The Plague
General Information
Official name: The Plague
First Appearance: Superman: Man of Steel Annual Vol 1 3
Type: Disease
Used by: Kryptonians



The Plague was a deadly microbe disease that inflicted the planet Krypton as a result of certian biological tactics that were employed in the devastating planetary conflict known as the Clone Wars in planets ancient past. As a result of that war, every Kryptonian was infected by the microbe whose effects were deadly and meant that continued existence on the planet was doomed as the world itself was now killing them. These findings were discovered by Jor-El who brought them before the Council of Elders who believed his report. However, by this point, it was too late to save the entire population and thus a consensus was achieved were only a percentage of Krypton would survive the biological disaster. Through university scoring, a mere 100,000 were selected to be placed onboard starships that would abandon their homeworld and leave behind their great civilization in order to settle on a single unique world that would contain the correct chemical composition to allow them to fight off the disease. Due to the scientific method of selection, none of the fetuses developing within the Gestation Banks were selected for the "Great Landing". However, in a moment of uncharacteristically displayed emotion, Jor-El decided to journey to the Gestation Banks and retrieve his son Kal-El thus allowing the child to be born. Due to Jor-El's own studies of the Plague, he already possessed the appropriate knowledge to genetically engineer his son's genome pattern to remove the microbe from his system. Afterwards, the people of Krypton their world as a ghost planet that was the reminder of a dead race.


Their exodus eventually took them across the stars where they settled on the planet Earth which was deemed perfect for their survival. In addition, they discovered that the systems yellow sun empowered them with near god-like abilities whereupon they used their science to dissolve the governments of Earth and disarm the human race as any other option was deemed to had created an unproductive state of hostilities between Kryptonians and Terrans. After removing their armies and curing them of their diseases, they became the leaders of the planet Earth that was now home to their civilization. However, unknown to many, the genetic fault caused by the Plague still resided within their bodies. In order to rectify this problem, they established a Climate Purification Plant on Orchard Island. In secret, Jor-El had created the facility to seed antibodies into the atmosphere that would serve as protection for his species bodies and were created to arrest the disease from spreading. Thus, effectively, it served as an antidote and so long as it continued to be produced - the Kryptonians were free from falling victim to the Plague. In order to safeguard themselves, Jor-El removed the original plans for the Orchard Island facility from the Ultranet to prevent their enemies from finding out the truth as the destruction of the Climate Purification Plant would spell the doom of their race. This was because if the facility was destroyed, a chain reaction would start that could not stop the genetic fault from re-asserting itself even if the plant was repaired.

The truth of Orchard Island was discovered by Bruce Wayne; the seemingly mad Terran who went by the name of Batman. This led to him constantly attacking the plant by the time of the 23rd year of the Kryptonian occupation where he was constantly apprehended by Team Luthor of the Terran Security Forces. Eventually, the grown up Kal-El became curious about why the human kept attacking the facility and discovered that there were plans missing from the Ultranet. When Batman was killed by Lex Luthor, Kal-El adopted the name of a masked superhero called Superman in order to fight off what he believed was his peoples tyranny of the planet and thus would aid Lois Lane of the Free Earth Movement. Travelling to the Batcave and with the assistance of Wayne's former butler Alfred, he learnt the truth of the Purification Plant. Thus, Kal-El debated on destroying the facility which would free Earth but doom his people. After defeating his father Jor-El who was angered by his sons actions, Kal-El decided to destroy the facility where he was met by Lex Luthor. Luthor, however, had an advantage as he used Kryptonite to weaken Superman and was about to kill him until Lois Lane arrived. During the fight, a deflected blast from Luthor struck the ceiling and brought it down him thus killing him. However, Superman decided not to destroy the facility but instead fight the conventional war against his people in order to free the planet Earth without committing genocide.


  • The Plague features only in the Elseworlds continuity in "Unforgiven" and is not part of the New Earth universe.
  • This disease does not receive a formal name within the comic though one panel has Kal-El comment that some people called it "The Plague".


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