- "I've taken measures to safeguard my work. I had to. You can deny it all you like. But the truth is, we are not alone in the universe. Krypton is vulnerable. And praying to him won't be enough to save it."
- —Val-El to Daron-Vex [src]
Val-El is the patriarch of the House of El as well as the greatest Kryptonian scientist of his age. Val-El is the father of Ter-El and the grandfather of Seg-El. Via his grandson, Val is the great-grandfather of Jor-El and Dru-Zod and the future great-great grandfather of Kal-El.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Personality
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Gallery
- 5 Appearances
- 6 References
Val-El was born on Krypton to a scientist named Jor-El and an unknown woman. Later in his life, he would become the father of a son, Ter-El and much become the grandfather of Ter's son, Seg.
Val-El was the greatest scientist on Krypton, and he was determined to prove that Kryptonians were not alone in the universe. When the Voice of Rao rose to power, the Council shut down his work. Val continued his work in secret, working out of a hidden facility he called the Fortress of Solitude. During his research, Val found evidence of an alien presence consuming other worlds and believed that it would soon come for Krypton. When Val-El tried to warn the Council of Krypton's vulnerability, he was charged with rebelling against the lawful authority and found guilty of sedition. However, Val had taken precautions to safeguard his work, and hid the location of the Fortress. He was sentenced to death and the House of El was struck from the Registry of Citizens, meaning his family was now Rankless without guild or honor. At his execution, Val told his grandson, Seg, to keep believing in a better tomorrow, before walking out into the cold and falling. He escaped to the Phantom Zone and was unable to escape because Dru-Zod stole his way out.
"Light-Years From Home"
Val-El has now joined the Resistance after General Zod seized his Fortress of Solitude, preventing him from freeing Seg-El from the Phantom Zone. Welcoming Adam Strange, Val relays their plan to rally the Resistance around Wegthorian rebels and take down General Zod. He admits to not searching for Seg-El as he has no way to re-enter Phantom Zone himself, although he advises Adam on how to configure his Zeta Beam to go after Seg. When Lyta-Zod's Sagitari storm the Resistance's hideout, Val escapes with Jax-Ur through a hologram-concealed passage, heading to the Hypersonic Orbital Tether and thence to the Wegthor.
"Ghost In The Fire"
On Wegthor, Val-El gives a speech to the Resistance, saying "that bastard down there has stolen our better tomorrow. We're stealing it back!" The Resistance cheers, and Val sets about leading the rebellion against General Zod. However, when Nyssa-Vex returns from captivity, Val comforts her, and believes her despite Jax-Ur's suspicions.
"Will To Power"
Using intelligence from Nyssa, Val and Jax manage to successfully raid a Sagitari detachment during an eclipse, acquiring supplies and captives without a single casualty. Val, after Jax asked a word with him, impresses upon Jax that it was Nyssa who made their victory possible, and asks her to go easy on the captives, as they are mostly unwilling conscripts.
With intel that Jax gleaned from their prisoners of war, Val plans to outmaneuver General Zod and retake the Space Elevator in order to cut off Zod's forces and regain control of Wegthor. He also comforts Nyssa-Vex, ordering her guard to give her some space. He then works with Jax to initiate their plan.
Val enters giving a speech to the Resistance, congratulating them on their victory and planning a new assault to finally take the Space Elevator, when Adam Strange arrives "from no where". Adam tells Val that Seg escaped the Phantom Zone, and Val is glad. Adam also relays his vision of the future from the Zeta Beam, that there was nothing there, as if "time had stopped", but Val reassures Adam that he is not at fault. He insists that they will fix it, but that first their task must be to stop General Zod.
Nyssa-Vex later approaches Val regarding a "smart weapon" that Jax-Ur created, "linked to the Codex and its genetic index" to target and shut down specific DNA structures, specifically Sagitari. Due to its potentiality for genocide, Nyssa convinces Val to shut it down, to which he agrees. He steals the Codex and gives it to Nyssa, with a failsafe to prevent General Zod from weaponizing it, and then confronts Jax when she arrives to find it missing.
"A Better Yesterday"
Val-El argues with Jax-Ur that they cannot become "like him" in their fight, and so using the Codex Weapon would be wrong and that he doesn't need Jax's protection. Jax angrily retorts that he is necessary to give the Rebels hope, and that they had been betrayed and sabotaged, in desperate need of the weapon that Val gave away. Val comes to realize that Nyssa-Vex was the traitor. Val later learns from Araame that Primus Lyta-Zod requests a meeting.
