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DC Tuesdays: A traveler's guide to the cities of Krypton

Contributed by
Apr 10, 2018

Located in the red-sunned Rao System of the Andromeda Galaxy, Superman's home planet of Krypton is a hostile and diverse world of exotic flora and fauna, breathtaking natural wonders, and odd atmospheric anomalies.

Besides the domed capital city of Kandor and its splendid spires and futuristic skyscrapers, the doomed astral body also contains a wide variety of other notable city-states and thriving communities sprinkled throughout its oceans and continents.

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Thinking of time-traveling back before the big boom to see the sights? Here's our handy unauthorized introduction to the magnificent cities and important settlements of Krypton, no fancy GPS required.

Got your intergalactic passport and sensible walking shoes on? Let's head off into the great dark beyond and may Rao be our guide!

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KRYPTONOPOLIS

Hey, I didn't name it! Yes, there really is a Kryptonopolis on Krypton and it's where Kal-El was born. Think of it as a more advanced iteration of say Minneapolis or Metropolis, but with cooler architecture. Located on the major continent of Lurvan, Kryptonopolis became the capital city of Krypton by default, following the abduction and unfortunate bottling of Krypton's former capital, Kandor, by the planet-collecting fiend, Brainiac. Superman's parents, Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van lived in the fashionable sectors of downtown Kryptonopolis. Its first appearance in comics came in the pages of Superman #155 in February of 1963.

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ARGO CITY

Okay, this one is slightly strange, but it all ties in with Superman’s blonde-haired cousin, Kara Zor-El, AKA Supergirl! Argo City was also located on Lurvan and was one of the principal city-states along with Kandor and Kryptonopolis. A giant chunk of Lurvan split off from the rest of the planet as Krypton exploded, punching through the atmosphere and keeping a segment of its gravity and atmosphere intact. For 15 years, Argo City floated through space until Kryptonite deposits burst up through its surface, requiring a scientist named Zor-El to create a lead shielding to protect citizens from its radiation. When Argo City drifted through a meteor storm years later, the shield failed, wiping out most of its population. Zor-El and his wife, Alura, put their child, Kara, inside of a tiny spaceship and shot her into outer space, where she eventually landed on our Earth.

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XAN CITY

One of the oldest cities on the Kryptonian continent of Urrika, Xan has a turbulent history, as it became entangled in an inevitable military conflict with its hostile neighbor, the city-state of Erkol. This war lasted more than 200 years, with the brutal Xan warlords claiming victory over Erkol and killing thousands of its citizens. But the Erkol armies regrouped and launched a counter-attack against Xan that completely obliterated it. Xan first appeared in Krypton Chronicles #1 from September of 1981.

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ERKOL

Errol was the most ancient city on all of Krypton and located on the continent of Urrika. It was destroyed twice, the first time in a 200-year war with its neighboring city-state, Xan. After being rebuilt from its ashes many times, it was finally put to death with Krypton’s ultimate destruction. During the Last War in Kryptonian history, Erkol warlords launched a sneak attack on Kandor. Bad idea! Kandorian military leaders struck back with four Disintegrator spheres and programmed them to blast separate Urrika cities, including Erkol. The city-state was also home to the addictive illegal plant, Hellblossom.

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VATHLO ISLAND

For lack of a better definition, Vathlo Island is like the Africa of Krypton, with a predominantly black society and culture. Black Kryptonians were initially shown in Superman #234 from 1971, with the large island itself displayed on a map in Superman #239. This highly-advanced independent city-state retained its freedom from the rest of Krypton's planetary federation, but maintained good diplomatic relations. It took 33 years for comic writers to reveal that Superman's home world was not just inhabited by elitist white humans, which was more an error of omission for the times than any sort of racist admission. Still, it's an area destined to be explored further.

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BOKOS ISLAND

This independent nation of ex-convicts across the Dandahu Ocean from Erkol was also called the Island of Thieves. It was a refuge for a collection of criminals such as Az-Rel, Bar-Nes, Ta-Tem, and the telekinetic Nadira. Known to have outlawed honesty and legalized certain acts deemed crimes elsewhere, Bokos never joined the planetary federation, and remained independent until Krypton explodes. It was first written about in World's Finest #191 from 1970.

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ANTARCTIC CITY

Antarctic City is a city carved into the ice on the frozen Antarctic Continent of the planet. Kryptonians were renowned for their love of exploration and braved their hostile homeworld by creating the dazzling splendor of an entire domed city in the frigid wastelands of Krypton's chilly polar region.

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