Jax-Ur Publication information Publisher DC Comics First appearance Adventure Comics #289 (October 1961) Created by Otto Binder
In-story information Place of origin Krypton Abilities Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, invulnerability, flight, super breath, freeze breath, super hearing, multiple extrasensory and vision powers, and heat vision.
Post-Crisis: Genius in xenobiology/genetics
Fictional character biography
Jax-Ur was an amoral and criminally deviant scientist on the planet Krypton. He was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone for destroying Wegthor, an inhabited moon of Krypton (population: 500), while experimenting with a nuclear warhead-equipped rocket. His sentence for his act of mass murder was imprisonment for eternity. He called himself "the worst criminal in the Phantom Zone". Jax-Ur was bald, chubby and had a thin mustache.
Jax-Ur's intention was to launch a nuclear missile to destroy a passing space rock. If this test proved successful, Jax-Ur would then commence the build-up of a massive, privately-held nuclear arsenal with which he would overthrow the Kryptonian government, and place the entire planet under his dominion. In the World of Krypton miniseries, his missile collided with a spaceship piloted by Superman's father Jor-El and went off-course to destroy Wegthor. Because of this, space travel was forbidden on Krypton.
In his first appearance, Jax-Ur escaped from the Phantom Zone and posed as a super-powered version of Jonathan Kent. Superboy eventually sent Jax-Ur back to the Phantom Zone. Most of his later Silver Age appearances show him in his ghostly Phantom Zone form, except during rare escapes. He was often depicted plotting against Superman with fellow Phantom Zone inmates General Zod and Faora Hu-Ul. Although he possessed typical Kryptonian super-powers when on Earth, the out-of-shape Jax-Ur was no match for Superman in combat.
Jax-Ur would later redeem himself somewhat by helping Superman defeat Black Zero, the alien saboteur who ensured Krypton's destruction under the orders of the Pirate Empire. It is shown he has a code of honour, as Kryptonian criminals swear by a master criminal who escaped a prison to help each other. Struck by a Red Kryptonite bullet that Black Zero had created, Jax-Ur began mutating through a series of serpentine forms, until he became a Medusa-like creature, and turned Black Zero to stone with his gaze before the villain could destroy Metropolis in revenge for Superman foiling his plan to destroy Earth. Jax-Ur then shattered Black Zero's body, avenging Krypton, and willingly returned to the Phantom Zone.
Jax-Ur did not appear after the Crisis on Infinite Earths for some time, as until the recent appearance of Supergirl there was a rule that no Kryptonians survived except Superman. On the occasions that a pseudo-Kryptonian villain was required, writers have usually gone for General Zod. At that time however, Jax-Ur's name was referenced in Superman: The Essential Guide to the Man of Steel, suggesting he may have indeed existed but presumably had died either before or during Krypton's destruction since the Phantom Zone was used as storage rather than a prison.
Jax-Ur's first post-Crisis appearance is in Action Comics #846, written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner. He is one of the criminals unleashed from the Phantom Zone by Zod. In the current continuity, Jax-Ur destroyed Krypton's moon during an attempt at interstellar space travel. When the moon was destroyed, a lunar colony of Kandor was lost as well, drawing the attention of the Coluan villain Brainiac to Kandor.
Jax-Ur reappears in Action Comics #875, as one of General Zod's "sleeper Kryptonians", who have adopted human identities to help further Zod's goals on Earth. He is using the cover of Dr. Pillings, and works for S.T.A.R. Labs as one of the world's top xenobiologists, while secretly conducting his own gruesome studies on Earth's lifeforms, as well as researching Kryptonian DNA to find links to the Flamebird and Nightwing entities. While in his "Dr. Pillings" identity he's tasked by the female Doctor Light to research about Nightwing accelerated aging. He manages to build a device tailored to regulate his growth and stimulate his solar-powered healing factor to reverse the body damage brought by his condition, but at the cost of some DNA taken from Flamebird.
Jax-Ur is featured as a symbol and martyr for Anti-Phantom Zone protesters who assault Kara Zor-El in the Superman story "For the Man Who Has Everything", written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.
In other media
- Jax-Ur appeared in Superman: The Animated Series, where he was voiced by Ron Perlman. He was portrayed as similar to General Zod; a military genius who had attempted to overthrow the Science Council. His co-conspirator, and possible lover, is a beautiful Kryptonian female with long white hair named Mala (based on Ursa and Faora but named for a male Kryptonian from the comics). His proper title is General Jax-Ur. During Jax-Ur and Mala's last appearance on Superman: The Animated Series, General Jax-Ur reveals to Superman that a rift into the Phantom Zone had been torn open, releasing them into space. They were saved by nearby voyagers and soon took control over their planet. Upon seizing control of the planet, they had the inhabitants rebuild everything so that it was very reminiscent of Krypton, even going so far as to make the inhabitants wear clothes similar to that of Kryptonians. After meeting with a rebel, Superman found out that Jax-Ur and Mala intended to invade Earth. After Superman battled in space with the pair, Jax-Ur and Mala were sucked into a black hole and are likely dead. However since they did not die on-screen that remains unconfirmed and debatable.
- On the TV series Smallville, Dax-Ur (portrayed by Marc McClure, who had previously portrayed Jimmy Olsen in the Superman films), a Kryptonian scientist, has lived as a human on Earth for 100 years using Blue Kryptonite. He created Brainiac and regretted it. He gives Clark Kent blue kryptonite to help Clark defeat Bizarro. Brainiac uses Dax-Ur to restore his powers, then kills him in the episode "Persona". Fans of the show have supported the theory Dax is supposed to be Jax-Ur's brother.
The Man of Steel
Rumors have it that Jax Ur will be in the 2012 movie as one of Zod's scientists.
- Jax-Ur and Mala were featured in a two part story from Superman Adventures #7-8, where they initially had been shrunken down as a new type of imprisonment. However, Jax-Ur managed to steal Hamilton's device and turn himself into a giant and shrink Superman, but in the end they were both shrunken down and captured again. In Superman Adventures #21, he and Mala joined the Argosian criminal General Zod, giving Jax-Ur the position as the 'strongman' of the trio, much like Non and Quex-Ul.
- In the novel "The Last Days of Krypton," by Kevin Anderson, Jax-ur is a historical villain from krypton's past. He tried to take over the world and destoyed Krypton's moon, Koron, using a nuclear-like weapon called a "nova javelin." In this verson Jax-Ur is not sent to the phantom zone but he is defeated by a coalition called "the seven armies," led by Sor-El, ancestor to Jor-El.
- Jax-Ur and Mala also appeared in the Justice League Unlimited comic book spin-off, in issue #34 as parts of General Zod's army of Phantom Zone criminals placed in the Phantom Zone for insurrection against the Kryptonian council, although neither of the two had any dialogue.
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