Val insists that they attend, and although Jax objects due to Lyta having gouged out her eye the last time they attempted such a thing, Val insists that it is different because Seg-El is back. He claims that there is good in Lyta that Seg can bring forth, and that if Lyta turns around, they'll be able to expose Zod's use of Somatic Reconditioning. At the summit Val tries to reason with Lyta, but she is unmoved and insists on complete surrender. Val asks Jax for a decision, and Jax says that his weakness is that he can't bear to let anyone he cares about die, him responding that "if that's a weakness then we all have it". Jax says "exactly", thinking of how Zod cares for Lyta, at which point she kills the Sagitari envoy and takes Lyta as a hostage.
Val angrily confronts Jax for threatening to kill Lyta, and although he agrees that it would work, he says they would have to be willing to kill Lyta to pull it off. Jax is silent, prompting Val to say "you're becoming more like him every day, Sela-Sonn." He says he refuses to support her, at which point several rebels loyal to Jax take Val into custody.
"In Zod We Trust"
Looking down on Lyta-Zod's corpse as Jax-Ur rallies a strike team, Val-El accuses her of barbarism and of violating everything the rebellion stands for. Val then asserts that regardless of the immorality of the act, they are freedom fighters and cannot win without the support of the people, who give them supplies and recruits. He continues, saying that Jax's barbarism will turn the people away, and many of the rebels begin to agree with Val. Val finally wins them over by saying that people want social reform and hope, not another tyrant to replace the one they have, which Jax has shown herself to be, and that everyone has another choice to make. The rebels quickly turn on Jax and pull guns on her, ceding leadership to Val.
Val later has Jax and Araame imprisoned before giving a speech to the rebels. He says that although he has no tactical-oriented mind like Jax's, they have morality on their side, until General Zod makes contact. Val tries to placate Zod, but Zod only demands that Jax be turned over, lest he destroy the entire moon. Adam Strange asserts that Zod will never stop, whereas Kem says that giving him Jax will stop the killing. Val agrees with Adam, but takes Kem's advice in order to win them a respite.
Val discovers that Jax escaped and stole explosives, so he heads with Adam Strange and Kem to the Space Elevator base station to intercept Jax and Araame. Finding them, Val shoots and kills Araame, and convinces Jax to stand down. Jax then gives him the trigger to the explosions, rigged to destroy the Space Elevator, saying that it is his turn to make hard choices. Val considers it, in order to cut off General Zod's Sagitari, and Kem pleads with him not to due to innocent civilians operating the Space Elevator being in danger.
Val, after deliberating, decides to contact General Zod. Zod offers Val a place in the Science Guild to work for him, although he intends to punish all other rebels, but Val fires back that he will never support Zod's "foul vision". Zod tells Val to choose his next words carefully, but Val only says "there are no more words", before detonating the gravity bombs and destroying the Space Elevator.
"Zods and Monsters"
Having lost all contact with Krypton after the destruction of the Space Elevator, Val is focused on rooting out the squad of Sagitari still on Wegthor, who have since moved position. He assigns Kem to the task as leader of a mission to deal with it, telling Adam Strange to ask him if Adam wants to be a part of it.
On Krypton, Val-El's hologram begins to help Seg-El rid himself of Brainiac. After analyzing Seg to discover Brainiac's "Nanites" clustered around Seg's brain stem, Val's homogram commences a procedure to remove Brainiac, but is forced to stop when Seg destroys the machine at Brainiac's command. Val's hologram then restrains Seg at his suggestion, and begins tutoring Nyssa-Vex on how to do the procedure manually using a "sonic scalpel".
Val's hologram walks Nyssa through the procedure, and after seemingly finishing successfully, Val has her place the "Nanites" in a receptacle. When Nyssa and Seg go to rename their son Cor-Vex to "Cor-El", the hologram interjects, saying that a new El typically takes the first name of an El ancestor, and he suggests Val's father Jor-El as a good candidate. Nyssa agrees, and so Seg officially renames Cor-Vex to Jor-El. After Seg changes into new attire, an alarm goes off, and the hologram of Val-El reports that Brainiac's Nanites are "gone".
The real Val-El on Wegthor then receives Kem and Adam, bringing the surrendered Sagitari unit without a single casualty. With the unit having been starved, stellarium-addled, and abandoned by General Zod, they quickly submitted and were given help by the Resistance. Val, impressed, congratulates Kem on a job well done.
