Faora in Action Comics #472 (June 1977)
Action Comics #471, May 1977
|Created by||Cary Bates
|Full name||Faora Hu-Ul
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Faora is the name of several fictional female supervillains appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Superman. All of them 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.
The first Faora, Faora Hu-Ul, was introduced in Action Comics #471. She was a beautiful Kryptonian woman whose unexplained hatred for men led her to torture and kill 23 men in a 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. This allowed her to survive her homeworld's destruction, along with the other Phantom Zone prisoners, albeit in an invisible ghostlike form. While imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, she was often depicted plotting against Superman with General Zod and Jax-Ur. Her hatred of men was not limited to Kryptonians, as demonstrated by her pointless murder of a young Frenchman who was attracted by her beauty.
Faora was an expert at the Kryptonian martial art of Horo-Kanu, which utilized the pressure points on the Kryptonian body. This made her an extremely dangerous foe for Superman to face in hand-to-hand combat-—he was forced to flee from their first encounter. During one of her first appearances, Faora could manifest some sort of "mental lightning" to physically attack other Kryptonians, but did not exhibit this additional power during later appearances.
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 sexual favors, before she succumbed to the kryptonite.
In the Eradicator mini-series, the Eradicator was pressured into embracing his programming by another construct of Kem-L's. 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 rejected Faora, "downloading" all the aspects of Kem-L's programming that contradicted Dr. David Conner's morality into the Faora program. Unknown to him, this gave it a new, monstrous form and the ability to leave the Zone, and it targeted Conner's family. The Eradicator destroyed it, but not before it killed Conner's wife.
Another Faora was introduced as one of the aides of General Zod of the fictional nation of Pokolistan. This character, who debuted in Action Comics #779 (July 2001), was an orphan metahuman. Faora has the ability to disrupt molecular bonds. She was the creator of the mutagenic virus which was the linchpin of Zod's 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.
Like all Kryptonians, Faora possesses superhuman abilities derived from the yellow solar radiation of the sun of Earth's solar system. Her basic abilities are superhuman strength, superhuman speed and superhuman stamina sufficient to bend steel in her bare hands, overpower a locomotive, leap over a tall building in a single bound and outrun a speeding bullet. She possesses heightened senses of hearing and sight including X-ray vision as well as telescopic and microscopic vision; virtual invulnerability; accelerated healing; longevity; powerful freezing breath; heat vision; and flight.
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.
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