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Vathlo Island, from map of Krypton in Superman #239 (Sal Amendola, artist).
|First appearance||Superman #239
Vathlo Island is a Kryptonian island continent similar to Australia and populated by a "highly developed black race" of Kryptonians, and "retained its independence throughout history and did not join the planetary federation, though good relations were maintained". Black Kryptonians were first shown in Superman #234, with the island itself shown on a map in #239. Vathlo was rarely if ever referenced beyond these few issues, although a black Kryptonian named "Iph-Ro of Vathlo" appeared in the more recent Superman: The Man of Steel #111. An offhand reference to the island was made in Alan Moore's story For the Man Who Has Everything, where "racial trouble with the Vathlo Island immigrants," are mentioned in a dream world Krypton that had avoided destruction. It is believed, based on the appearances of black Kryptonians in recent Superman issues, that the Vathlonians eventually were integrated into Krypton proper.
In Final Crisis #7, an alternate universe version of Superman (modeled after Barack Obama) from one of the 52 realities of the multiverse is featured. This Earth-23 Superman resembles an African-American and is said to originate from the science-capital of Krypton: Jandra-La on Krypton-23 in Action Comics #9. Earlier black Kryptonians had appeared in other story arcs. The Superman and Supergirl of pre-Crisis Earth-D were black Kryptonians and may have originated from Vathlo Island, as might Sunshine Superman of Earth-47's Love Syndicate of Dreamworld, if he is also Kryptonian.
While the island itself has not appeared or even referenced in the television series Smallville, African-looking/dark-skinned Kryptonians have been featured. One was a disciple of Zod, who goes by the name Nam-Ek (portrayed by Leonard Roberts). Another was named Basqat (played by Adrian Holmes).
- Author unknown (2001-04). Superman: The Man of Steel #111 (April 2001).
- Brady, Matt (2009-01-07). "Superman's planet is racially diverse-finally". MSNBC.com, January 7, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-01-11 from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28543087/?gt1=43001/.
- Author unknown (2009-08). Superman: World of New Krypton #4 (August 2009).
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