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"Perhaps you can find something more worthy of your unique gifts. If you want to make a real impact, I can be a resource. I pride myself in helping people achieve their best selves."
—Morgan Edge[src]

Tal-Rho (born c. 1968)[1] is the son of the late Zeta-Rho and the late Lara Lor-Van, and the maternal half-brother of Kal-El. After being rocketed to Earth as a child a year prior to Krypton's destruction, he landed in England, where he killed the farmers who tried to shoot him and then was chased by the townspeople, arrested and experimented. As a teenager, he managed to escape, killing his captors and creating his fortress in the desert, where he was guided by his father's A.I. to mix with humans and resurrect Krypton by implanting Kryptonian consciousnesses into human hosts using the Eradicator.

As an adult, he used the name Morgan Edge and was a majority shareholder of Galaxy Holdings and the CEO of Edge EnerCorp. He used the Eradicator to resurrect Leslie Larr and she became his personal assistant. After becoming the owner of the Daily Planet, he fired several employees, including Clark Kent. In Smallville, Edge gained ownership of a mine that contains X-Kryptonite which he plans to use to continue experiments in an attempt to create a super-powered army. His work in the town brings him into further conflict with Lois Lane and Superman. Eventually, Edge revealed himself to Superman as his brother and asked him to join him, but Superman refused and ended up defeating all of his subjekts.

Tal then threatened his family until he agreed to submit. Superman was possessed by General Zod until freed by John Irons and Lois, so Tal made off with the Eradicator and absorbed all Kryptonian consciousness, but ended up being trapped in the DOD. When his powers returned, he escaped, kidnapped Superman's son Jordan and implants Zeta-Rho's consciousness into him, and resurrected the Kryptonian Defense Council. Eventually, Jordan expels Zeta-Rho from his body and Tal and the Defense Council are finally defeated by Superman and John Irons and Tal was exposed as the culprit for implanting Kryptonian minds in people's bodies.

Eventually, Superman went to ask Tal-Rho for help in stopping a bizarre version of himself and Ally Allston, the leader of a cult. They almost made up after Tal-Rho saved Clark's life and helped him destroy Ally's pendant, but he ended up running away when Clark was distracted.

Biography

Early life

Young Tal-Rho.

"Brother?"
"I know how unlikely it may seem, but the two of us, we share the same Kryptonian blood."
"You are not my brother."
"I am, Kal-El. My real name is Tal-Rho. I'm the son of Zeta-Rho and Lara Lor-Van."
"That's not possible. My mother—"
"Married Jor-El, your father. Yes, I know. Years after she'd been matched to my father, years after I was born. It was when she first warned that Krypton was dying. The very reason my father sent me here. I was the first son of Krypton to leave... and I came here with one purpose: to further our Kryptonian heritage.
"
—Tal-Rho and Superman[src]

Tal-Rho was born in 1968 to Zeta-Rho and his genetic match Lara Lor-Van on Krypton. He was sent to Earth a year before Krypton's destruction and landed somewhere in the British Isles.

Young Tal enters his fortress for the first time.

When his pod opened, Tal absorbed yellow sun radiation quickly and gained extraordinary powers. A couple with a shotgun on a hunting trip in the woods found him and he incinerated them with his heat vision due to lack of control. Other hunters captured the young child and turned him over to the government.

For 9 years, Tal was the subject of experimentation until he escaped.[2] Tal learned to speak British English,[3] but he also developed a dislike for humans.[2] Upon setting up a headquarters in the desert, Tal interacted wit the A.I. of his father who had to subject him to further training.[1] Later, he adopted the alias "Morgan Edge" and founded Edge EnerCorp and became a majority shareholder of Galaxy Holdings.[4]

Meteorite shower

"Now the resurrection begins."
—Morgan Edge[src]

Tal eventually found out that Superman was his brother, this motivated him to go against his father's wishes and find another way to resurrect the people from Krypton once he finds the Eradicator.[5] In 2015, Morgan went to Saskatchewan; while there, he was in a convoy as it was bombarded by meteorites. When a the Eradicator fell to the ground, Morgan exited his vehicle and declared that the resurrection could begin.[3]

The search

Morgan promised the towns of New Carthage, Hazel Green, and Granville that he could bring prosperity and jobs as he bought farms and land in the area. However, he failed to keep his promise to each town, causing ruin and exit for its citizens.[6] Morgan used his technology mixed with X-Kryptonite to give Kryptonian powers to several people, including his assistant Leslie Larr and David Fuglestad. Morgan told one of his workers, Derek Powell, that he had an "opportunity of a lifetime" for him. Derek disappeared and also gained superpowers.[7][8]

Smallville

"Why would someone like Morgan Edge be interested in a bunch of farms in Smallville, Kansas?"
Lana Lang Cushing[src]

Morgan Edge in Smallville.

