Example of Kryptonian vessel: Jor-El inhabiting Lionel

"When this body was activated by the Crystal, it became a... an oracle of Kryptonian knowledge, a vessel for me to inhabit if ever you should need me."
—Jor-El to Clark, in Lionel's body. [src]

A Kryptonian Vessel is a human whose body plays host to the consciousness of a disembodied Kryptonian. In every known case, this is an involuntary process on the part of the host as their own personality is completely subjugated by the invasive presence of the alien intelligence.

Although humans are the typical and most convenient choice for a vessel while on Earth, extraterrestrials - including other Kryptonians - can be utilized as vessels. This was shown in Solitude when Brainiac attempted to use Clark Kent as the vessel for the phantom of General Zod.

Alternatively, a vessel may merely serve an artificial intelligence of Kryptonian origins such as Brainiac or Jor-El. In the former case, the host is slowly corrupted until being fully taken over by his mind. In the latter, they can be taken over or merely empowered to serve him.

Known Vessels

Full Possession
Received Powers


Essentially any individual, even other Kryptonians, can be prepared and serve as a Kryptonian vessel. With the possible exception of Brainiac, who Zod never thought to possess, either because he's a machine and can't be possessed or because Zod felt disgust in possessing a machine. Serving as a Kryptonian's vessel gives the individual the powers of the Kryptonian at hand. Besides Brainiac, who's a machine created by Kryptonians, Kryptonians in vessels are still vulnerable to the various types of kryptonite.

  • Super speed: Jonathan could travel at crazy speeds while possessed with Jor-El's power. After Clark freed himself of the effects of red kryptonite by smashing the ring, Jor-El quickly removed his great power from Jonathan. At first, through Brainiac's serum, Lex gained Kryptonian powers, such as speed and strength. Lindesy was able to basically disappear and reappear instantly through her speed.
  • Super hearing: It's highly possible that Lionel Luthor, after becoming the vessel of Jor-El, gained heightened hearing, as he was able to hear something Lex said from outside the Luthor Mansion.
  • Super strength: Jonathan was given Jor-El's strength and therefore was able to quell Clark's uncontrollable power and take him home. Lindsey could overpower men. Lex could approach Clark and fight with him. When Jor-El inhabited Lionel Luthor his Oracle, he punched through glass.
  • Invulnerability: While with Jor-El's powers, Jonathan survived a column falling on his head and survived a very long fall crashing through glass. Lex was completely impenetrable with the powers, but a Kryptonian dagger can kill him.


Clark: I was... I was just at the hospital. How did you get me here?
Jor-El-as-Lionel: The portal in the cave. When this body was activated by the crystal, it became an oracle of Kryptonian knowledge-- a vessel for me to inhabit if ever you should need me. That time was now.
Season Five, Hidden

Jor-El: (to Clark) Zod's physical body was destroyed to prevent him from escaping the Phantom Zone. He can be freed if he finds a body-- a vessel to inhabit. You must find the human vessel and destroy it. No matter who it maybe.
Season Five, Vessel

Milton Fine: (referring to Kara) It didn't look like she had much fight left in her. But she'll heal. She's healthy. So is Lex Luthor... the vessel. Together, they will repopulate the planet, and Krypton will rise again.
Season Seven, Apocalypse

Chloe: What did you do with Lois?
Faora-as-Lois: I needed her vessel. Not my first choice, but surprisingly flexible.
Season Eight, Bloodline