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Kal-El (Smallville)

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I am Kal-El of Krypton. It is time to fulfill my destiny.
~ Kal-El

Kal-El is a minor antagonist who appeared on the WB/CW television series Smallville. He is Clark's cold and ruthless Kryptonian counterpart, created when Clark was abducted and brainwashed by Jor-El.

Like his normal counterpart, he is portrayed by Tom Welling.


Like his "father" Jor-El, Kal-El isn't necessarily evil; just uncaring, cold and ruthless. Unlike Clark, Kal-El is void of emotion, fully skilled in the use of his powers, and obsessed with finding the Stones of Power.

Though he hasn't been shown to kill anybody, Kal-El did rip off the door of Lex Luthor's airplane, clearly not intent on rescuing him.


In the Season 3 finale "Covenant," Jor-El coerces Clark into entering a portal by threatening to kill his adoptive father Jonathan Kent; Clark thus surrenders to Jor-El to save Jonathan and is absorbed into the portal. The episode ends with Clark imprisoned inside a cocoon of energy floating in an unknown void as Jor-El announces that he shall be "reborn."

In the next episode "Crusade" (the Season 4 premiere), set three months after the events of "Covenant," an amnesiac Clark is returned to Smallville, where he is found in a cornfield by Lois Lane and brought to the Smallville Medical Center. Clark is later spotted by his adoptive mother Martha Kent, who brings him home to the Kent Farm, where she shows him around his loft, hoping to jog his memory. Clark only remembers being in a place he states felt like home, then recognizes a photo of Jonathan but coldly says that Jonathan was trying to stop him from being reborn and exits the barn.

Moments later, Clark hears a high-pitched tone emanating from one of the Stones of Power recently unearthed in Egypt by Lex. Once the noise stops, he announces to Martha that he is Kal-El of Krypton and that it is time to fulfill his destiny. When Martha claims that Jor-El is controlling him and demands that Jor-El return Clark, Kal-El insists that "Clark Kent is dead" and then takes flight.

Kal-El flies to Lex's jet and rips the door off the plane, causing turbulence. Once aboard the jet, he telekinetically summons the Kryptonian stone to his hand and departs just before Lex tries to catch a glimpse of the intruder.

Kal-El then heads to the Kawatche Caves, where he opens a hidden chamber containing an altar with Kryptonian symbols. He places the stone on the altar and exits the chamber, only to then be confronted by Martha. Kal-El advances on Martha, who slams a piece of Black Kryptonite onto his chest, causing him to split into two beings: Clark and Kal-El.

Kal-El grabs Clark by his neck and tells him that his humanity has made him weak. Clark yells for his mother, who tosses him the Black Kryptonite, which he then uses to apparently destroy Kal-El and thereby restore himself to normal.

Powers and Abilities

Being completely rid and void of any ambition and focus on everything except to fulfill his destiny, Kal-El possesses powers that far dwarfs and overshadows Clark's at season four, to at least Season 7.

  • Solar battery: Kal-El's abilities are nourished by the yellow sun. [citation needed] Kal-El power

Kal-El overpowers Clark.

  • Super strength: Kal-El possesses boundless strength being excessively way more powerful than Clark. He tore off a plane door off its hinges with one hand.
  • Super speed: Kal-El can most likely reach speeds that Clark couldn't even dream of.
  • Flight: Kal-El can fly at insane velocities, able to reach altitudes that far exceed 20,000 feet.
  • Telekinesis: Kal-El can call Kryptonian objects to him.
  • Super stamina: Kal-El may not be able to tire under normal circumstances.
  • Super breathing: Kal-El could function in space.

Kal-El did not demonstrate heat vision, X-ray vision, super hearing, super breath, Arctic breath, telescopic vision or micro vision, but he most likely could have used them perfectly if he wanted to.


Kal-El is most likely to have the same vulnerabilities as Clark Kent and other Kryptonians, though he did not display any.

  • Green kryptonite: Even though it was not shown, Kal-El was vulnerable to green kryptonite.
  • Blue kryptonite: Blue kryptonite can strip Kal-El of his abilities.
  • Black kryptonite: was able to restore the balance between Kal-El and Clark Kent.
  • Kryptonian dagger: A dagger of Kryptonian can kill Kal-El.
  • Doomsday: Doomsday can simply and effortlessly slaughter Kal-El.


  • Kal means "child" and El means "star" in the Kryptonian dialect. In Kryptonian language, the family name is spoken first and the given name next when the meaning of the name is expressed. Hence, Kal-El means "star child." The name was suggested to Lara by Kara while they were visiting the Kent Farm before the first meteor shower.
    • With the help of Dr. Virgil Swann, Clark learned that his birth name was "Kal-El." He has been referred to as "Kal-El" by Dr. Swann, Lionel Luthor, Jonathan Kent, Jor-El, Zor-El, Lara, Kara, the Disciples of Zod, Brainiac, General Zod, Raya, Bizarro, Baern, Titan, Martian Manhunter, Chloe Sullivan, Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, Faora, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Tess Mercer, Alia, Major Zod, Carter Hall and Lois Lane.
    • Clark has introduced himself as "Kal-El" to the Disciples of Zod, Lara, Martha Kent, Dax-Ur and Linda Danvers (the alternate universe version of his cousin Kara).
  • Clark Kent is the first person on the show to be split by black kryptonite.
  • Kal-El has the same mark on his chest that Clark had in season 2 of Smallville.

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