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"A good death is its own reward."
―Faora-Ul[src]

Faora-Ul is an infamous Kryptonian war criminal and Sub-commander of the Sword of Rao, serving as second-in-command to General Zod, and was one of the first great enemies of the hero Superman.

Together with Zod, Faora attempted to re-establish Krypton on Earth by bringing about a terraformation apocalypse, but she was ultimately defeated by and re-imprisoned in the Phantom Zone.

Biography

Early life

Faora was born on the distant planet Krypton, genetically engineered into the Kryptonian Warrior Guild as a soldier and protector of Krypton. She was fiercely dedicated, answering only to General Zod, and would soon be known as the "Tigress of Zod", inducing Faora to be feared throughout all of Krypton for her ferocity and bloodthirst.[1]

Kryptonian Civil War

Zod's coup

Faora at Zod's side during the coup.

Alongside General Zod, Faora joined the radical Sword of Rao, and conspired a coup d’état on the planet Krypton, supplanting the ruling Kryptonian Law Council. The Sword of Rao attempted to overthrow the Council and start anew by extinguishing the “unworthy” lineages that had led Krypton and its people to the edge of annihilation. They attacked the Legislation Chamber, where scientist Jor-El was in council with him informing them Krypton was lost and that they had to abandon their planet. Faora threw council members on the floor on Zod’s orders, starting with Lor-Em.

As General Zod had Jor-El arrested, Faora and Zod's other loyalists too away the former council members, intending to later execute them. Jor-El escaped, however, stole the Growth Codex, and returned to his home, the House of El Citadel. Faora then helped Zod chase Jor-El to the Citadel in pursuit. Upon arriving, General Zod engaged Jor-El in combat, killing him, while Jor's wife Lara launched the Growth Codex off inside their infant son’s starship. The Sapphire Guards forces arrived shortly thereafter and arrested Zod, Faora and the rest of the Sword of Rao

Escape

"Shall I tell the General you're unwilling to comply?"
―Faora to Nathan Hardy[src]
Zod and Faora observe the destruction of Krypton

Faora and Zod observe the remains of Krypton.

Sometime later, Faora and the rest of the Sword of Rao were brought before the now free Kryptonian Law Council. For the crimes of murder and high treason, High Eminence Lor-Em sentenced all of them to 300 cycles of somatic reconditioning inside the Phantom Zone, on board the prison starship Black Zero. They hence were forcibly boarded onto the ship and traveled through the Phantom Zone Projector to their fate. However, Krypton would explode shortly thereafter, with the explosion releasing the Black Zero from the Phantom Zone, leaving Faora, her allies and Kal-El the only Kryptonian survivors. Faora, devastated that her world had blown up (to the point of her uncharacteristically shedding tears), followed her General's plans to find fellow survivors, the Growth Codex, and a new planet (suitable for terraforming into New Krypton).

After Kal-El, now grown up, activated a thousand-year-old Scout Ship it sent a signal throughout space which Black Zero picked up. Knowing they had located Kal-El and the growth codex, they set course for Earth. After Zod sent a message across Earth requesting Kal-El be handed over, Zod sent Faora in a Dropship to pick him up and also the human Lois Lane. Faora fitted Lois with one of their visors so that she would be able to breathe on board the Black Zero. The atmosphere aboard their ship disrupted Kal's powers and he was strapped down and both were subjected to mental torture and probing trying to find the Codex. Lois had without knowing brought aboard Jor-El's AI hologram which helped Lois escape and change the atmosphere aboard the ship.

Showdown in Smallville

"You are weak, son of El, unsure of yourself."
―Faora to Superman[src]
Faora and Kal-El's ship

Faora searching for the Growth Codex.

General Zod had rounded up his troops and went to Earth. Landing at the Kent's farm to confront Martha Kent, Faora picked her up off the ground, demanding Martha reveal the location of Kal-El's ship, to which she glanced at the barn adjacent to the house. Releasing her, Faora leaped through the building's roof, crashing into the cellar beneath the barn's floor where she found Kal's ship hidden. Plunging her hand into the vessel's hatch, she opened the pod and reported back to Zod, explaining that the Codex wasn't there. At the same time, Superman returned and tackled General Zod, flying away, with Faora and Nam-Ek in pursuit.

