Fortress of Solitude
The Fortress of Solitude is a location that features in DC Comics.
At some point, a gaseous life form from Pluto arrived on Earth where it sought to restore itself from cold energies in the Arctic. Whilst there, it discovered the Fortress of Solitude and used its hyper-powers to absorb itself into the structure. Thus, the Fortress became animated by the entity who began to attack Superman until the Man of Steel uncovered the true nature of the threat. This saw him discerning that the organisms cold-based nature meant it was vulnerable to heat and thus he used his heat vision to force its surrender. Superman then had the creature remove itself from the Fortress's structure and placed in a container which he threw back into deep space. (Superman v1 #204)
Originally, the Fortress was disguised as a meteor in space when it was launched into orbit by Superman but the sentient space-cloud known as Urko the Terrible brought the wax sculptures of Kal-El's friends inside to life where he gave them superpowers to attack him. Though he defeated Urko, the incident led to Superman concluding that he would not keep his Fortress in space. He then transported this earlier, smaller Fortress to the center of the Earth in the hope that it would be peaceful and undisturbed there. However, near the Earth's core, he was attacked by a race of fire-people forcing him to abandon this location as a possible home. He, ultimately, decided then to place the Fortress of Solitude in the far Arctic believing that it was the best possible location for him. The location was decided from a desolate spot that he had visited years ago and was where he designed to set down his secret headquarters. With his bare hands, he carved the refuge he had long sought for and crafted a giant key that would only be lifted by him served as a means of ensuring that only he could enter the Fortress. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
Sometime ago, a criminal by the name of 'King' Andrews had learnt of the location of the Fortress. In that time, his plane had crashed near the site and they witnessed Superman rushing out to save them. Afterwards, he along with his son Michael and a mysterious electronics expert named Slegar captured Clark Kent to take him hostage. They invaded the Fortress where it was revealed that 'Slegar' was in fact Lex Luthor in disguise where he planted bombs in the headquarters that were primed to detonate when Superman returned in order to annihilate it and the Man of Steel. Luthor was stopped though King Andrews was killed by the criminal mastermind though the event was noted for being the closest time for the Fortress that could have been destroyed with an anti-matter fusion bomb. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
Following the Crisis of the Infinite Earths, a new version of reality was created with a different history of events. The Fortress of Solitude was actually built by the Kryptonian device known as the Eradicator which sought to preserve Krypton. Its negative influence forced Superman to throw it into the Antarctic where it began to seek to complete its intended function. The Eradicator brainwashed a number of American scientists in Antarctica and opened dimensional portals to allow access to Kryptonian technology stored there. This included a number of Kryptonian robots that began to use the technology to assemble the Fortress of Solitude as well as sought to terraform Earth to resemble Krypton. Superman managed to confront the self-assembling technology and stopped it with the Fortress of Solitude being completed to serve as Kal-El's hidden headquarters with it containing numerous relics from long-lost Krypton. (Adventures of Superman v1 #461)
With the Fortress destroyed, Superman set forth to build a new replacement with the aid of John Henry Irons. Irons managed to find the trace memory of the Fortress that still existed which acted as a Ghost Fortress that became an infinite space which could be placed within a finite dimensional containment. To re-materialise the Fortress, raw materials were gathered for it to draw its molecular substance. With a Spectral Nexus Apparatus, the Ghost Fortress was placed within a Tesseract sphere. Once online, the technology within the Ghost Fortress manifested became a hybrid of Krypton-Earth technology as it came online. At that moment, the Cyborg Superman struck after emerging from the Phantom Zone after the doorway came online. During their battle, the Cybermoths struck at Steelworks as they sought to plunder the Kryptonian technology within the Ghost Fortress. After defeating the threats, Superman and Steel took the Tesseract to the Antarctica where it served as the gateway to Superman's newly restored headquarters in a pocket dimension. (Superman: Man of Steel v1 #100) When Wonder Woman forced her way into the Fortress, she battled Superman to stop him from using the Vanishing device with their battle causing the headquarters to self-destruct thus destroying it. (Superman v2 #212)
In the aftermath, the Man of Steel sought a new location for his headquarters and went to the Amazon rainforest specifically the area known as Puccalpa. He took permission from the natives first before deciding to settle in the area where the Kryptonian crystals formed around a temple-like structure that became his new home. (Superman v2 #217)
The Durlan masquerading as Anderson Gaines later discovered the location of the Fortress of Solitude and sought to both destroy it. To achieve that end, he had hired the supervillain NRG-X with attacking the secret headquarters where the superpowered defeat its security measures. He then lay in wait for Superman with the two battling inside the Fortress of Solitude. (Superman/Batman v1 #70)
During the Final Crisis, the Fortress of Solitude became one of the few safe havens in the world when Darkseid dominated the planet by broadcasting the Anti-Life Equation which enslaved the minds of people. Groups of survivors of Anti-Life resided there with the site being designated as Watchtower 3 that linked with other refuges around the world. (Final Crisis v1 #4)
An artificial intelligence construct after coming online began taking over all robotic entities on the planet and causing them to turn against Earth. Among those corrupted was Superman caretaker Kelex and attempted to use him to unleash the arsenal of alien weapons within the Fortress of Solitude to wipe out all life in the world. However, Jessie Quick and Supergirl arrived where they destroyed the defending Superman Robots whilst Kara defeated Kelex which ended the threat. (Justice League of America v2 #60)
The New 52
Following the Flashpoint, a different version of history was created with an alternate timeline of events.
