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Superman: The American Way
I've been meaning to finish the El Chronicle for quite a while now, but I've got too much on my plate. I had originally conceived this as a recitation by the High Priest to the young Kara Zor-El in that canto which is a series of monlogues by different characters, but it didn't fit and I couldn't finish it, being dissatisfied with the poetry of it. Please be inspired by it and feel free to let others be so.

It ends just as Hyra-Kahn (whose name, by the by, is a word-play on that of John Hyrcanus, a Hasmonean High Priest of the intertestimental period of Israelite history, when there were no reigning kings of the Davidic line) is about to tell Kara how the science council "won" leadership of Krypton -- by cheating! The story is told in four pages of Krypton Chronicles and is simply astounding: The scientists convince the priests to "let Rao decide" by a lightning strike (this too has a biblical parallel: the budding rod of Aaron), and then they rig their rod to attract the lightning to it! This story is told by a scientist El (Jor-El I's dad? Wish I could find my copy!) to a priest El after the fact. The last panel is the scientist El laughing to the incredulous priest. Reading this may have been the genesis of my own take on Krypto as set forth in Heartlanders.

- Michael E. Mautner




A Cleric of Old Krypton recites --



Near a millenia before

the Great Catastrophe, the war

that froze our world and led

to its cultural atrophy,

there lived the Lord Hyr-El,

son of tyrranical Wab-El

of that illustrious House of El

begun when lowly Erok wed

lovely Milia -- daughter of Uved,

Bethgar of North Urrika -- and became

the first Bethgar of all Urrika.


Wab-El said he ruled in Rao's name,

but his was a false prophecy.

Hyr-El professed true faith,

and lost the throne: his brother

Vad-El succeeded Wab-El

and sent soldiers to slay

Hyr-El as he lay

down to sleep in his bed.

They found him gone:

mere moments ahead

of the knives had he fled

to find new lives for his mate and he

in what one day would be

the great city called Kandor.

He never saw Wab-El, or Vad-El,

or Urrika again.

Not so his sons.  Hyr-El begat Jaf-El --

great prophet of Rao who returned to Urrika

-- and Tio-El, the naturalist who saved

endangered species, and, with Jaf-El, who had

foreseen it, saved the Folk from the Flood.

Later, though, Tio became an apostate

and had to be expelled from the continent,

his experiments having led him astray.

Thus, you see, the very first split

on our beloved planet

between science and the faith

occured between two brothers El.

Ironically, though, it was in Tio's line

that the Spirit of the Sun prevailed.

In Hyr-El's seed it simply dissipated;

all his descendants have been forgotten.


From Tio-El's line came that of Val-El,

great explorer and brother of wily Tro-El,

founder of Bokos, Isle of Thieves.

The line of Val led to Sul-El

the astronomer, and Hatu-El,

his son, who conquered Electricity

and all its ancillary power.

Yes, they were many scientists,

the sons of Tio and his son Val-El --

in the line of Hatu-El: Wir-El,

maker of the sound trapping machine;

and Shu-El, who founded the College

of Computers and so loved his son,

Thar-El, that he enrolled him there

only to see Thar rebel and become

a Raoist.  Thar went on; became the jurist

who remade our trial system along Purist

lines.  These, of course, were Lord Raoman's,

ever our guide in the things that matter.

Praised is he!, whose Spirit had reasserted

itself in the blood of the Els,

though the daughter of Shu, Fedra Shu-El,

was the drafter of the Science Council

constitution, for which they who expelled

the Priest of Rao -- Damned are they! --

called her "the Great Legislator" --

O, Tempestuous Day!


And, of the distant sons of rebellious Thar,

the modern scions of Erok-El who were filled

with the faith's inner quiet?:


Im-El -- the brilliant physicist

who harnessed atomic energy,

revolutionizing Kryptonian industry --

and his sons: Yu-El, High Priest of Rao

and my own father's mentor,

and his brother, Pir-El, great General

who made the Science Council supreme

over the Five Continents and Seas,

in youth through just victories --



--   Why, in the First Civil War,

when the insidious

Erkol/Urrika coalition,

unleashed its outrageous weapon,

a solar-refractor ship,

entirely robotic,

on the ancient capitol

at Kryptonopolis

and burnt it to cinders,

Pir-El, young and virile,

saved his Kandoran allies

with a cloud of dust so thick

it eclipsed the Sun!; the ship fell

harmless to the sea, and the war

ended quickly, thereafter --


and, when age had enfeebled him,

by resort to foul trickery --





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