"The House of El. You always were survivors."
—Dax-Ur to Clark Kent. [src]

The family crest of the House of El.

The House of El was a prominent family of scientists and explorers on the planet Krypton. With a particular curiosity for the planet Earth - possibly being the first Kryptonians to make contact with humans - the Els would revisit the world over the span of five centuries or more.

Many members of the House of El were able to somehow survive the destruction of Krypton. Kal-El and Kara were sent to the planet Earth in different spaceships before Krypton's destruction: Kal-El was raised there by Jonathan and Martha Kent as Clark Kent while Kara was trapped in suspended animation in her spaceship for 18 years. Jor-El's consciousness continued to exist as an artificial entity, first communicating with Clark through his spaceship, then through the Kawatche Caves and finally the Fortress of Solitude. His DNA, stripped of his native Kryptonian powers by blue kryptonite, was also implanted within the Orb, which create a younger clone of the Kryptonian scientist. Zor-El put his DNA in a blue crystal, along with that of Lara-El: the blue crystal was able to use the power of the Fortress to create clones of both Zor-El and Lara. However, both clones were destroyed after Clark destroyed the blue crystal.

Known Members

  • Kryptonian Visitor
  • Zor-El and Jor-El's father was the grandfather of Kara and Kal. He is considered dead.
  • Jor-El was the husband of Lara and father of Kal. He was Krypton's most renowned scientist and a member of the Science Council. He died along with the rest of the Kryptonians when the planet exploded.
    • Jor-El (clone) was a clone of the original, who was murdered by Alia.
    • Jor-El (A.I.) is the original Jor-El's spirit who is in Clark's Fortress of Solitude.
  • Lara-El was Jor-El's wife and mother of Kal.
  • Zor-El was Jor-El's brother and father of Kara. He was a former scientist and mining operator for the city of Kandor.
  • Zor-El's wife was Kara's mother.
  • Kal-El is Jor-El and Lara's son. He was sent to Earth moments before Krypton's destruction and was raised by a human couple, taking the name Clark Kent. He became Earth's greatest hero, Superman.
  • Kara Zor-El is Zor-El's daughter and Kal-El's cousin. She was also sent to Earth along with Kal-El. She became the superhero known as Supergirl.

Alternate Realities

Season Seven

In a reality, where Kal-El never existed, Kara was sent to Earth and was Krypton's lone survivor. She was raised by the Luthors, taking the name, Linda Danvers.

Season Ten (Earth-2)

  • Kal-El was Jor-El and Lara's son from an alternate universe. He was raised by Lionel Luthor, taking the name Clark Luthor. He became his Earth's greatest villain, Ultraman. He was presumably killed when the Monitors destroyed his world.
  • Jor-El (A.I.) was Jor-El's spirit who was in Clark's Fortress of Solitude.

Season Eleven

Chaos (Earth-Majestic)
  • Mister Majestic was Jor-El and Lara's son from an alternate universe. He became his Earth's greatest superhero. He was murdered by the Manhunters when the Monitors destroyed his world.
  • Jor-El (A.I.) is Jor-El's spirit who is in Mister Majestic's Fortress of Solitude.

Early History

All of the known members of the House of El visited Earth before the destruction of their homeworld.

In 1961, before meeting and marrying Lara, Jor-El was sent by his father as a rite of passage. During his visit, he recorded his memories on a pendant belonging to the House of El. The pendant's design was based on the original symbol of the House of El, suggesting that it may have been passed down through many generations of the family.

In 1986, Lara traveled to Earth while pregnant with her son Kal-El, to see firsthand the family who would be raising her son should Krypton not survive the war with General Zod. She was followed on this visit by her niece Kara and Kara's father Zor-El.

Zor-El himself made trips to Earth to study the effects the planet's yellow sun had on Kryptonians and kryptonian minerals so that, when he came to Earth to fulfill Rao's prophecy, he would know what could harm him and what abilities he would possess.

Jor-El created the Phantom Zone, a place to imprison Kryptonian criminals and other extraterrestrial creatures either in their physical form or in a phantom-like form (in which their physical body was destroyed and only their spirits are present). Before Krypton's end, Jor-El, knowing that he had enemies, built a gateway in the Phantom Zone in the event that a member of the House of El became trapped in the Phantom Zone: their blood could open the gateway. Clark Kent was forced to use this gateway when he became trapped there and the opening of this gate brought him and several prisoners of the Phantom Zone to Earth.

Zor-El also created a gateway for Kara to use should she become trapped in the Phantom Zone. After she was placed in the Phantom Zone by Brainiac, Kara chose not to use the gateway, as she did not want to release more Phantom Zone prisoners on Earth.

Mark of El

SV 0648

The Mark of El on Clark's Superman suit.

