Mon-El

aka Valor

Created by Robert Bernstein and George Papp
By Fred Hembeck, from the Daily Planet feature (25 February 1980).
 

Mon-El is an "analog" character to Superboy, a "brother" from Daxam. That world also had a red sun, so Mon-El's powers were identical to Superboy's. The character was created in 1961 but based on a copied from a previous DC character called "Halk Kar," from 1953.

Across most of his incarnations, Mon-El was born in the 20th century, became deathly ill from lead poisoning, and was thus sent into the Phantom Zone for a thousand years. After a flurry of initial appearances, his story was linked up with the Legion of Super-Heroes.

His early life in the 20th century was largely ignored until the early 1990s, when his pre-Legion days were explored. He appeared in stints in L.E.G.I.O.N. and his own series, Valor.

Because of the character's ties to Superboy/Superman, his history tends to shift every time the DC universe undergoes a major continuity change. During the post-Crisis period from 1989–2004, the character was known as "Valor" instead, to eliminate the affiliation with the "El" (Superman) family name.

Some Legion creators like Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen have considered him an essential member while others like Mark Waid seem to have deprecated him because of his 'redundancy' with Superboy and/or Supergirl.

Mon-El was also a regular character on the Supergirl television show, played by Chris Wood from 2016–2021.

NAME:
Lar Gand of Daxam, alias Marvel Lad, Mon-El

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Eltro Gand (descendant cousin, deceased)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Superboy #89 (June 1961)

The Original Mon-El

Halk Kar

Superman jumps to the conclusion that Halk Kar is his big brother! From Superman #80 (Jan./Feb.1953); by Edmond Hamilton and Al Plastino.

Mon-El was a retread of another character, the adult Halk Kar, who appeared eight years before him, in Superman #80 (Jan./Feb.1953). This story was transparently recycled to create Mon-El, a tactic used frequently by DC's Superman group editor, Mort Weisinger (who apparently assumed that comic book readers did not stick around long enough to notice such things). Read about some other examples of "super-boys" and "super-men."

Like Mon-El, Halk Kar was from a world like Krypton. His was called Thoron, a planet in the same solar system as Krypton. Fate led him to make an emergency landing on Krypton, where he had met Jor-El (Superman's father). Jor-El used the technology that also sent his son Kal-El to Earth to upgrade Kar's ship. But as Kar's spaceship departed, shockwaves from Krypton's destruction knocked him into suspended animation. It arrived on Earth in the time of Superman.

Superman found a note from Jor-El and jumped to the conclusion that Halk Kar was his long-lost brother! Halk Kar eventually recovered his memories and began losing his powers in Earth's environment. Superman helped Kar prepare his ship for a trip home, and they never met again. (Superman #80)

Note: Because of its date of publication, some fans have called Halk Kar the "Earth-Two Mon-El." This is conjecture only, as the character never made any other appearances.

20th Century Adventures

From World of Krypton #3 (Sept. 1979); by Paul Kupperberg, Howard Chaykin and Frank Chiaramonte.
Superboy dares to hope that he's found a long-lost brother. From Superboy #89 (June 1961); by Robert Bernstein and George Papp.
Mon-El reaches out from the Phantom Zone to warn Superman. From Action Comics #284 (Jan. 1962); by Robert Bernstein, Curt Swan and George Klein.
Mon-El made a variety of early appearances across the Superman titles. From Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #33 (May 1962); art by Curt Swan and George Klein.
Mon-El makes a very rare exit from the Phantom Zone. From Adventure Comics #288 (May 1962); by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney.

Lar Gand was a 20th century space explorer who met Superboy when his ship crashed to Earth. Superboy saw that this alien boy had similar powers and theorized that he was his long lost brother; he dubbed him Mon-El for its family name and because it was a Monday.

Mon-El briefly moved into the Kents' home, adopting the identity of a traveling salesman, "Bob Cobb." Superboy got along well with Mon-El, but his time on Earth was cut short when his friend contracted lead poisoning. The illness jogged Mon-El's memory: he was from the planet Daxam, where exposure to lead was fatal. To save his life, Superboy projected Mon-El into the Phantom Zone until a cure could be found. Sadly, that would take a thousand years. (Superboy vol. 1 #89)

Superboy felt badly for Mon-El's situation. He was reminded of it soon after their first adventure when the Legion of Super-Heroes visited from the 30th century. The Legion brought a lens with them that would enable them to look into the Phantom Zone. But when they peered in, Mon-El interjected to warn Superboy that the Legionnaires were trying to release the criminals in the Phantom Zone! Naturally, the Legionnaires were revealed to have been acting under the influence of the evil Brain Globes of Rambat. (Adventure Comics #293)

Mon-El seemed relatively patient during his quarantine, and did what he could to help his friend from time to time. He was able to express himself through a medium and warn Superman of another escape attempt by the Phantom Zone criminals. (Action Comics #284)

Years later, after Superboy had become Superman, Mon-El met Lois Lane when she entered the Zone (Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #33), and he briefly risked leaving the Phantom Zone to aid Supergirl. (Action Comics #288) As Elastic Lad, Jimmy Olsen literally stretched himself into the Phantom Zone where he also met Mon-El. (Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #62)

From inside the Zone, Mon-El seemed able to communicate with psychic individuals. He encountered the Legion again when the group came to save Superman from dying. Mon-El gave their telepathic member, Saturn Girl, a clue that he was ailing from an undiscovered nugget of Kryptonite. (Superman vol. 1 #156)

The prisoners of the Phantom Zone eventually plotted a successful escape. They exchanged themselves with Superman, who was left inside the Zone with Mon-El. By this time, the Daxamite admitted, "sometimes I wonder if dying of my disease might not bring me more peace than this phantom existence." (The Phantom Zone #1–2)

30th Century

Mon-El as Marvel Lad, inventing the element that later powers the Legion flight rings. From Adventure Comics #305 (1963); art by John Forte.
monel
Eltro Gand, a lookalike cousin from Daxam, sacrifices his life to save Mon-El's. From Action Comics #384 (Jan. 1970); by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan and Jack Abel.
monel
Fighting off Validus. From Superboy #190 (1972); art by Dave Cockrum.
Mon-El is unprepared for the power of Darkseid. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 2 #292 (Oct. 1982); by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt.
Profile picture from Who's Who #16 (June 1986); art by Steve Lightle.