Morgan recently bought the Daily Planet and laid off much of its staff, including Whit and Clark Kent.[4]

Morgan targeted small towns that were vulnerable due to natural disasters and financial downfalls, and is beginning new business in Smallville.

Later, at the town meeting, Morgan Edge arrives with his personal assistant Leslie Larr and makes promises to the citizens of Smallville that he will bring jobs and money to the town. Lois challenges Edge in front of everyone with her research, so Morgan spins the story to make himself more reputable. Edge then rewrites Lois's article. During a meeting of the Daily Planet, Lois appears and leaves her letter of resignation.[6]

He then sends David Fuglestad to spy on Lois in Smallville. But, when he is discovered and defeated by Superman, Edge orders Leslie to kill him.[7]

Rediscovering X-Kryptonite

Lana, Kyle, and Morgan eat dinner together.

Morgan sent Leslie to the Smallville Gazette with a copy of Lois' Daily Planet contract, which included a clause preventing her from publishing an article that would "defame" him. Then he went to watch a Smallville High School football game with Kyle Cushing. Then they went to dinner with Mayor Dean and Lana, where Morgan noted that Lana had great potential that she was wasting in Smallville. He also went to inspect the Shuster Mine with Leslie, where they found Lois again, who asked him what he was doing in town, and Edge asked the same question. As Lois was unable to make her case at the city council meeting, Edge gained exclusive rights to the mines.

Morgan and Leslie find a large supply of X-Kryptonite.

Later, he and Leslie surveyed the mines and she effortlessly punched through the rock face at a spot he indicated, revealing a large supply of X-Kryptonite. Leslie noted that they might have a hard time finding candidates, but Morgan noted that he could find talented people.[3]

After a fire burned the donations made to the Smallvile Harvest Festival, Morgan Edge wrote a check to have the items replaced.[8]

Days passed. Morgan and Leslie greeted employees and inspectors when they opened the mine. Leslie saw Lois Lane, but Morgan told her to ignore her. Meanwhile, Morgan approached Lana, as opposed to Kyle, about promoting the mine and being its representative to the town. Lana accepted the position and the increased income. Leslie questioned Morgan's decision; Morgan cited that Lana had credentials that were above others in Smallville.[9]

Edge EnerCorp

Morgan and Leslie at the Shuster Mines.

Morgan gave Lana an office at Edge EnerCorp and asked her to interview people for a leadership program he was developing that needed five people like her who had untapped potential.

Meanwhile, Morgan reprimanded Leslie[10] for allowing two intruders in the Shuster Mine to escape her.[9] Morgan noted that he had too many people in his business, including Superman, but he wanted no one to disturb his shipments of X-Kryptonite. Leslie suggested that she would send a small shipment to see who follows it. Morgan told her not to fail him again; Leslie showed fear.

When Lana interviewed Emily Phan, Morgan pretended that he was not listening. Later, behind Lana's back, Morgan hired Emily for the program. Leslie returned and pleased Morgan that she succeeded in sending a shipment.[10] Morgan told Leslie that he wanted Kyle Cushing in the leadership program, but he was not going to pressure Lana into making that happen.[11]

Emily Phan is placed in the X-Kryptonite Machine.

Morgan smiled as Leslie escorted Kyle into his office, as Kyle accepted being a part of the leadership program, thus gaining superpowers.

Finding the citizens of Smallville to his liking, because they could accept the superpowers without glitching, Morgan put an ad in the Smallville Gazette for more participants. Lois saw the ad and stormed into his office at Edge Enercorp and told him that she objected; Morgan retorted that word-of-mouth advertising would do because the citizens were happy with the program and the money that he was providing. After Lois left, Morgan told Leslie that he was going to have Lois attacked. To that end, Morgan sent Emily, Kyle, and Jasper Townes to the Kent Farm; during the melee, Emily escaped with the ELT and took it to Morgan.[12]

Revealed identity

Edge confronts Superman.

Later, at somewhere close to Smallville, Morgan, using the ELT of Lois Lane to summon Superman, wore a Kryptonian suit and told "his brother" about his history and true identity.[12] Tal gave Kal-El a choice between Kryptonians and humans, as Tal wanted to revive the race on Earth. After a brief tussle, Tal told his younger half-brother that he would give him time to decide.

In actuality, Tal was giving the Kryptonian minds inside the humans time to settle in their new bodies.