Catching up to the two, Faora found that Superman had severely damaged Zod's Breather, which exposed him to the atmosphere of Earth, disorienting and leaving the General defenseless. After calling a transport for Zod, Faora and Nam-Ek engaged Superman, where the two quickly outmatched Kal-El with their experience and coordinated assault, battering and tossing the young Kryptonian throughout the town. Shortly after their fight began, the military intervened and Nam-Ek dealt with them, Faora tackled Kal-El herself proving her vast fighting experience by easily beating him at the start, though he eventually overpowers her and Nam-Ek due to him having powers not yet obtained by either of them. When a missile hit her, it broke Faora's visor and she and Nam-Ek retreated after being picked up in a Dropship.

Black Zero Event

"A good death is its own reward."
Colonel Hardy to Faora[src]
Faora boards the C-17

Faora boards the C-17.

General Zod recovered aboard his ship and commanded them to release the World Engine and send the Black Zero to Metropolis where its initiates the gravity beam as Zod goes to retrieve the Scout Ship, which signal brought them to Earth. Faora commands the troops, and soon General Zod returns with the ship as does Kal-El, after destroying the World Engine. Earth military forces begin to attack Black Zero to which Faora begins to deal with them. Aboard a C-17 piloted by Hardy, they have Kal-El's ship and after throwing Lois out of the plane and killing 2 military personnel, Hardy flies the plane directly at Black Zero.

Before Faora can get to Hardy, the plane has hit and the Phantom Drive from Kal-El's ship colliding against Black Zero's creates a Phantom Zone energy singularity that begins to suck everything in it's path (including Faora, Nam-Ek, Tor-An, Jax-Ur, Car-Vex, Nadira and Gor) inwards, back into the Phantom Zone.

Personality

"You are weak, Son of El, unsure of yourself. The fact that you possess a sense of morality, and we do not, gives us an evolutionary advantage. And if history has proven anything, it is that evolution always wins."
―Faora[src]
Faora evolution always wins

Faora, mocking Superman's inexperience

Genetically engineered to serve the Kryptonian Warrior Guild, Faora was a fierce, ruthless Kryptonian warrior driven primarily by the sadistic pleasure of killing, said to be genetically incapable of feeling empathy toward her enemies.[2] She promised Superman that for every human life he managed to save from the Sword of Rao, that she would see to it that they would kill a million more. As a result, she was known and feared throughout Krypton as the infamous “Tigress of Zod"[2].

Ironically, while sadistic and bloodthirsty, she shows little to no emotion when killing humans, though this is most likely because Faora is very unimpressed by the relative weakness of humans, and finds killing them to be far too easy to be considered a feat worthy of savoring. However, she notably seems to gloat before attempting to kill Colonel Nathan Hardy, claiming that a "good death" (his at her hands) is "its own reward."

Faora is also quite vain and fully aware of her exceptional skills, as she is quick to mock the naturally born Kryptonian Superman for his lack of combat skill and sense of morality, since she believes that the latter trait, in particular, makes him weak and unconfident, giving the genetically engineered Faora an "evolutionary advantage" over him. Hence, this great amount of confidence in her own abilities allowed Faora to reach her full potential as soon as she was exposed to Earth's yellow sun, and not experience the weakness of mental power suppression. However, she could at times be overconfident, which allowed Superman to ultimately defeat Faora, by catching her off-guard and promptly exploiting her temporary weakness of overloaded senses.

Faora weeps over Krypton

Faora weeps over Krypton.

However, while the thinking boundaries programmed into Faora's engineered DNA did allow her to be an extremely formidable warrior and leader, they also induced Faora to have a poor grasp at free will. Indeed, Faora is often prone to dogmatic tunnel vision and is utterly unable to live out any lifestyle other than the one that she was born for. As a result, she was unable to diplomatically coexist with humanity (like Superman could), or to account for Superman's innovative combat strategy (of effectively using all of the powers that Faora had not yet gained, as well as Faora's weaknesses, against her), which (in addition to her overconfidence) is ultimately what allowed the free-willed Superman to overpower Faora, despite being a far less skilled combatant.