After a thousand years in the Phantom Zone, Mon-El found himself synchronous with the Legion of Super-Heroes, whom he had met in the 20th century. Saturn Girl had invented Serum XY-4, which ("by popular demand") allowed Mon-El to temporarily leave the Phantom Zone. Mon-El helped the Legion defeat Urthlo, an android built by Lex Luthor. He was granted honorary membership but was forced to return to the Zone again, to wait for a permanent cure. (Adventure #300)

His lead poisoning was soon permanently cured by Brainiac 5. To test it, Mon-El left the Phantom Zone and masquerading as Marvel Lad, applying during the Legion's membership tryouts. He wowed them by inventing the anti-gravity Element 152, and by defeating a creature called a Sun-Eater. When it was apparent that he was safe from his lead poisoning, he revealed his identity and was accepted as a full-time Legionnaire … the replacement for their recently fallen Lightning Lad. (Adventure #305) Later, Brainiac 5 used Element 152 to create the Legion's iconic flight rings. (Legion vol. 2 #267)

Mon-El was a Legion mainstay who served several terms as leader (Action #392, Superboy #200), and also met the love of his life in his teammate Tasmia Mallor, aka Shadow Lass.

When the Legionnaire Dream Girl had a premonition that Mon-El would die, the Legion mobilized for his protection. And so did the hero's distant cousin — Eltro Gand. Eltro was descended from Mon-El's elder brother, and resembled Mon-El. He infiltrated the Legion HQ and incapacitated Mon-El. Just when it appeared that Eltro and the Legionnaires had succeeded in preventing Mon-El's death, they discovered that he'd succumbed to lead poisoning and died! Eltro then sacrificed his own life force, transferring in to Mon-El to revive him. (Action Comics #384) (Unbeknown to everyone, the consciousness of Eltro Gand survived inside Mon-El's mind.)

Mon-El avoided Daxam for the most part, until the evil Darkseid enslaved the entire populace to become his "Servants of Darkness." The Daxamites completely destroyed and reshaped the planet in Darkseid's image. After they were freed, Mon-El took responsibility for helping his people return to normal. (Legion vol. 2 #292-294)

There was some theory that there was some relation between Krypton and Daxam, perhaps that one of the world was a colony of the other. (Tales of the Legion #325)

After the Crisis

When his lead cure begins to fail, it drives Mon-El nearly to insanity. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3 #23 (June 1986); by Paul Levitz, Steve Lightle and Greg LaRocque.
A conspiracy of Legionnaires confronts the Time Trapper in honor of Superboy; Mon-El will not survive the encounter intact. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3 #50 (Sept. 1988); by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Mike DeCarlo.
When it's discovered that the Time Trapper exists inside Mon-El's mind, the hero makes the fateful decision to eradicate him forever—thus too, the Legion's existence. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #4 (1990); by Keith Giffen and Al Gordon.

Mon-El's anti-lead serum began to fail and he was fearful of spending another eternity in the Phantom Zone. He made his feelings clear, "I deserved a clean death, not this ghostly torture again." Despite his wishes, his friends had no choice but to force him back into the Zone. He tried to let himself dissolve into nothingness, but Phantom Girl and Tellus dragged him back to Earth when Brainiac 5 synthesized a new cure, based on Kryptonite and a sample of Superboy's blood. (Legion vol. 3 #23)

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the timestream was malleable. It was the prime opportunity for a renewed attack from the Time Trapper. The Trapper removed Superboy from the Legion's history, excising the Boy of Steel from the timestream and sequestering him in a so-called Pocket Universe. The Legionnaires discovered this tampering on a journey back to the 20th century. Mon-El was instrumental in helping Superboy save his little pocket of the universe. However, Superboy overextended himself in the battle, and died in Mon-El's arms. (Legion vol. 3 #38)

After this, Mon-El and three other Legionnaires formed an obsessive conspiracy whose mission was revenge against the Time Trapper. (#46) The conspiracy confronted the Time Trapper at the end of time and succeeded in undoing his machinations, but at a great cost. Mon-El critically wounded and Duo Damsel lost her second body. (#50)

Shadow Lass took it upon herself to find treatment for Mon-El's injuries. They set out for Daxam and en route, she married him in a ritual native to her planet (which involved her removing a finger). (#52) When they left Daxam, they were attacked by Khundish warriors. (#53) Mon-El used some his last bit of strength to repel them but when their ship's power cut out, Mon-El apparently died. (#61)

Something sustained him, however. It was then that Brainiac 5 discovered that Eltro Gand's and the Time Trapper's personalities had been residing inside Mon-El's mind. The Trapper drew Mon-El into another dimension, where the hero's anger sealed his (and the Legion's) final fate: he destroyed the Trapper, and the Legion's entire (pre-Crisis) timeline ceased to exist altogether. (Legion vol. 4 #3-4)

Following this, the Legion's timeline was given a "soft reboot." In this "Glorith Reality," most of the Legion's continuity was unchanged, but the character of Mon-El underwent a significant, fundamental change. The timeline no longer included Superboy or Supergirl, so Mon-El was elevated to be the Legion's inspiration, as a hero called Valor.

Notes

Did you know that "monel" is a metal alloy based on nickel (65-70%) and copper (20-29%) with iron, manganese and other compounds? Supposedly, it's stronger than steel.

