Action Comics #471
|Created by||Cary Bates (writer)|
Curt Swan (artist)
|Full name||Faora Hu-Ul|
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Faora is a supervillainess appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Superman. All of her versions have some connection to Superman's home planet of Krypton. The character was created by Cary Bates and Curt Swan, and first appeared in Action Comics #471 (May 1977). Most commonly, Faora is an ally and sometimes the wife and/or lover of Superman's Kryptonian nemesis General Zod.
Faora appears in the television series Smallville, portrayed by Erica Durance and Sharon Taylor. Faora made her cinematic debut in the DC Extended Universe in the 2013 film Man of Steel, played by Antje Traue.
Faora first appeared in Action Comics #471 (May 1977) and was created by Cary Bates and Curt Swan.
The first Faora, Faora Hu-Ul, was introduced in Action Comics #471. She is a beautiful Kryptonian woman whose unexplained hatred for men led her to torture and kill 23 of them in the secret concentration camp. For this, she was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone to complete a sentence of 300 Kryptonian years, the second longest term after Jax-Ur. Surviving her homeworld's destruction, along with the other Phantom Zone prisoners, she existed in an invisible ghost-like form. While in the Zone, she often depicted plotting against Superman with General Zod and Jax-Ur. The hatred of men was not limited to different races, as she demonstrates this pointless murder on a young Frenchman who was attracted by her beauty.
Faora is an expert at the Kryptonian martial of Horo-Kanu. This allows her to take advantage on the body's pressure points. This made her an extremely dangerous foe for Superman to face in close combat. When she beaten him, he was forced to flee from their first encounter. During one of her appearances, Faora could manifest some sort of "mental lightning" to physically attack Kryptonian survivors, but did not exhibit this additional power during later battles.
Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, another Faora (renamed Zaora) appeared in the Pocket Universe created by the Time Trapper, along with General Zod and Quex-Ul. The three tricked the Pocket Universe's Lex Luthor into releasing them from the Phantom Zone. After the Pocket Earth's population continued to resist their conquest of it, the three villains destroyed the atmosphere, killing almost all life. Superman defeated them by permanently stripping the three of their super powers with gold kryptonite. He then executed them with kryptonite in punishment for their crimes, and to protect the real Earth after they threatened to somehow regain their powers and destroy it as well. Zaora pleaded with Superman for her life, offering him "all sorts of favors", before she succumbed to the kryptonite.
In the Eradicator mini-series, Dr. David Conner was pressured into embracing his programming by another construct of Kem-L. This artifact, which was trapped in the Phantom Zone, claimed to be called Faora, after Kem-L's grandmother, and to be the ultimate repository of Kryptonian mythology. However, it is unclear how much of this is true.
The Eradicator rejects it, "downloading" all these aspects of ancient programming that contradicted his morality into Faora's artificial intelligence. Unknown to him, this gave it a new, monstrous form and dimensional-based powers. After leaving the Zone, it targeted Conner's family. The Eradicator destroyed Faora, but not before it kills his wife.
Another Faora was introduced as one of General Zod's aides in a fictional Pokolistan nation. This character, who debuted in Action Comics #779 (July 2001), is an orphan metahuman. Faora has molecular abilities to a limited degree. She created a mutagenic virus for Zod as part of the linchpin plan. Her whereabouts following the General's defeat are unknown.
In a 2001–2002 storyline, Superman and Lois Lane visit a version of Krypton which is later revealed to have been created by the villainous Brainiac 13 and based on Jor-El's favorite period in Kryptonian history. In this Krypton, Lois and Clark become fugitives and are pursued by Faora and Kru-El, romantically linked manhunters known as "the Hounds of Zod." This version of Faora, calling herself "the Tigress of Zod", later returns as an ally of Jor-El. She and Kru-El are both killed in a struggle against Kryptonian religious zealots.
As a Kryptonian, Faora has superpowers derived from under the light of Earth's yellow sun in a solar system. These basic abilities are sufficient for her to bend steel, overpower a locomotive, leap over a tall building in one bound, and outrun a speeding bullet; as well as virtual invulnerability, accelerated recovery, laser eyebeams, vortex breath, and flight. She possesses extraordinary senses of hearing and sight including x-ray, telescopic, and microscopic vision. The Pre-Crisis version of Faora had gotten new powers. She can telepathically communicate or sometimes does it unconsciously and project bolts of psychic energy to weaken other Kryptonians from the Phantom Zone. While in the Zone, she is effectively immortal and untouchable. Faora knows Horu-Kanu - the deadliest form of martial art on Krypton. This technique utilizes precisely aimed pressure points to disable, cripple, or kill opponents. Both versions have expertise in unarmed combat. Even her power levels are more akin to Supergirl. Like all Kryptonians, she is vulnerable to Kryptonite, red sunlight, and magic. The metahuman version of Faora could disrupt molecular bonds.
In the DC Bombshells continuity, Faora led a coup on Krypton during its final days which consisted of herself, Lara Lor-Van, and Alura In-Ze, who weren't considered "clean" enough by Kryptonians for fertility. The three conceived a daughter that they believed would be the strongest of Krypton, as she had a balance of "clean" and "unclean" Kryptonian genes. When Lara and Alura discovered Faora was willing to kill to achieve her vision, they banished her to the Phantom Zone. Her pod is discovered and broken open by the Thanagarians, who provided her with a ship that could allow her to travel anywhere. She travels to Earth, where she waits decades for the baby's escape pod to crash into the planet. When the baby's pod would land in Russia and the girl would become adopted by the Starikov's and named Kara, Faora took samples of Kara's blood from the pod, which allowed her ally scientist Hugo Strange to create clones of Kara who would become known as Power Girl and Superman. She also allied herself with other villains who wanted to take over the world such as Paula von Gunther, the Joker's Daughter, and Killer Frost. She monitor's Kara's progress in the Soviet Army and as Supegirl under the disguise of General Khulun. She invites Supergirl to join her in conquering the world, but the girl refuses as she views Faora's methods as no better than the dying Krypton's. When Trigon's daughter Raven briefly transforms into an unstable demonic being after her father's death, Faora takes some of Raven's blood and injects herself with it, transforming into this dimension's version of Doomsday. The heroes stop her by trapping her inside of Swamp Thing and casting a spell that required the sacrifice of Kara's adoptive parents and Stargirl's father.