City of Kandor in a Bell Jar (All Photos By Gail)
According to the comic book legend, Superman’s father Jor-El sent his infant son to safety on Earth before Krypton’s destruction, saving his life but inadvertently sentencing Superman to a future of displacement, loneliness and longing.
Superman grows up believing that Kandor – his city of birth – was destroyed, but later discovers his real home still exists, having been stolen by intergalactic archvillain Brainiac prior to Krypton’s demise, shrunken to a miniature metropolis and left trapped inside a glass bottle.
Superman ultimately wrestles Kandor away from Brainiac and hides it in his Fortress of Solitude, sustaining its citizens with tanks of Kryptonic atmosphere.
As artist Mike Kelley (1954 – 2012) once explained, Kandor functions for Superman as “a perpetual reminder of his inability to escape the past, and his alienated relationship to his present world.”