Jim Shooter on Mon-El:

"He is, as (Cary) Bates defined him, basically insecure. Contrary to what many people say, he has not had a thousand years of life to his credit, but due to the homeostatic nature of the zone, he has had the same year 1000 times. That is—the Zone." —Interlac (1976)

Powers

Lar Gand, like all people from red sun solar systems, possesses a wide array of superhuman powers in the presence of yellow sun light. These powers include immeasurable strength, speed and near-invulnerability, as well as flight, heat and x-ray vision.

A Daxamite's greatest weakness is lead. Even a brief exposure can cause death. The original serum invented by Brainiac 5 also allowed Mon-El to maintain his powers under his native red sun.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

20th Century

  • Action Comics #284, 288, 295, 297
  • Adventure Comics #293
  • Phantom Zone #1, 2
  • Superboy vol. 1 #89
  • Superman vol. 1 #156, 157
  • Superman Family #189
  • Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #33
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #62

30th Century

  • All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #3, 5, 7, 8, 10
  • DC Comics Presents #2
  • DC Special Series #21
  • Karate Kid #1, 4
  • Superboy vol. 1 #147, 176, 183, 190, 195, 197, 198
  • Superman vol. 2 #8
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #72, 106, 117
  • Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #4
  • Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #16
  • Who's Who: Update '87 #4
  • World's Finest Comics #142

» SERIES:

  • Adventure Comics #300–380 (1962–1969)
  • Action Comics #378-392 (1969–1970)
  • Superboy (and the Legion) #200-258 (1974–1979); becomes ...
    • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 2, #259-313 (1980–84) becomes …
    • Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes, #314–354 (1984–87)
  • Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes, 3-issue limited series (1981)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 3, 63 issues (1984–94)

NAME:
Lar Gand of Daxam, alias Valor

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Kel and Marisa Gand (parents, deceased), Del Gand (brother), Cil Gand (uncle), Eltro Gand (descendant cousin, deceased), Laurel Gand (descendant)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
L.E.G.I.O.N., Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
As Lar Gand: L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #13 (Mar. 1990)
SW6 version: Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #24 (Dec. 1991)
As Valor: Eclipso: The Darkness Within #2 (Oct. 1992)

Valor: Glorith Reality

Legion continuity was fundamentally affected in the post-Crisis era. Legion creators were increasingly prohibited from using Superman in any way. In Legion of Super-Heroes volume 4, Keith Giffen solved this problem by giving the Legion a "soft reboot," of sorts.

In a key event, Superboy and Supergirl were removed from Legion continuity and replaced by Mon-El — renamed "Valor" — and a new Daxamite Legionnaire, Laurel Gand. Their primary adversary was Glorith (instead of the Time Trapper).

20th Century: The L.E.G.I.O.N.

Valor card from the Cosmic Teams trading card set (1993); art by Mark D. Bright.
Vril Dox cruelly exposes Lar Gand to lead and then "gifts" him with the antidote to his poisoning. From L.E.G.I.O.N. #16 (June 1990); by Alan Grant, Barry Kitson and Mark McKenna.
After defeating Eclipso, Superman gives Lar Gand the inspiration for his legendary name. From Eclipso: The Darkness Within #2 (Oct. 1992); by Robert Loren Fleming, Keith Giffen and Bart Sears.
Valor is reunited with his brother and mother on Daxam. From Valor #13 (Nov. 1993); by Mark Waid, Jeffrey Moore and Michael Sellers.
Valor helps craft the plan to seed the worlds of the United Planets. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 Annual #2 (1991); by Tom Bierbaum, Mary Bierbaum, Brandon Peterson and Scott Hanna.

Lar Gand was born on the planet Daxam. Like Krypton, its inhabitants lived under a red sun. On Earth, under a yellow sun, they exhibited great super-powers much like Superman's. In fact, Lar's father Kel Gand was one of the first Daxamites to discover this. Gand and others traveled to Earth as part of the Dominators' Alliance to eradicate Earth's metahuman population. But just as soon as they found their new strength, they also discovered their greatest weakness: lead (which did not exist on Daxam). Before dying of lead poisoning, Kel Gand convinced his mates to change their allegiance and side with Earth's heroes. (Invasion! #1-3)

The death of Lar's father instilled a desire in him to explore the galaxy. By his mid-teens, Lar possessed a formidable intellect and will, and became a trained space explorer. His first recorded adventure was during a war between New Genesis and Apokolips. (New Gods vol. 2 #17-21)

His potential did not escape the notice of Vril Dox of the L.E.G.I.O.N. Shortly after that police force's formation, Dox set his sights on the powerhouse from Daxam. (L.E.G.I.O.N. #13) One day Lar found his way to L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters on Cairn and Dox used his weakness to lead to cripple Gand. Lar was essentially forced to join the L.E.G.I.O.N. in order to receive a steady supply of Dox's anti-lead serum. (#16)

Lar accompanied Dox to Earth where they invaded Project Cadmus in search of Dox's father, the legendary Brainiac. This brought them into their first meeting with the legendary Superman himself. (Adventures of Superman Annual #2)

Despite his dependence on Dox, Lar's tenure in the L.E.G.I.O.N. was brief. He accompanied them on another mission to the planet Poriaxus (Legion vol. 4 #119) before Dox decided that Gand was too unpredictable. Dox fired him and Lar continued on his exploration of space. (#19)

He met Starman (Will Payton) when Payton was forced to lead Mr. Nebula to Daxam's system as punishment for injuring Nebula's herald, the Scarlet Skier. (Starman vol. 1 #35)

He returned to Earth to help Earth's heroes defend against Brainiac. (Superman vol. 2 #65) Soon after this, Gand was possessed by Eclipso when he passed by Earth's moon. Realizing Gand's power, Eclipso planned a takeover of Earth. This conflict also drew the L.E.G.I.O.N. back to Earth. Lar was ultimately instrumental in the villain's defeat and following the battle, Superman gave Lar the inspiration for the name by which his legend would grow: Valor. (Eclipso: the Darkness Within #2)