For their House sigil, the early generations of Els initially adopted the Kryptonian elemental symbol for air - an infinity symbol rotated ninety degrees, resembling an eight inside of a Kryptonian pentagon. This symbol also represents the Kryptonian equivalent of the letter "S".

Over the centuries as new generations of Els took hold, the emblem evolved, changed, and expanded - the elemental sign gradually losing its eight-like interior, the pentagon becoming wider and smoother, and eventually becoming fully reminiscent of the "S" of the English alphabet.


In the Comics

Superman's family

The survivors of the House of El.

The House of El was one of the noble ruling families of the planet, Krypton. The name El translates in Kryptonian to "of the star". The family line extends back thousands of years, to a time when tribes of Kryptonians still waged war against one another across the continents.

The earliest known members of the El family line existed during Krypton's pre-industrial age when Kryptonians were known by only a single name. The first recorded member of the family line was Feln, who was the father of Rugad, who was the father of Tomnu. Tomnu's son, Erok became the first Kryptonian to create clan names and called himself Erok-El, or, "Erok of the Star". He and his wife Milia gave birth to Kal-El the First. Kal-El's son, Wab-El did not share his ancestor's noble qualities and became a vicious warlord. Wab-El had two sons, Vad-El and Hyr-El. Vad-El became a tyrant like his father, and Hyr-El disowned the family name after a feud with Vad-El. Hyr-El's direct family lineage is what eventually evolved into the modern House of El.

In the Silver Age, Jor-El I, son of Var-El, and Nimda An-Dor were the parents of threes sons; the twins Jor-El II and Nim-El, and the youngest Zor-El. Jor-El (II) married Lara Lor-Van, daughter of Lor-Van and Lara Rok-Var, and together they had a son, Kal-El, who was eventually sent to Earth before Krypton's destruction. Zor-El married Allura In-Ze and together they had a daughter, Kara Zor-El.

Post-Crisis, in Krypton's fifth and sixth historical epochs, patriarchs of the House of El took the surname "L". Centuries later, the family line would adapt the name into the latter "El".

Seyg-El, son of Ter-El and grandson of Don-El, was now the father of Jor-El and the grand father of Kal-El.

Jon Superboy-Kent

Superboy (Jon Kent)

On Earth-2, they kept the surname "L", so Superman's Kryptonian name was Kal-L and Power Girl's was Kara Zor-L.

Other honorary members of the House of El are; Lar Grand, an alien from the planet Daxam who while he had amnesia he was given the name Mon-El by young Kal-El, believing his was his long lost brother and Superboy, the partial clone of Kal-El who honorably was given the name Kon-El.

Recently Lois and Clark's son Jonathan has assumed the House of El mantel under the guise of superboy following in his father's footsteps.


Baern (in the Fortress of Solitude): This is the perfect place for the fall of the House of El.
Season Six, Fallout

Kara: The House of El has a lot of family secrets that nobody ever discussed. As humans would say, we were... dysfunctional.
Season Seven, Kara

Clark: I'm looking for someone.
Dax-Ur: Well... If they live all the way out here, I probably know him.
Clark: Dax-Ur?
Dax-Ur: Dexter? No... no... nobody around here on that name. (he walks the other way)
Clark: Actually he's not from around here. He is from Krypton. So am I. (he tosses the beacon to Dax-Ur) I'm Kal-El.
Dax-Ur: The House of El. You always were survivors.
Season Seven, Persona

Brainiac: (to Jor-El) Your son is destined to fail. Soon a new age will dawn on Earth. An age of power and strength, and the fall of the House of El... Doomsday is coming.
Season Eight, Abyss


  • The phrase "House of El" has been used five times on the show: in Season Six's Fallout, Season Seven's Kara and Persona, Season Eight's Abyss and Season Nine's Kandor. Each time, it was used by a being (a Kryptonian or a Kryptonian computer) who grew up on Krypton.
  • In the comics Kara's mother is named Alura-Zor El and is one of the survivors of Krypton's destruction: however in the series Kara's mother is never referred by name and is assumed that she died during Krypton's destruction or before.

See also

Clark Kent in Smallville
Family Kents: Martha , JonathanHouse of El: Jor-El (ai, clone), Lara, Kara, Zor-El, Conner Kent
Relationships ChloePeteOliverEmilJohn JonesLex (destiny) • LionelBrainiacJimmyTessDavisZod
Romantic interests Chloe SullivanLana LangKyla WillowbrookAlicia BakerLois Lane (destiny)
Work Smallville TorchJustice LeagueDaily Planet
Details Powers (loss, vulnerabilities, training) • secretattireglassesbloodfighting style
Homes Krypton (knowledge) • Kent Farm (house, cellar, barn, loft, truck) • FortressApartment (telescope)
Other KalKal-El (ship) • Superman (suit, crest) • aliasesdestinyvisionNo tights, no flightsNear-death experiencesEpisodes