After the fight with H'el, the existence of the Fortress of Solitude came to the attention of the United States government whose senate called Superman to come before them. They declared their attention for sending a force into the Fortress to secure the site and remove any technology they deemed a threat to the world with Superman refusing their demands. (Superman v3 #18)
Vandal Savage after commandeering the Carrier had used its power to rip the Fortress of Solitude from the ground as the villain sought to claim it for himself. He merged it with the Carrier and the Watchtower in order to power a tractor beam to bring the comet that empowered Savage into orbit around the planet. (Superman/Wonder Woman v1 #26)
Lana Lang who was the new Superwoman was brought to the Fortress by Steel who was seeking the pre-Flashpoint Superman's help in saving her as her powers were slowly killing her. (Action Comics v1 #974)
In the aftermath of Rogol Zaar's battle, the Fortress was destroyed with Superman recovering one of its crystals where he used the Kryptonian technology to build a new one in the Bermuda Triangle. (Superman v5 #1)
Situated in the core of the mountain side of the Arctic wastes, the Fortress of Solitude served as the home for Superman. (Action Comics v1 #241) It was composed entirely of Kryptonian technology with it being the closest thing to resembling Krypton. It was a brilliant repository of science and technology to exist on Earth. (Action Comics v1 #982)
Within the Fortress, he could also conduct secret experiments with the use of his super-powers. Superman could keep trophies and dangerous souvenirs that he had collected from other worlds. He also maintained a number of rooms that kept souvenirs for his best friends with these containing a legacy from him in case he was ever destroyed. (Action Comics v1 #241)
There were a number of special rooms and chambers built into the Fortress that included:
- Lois Lane Room : a room dedicated to Lois Lane such as a necklace he had gotten her. (Action Comics v1 #241)
- Jimmy Olsen Room : a room dedicated for Jimmy Olsen that contained a number of gifts such as a hand-made sports car. (Action Comics v1 #241)
- Batman Room : a room dedicated to Batman and his friendship with as him as he was the only person he trusted with his secrets with Superman having a robot detective built to help the Caped Crusader with crimes. (Action Comics v1 #241)
- Clark Kent Room : a room dedicated to his life as Clark Kent and designed to make others that entered the Fortress believe that Superman and Clark Kent were two different people. (Action Comics v1 #241)
- Kryptonite Storage Room : a room dedicated to storing Kryptonite that was deadly to Kryptonians with the chamber also containing an anti-Kryptonite suit for protection. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
- Robot Storage Room : a room containing the various robot doubles used by Superman. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
- Super-Computer Room : a room containing a highly advanced computer that stored more information than any other computer on Earth and could connect to archives that included the largest criminal files on the planet. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
- Archives Room : a room containing tapes of all the known planets. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
- Super-Weapons Room : a chamber containing the various death-devices confiscated from supervillains. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
In the Fortress's computers, he established a database which he referred to as Alexandria II that served as a repository of human knowledge from basic farming techniques to the technology of space travel. History, science, language, culture and more were stored within the database to ensure that this knowledge along with the achievements made were never lost. The main library along with the back-ups were stored at the Fortress and in other multiple sites around the world where they could be accessed by reader devices that triggered when a human heartbeat was near them. Thus, the intention was that if any great disaster befell the planet that mankind would retain the knowledge to rebuild civilization. (Superman v1 #675)
Within the Interplanetary Zoo, there were a number of animals contained in the various cells that included the:
- Venusian Air-Eater : (Superman Family v1 #173)
- Dancing Plant : a plant discovered on Mars but actually formed from a spore that drifted from another galaxy. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
- Venus Butterfly : a butterfly-like creature that could sing which whilst found on Venus was actually from a planet around the star Betelgeuse. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
Special modular apartments could also be constructed into the Fortress with one being designed for Supergirl. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
The disintegration pit was a type of atomic cauldron fuelled by radioactive Kryptonian elements that dissolved anything back to its molecular components within a moment. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
The Kryptonian technology of the Fortress chronicled Superman's entire life and could note any discrepancies in his recollection of events. It was capable of inserting a consciousness into the archive images for full immersion in order to better experience the events recorded. (Action Comics v1 #977)
It responded to external threats by defending itself and manifesting defenses to attack intruders. (Superman/Wonder Woman v1 #26)
Superman used the Fortress to hold his Cosmic Ark that he had built which was made for worldwide disaster scenarios. (DC Special Series v1 #26)
- Initially, the secret headquarters of Superman debuted as the Secret Citadel created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster that was built in secret in the mountains of Metropolis where it made its first appearance in Superman v1 #17 (July, 1942).