Valor remained on Earth and sought the counsel of Lex Luthor. He was able to overcome his own inner demons and destroy Eclipso's hideout in the South American jungle. (Valor #1) He also met Supergirl and Luthor gave Valor a new space ship called the Pilgrim One, which was installed with a computer assistant called Babbage. The Pilgrim was Luthor's way of getting Valor out of his way, but it also allowed him to keep tabs on him. (#2)

When his anti-lead serum began to run low, Gand was forced to return to Cairn. Though Dox appeared to be helpful, he actually tainted the serum and set Valor's ship on-course for the new intergalactic prison, Starlag II — which lay under a red sun. (#4) Powerless, Valor was captured by the warden, Kanjar Ru and met a former Green Lantern called Alia. Meanwhile, Babbage contacted the Blasters for help. (#5)

Snapper Carr and the Blasters freed Valor but also let loose a powerful prisoner called the Unimaginable, who caused the red sun to go nova. (#6-8) The Unimaginable stuck around and restored Alia's youth, but was defeated in turn by she and Valor. (#10)

During this time, Valor became the inspiration for the Legion of Super-Heroes: the "father" of many worlds of the United Planets. He was unwittingly led toward this fate by a boy from the future, a Legion applicant called Ultra Boy. During Ultra Boy's Legion initiation test, he warned Valor about the Dominion's plans for a second invasion of Earth. (Legion vol. 4 Annual #1)

Valor investigated this and ultimately liberated scores of Dominion captives, victims of their metagene experiments on Elia (the Dominator homeworld). Valor helped these people to colonize planets between Elia and Earth. Many of these worlds were key members of the future United Planets: Bismoll, Cargg, Lallor, Tharr and Winath.

Shortly after this, he was visited by three founders of the Legion: Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl. They made him an honorary member of their group. Note: This is a key example of a Legion event where Superboy's role was swapped for Mon-El.

Valor was also approached by the mistress of time, Glorith. She made advances toward him and when rebuffed, she banished him to spend eternity in a 'phantom zone' known as the Bgtzl Dimension. He would remain there for a thousand years until he was discovered and released by the Legion. (Legion vol. 4 Annual #2)

Dead on Arrival

Beginning in Valor #12 (Oct. 1993), the storyline called "D.O.A." was the beginning of the end of this experimental era of Legion history. It led towards the total Legion reboot in Zero Hour. Previously, the Legion Annual story above provided the circumstances for Valor's banishment inside the "Stasis Zone." But Zero Hour prevented that event from coming to pass.

Instead, after contracting lead poisoning again, Valor began to go berserk. Alia helped him find the Green Lantern Kilowog on Oa, who fixed the Pilgrim One. (#11) On Cairn, Vril Dox pronounced Valor's condition as terminal; Gand had become immune to the serum and had a month to live. Valor decided to return home to Daxam. (#12)

He discovered that Daxam was also plagued by lead poisoning, which the natives believed was an alien virus. He reunited with his mother Marisa and his brother Del, and discovered that the source was an alien ship. He disposed of the ship, but his mother died.

In one last attempt to find a cure, Valor departed Daxam for Earth. (#14) On Earth, he became amnesiac and fell under the control of the gambling boss Mr. Gamboli. Gamboli called him "Champion" and sent Valor to attack Superboy. Babbage intervened and Superboy acted to save Valor from the poisoning. He used a device at S.T.A.R. Labs to send Valor through a portal into a so-called "Stasis Zone" — where he would remain for a thousand years. (Superboy vol. 3 #18–19)

Notes

The letter column of Valor #4 contains a detailed history of Lar Gand up through the start of the Valor series.

30th Century: Valor and the Legion

Valor portrait from Who's Who #14 (1991); art by Adam Hughes.
Valor is released from the Buffer Zone for good. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #31 (1991); by Tom Bierbaum, Mary Bierbaum, Brandon Peterson and Scott Hanna.
Valor meets his SW6 clone. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #31 (July 1992); art by Colleen Doran and Al Gordon.

Lar Gand, aka Valor, was discovered inside the "phantom dimension" by the young hero called Phantom Girl. She alerted her friends in the Legion of Super-Heroes, who freed him. But he immediately succumbed again to lead poisoning and they were forced to send him back. The next time, Brainiac 5 had created a cure.

By the 30th century, Valor had attained a godlike status across the United Planets. To defuse the fervor surrounding his miraculous return, he addressed the citizens directly. He implored them to treat him as any other being, and to carry their good will forward. (Legion vol. 4 Annual #2)

In "Glorith Reality" continuity, the Legion's history was similar to its original state. However, with no Superboy or Supergirl, their roles in lore were essentially "substituted" in by Lar Gand/Valor … and another new hero. Laurel Gand of Daxam was a descendant in his brother's family line and she became an early Legionnaire.

After his near-death encounter with Glorith, Valor was restored to vitality by Brainiac 5, (Legion vol. 4 #4) and he and Shadow Lass set off on their own, exploring space and defending justice as always.

They discovered that the Dark Circle were plotting to clone the Legion. (Legion vol. 4 #22) What's more, the Legion soon discovered that the Dominators were harboring bona fide clones of the Legionnaires on Earth, including Valor. (#20, 24, 31) These Legionnaires were referred to as "Batch SW6," and the younger Valor volunteered for a trip back in time to investigate the issues with the timestream. (Valor #17)

When the Zero Hour arrived and devoured all creation, Valor ceased to exist alongside Shadow Lass and the rest of the Legion. (Valor #23)

Caveat: The Batch SW6 Valor and Zero Hour

As the Zero Hour approached, the SW6 version of Valor went back to the 20th century to investigate matters. (Valor #13) Things really went sideways there, after the original, young Valor died of lead poisoning. This happened before Valor had seeded the worlds of the United Planets.