Back to the hologram Val-El, the hologram fails to detect Brainiac despite searching the Fortress of Solitude three times. He even searches Nyssa and Jor-El, finding nothing, until he glitches out and reforms as Brainiac; the hologram is dead, and Brainiac now controls the Fortress systems.
Following his apparent death, Seg discovered a hologram of his grandfather after he uses his own blood to activate a console bearing the El sigil inside the Fortress of Solitude.
Val was freed from the Phantom Zone when Seg activated the Phantom Zone Projector within the Fortress of Solitude.
Val is seen to be an incredibly gifted scientist with a great love for his family. Knowing the government would go after him for his beliefs about Brainiac, he safe-guarded his work to ensure Daron-Vex couldn't get his hands on the information. Val adores his grandson and advised Seg via a holographic projection of himself when it was believed he was dead.
Val is also seen to be wise and kind to Seg's friends, namingly Adam whom he tries to help after Seg rejects his help when Adam is forced to reveal that he didn't know the whole story surrounding Val's great-great grandson, Kal-El. He also has a close bond with Seg's best friend, Kem whom he allows to lead a mission to find a group of missing Sagatari.
In the six months following Seg's disappearance into the Phantom Zone, Val welcomed Nyssa into the family as she was the mother of his great-grandson, Jor-El (originally Cor-Vex). He comes to see her as the granddaughter he never had. It's shown he greatly cares for her and the infant as he appears worried when Mama Zed returns without Nyssa and Jor and is the first to ask where they are. He also hugs Nyssa when she returns as Zod's pawn to Wegthor. He comforts her after she tells him and Jax what Zod wants her to do in order to get her baby back.
What's more is Val was also fond of his protégé, Sela-Sonn who later became Jax-Ur and saw her as a daughter.
- Genius-level intelligence: At one point, Val-El was Krypton's greatest scientific mind, who had accomplished much in his life. He took measures to safeguard his work, and discovered an alien presence he believed was consuming other worlds and would someday come for Krypton. According to Daron-Vex, Val-El once developed a highly advanced computer system, the technology through which he detected the presence many millions of light-years away. He also said Val-El could have gone on to achieve so much more for the Kryptonians and his legacy could have lived on forever; he could have been immortalized. Val-El created a computer program of himself in the form of a holographic projection because he suspected his enemies were coming for him and he felt a responsibility to guide and educate his grandson. He also created the technology that allowed him to enter the interdimensional realm which lay beyond the normal space-time continuum. He used the prototype to travel throughout space, where he found entire galaxies, swarming with intelligent life, all under threat by a barbarous creature moving unchecked throughout the universe, devouring the civilizations one by one.
- "House of El" (hologram)
- "The Rankless Initiative" (hologram)
- "The Word of Rao" (hologram)
- "House of Zod" (hologram)
- "Civil Wars" (hologram)
- "Transformation" (hologram)
- "Savage Night" (hologram)
- "Hope" (hologram)
- "The Phantom Zone"
- "Light-Years From Home"
- "Ghost In The Fire"
- "Will To Power"
- "Danger Close"
- "A Better Yesterday"
- "In Zod We Trust"
- "Zods and Monsters"
- Goyer, David S. & Welsh, Cameron (writers), Roskin, Marc (director) (June 12, 2019). "Light-Years From Home". Krypton. Season 2. Episode 1. Syfy.
- Horne, Kiersten Van (writer), Roskin, Marc (director) (June 19, 2019). "Ghost In The Fire". Krypton. Season 2. Episode 2. Syfy.
- Patel, Lina (writer), Ramsay, Julius (director) (June 26, 2019). "Will To Power". Krypton. Season 2. Episode 3. Syfy.
- Tucker, Nadria (writer), Hüseyin, Metin (director) (July 17, 2019). "In Zod We Trust". Krypton. Season 2. Episode 6. Syfy.
- Kalteux, Luke (writer), Ramsay, Julius (director) (July 3, 2019). "Danger Close". Krypton. Season 2. Episode 4. Syfy.
- David Kob (writer), Hüseyin, Metin (director) (July 10, 2019). "A Better Yesterday". Krypton. Season 2. Episode 5. Syfy.
- Thompson, Joel Anderson (writer), Watson, Erica (director) (July 24, 2019). "Zods and Monsters". Krypton. Season 2. Episode 7. Syfy.
- Welsh, Cameron (writer) & Donnelly, Ciaran (director) (March 28, 2018). "House of El". Krypton. Season 1. Episode 2. Syfy.