Notably however, despite her malevolence, sadism, ruthlessness and utter disregard for weaker races (such as humans), Faora, much like General Zod, had a great patriotic love for her native planet of Krypton, and uncharacteristically shed tears after witnessing its destruction.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Kryptonian Physiology: As a Kryptonian, Faora's bone structure is almost identical to that of a human. On a planet near a red class M main-sequence star (like Krypton with its sun Rao), Faora would have physical attributes nearly identical to those of humans, but if on a planet near a yellow G-type main-sequence star (like Earth), she has many new abilities and powers, all of them far beyond the capabilities of humans and even metahumans, making her appear godlike (indeed rivaling an Old God in power). Due to Faora's ruthlessness and complete lack of restraint, she never witheld her tremendous power, which initially allowed her to swiftly overpower Superman (despite the latter's superior solar energy supply). However, Faora notably never did manage to master the powers of heat vision, X-ray vision, Arctic breath, and flight.
    • Superhuman Strength:
      ManOfSteel2013-FaoraChokesSuperman

      Faora, swiftly outmatching Kal-El.

      Faora has a tremendous level of superhuman strength, virtually incalculable, as she is able to carry millions of tons. She can generate large shock-waves with her mighty punches, she can effortlessly hurl cars and trucks great distances, shatter concrete, break through thick metal walls and doors with ease, effortlessly overpower numerous human soldiers, and fight evenly against fellow Kryptonian Superman. In fact, Faora was able to hurl him all the way to the other side of Smallville, while her mighty blows were powerful enough to send him flying and visibly hurt him, making him stagger and pant in pain. She was also able to grasp Superman by the neck hard enough to make the latter wince in pain. Together with Nam-Ek, Faora was also able to force Superman back down when the latter tried to fly up into the air.
      • Super Leaps: Faora is able to use her incredible strength to perform super jumps, shown when she leaped into the Kents' barn, and when she almost leaped onto a flying military jet (only to be stopped by Superman just in time).
    • Superhuman Stamina: Faora almost never grows tired if she is continuously powered by the yellow sun of Earth. She doesn't need to eat, sleep, or breathe. Hence, she ferociously battled with Superman and numerous human soldiers without ever needing to stop and catch her breath.
    • Superhuman Speed: Faora can run and react at incredible supersonic speeds. During her battle in Smallville, she was able to bring down numerous human soldiers before they could even react, and even land many blows onto the equally fast Superman in rapid succession, though the latter was more due to her far superior combat skills.
      • Superhuman Reflexes: Faora's speed seems to extend to her reflexes as well, since she manages to dodge a tackle from the equally fast Superman, and when he first attempted to engage her, Faora caught and deflected all of his blows with ease, countering just as fast.
    • Invulnerability: Faora's body is incredibly durable, virtually indestructible. Hence, she can withstand massive explosions, exposure to both temperature extremes, falls from great heights, high-caliber bullets, anti-tank depleted uranium rounds, Maverick missiles, plasma bolts from Kryptonian weaponry, Superman's heat vision attack (though it caused her burning pain) and even numerous mighty blows from fellow Kryptonian Superman, remaining unscathed. While Faora can be affected by the considerable force of powerful impacts, they only at most cause her to stumble and briefly knock her down, leaving her unscathed. The only known things capable of actually breaking through Faora's invulnerability and harming her are beings of comparable incalculable strength (such as other Kryptonians), as they are strong enough to physically break though her invulnerability.
      • Healing Factor: Faora, in the rare instances when she is hurt, is capable of healing at superhuman speeds, especially in direct sunlight. However, if the injuries are serious enough to instantly kill her, her healing factor will not be able to save Faora, much like how General Zod was killed after Superman broke his neck.
    • Superhuman Vision: Faora has superhuman eyesight far beyond that of humans. She possesses a superior sensory arrangement of telescopic, infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma ray visual capabilities. She can see the entire electromagnetic spectrum when she desires, through mental focus. However, when her visor first broke open, Faora was initially overwhelmed by her multiple spectrum vision.
      • X-ray Vision: Faora, when her visor first broke open, was initially overwhelmed by the sudden intensity of her X-ray vision (which enabled her to see through all objects and people), and was unable to control it. The only known materials known to be impenetrable to Faora's X-ray vision are lead, the force field of a Kryptonian Breather (when rendered opaque)[3], as well as the Kryptonian metal which the walls of the Fortress of Solitude were composed of[4].
    • Superhuman Hearing: Faora, when her visor first broke open, was initially overwhelmed by the sudden intensity of her hearing (which enabled her to simultaneously perceive numerous feeble and far noises very clearly, including both infrasound and ulrasound), and was unable to control it.
    • Longevity: Faora, as a Kryptonian under a yellow sun, has a lifespan far greater than that of a human. As such, she doesn't show signs of age as long as the yellow sun is there to empower her. Faora is unaffected by earthly diseases and draws energy from the sun to live, meaning that had Faora stayed on Earth, she would have effectively been an ageless immortal.