The SW6 Valor clone agreed to take on that responsibility — again, essentially. (#17) But it was all doomed anyways; the SW6 Valor was then banished by Glorith into the Bgtzl Buffer Zone just before the entire timeline was rebooted.

Notes

Superman and Jimmy Olsen meet the alien super-hero called Vaalor. From Action Comics #576 (Feb. 1986); by Mark Waid, Paris Cullins and Mike DeCarlo.

A couple of stories may have inspired the name "Valor."

The Krypton Chronicles #2 (Oct. 1981) told of the legend of Val-Lor. He lived during an ancient period on Krypton, when the populace was enslaved by the alien Vrangs. Val-Lor became a martyr when he challenged the Vrangs and inspired a rebellion.

The second story was written by Mark Waid in Action Comics #576 (Feb. 1986). Waid was an editor and writer for Legion vol. 4, L.E.G.I.O.N. and Valor. At a ceremony honoring Superman on “Youth Day” in Metropolis, a statue was unveiled. But to everyone’s surprise, it depicted a different hero. Just then, Superman was beset by aliens from the planet Voran. Jimmy remembered these aliens and used his signal watch to disrupt their weapons. It also revealed that Superman had been mentally imprisoned inside the new "statue," which was actually a real person! This was a new hero named Vaalor.

When he learned about the Vorans’ plans, he teleported to Earth to stop them, but they trapped Vaalor inside a liquid metal. From this prison, he mentally swapped places with Superman, but his inexperience hindered his success. Superman gave the hero a boost of confidence by reshaping the statue into an image of Vaalor instead.

Tom & Mary Bierbaum on Mon-El:

"An immensely heroic figure. Perhaps the greatest hero of all time. Utterly dedicated to serving others and paying whatever price is necessary for the common good. A thousand years in the phantom zone? No sweat. (It was the Eltro Gand personality projected into Mon-El's psyche that couldn't handle the Phantom Zone memories, not Mon-El himself.)" —Interlac (2000)

Powers

Valor possessed super-strength, invulnerability, flight, super-speed, and x-ray and heat visions. He was capable of flying interstellar distances, at least in the range of Earth's escape velocity. He was also known to fly between star systems without the need for oxygen.

Eclipso claimed that Lar Gand was more powerful than Superman. (Eclipso: Darkness Within #1)

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

Glorith Reality

  • Adventures of Superman Annual #2, #4
  • Eclipso: The Darkness Within #1-2
  • L.E.G.I.O.N. #13, 16-19, Annual #1, 3
  • Legionnaires #17
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #3, 4, 15–18, 22, 23, 29, 30–32, 36, 57, 59
  • Legionnaires #30
  • New Gods vol. 2 #17-21
  • Starman vol. 2 #35
  • Superboy #17-21
  • Superman vol. 2 #65
  • Who's Who in the DC Universe Update 1993 #1

» SERIES:

  • Valor, 23 issues (1992–94)

M'onel

NAME:
Lar Gand of Daxam, alias Valor II, M'Onel II

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
L.E.G.I.O.N., Legion of Super-Heroes, Presidential Oversight Watch

FIRST APPEARANCE:
As Lar Gand: L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #13 (Mar. 1990)
As Valor: Eclipso: The Darkness Within #2 (Oct. 1992)
As M'onel: Legionnaires #37 (June 1996)

Reboot: M'Onel

M'onel breaks a millennium of silence. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #73 (1995); by Tom Peyer, Tom McCraw, Lee Moder and Ron Boyd.
Valor contemplates his future now that he is free from the Zone. From Legionnaires #31 (Nov. 1995); by Tom Peyer, Tom McCraw, Jeffrey Moy and W. C. Carani.
After being waylaid by Emerald Violet, Valor is rescued by his distant descendant, Andromeda. From Legionnaires #46 (Mar. 1997); by Roger Stern, Tom McCraw, Jeffrey Moy and W. C. Carani.
monel
M'onel confronts Leland McCauley (actually Ra's al Ghul in disguise). From The Legion #3 (2002); art by Olivier Coipel.

After Zero Hour in 1994, the universe of the Legion of Super-Heroes was fully "rebooted." All events in the 30th century were wiped away and a new Legion story began.

This meant a clean slate for the 30th century, but Zero Hour did not reboot 20th century continuity. This means that Valor's existing history in the 20th remained relatively intact. His time with the L.E.G.I.O.N. and fighting Eclipso all still happened. After that, however, the story became all-new.

20th Century

When Valor contracted lead poisoning again, he set out for Earth to find a cure. (Valor #14) On Earth, he became amnesiac and fell under the control of gambling boss Mr. Gamboli. Gamboli sent Valor (calling him "Champion") to attack Superboy. Superboy ultimately used a portal at S.T.A.R. Labs to send Valor into a so-called "Stasis Zone" — where he would remain for a thousand years. (Superboy vol. 3 #18–19)

30th Century: "M'Onel"

In the 30th century, Saturn Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes made mental contact with Valor, who was trapped inside the "Bgtzl Buffer Zone." She mobilized the Legionnaires to help free him, even traveling to the 20th century to secure Superboy's help. (Superboy #21)

Previously, Brainiac 5 had developed an anti-lead serum for their other member from Daxam: Andromeda (Laurel Gand), who was Lar's distant descendant. (Legion vol. 4 #70) The Legion freed Valor and administered the serum. In the thousand years since his disappearance, he'd attained godlike legendary status throughout the galaxy. Because of this, his new lease on life was a closely guarded secret (though rumors of his return did begin to spread). (Legionnaires #31)

To avoid attention, he created a secret identity, which was suggested from the Legion's founder, R.J. Brande. He proposed M'Onel, which the Martian word for "wanderer." M'onel joined the Legion on a "detached status." (#37) He was surprised to discover a friend among the Legionnaires — Apparition, who was an aspect of Phase, a member of the L.E.G.I.O.N. (Legion vol. 4 #119)

