The Book of Rao is the Kryptonian's version of the bible. It is believed to be the Kandorian bible early on and to possess the knowledge of Rao. Its true purpose was to send the Kandorian clones to another plane of existence, another world. With the planet Krypton on the verge of destruction, Jor-El, before sending his son, Kal-El, to Earth, travelled to the planet and while there hid the Book of Rao on the Kent's Farm, where in the distant future he knew his son would need its assistance.
Jor-El's clone reveals its whereabouts at the Kent Farm when discovering that the Kandorian clones have been released from the orb. There Tess Mercer stole the Book of Rao and took Jor-El captive. Soon after the Red Queen stole it from Tess Mercer and gave it to Clark Kent.
Powers & Abilities
However, Faora mentioned to Clark that the Book of Rao had powers and, if Zod gained control of it, it would prove to be dangerous to everyone around him. Even so, there was no mention of any specific powers that the book contained. (Sacrifice)
Martha Kent mentioned to Clark that the Book of Rao has the power to ascend the Kandorians to another, higher plane of existence and, if the Book of Rao is used to send them there, all Kryptonians would be exiled from Earth, including Clark. (Hostage)
Zod told Clark that if they had the Book of Rao there would be no limit to what they could achieve, although this may be an exaggeration.
Not much is known about the Book's history.
When clones of Jor-El, Zod, and the other Kandorians were created by the Orb, when Jor-El realized the potential danger it posed, he went to the Kent Farm to make sure that the Book of Rao remained hidden. Chloe Sullivan saw this on footage taken by the Watchtower's cameras, but didn't pay much attention because she did not know what it was or its importance.
Zod started his search for the Book of Rao because he needed it to complete his solar towers and gave Lois Lane a charm shaped like the symbol of Rao, thinking Clark would recognize it because he knew about the book, but once Clark proved not to have any knowledge about the Book of Rao, Zod continued his search. When Zod gained back his powers after Clark healed him from a gunshot wound using his blood, he stopped his search for the book but, after learning of the existence of the Fortress of Solitude, he started his search again with the new idea of world domination.
When Clark showed Faora an entry in Dr. Virgil Swann's journal mentioning Zod destroying Krypton, she also mentioned to Clark what Zod wanted to do all this time and sketched him a portrait of the Book of Rao. She mentioned that it was a Kryptonian bible and contained powers, and if Zod got a hold of it, it could prove fatal for everyone on Earth.
Clark enlisted Chloe's help to find the Book of Rao, but they were delayed by the Red Queen. He then decided to talk with Vala to find out more about the book, learning that the book may serve to stop Zod and his army because it was able to eliminate all the Kryptonian clones. Clark asked Vala if Zod possessed the book, but the name of the Red Queen was mentioned again and she told him that Tess Mercer was the one who had been blocking all their moves. Meanwhile, Zod, posing as the Blur, enlisted Lois' help and gave her information about the Book of Rao. When Perry White showed her information about the book, he and Lois became partners to cover the story.
Maxwell Lord infiltrated Tess' mind to try and find out the location of the book because he thought she was the one who had stolen it, but she escaped and revealed that she was not the Red Queen. She returned to the Luthor Mansion and then revealed that she hid the Book of Rao in the wine cellar. The real Red Queen approached her and forced her to hand over the disc to her. Clark discovered that Martha was the real Red Queen and that she took the book from Tess. After he confronted her, Martha gave it to Clark, and explained the significance of the Book of Rao and the Kryptonians.
Having this, Clark had to make a difficult decision to keep his people to continue having new lives on Earth or be exiled to lead them on a New Krypton. When Clark rescued Tess from the Fortress when Zod burned her, her last act of redemption was telling Clark how to activate the Book of Rao by using the crystal console the Kandorians had built. Lois took the book from Clark when she hugged him as a way of saying goodbye because he could not be honest with her. When he met with Lois, Zod demanded the book, but Lois figured out that he really wasn't the Blur. After she was saved by Clark as the Blur, Lois gave the book to him.
Clark prepared to insert the book into its slot on the crystal console, but was interrupted by Zod and his soldiers. Fortunately, while he pinned Clark against a wall, Zod inadvertently revealed to his soldiers that he had murdered Faora and her unborn child, leading his soldiers to switch allegiances and listen to Clark. Vala then told Clark to take them home, and so Clark walked to the console. As it was near the crystals, the Book of Rao floated to them and rested into its slot, activating the crystals and triggering a teleportation sequence which sent the Kryptonians, except Clark for he was stabbed with a blue kryptonite knife by Zod, to their new world.
Unfortunately Clark's use of the book was not without consequence, since the portal had left a rip in the universe. This rip was used by the malevolent force Darkseid to come to Earth where it manifested a top the crow's nest before breaking apart in to a spectral form to seek a worthy host.
In the Comics
In the comics, the Book of Rao is a Kryptonian crystal documenting the legends of Rao and his offspring, the Flamebird and the Nightwing. It was given to Chris Kent by the Flamebird's avatar, Thara Ak-Var, to fully understand his destiny of becoming one with the Kryptonian entity, Nightwing.
- The Book of Rao's initial appearance was that of Clark's Key except for the diamond-shaped hole in the center. As of yet, there has been no word of why the inconsistencies of the initial drawings and the actual appearance of the book.
- In the comics, Torquasm Rao is a Kryptonian mental discipline Clark uses to separate himself from his body.
- The book's Kryptonian text reads: "POP", "WE" and "S".
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