Abilities

  • Gifted Intelligence: Faora, while not on par with General Zod, Jor-El, or Jax-Ur, is quite intelligent, having attained the prestigious rank of Sub-Commander in the Kryptonian Warrior Guild prior to joining the Sword of Rao. Faora's intellect mainly extends to her leadership, intimidation, and other military skills, though the thinking boundaries programmed into Faora's engineered DNA occasionally make her imperfect in utilizing these skills.
  • Expert Leader:
    Faora in command

    Faora, temporarily taking over command from General Zod.

    Faora, as the Sub-Commander of the Sword of Rao and General Zod's second-in-command, is a highly skilled leader, to the point that Zod always trusted her to take his place of leadership when he was forced to attend to other business, such as in the Kryptonian Civil War, when Faora held off the Sapphire Guards' attacks (while Zod engaged Jor-El to get the Codex) and in the Black Zero Event, when Faora protected the Black Zero (while Zod searched for the Fortress of Solitude).
  • Multilingualism: Faora, apart from her native Kryptonian, was somehow able to quickly learn how to fluently understand and speak English (and possibly other Earth languages), as seen during her interactions with Superman, Lois Lane, General Swanwick, and Colonel Hardy.
  • Expert Combatant: Faora, as an illustrious member of the Kryptonian Warrior Guild, is a fierce and ruthless combatant, being extremely skilled in a vast array of Kryptonian martial arts, more so than even General Zod himself. Therefore, during the Kryptonian Civil War, Faora was known and feared throughout Krypton as the infamous "Tigress of Zod"[5] Hence, Faora easily gained the upper hand against Superman in a duel, and he was only able to defeat her by managing to break open her visor (and that only by catching her off-guard). Faora might also have some skill in wielding bladed weaponry, since she was about to attack Colonel Hardy with a Kryptonian combat knife. Hence, even without her powers, Faora is still extremely dangerous and absolutely lethal.
  • Indomitable Will: Faora, much like General Zod, has an immense determination and strength of will, which, in addition to her bloodlust, makes her an extremely formidable opponent, with Faora despising the mere idea of loosing a fight or battle[6]. As a result, it was only upon Zod's orders that she stood down and surrendered to the Sapphire Guards, as the Kryptonian Civil War was lost. Later however, when helpless and at the mercy of High Eminence Lor-Em, Faora stood in silent defiance while being frozen into a cryocapsule, expressing no remorse for her malevolent war crimes. Later, when defeated by Superman, Faora still refused to yield, defiantly proclaiming that she would see to it that millions of humans would be wiped out in retaliation.

Equipment

  • Battle armor:
    Faora in battle armor

    Faora, in battle armor, stepping out of her dropship after landing at Peterson Air Force Base to pick up Kal-El/Clark Kent.

    Faora, as a Warrior Guild member, was hardly ever seen not wearing a suit of extremely durable and fiercely intimidating Kryptonian battle armor, equipped with a Breather.

Weapons

Transport

  • Kryptonian dropship: Faora has her own personal Kryptonian dropship, in which she flies down to Earth from the Black Zero, first to collect the surrendered Superman, and then to interrogate Martha Kent.

Relationships

Allies

Enemies

Trivia

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC Comics universe, Faora has sometimes been depicted as the wife or lover of General Zod.
  • Diane Kruger, Rosamund Pike, Alice Eve and Lindsay Lohan were considered for the role of Faora before Antje Traue was cast.
  • Gal Gadot, who would later portray Wonder Woman, was offered the role of a villain in Man of Steel, presumed to be Faora, but turned it down due to pregnancy at the time.[7]

References

  1. Cox, Greg (2013). Man of Steel. Titan Books. ISBN 978-1781165997. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cox, Greg (2013). Man of Steel: The Official Movie Novelization. Titan Books. ISBN 978-1781165997. 
  3. Cox, Greg (2013). Man of Steel. Titan Books. ISBN 978-1781165997. 
  4. Cox, Greg (2013). Man of Steel. Titan Books. ISBN 978-1781165997. 
  5. Cox, Greg (2013). Man of Steel. Titan Books. ISBN 978-1781165997. 
  6. Cox, Greg (2013). Man of Steel. Titan Books. ISBN 978-1781165997. 
  7. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman because she turned down a major ‘Man of Steel’ role - Batman-News

External links