He served on-and-off with the Legion. When half of the team disappeared completely through a rift in space, he became the leader of a powerful new force to protect Earth. This was the Presidential Oversight Watch. It was assembled by President Leland McCauley, who was soon revealed as the immortal villain, Ra's al Ghul. (Legion Worlds #1)

When the "lost" Legionnaires returned, M'onel was the first to greet them, but al Ghul knew their bond would be trouble for his plans. Al Ghul delivered a nearly fatal shot to M'onel, which was healed by the Legionnaire Kinetix. (The Legion #1-8)

During the so-called "Infinite Crisis," Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime remade creation so that it once again contained a multiverse. In the process, the Reboot Legion (which was said to exist on Earth-247) was apparently destroyed. (Infinite Crisis #5)

M'onel and his Legion were cast adrift in the void of the multiverse, and eventually rescued by Brainiac 5 of Earth-0. (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2) At the conclusion of their mission against the Time Trapper, the Reboot Legion chose to dive back into the multiverse in search of other lost souls. (#5)

Notes

Artist Olivier Coipel on M'onel: "M'onel is the third big guy and I really like the short hair he has now compared to the look from [The Legion] issue #1." —Comic Book Resources

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 4 #73, 119, Annual #2

» SERIES:

  • Legionnaires, 81 issues (1993–2000)
  • Legends of the Legion, 4-issue limited series (1998)
  • Teen Titans/Legion: Universe Ablaze, 4-issue limited series (2000)
  • The Legion, 38 issues (2001–2004)

» SEE ALSO:

monel

Mon-el III

NAME:
Lar Gand of Daxam

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #23 (Dec. 2006)

Threeboot: Mon-El of Earth-Prime

When he is released from the Phantom Zone, Mon-El's first impulse is to attack Supergirl. From Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #25 (Feb. 2007); art by Barry Kitson and Mick Gray.

On Earth-Prime, Mon-El was also a prisoner of the Phantom Zone when the Legionnaires first encountered him. They first found him on the planet, Rokyn (where Kandor was enlarged). There, Saturn Girl sensed Mon-El's presence in the Zone. (Supergirl & the Legion #23)

As it happened, the Legion were on that world seeking the Phantom Zone Projector. Phantom Girl and Saturn Girl merged to take a closer look, and spoke to Mon-El. He tried to warn them of an impending attack by a group called the Wanderers. (#24)

The Legion took the Projector back to Earth, where Brainiac 5 synthesized an antidote for Mon-El's lead poisoning from Kryptonite. Once he recovered, however, Mon-El was teleported away by the Wanderers' leader, Mekt Ranzz. (#25) The Legion was forced to ally with the Wanderers, and Mon-El became a key player in their battle against the Dominion. (#26) But Brainy's serum was imperfect and Mon-El began to suffer again from the lead poisoning. (#28)

Knowing that Mon-El would need to return to the Phantom Zone anyway, Cosmic Boy concocted a clever plan to use Mon-El to win their battle. To remove the Dominion as a threat, moved their homeworld into the Phantom Zone, where Mon-El would stand guard. To all outside appearances, however, it seemed as though Cosmic Boy had blown up the planet, and that Mon-El had perished. Later, Cosmic Boy confided in the Legionnaires about Mon-El's true fate. (#30)

Mon-El was never actually inducted into the Legion.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #23–30

» SERIES:

  • None

» SEE ALSO:

NAME:
Lar Gand of Daxam, alias Mon-El, Jonathan Kent, Green Lantern

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Bal Gand and Juyu (ancestral grandparents)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Science Police, Justice League of America, Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
As Mon-El: Superboy #89 (June 1961)
As Lar Gand:
L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #13 (Mar. 1990)
Retroboot: Action Comics Annual #10 (2007)
As Green Lantern: Adventure Comics vol. 3 #521 (Feb. 2011)

Retroboot: Post-Infinite Crisis

In the Infinite Crisis, a multiverse of Earths was reestablished, and the original Legion was (more-or-less) restored. This pseudo-restoration is known as the "Retroboot."

This timeline reaffirmed the circumstances Mon-El's original meeting with Superboy (from Superboy #89), but Lar Gand's 20th century life after that took a new turn.

The History of Daxam

Bal Gand of Daxam finds love with a Mayan on Earth called Juyu. From Superman Annual #14 (2009); by James Robinson and Javier Pina.

During Krypton's expansionist era, an astronomer named Val-Or discovered a distant sun (which was named after him). Later, a world in that system took the name of it's Kryptonian discoverer, Dax-Am. (Dax-Am's crew also ventured to Shwar, Imsk and Durla.) Unlike other worlds, Daxam's population melded with the colonizers' and their genetic code was compatible for mating. In time, Daxamite society grew to forget Krypton, and prospered. Two camps arose: those who inherited the Kryptonian desire for exploration, and those who feared it.

Around 250–900 CE, young Zax Vane led a peaceful space program to several worlds including Dryad, Xudar, Kalanor, Rann, Dhor, Korugar and Krypton itself. In the course of their travels, the Daxamites discovered they had great powers under a yellow sun. Unlike Kryptonians, Daxamites could sometimes procreate with other races. The female Daxamite explorer Bal Gand visited Earth and conceived a child with an Mayan native called Juyu. Gand left Earth because she feared the repercussions of raising a "super child" on Earth's developing culture. Upon her return to Daxam, she always kept her ship ready for return voyage to Earth (in case her family would not accept her child). Bal Gand's descendants were especially prone to look to the stars.

