate Nightwing's accelerated aging.[1] He manages to build a device tailored to regulate his growth and stimulate his solar-powered healing factor to reverse the body damage brought by his condition, but at the cost of some DNA taken from Flamebird.[8]

Recently, it was revealed that, like Chris Kent and Thara Ak-Var are avatars of Nightwing and Flamebird, respectively, so is Jax-Ur an avatar of their enemy, "Vohc the Breaker". Continuing his age old vendetta against the two demi-gods, Jax-Ur/Vohc uses the sample from Flamebird and his own ingenuity to create an artificial avatar-clone of the Kryptonian chief god, Rao, a terrifying weapon which he then unleashes upon the world.[9] The combined entity is defeated by Flamebird and Nightwing burning Jax-Ur out of Vohc, leaving him for the Justice Society while the Rao clone is destroyed by Nightwing.[10][11]

The New 52[edit]

In "The New 52" (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Jax-Ur was among the Kryptonian criminals seen in the Phantom Zone and he claims to have destroyed a moon.[12] Jax-Ur was fully introduced in the World of Krypton flashback segments, where he is depicted as a young military officer and Lara Lor-Van's partner and fiancé.[13] Lara calls off their engagement when Jax-Ur reveals he supports Colonel Ekar, a commanding officer who deems Krypton's Science Council weak and self-absorbed and plans to overthrow it with a coup d'état. When Lara tries to fight Colonel Ekar and is defeated and caught, Jax-Ur tries to convince her to join their cause in order to save her life, but fails.[14] General Zod intervenes, killing Ekar and smothering the revolution. Jax-Ur is imprisoned with the other surviving insurgents, promising Lara he tried to save her and reaffirming his love for her.[15]

Other versions[edit]

"For the Man Who Has Everything"[edit]

Jax-Ur is featured as a symbol and martyr for Anti-Phantom Zone protesters who assault Kara Zor-El in the Superman story "For the Man Who Has Everything", written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. Also in the same story, there was a Kryptonian major named Dax-Ur in Superman's Black Mercy-induced dream. It wasn't revealed if he's related to Jax-Ur (who was released from the Phantom Zone and attacked Kara Zor-El).[16]

Justice League Beyond 2.0[edit]

In the 2013 digital-first series Justice League Beyond 2.0, taking place in the Batman Beyond Universe, Jax-Ur was revealed as the father of a young boy in the Phantom Zone who was using Kryptonian technology against an older Superman. He manipulated his son to crash a derelict Kryptonian ship into the sun using his telekinetic powers. This overexposed Superman's cells to the rays of the sun — the source of his powers —which caused his powers to become unstable. As a protection for humanity, Superman asked Micron to shrink to microscopic size and release a kryptonite solution into his body, removing his superpowers. When Superman decided to enter the Phantom Zone to find the one manipulating the numerous events, he discovered the young boy and his father, Jax-Ur. Jax-Ur's son was later revealed to be the first appearance of General Zod in the continuity of the Bruce Timm DC Animated Universe, albeit a younger, innocent version of the megalomaniac General who, in fact, helps the new Justice League and decides to leave his father and become a citizen of Earth, and a possible future member of the Justice League.

Jax-Ur reveals to Superman that he disrupted his powers knowing that Superman would trace the origin of the disruption to the Phantom Zone. Ur's son can control all Kryptonian technology, except for the Phantom Zone Projector because it has too many safeguards. Superman would have been the only one capable of opening the Phantom Zone, except he had made Terry McGinnis, the new Batman, one of the authorized users of the Phantom Zone Projector before Superman went into the Phantom Zone. Jax-Ur wants to use Batman's body to unleash every last inmate of the Phantom Zone which will then pave the way for Jax-Ur to rule Earth. He tells Superman that Earth will "die far more slowly and painfully than Krypton as its enslaved inhabitants spend their short, useless lives building a new Krypton, ruled by me."

In other media[edit]

DC animated universe[edit]

A differently portrayed version of Jax-Ur has a more prominent role in the DC Animated Universe where he has a loyal female partner named Mala usually by his side. He is more of an algamation of General Zod who doesn't officially appear in the animated universe.

  • He first appeared in Superman: The Animated Series, where he was voiced by Ron Perlman. He was portrayed as similar to General Zod; a military genius who had attempted to overthrow the Science Council. His co-conspirator, and possible lover, is a beautiful Kryptonian female with long white hair named Mala (based on Ursa and Faora but named for a male Kryptonian from the comics). His proper title is High General Jax-Ur. During Jax-Ur and Mala's last appearance on Superman: The Animated Series, Jax-Ur reveals to Superman that a rift into the Phantom Zone had been torn open, releasing them into space. They were saved by nearby voyagers and soon took control over their planet. Upon seizing control of the planet, they had the inhabitants rebuild everything so that it was very reminiscent of Krypton, even going so far as to make the inhabitants wear clothes similar to that of Kryptonians. After meeting with a rebel, Superman found out that Jax-Ur and Mala intended to invade Earth. After Superman battled in space with the pair, Jax-Ur and Mala were sucked into a black hole.
  • Jax-Ur and Mala were featured in a two part story from Superman Adventures #7-8, where they initially had been shrunken down as a new type of imprisonment. However, Jax-Ur managed to steal Hamilton's device and turn himself into a giant and shrink Superman, but in the end they were both shrunken down and captured again. In Superman Adventures #21, he and Mala joined the Argosian criminal General Zod, giving Jax-Ur the position as the 'strongman' of the trio, much like Non and Quex-Ul.[17]
  • Jax-Ur and Mala also appeared in the Justice League Unlimited comic book spin-off, in issue #34 as parts of General Zod's army of Phantom Zone criminals placed in the Phantom Zone for insurrection against the Kryptonian council, although neither of the two had any dialogue.[18]

Film[edit]

  • Jax-Ur, played by Mackenzie Gray appears in Man of Steel as one of Zod's crew members and a scientist as well. When Superman is on Zod's ship, Ur manages to extract the Growth Codex (an ancient Kryptonian artifact that decodes the genetic makeup of the artificially incubated babies on Krypton), and stolen by Jor-El and storing the Codex in Kal El's DNA) from him, he is later sent back to the Phantom Zone, along with the crew, when a black hole is generated by the military.[19]

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • On the TV series Smallville, a similar named character called Dax-Ur (portrayed by Marc McClure) appears. He is a Kryptonian scientist who has lived over 100 years by Blue Kryptonite and is responsible for creating Brainiac. He gives Clark Kent blue kryptonite to help Clark defeat Bizarro. Brainiac uses Dax-Ur to restore his powers, then kills him in the episode "Persona".[20]
  • In the novel "The Last Days of Krypton," by Kevin Anderson, Jax-Ur is a historical villain from Krypton's past. He tried to take over the world and destroyed Krypton's moon, Koron, using a nuclear-like weapon called a "Nova javelin" which involved alien technology. In this version Jax-Ur is not sent to the Phantom Zone, not discovered for many years to come, but he is defeated by a coalition called "The Seven Armies," led by Sor-El, ancestor to Jor-El. He is finally assassinated by a former minion, but his actions had dictated Krypton's policy towards alien or innovative science since, a factor in the events in the novel.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Action Comics (vol. 1) #883 (January 2010)
  2. ^ Phantom Zone #1 (January 1982)
  3. ^ Adventure Comics #284 (January 1961)
  4. ^ Superman (vol. 1) #205 (April 1968)
  5. ^ Action Comics (vol. 1) #846 (February 2007)
  6. ^ Action Comics (vol. 1) #866 (August 2008)
  7. ^ Action Comics (vol. 1) #875 (May 2009)
  8. ^ Action Comics (vol. 1) #884 (February 2010)
  9. ^ Action Comics (vol. 1) #886 (April 2010)
  10. ^ Action Comics (vol. 1) #888 (June 2010)
  11. ^ Action Comics (vol. 1) #889 (June 2010)
  12. ^ Action Comics (vol. 2) #13 (December 2012)
  13. ^ Action Comics (vol. 2) #20 (July 2013)
  14. ^ Action Comics (vol. 2) #21 (August 2013)
  15. ^ Action Comics (vol. 2) #23 (October 2013)
  16. ^ Superman Annual (vol. 1) #11 (1985)
  17. ^ Superman Adventures #7-8 (May-June 1997)
  18. ^ Justice League Unlimited #21 (July 2006)
  19. ^ "'Man of Steel': Mackenzie Gray playing Jax-Ur". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  20. ^ Don Whitehead, Holly Henderson (writers) & Todd Slavkin (director) (2008-01-31). "Persona". Smallville. Season 7. Episode 10. The WB.