Tal met with Superman again about twenty-four hours later; Superman chose humanity. Tal explained that his time with humans growing up was not as good as Superman's must have been, but Superman would not be swayed. Citizens from Smallville who had been converted, including Emily Phan and Jasper Townes, grouped together to kill Kal. Tal and his Subjekts chased Kal through Smallville and through Sequoia. As the Subjekts fired their heat vision, Tal hesitated; he noticed that Kal had the Eradicator. Tal screamed as the Eradicator was activated by Kal's solar flare, reverting the Subjekts to their human forms.

Tal could not find his younger brother and went to see Leslie Larr, the only Subjekt left; he told her that he had a back-up plan.[2]

Catching up with the unconscious Superman at the Fortress of Solitude, Tal used an invention created by Krypton's greatest scientist Ter-Loc to scan Superman's memories where he learned about his history and his connections with Lois Lane and his sons. After breaking the crystal containing the copy of Jor-El's conscious, Tal roughed up Superman and left to go confront Lois, Jonathan, and Jordan. Jordan tried to use his eye beams on him only for Tal to defeat Jordan. Superman caught up with Tal and surrendered to him while stating to Lois that there's no other way. At his desert hideout, Tal is advised by Zeta-Rho's A.I. to subject Superman to the reclaimed Eradicator.[1]

Becoming the Eradicator

Superman tried to resist the Eradicator and begs Tal-Rho to help him, but Tal tells him to submit. When Jordan manages to use his super-hearing to locate Tal's Fortress, he warns Jordan that anyone he sends after them would not find Superman, but someone else. Superman is finally infected by General Zod's mind, but thanks to John Henry Irons, Superman is able to break free and both he and Irons attempt to capture Tal-Rho, who went to the space and used his heat vision to merge himself with the Eradicator, absorbing the thousands of Kryptonian life forces. John then shot Tal with a Solar Missile which drained him of his powers. He was captured and imprisoned in a military prison under a Kryptonite radiation field.[13]

Tal-Rho absorbing the Eradicator.

Later, Tal was visited by Kal-El in prison, who told him that Leslie Larr had been captured and that he would spend the rest of his life in prison. He also showed Tal the Sunstone of Zeta-Rho that had been retrieved from his Fortress and Tal told him to destroy it. Tal scolded Kal for trying to be a human instead of ruling them, as he was more powerful than them all.

Tal absorbs solar energy.

Eventually, Tal transformed into the Eradicator and his powers were restored. He easily defeated all the guards and fled into space, orbiting the sun and absorbing vast amounts of solar energy to supercharge his powers.[5] As a last ditch effort to complete his father's plan, Tal gained the power to instantly implant Kryptonian consciousnesses into humans.

Tal and Leslie in Metropolis.

After three weeks, he returned to Earth and freed Leslie from prison, and the two headed to Metropolis to announce the conquest of Earth. Kal-El and John Irons arrived to stop them. Tal activated four Subjekts hiding among the civilians and released them on the city. Superman and Irons defeated the Subjekts and Leslie, but when they tried to capture Tal, he stopped them with a force field and escaped again.

Tal gives Jordan Zeta-Rho's consciousness.

He tracked down and kidnapped Jordan and took the boy back to his hideout, where he implanted Zeta-Rho's consciousness into his body.[14]

At Zeta's behest, Tal went to Smallville and eradicated six of General Lane's soldiers, converting them into the Kryptonian Defense Council. Tal then returned to the Shuster Mines and began the process of using X-Kryptonite to eradicate the population of Smallville, while Zeta and the Defense Council would try to stop Superman and John Irons. Tal broke through the rock face in the mines and began generating the energy, which began to attack Smallville. After defeating Zeta and the Council, Superman restrains Tal while Irons throws his solar-powered kinetic hammer at him. The hammer hit with full force and nullified his powers, changing him from the Eradicator back to Tal-Rho. Tal told Kal that he always wanted a family. He was kept in a special cell that has red solar lights.[15]

Helping Clark

Tal, Superman, and Jordan talking to Lara's A.I..

Superman visited him to see if there were any side effects on the Eradicator's consciousness due to the painful visions he has. Tal mentioned that he didn't experience them while also stating that he lost his powers. When the vision reoccurs after a hostage crisis, Superman gives in to Tal's deal to make use of his Fortress while Jordan comes with him to keep an eye on Tal. He activates Lara, his mother's A.I., she examines Superman and he begins to have the visions again. Jordan discovers that Tal-Rho has pretended to lose his powers and after a brief fight between Superman and Tal, Lara tells Superman that the visions are the result of an "invasive cosmological event" and tells Tal-Rho that there might be some good in him. Tal- is later returned to his cell on the military prison.[16]

Bonding with Clark

Tal and Clark argue so they can escape from the cell.