Daxamite society grew more xenophobic, exacerbated in part by the Kryptonian Eradicator — which corrupted Kryptonians' immunity to alien worlds and altered thought patterns. A four-day Science War eventually broke over the issue and cost a quarter of the population. Over millennia, this fostered a "pure-blood" Sorrow Cult, who feared all things alien. Their leader altered Daxam's written history to omit the Science War and Krypton. (Superman Annual #14)

Becoming Super

Mon-El frees from his restrictive upbringing, in Bal Gand's ship which has knowledge of Earth. From Superman Annual #14 (2009); by James Robinson and Javier Pina.
Retelling Mon-El's origin. From Action Comics Annual #10 (2007); art by Eric Wight.
Mon-El seeks purpose at the Kent farm in Smallville. From Superman #685 (Apr. 2009); by James Robinson and Pablo Raimondi.
Dr. Light informs Mon-El that his anti-lead cure won't last. From Superman #688 (July 2009); by James Robinson, Renato Guedes and José Wilson Magalhães.
Mon-El is reinvigorated, inspired anew by Superman. From Superman #694 (July 2009); by James Robinson and Javier Pina.
Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes. From Adventure Comics vol. 2 #8 [510] (May 2010); by James Robinson, Julian Lopez and Javier Bergantiño.
Mon-El finishes his mission alone, negotiating a new home for the telepathic Lanothians with King J'emm of Saturn. From Adventure Comics vol. 2 #11 [514] (July 2010); by Sterling Gates, Travis Moore and Julio Ferreira.

Lar Gand and his friend Van discovered Bal Gand's ship. When the Sorrow Cult found out, Lar fled to the ship, which followed its preprogrammed course back to Earth. Asleep on the journey, Lar learned of Krypton, and when he arrived on Earth, his memory was clouded; he believed he had come from Krypton, not Daxam. (Superman Annual #14)

Gand's ship crash landed on Earth in Smallville, Kansas. He emerged amnesiac, and because he spoke Kryptonese, the young Clark Kent believed that this visitor was also Kryptonian. Clark fantasized that Gand was his brother and Gand himself took the name Mon-El (inspired by the day on the calendar, Monday, plus Clark's Kryptonian family name).

After several days in Smallville, they decided to see whether Mon-El was vulnerable to Kryptonite. Gand fell fatally ill — but not from Kryptonite — from the lead box itself. This shock restored Gand's memories, and the grave realization that he was now dying of lead poisoning. At Gand's request, Clark projected Mon-El into the Phantom Zone and vowed to find a cure. (Action Comics Annual #10)

In the Phantom Zone, Gand met other prisoners of that timeless dimension, most of whom were put there by the authorities on Krypton. Several of them — General Zod, Ursa and Non — escaped and viewed Mon-El adrift from the safety of Superman's Fortress of Solitude. (Action Comics #846)

When the Zone was apparently destroyed, Mon-El was freed again. But he was still suffering from lead poisoning, and at that moment, Superman miraculously found a cure waiting in his Fortress (it bore the symbol of the Legion of Super-Heroes). This was all happening as the Kryptonian citizens from Argo City and the Phantom Zone were establishing a "New Krypton," a new planet near Earth. Superman left to negotiate between the two worlds and he installed Mon-El as one of Metropolis' protectors. Mon-El visited Smallville, where Martha Kent gave him the name Jonathan Kent. In Metropolis, he posed as Clark's cousin from England. (Superman #685)

Mon-El couldn't know that his destiny was an important one, but the Legion of Super-Heroes did. It was important enough that a Legion Espionage Squad came back in time and insinuated themselves into Mon-El's new life. As "Control," Chameleon Boy assured that Johnathan Kent would be hired to the Science Police. There, Mon-El met his partner (and future paramour) Billi Harper. (#686)

The specter of his lead poisoning continued to haunt him. The hero Dr. Light discovered that his super-healing was fighting against the anti-lead serum, and she concluded that it would eventually fail. Hearing this news prompted Mon-El to do even more to live up to the legend of Superman. (#688)

Mon-El's star rose fast during this time. He protected Metropolis in Superman's temporary absence. When the Kryptonians brought war to Metropolis, the public believed that Mon-El was killed. In fact he was taken to Project M, where scientists under Gen. Sam Lane nursed him back to health. (#692–693)

Mon-El refused to join Lane's anti-Kryptonian army. He doubled down and returned to Metropolis, even modifying his costume to include Superman's 'S' insignia. (#694) He was recruited by the Guardian for a mission with the Justice League of America. (Justice League of America vol. 2 #41–43)

During his last days as the protector of Metropolis, more Legionnaires came out of the woodwork, including Sensor Girl, Matter-Eater Lad, Quislet and Element Lad. Their mission was to ensure that Mon-El would successfully save and originate the key worlds of the United Planets. The seeds for these worlds were found as cities, which had been miniaturized among Brainiac's possessions. (Superman #699, Adventure Comics vol. 2 #9–11)

Before returning to the 31st century, the Legion helped Mon-El reestablish worlds such as New Durla, Rimbor, Imsk, Cargg, Xanthu, Bismoll, Phlon and Zoon. One world was left for Mon-El to settle alone. He negotiated with Saturn's king, J'emm, who agreed to make a home for the telepathic race of Lanothians. They made their new home on Saturn's moon, Titan. (Adventure Comics vol. 2 #11)

During this era, another anxious Daxamite of Lar Gand's generation, Sodam Yat, became a Green Lantern. (Green Lantern Corps #14, 18) Yat intended to speak with Mon-El, but the Legionnaire Tellus intervened. He insisted that Sodam Yat should not meet Mon-El. Yat entrusted Tellus with crystals that held the story of Daxam. (Superman #690)

Note

In Retroboot continuity, Lar Gand was not a member of Vril Dox's 20th century L.E.G.I.O.N. When asked whether there remained any connection, R.E.B.E.L.S. writer Tony Bedard said "no"… at least nothing in regards to what he had planned. (Legion of Substitute Podcasters #41, 2009).

