Ter-El was married to Charys-El, and the pair had a son, Seg-El. Ter, along with his wife and son, was present at Val-El's trial. Val-El was found guilty of sedition and the entire House of El was de-ranked within Kryptonian society.
Fourteen years later, Ter and his family were living in the Rankless District, and he served as Daron-Vex's clerk within the Lawmakers Guild. He did not like the fact that his son spent his nights scamming Guildsmen with his friend, Kem, afraid that his son would be caught out after curfew and sent to the lunar work camps. Ter left for work but forgot his medication. While Ter-El was in chambers serving Daron-Vex, a terrorist attempted to kill the Voice of Rao with a bomb implanted in his arm. Seg, having arrived to give his father the medication, managed to stop the terrorist long enough for a guard to destroy the attacker's arm. Ter later attended Daron as he offered Seg the chance to be Ranked once more, but this time as a member of the House of Vex, and the chance to marry his daughter, Nyssa-Vex. Later, Seg showed his parents the sunstone that Adam Strange had given him, and filled his parents in on the stranger's message to find the Fortress of Solitude. Ter took the sunstone for safe keeping since the symbol of the House of El was outlawed, and with Seg soon to be ranked again, he did not want to endanger his son's future. Once Seg had left, Ter and Charys discussed whether or not Seg was ready to know the truth. Charys stole a skimmer to rescue Seg-El from being beaten by some Sagitari, and to take him to the Fortress of Solitude. She was later arrested for the crime and brought to trial. When confronted with the fact that there were two bio-signatures in the skimmer, Ter claimed to be his wife's accomplice to protect Seg. Taking one of the guard's weapons, he was subsequently killed by Primus Jayna-Zod.