Weeks later, Superman was arrested by Lieutenant General Mitch Anderson and placed in the same cell as Tal until he revealed the location of his Inverse World counterpart. Tal said that he knew that humanity would eventually turn against him. When Superman refused to reveal the location, Anderson tortured Tal with Kryptonite until Superman told the truth. So Superman gave him the coordinates of the Fortress of Solitude, so they would have time to come up with a plan. They decided to stage a fight and when the soldiers came to stop them, they defeated them and Tal used one of the weapons to destroy the red sunlight and regain his powers. They then went to Tal's fortress, where Tal met Superman's counterpart, who was trapped by the A.I. of Lara and told Tal that in his world, he and Tal's counterpart had been good brothers until they fell out over a dispute involving the latter's wife.

Tal was intrigued and asked who his wife was, but before he could find out Anderson broke into the fortress and attacked them. He managed to defeat them as he was using X-Kryptonite and tried to shoot Superman with Green Kryptonite bullets, but Tal stepped in front of him and was shot three times in the chest. Superman then used his heat vision to burn the Kryptonite while his bizarre counterpart fought Anderson, but Tal's powers were too weak to allow him to heal. So Superman took him close to the sun to charge his powers enough for him to recover. Tal recovered and woke up in his cell, where Superman said he couldn't allow Tal to go free. Before leaving, Superman thanked Tal for saving him, and Tal asked him to apologize to Jordan for him.[17]

Making amends

Tal-Rho and Superman at a volcano.

Sometime later, Tal would be visited by his brother again, this time to destroy Ally Allston's pendant(s). However, this would not be a solo effort like before, as Superman enlisted General Lane and John Henry Irons for tech support and backup to ensure that Lara's calculations were correct and to prevent Ally from reclaiming the pendant. Seizing this opportunity, Tal asked his brother if he could apologize to Lois, bringing flowers and promising to her that he would never hurt his nephews again.

After destroying Ally's pendant, Tal took off with the pendant before Ally could notice, leaving John Henry Irons and Superman confused. It is currently unknown what his intentions are with the pendant, whether he may plan on attempting to merge with his counterpart, or study it to use against Ally.[18]

Personality

Tal has the same personality as Earth-38 Morgan Edge, but he is noticeably more ruthless and intelligent than his counterpart. While claiming to care about the history and safety of Kryptonians, he ignores the continued prosperity of both his culture and the people on Argo City, instead preferring to focus his efforts with X-Kryptonite, hoping to restore Krypton's former glory through it. Unlike Morgan, he has a somewhat better respect for women, given his assistant, Leslie Larr yet has no problems insulting them as seen with Lois Lane and Lana Lang Cushing. He is also not above threatening anyone, as seen when Lois attempted to dig up dirt and later the attempt on her life.

As Lois once pointed out, Tal enjoys using exploitative business practices to gain more fortune while slowly causing individuals to lose their jobs in the process. His ability to be conniving, sly and charming makes others, such as Kyle Cushing, to be otherwise warmer toward Tal, rendering them ignorant to his deceptive means; his subtle, yet manipulative, skillset has allowed those affiliated with him to turn on one another, such as Lana and Kyle, without much effort.

Tal's opinions on Earth extend from his father, believing them to be a weak-willed species prone to violence and destruction, an idea he has kept since his arrival on Earth and the traumatic experience of it. This was further strengthened by the abuse of his father, Zeta-Rho, whose A.I recreation had carried on his plans through Morgan's pain.

While Tal did end up carrying out his father's plans, his actions of resistance toward his father display that he is homesick and that he desperately wishes to have a real family again. He was overjoyed to find Kal-El was his half-brother, but; due to his allegiance to Krypton and his father's abuse, Tal could only fully accept his half-brother if he helped him bring back Krypton. Taking a no-compromise approach, even resorting to threatening Kal's family, which alienated him further and further from his half-brother. When he was finally defeated, he admitted to Kal that all he ever wanted was a family and Kal responded that he had one, they were brothers and Tal began to regret what he's done.

Much of his negative nature seems to stem from his harsh upbringing: Being raised solely by his self-righteous and shameless father and believing that his mother never loved him.

Tal has mellowed out and matured with his time in prison and reconciliation with his brother and mother. Though initially still provocative, Tal eventually realized his past fixation on Kryptonian purity made him lose the opportunity to find a family in Kal-El and his family, and this inspired him to work on redeeming himself. When overpowered by Mitch Anderson, Tal risked his life for his brother, taking several Kryptonian bullets meant for Kal. Later, he would take another step in trying to own up to his mistakes, apologizing to Lois about what he did to her and Jordan, while also stating he has no expectation of her forgiving him.

However, he still retains his highly unpredictable behavior.

Powers and abilities

Powers

  • Kryptonian physiology: Normally, like any Kryptonian, Tal's capacities are no greater than any normal humans of his physical conditioning. However, once properly charged, the energy surging throughout his physiology enables him to perform various superhuman feats. Having spent decades on Earth since he was a child, Tal-Rho's powers are more developed than most other Kryptonians; making him one of the most powerful beings in the entire multiverse. Due to his prolonged exposure in a red sun cell, though, Tal is currently only equal to his brother, if not weaker.
    • Solar energy absorption:

      Tal-Rho and Superman using their heat visions.

      Like all Kryptonians, Tal relies on the yellow sun to charge his cells enough to grant him his powers.
      • Superhuman strength: Tal possesses an immense capability for superhuman strength; as he managed to punch Superman away after the latter charged at him mid-flight.
      • Superhuman speed: Like all Kryptonians, Tal is capable of moving at superhuman speeds.
        • Accelerated perception: Tal possesses enhanced reflexes that allow him to view events in slow motion, giving him an enhanced reaction time relative to a human.
      • Flight: Like all Kryptonians, Tal is able to manipulate his own gravitational field to generate thrust and propel himself through the air at tremendous hyper-sonic speeds.
        • Levitation: Tal can utilize his flight to suspend himself in the air and remain stationary while doing so.
      • Heat vision: Tal can emit red energy beams of intense heat from his eyes. Due to his control; he was able to beat Jordan Kent's own heat vision with ease.

Former powers

  • Eradicator application: Once he blasted the device in a last effort attempt to preserve his plan, Tal physically merged with the Eradicator, upgrading his standard set of Kryptonian abilities.
    • Kryptonite immunity: After merging with the device, Tal now has an immunity to the effects of Kryptonite. Being shown to be unaffected by it's radiation and even able to use his powers to their full extent while under Kryptonite.
    • Solar energy blasts: Instead of being able to blast them from his eyes, Tal is able to launch solar blasts from his whole body.
      • Force field generation: Tal can use his solar energy to create an energy barrier at will. He used this ability when Superman and John Henry Irons charged at him, instead finding themselves thrown back.
    • Mind transference: Tal can transfer Kryptonian consciousnesses into people at will.

Abilities

  • Great business acumen: Tal has great business skills.
  • High tolerance for pain: Tal has a very high tolerance to pain, and feels little, if any pain after Zeta-Rho conditioned him with prolonged exposure to an intense laser ray in his fortress. However, his prolonged time spent in a red sun cell has weakened his tolerance considerably, and he almost immediately called out to his brother from the overwhelming pain of the kryptonite shock collar.

Weaknesses

  • Kryptonite: Similar to all Kryptonians, Tal has a weakness to Kryptonite. This was no longer a factor after he became one with the Eradicator device. However, after he lost the powers of the Eradicator, he has a weakness to it once again.
    • Green Kryptonite: Green Kryptonite has been shown to weaken Tal and even dampen his powers enough to contain him. It also left him in a critical state when he was hit by it after prolonged exposure to red sun energy.
  • Red sun energy: Tal loses access to his powers under red sun energy, and prolonged exposure will disable his accelerated healing factor. If the (yellow) sun isn't out, his healing factor must be manually jumpstarted with a strong dose of yellow sun exposure in outer space.

Equipment

  • Protective suit: Tal-Rho wears a protective suit to conceal his identity as "Morgan Edge".

Appearances

Superman & Lois


Gallery

Promotional images

Superman & Lois

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, Morgan Edge is a media mogul who owns Galaxy Communications, often making him an antagonist of Superman, though an ally of Clark Kent. He was created by Jack Kirby and debuted in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #113 (October, 1970).
  • Tal-Rho bears some similarities to H'El from DC Comics. Like H'El, Tal-Rho was a Kryptonian survivor with the mission to preserve Krypton's legacy in any way possible, no matter how ruthless. Unlike H'El who thought of Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van as his parents while he actually was a clone, Tal-Rho is a biological son of Lara Lor-Van.
  • From his mannerisms, his complicated relationship with his half-brother Kal-EL, and his hatred of humanity, Tal-Rho also shares some similarities to Tom Hiddleston's Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Tal-Rho served as one of the main antagonist of Season 1 of Superman & Lois, alongside his father, Zeta-Rho.

References

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