31st Century: Legion

Mon-El clashes with Shadow Lass' new boyfriend, the odious Earth-Man. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 6 #7 (Jan. 2011); by Paul Levitz, Yildiray Cinar and Wayne Faucher.
Dyogene advises Mon-El how to use his new Green Lantern's power against the Sun Killer. From Adventure Comics #522 (March 2011); by Paul Levitz, Geraldo Borges and Marlo Alquiza.

When Earth became overrun with xenophobic extremists, the Legion was forced underground. Their leader, Earth-Man used a Phantom Zone projector to send Mon-El back into his ghostly prison. (Action Comics #860) When that threat was ended, the Legion retrieved him. (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1)

During the next great battle, which drew Legions from three universes together, Mon-El convinced the ancient Green Lantern of Daxam, Sodam Yat, to join their battle. (#3)

This reignited the fire of the Green Lantern Corps and their recruiter, Dyogene, came to Earth in search of a new recruit (#7);  it was Mon-El. He was reluctant, but agreed, hoping it would serve the greater good. (Adventure Comics vol. 3 #521–522)

Much had transpired in the meantime. When Shadow Lass split from Mon-El, he contemplated leaving the team. (Legion vol. 6 #2) But in the Legion's leadership election, Mon was elected leader by a slim margin over Brainiac Five. (#8, 10) He recommitted to serving the Legion, especially after some encouraging words from the team's previous leader, Cosmic Boy. (Legion vol. 6 #10)

The Legion faced a serious challenge by the Legion of Super-Villains. (#12–15) To defeat their leader, the Adversary, Sodam Yat and all of the Legionnaires gave their powers to the Legionnaire called Earth-Man. The power killed Earth-Man but dispersed the villain. When Dyogene retreated to Oa, Mon-El resigned from the Green Lantern Corps. (#12–16)

New 52

The Emerald Empress severs Mon-El's arm. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 7 #19 (June 2013); by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Jeff Johnson.

When DC rebooted their entire line to create the "New 52," most titles were totally reinvented. The Legion was spared this fate, but the series (volume 7) was restarted with #1, plus a new title, Legion: Lost, vol. 2. A contingent of Legionnaires were again cast into the 21st century, but Mon-El continued on as Legion leader.

After Mon-El and Brainiac 5 installed a memorial statue for Earth-Man, (Legion vol. 7 #1) Mon-El called for another leadership election. (#7) Phantom Girl succeeded him. (#16)

When the Fatal Five returned, the Legion was unprepared for the immensity of Tharok's master plan. (#13) When Mon-El engaged the new Emerald Empress, her final blow severed his arm. (#19) Chemical Kid managed to sustain Mon-El's internal chemistry, (#21) and Shadow Lass took Mon-El home to Daxam to heal. The Fatal Five were defeated, but the United Planets disbanded the Legion. (#23)

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

21st Century

  • Action Comics #851, 873, 874, 885, Annual #10, 11
  • Justice League of America vol. 2 #41–43
  • Supergirl vol. 5 #51
  • Superman #684–699
  • Superman: Secret Files 2009
  • Superman: War of the Supermen #4

31st Century

  • Adventure Comics vol. 3 #8–10 [511–513], 521, 522

» SERIES:

  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, 5-issue limited series (2008-09)
  • Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton, 3-issue limited series (2010)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 6, 16 issues (2010–11)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 7, 23 issues (2011–13)

» SEE ALSO:

NAME:
Mon-El of New Krypton

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Conner, Lane and Laraz (children), Lor-Zod (great-grandfather), unnamed great-grandmother, Jonathan Kent (Superboy, ancestral grandfather), Superman and Lois Lane (ancestral grandparents)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Superman vol. 5 #14 (Oct. 2019)

Rebirth: Mon-El IV

On New Krypton, the Legionnaires meet Mon-El's great-grandfather, Zod, and his daughter, Laraz. From Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 8 #10 (Dec. 2020); art by Ryan Sook and Wade Von Grawbadger.

Mon-El is a Kryptonian, the descendant of the original Superman and Lois Lane, as well as the house of Zod. He hails from New Krypton and when he joined the Legion of Super-Heroes, he wanted to be called "Superman." His teammates felt that he was not ready for that. (Legion vol. 8 #11)

For unexplained reasons, Mon-El is hostile toward his 21st century ancestor, Jonathan Kent (Superboy). He did not react well when Kent came to the 31st century, and Mon-El resigned from the Legion of Super-Heroes soon after Superboy's arrival. His girlfriend, Phantom Girl, led a Legion contingent to go after him on New Krytpon. (#10)

There the Legion discovered a vibrant society with heroes upholding the legacy of Superman and Krytpon. They met Mon-El's great-grandfather, Lor-Zod, and Mon-El revealed that he had three children, Conner, Lane, and Laraz. (#10)

When Mordru the mage attacked Krypton, Lor-Zod imprisoned him in the Phantom Zone. (#12)

Powers

Mon-El possesses all the powers of native Kryptonians, while under a yellow sun. These include super-strength, speed, invulnerability, heat vision and x-ray vision.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #2
  • Supergirl vol. 7 #33
  • Superman vol. 5 #14-16

» SERIES:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 8, 12 issues (2019–2021)
  • Justice League vs. the Legion of Super-Heroes, 6-issue limited series (2022)

» SEE ALSO:

In Other Media

Mon-El (Chris Wood) adopts a familiar uniform and takes flight with Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). From Supergirl season 3, episode 15 (23 April 2018).

On the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series, the character of Mon-El was passed over in favor of creating a new one, called Superman-X (a future version of Superman).

He does appear in a minor role in Justice League vs. the Fatal Five (2019).

On the CW's Supergirl, Mon-El was a primary character beginning with Season 2 (2016). His story was different from the comic books; he was Supergirl's love interest, and also became a member of the Legion. He left to join the Legion in the 31st century and was married to his teammate, Imra Ardeen. Read details about the Legion in The Legion on Television: Supergirl.

» SEE ALSO: