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Argo City as seen in Action Comics #252
|First appearance||Action Comics #252 (May 1959)|
Argo City was one of the largest cities on the planet Krypton (the others being Kandor and Kryptonopolis.) Warned of the impending destruction of the planet by his brother Jor-El, scientist Zor-El convinces the Argo City leaders to construct a dome force (a later version of the story in Action Comics #316 (September 1964) has the city saved by a weather dome that Zor-El had constructed) around the city's perimeter. The dome force allows the city to survive the destruction of Krypton, and provides oxygen and light for the inhabitants (in earlier stories, the air bubble is kept in place by unspecified means). The same chain reaction that turned the rest of Krypton into Kryptonite begins to affect the surface of Argo City; the surviving Kryptonians manage to line the surface with lead, protecting everyone from the deadly rays. Zor-El and his wife eventually have a daughter named Kara, the future Supergirl.
About thirty years after the destruction of Krypton a large meteor shower pierces the lead lining of Argo City, dooming its inhabitants to a slow death. In desperation, Zor-El sends Kara in a spaceship to Earth, where her cousin Kal-El (Superman) helps her become Supergirl. Zor-El and Alura manage to survive in the "Survival Zone", a similar parallel dimension to the Phantom Zone, but the other inhabitants of Argo City perish.
Recently Argo is shown to still be in-continuity. In issue #6 of Supergirl, Supergirl and Power Girl travel to the bottled city of Kandor. There Supergirl claims that the city of Argo still exists, and that she is searching for it as it is a piece of her home.
In Action Comics #869 it is revealed that before Krypton was destroyed, Zor-El and Alura used Brainiac's shield technology to create a dome over their home of Argo City protecting it for a short time after the explosion that destroyed Krypton. Soon afterwards, sensing his technology in use, Brainiac found the floating city in space and integrated it into Kandor and any "unnecessary" people in the city were killed. Superman finds the city on Brainiac's ship.
During the integration, Zor-El and Alura sent Kara Zor-El (Supergirl) to earth to find her baby cousin Kal-El (Superman).
Argo City is mentioned in the DC/ Dark Horse Comics crossover miniseries Superman/Aliens. In the story, a probe that appears to be Kryptonian crashes on Earth, and leads Superman to an Argo City that has been overrun by xenomorphs from the Alien film series. Superman befriends a survivor named Kara, and together they destroy Argo City and the aliens. Superman, who is impregnated by a facehugger, escapes in a pod and regurgitates the alien upon returning to Earth and its yellow sun. Thought dead, Kara managed to escape in a separate pod. In this story, Argo City is revealed to not be part of Krypton, and received its Kryptonian influence from a visiting Kryptonian cleric years earlier.
In other media
In the 1984 film Supergirl, Argo City is shown as having survived in a pocket of extradimensional space, with life-support powered by a device called the Omegahedron, the loss of which forms the basis of the film's plot. In the film version, Argo City is said to have been constructed by Zal-Tar (played by Peter O'Toole), a Kryptonian scientist and philosopher, and a friend of Kara Zor-El. There is no suggestion that the character Zor-El plays any role in the conception or salvation of Argo City. He is portrayed merely as Kara's concerned father.
In the television series Superman: The Animated Series, Argo is said to be the name of Krypton's "sister planet" knocked out of orbit by Krypton's destruction, with a cryonically frozen Supergirl as the lone survivor of a small colony of Kryptonian settlers.
Argo City is referenced in television series Smallville. In the episode "Conspiracy", Faora mentions that Zod saved her and his army in "Argo Valley". The Siege of Argo is mentioned in another episode.
Argo City appears in Kevin J. Anderson's novel The Last Days of Krypton. It located on a peninsula connected to the main continent by a thin isthmus and five ornate, golden bridges. It is an extremely beautiful, practically utopian city beloved by its inhabitants and seen as "a jewel of Krypton". In the closing scenes of the novel, as Krypton is exploding, Argo City is flung into space intact, although its inhabitants do not appear to realize what is happening (Zor-El believes he is about to die).