- In Superman v1 #181 (1965), a future timeline was shown where there existed a Fortress of Solitude in the 30th century and used by that era's Superman. In 2965, it was a legendary satellite that orbited Earth and made invisible by a field of refractive force.
- In Superman v1 #708 (2011), it was shown that each of the members of the Superman Squad that existed across history that were descendants of Superman had operated from their own respective Fortresses of Solitude but convened together in the Fortress of Solidarity. The Fortress of Solidarity was a tesseract housed in a pentagonal icositetrahedron outside of space and time with it located in the Still Zone and was able to travel through any point in spacetime through the use of Lightning Doors.
- In Justice League of America v2 #26 (2008), an alternate timeline was created by the god Anansi where Batman never existed as the young Bruce Wayne shot Joe Chill with a gun after which he became a vigilante called Paladin. On this world, Superman and Wonder Woman came to be romantically involved with the two getting married where they served as superheroes on their world's Justice League. This was until Superman was killed in battle leading to Wonder Woman becoming a grieving widow who took up residence in the Fortress of Solitude. The displaced Vixen met Wonder Woman at the Fortress where she convinced her to help restore the world back to normal.
In other media
- In the DC Animated Universe, the Fortress of Solitude made an appearance in the shared animated setting.
- In Superman: The Animated Series, an Arctic cavern was found by Superman and was where he kept one of Brainiac's Orbs that contained the recorded knowledge of Krypton as shown in the episode "Stolen Memories". In the episode "The Main Man", the various creatures from the Preservers ship were taken to the developing Fortress of Solitude.
- In Smallville, it did not feature initially with instead Jonathan Kent referring to the Kent farm barn as his adoptive son Clark Kent's 'Fortress of Solitude'. It was formally introduced in the fifth season episode "Arrival" where it was a crystalline structure resembling the one in the Donnerverse movies.
- In Legion of Super-Heroes, the Fortress of Solitude was shown in the animated series in the episode "Message in the Bottle". It survived in the Arctic into the 31st century where it contained various momentos of his advertising and was cared for by a Superman robot. Imperiex and his Destructobots attacked it in order to claim the Messenger. A young Superman from the 21st century was brought forward in time by the Legion of Super-Heroes to help battle Imperiex.
- In Supergirl, the Fortress of Solitude made an appearance in the episode "Solitude". Kara Zor-El and Jimmy Olsen travelled to the Fortress in the Arctic where Supergirl picked up the key to open the Fortress as they sought information on Indigo. In the episode "Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk", it was mentioned that it was powered by an Atomic Cauldron making it powered by the most powerful fusion furnaces on Earth.
- In Justice League Action, the Fortress of Solitude appeared in the animated television series in the episode "Field Trip". It was the home of Superman and operated as the secondary headquarters for the Justice League in case the Watchtower was not operational. The Krypton Room held the most important items in the Fortress including the Phantom Zone Projector. Superman was giving a tour of the Fortress to Stargirl, Firestorm and Blue Beetle when they accidently sent Superman to the Phantom Zone and freed Zod along with two Kryptonian criminals.
- In Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, the Fortress of Solitude was shown in the animated film adaptation of the comic storyline. Kara Zor-El who had only arrived on Earth was taken there in order for her to better adjust to her new home after it was discovered that she was Superman's cousin. She was later happy when she was allowed to leave the Fortress and be at Metropolis.
- In All-Star Superman, the Fortress of Solitude appeared in the animated film where it was situated in the Antarctic. Superman took Lois Lane to the Fortress after he revealed his identity to her. Among the areas included was an armory consisted of weapons that had been used against him the past. Within the lair was his Time Telescope that allowed him to communicate with his future descendants. Another item was the Cosmic Anvil which Superman used to forge miniature artificial suns that he fed to his Sun-Eater.
- In The Death of Superman, the Fortress of Soltiude appeared in the setting of the 2018 animated film. It was shown being constructed in the Antarctic following the death of Superman whereupon the ship that brought him to Earth as a baby activated and took his body which was taken to the crystalline structure that formed in the ice.
- In The Death and Return of Superman, the Fortress of Solitude was shown briefly in a cutscene in the SNES video game.
- In DC Universe Online, the Fortress appeared as a playable area and also part of the backstory. During the introduction cinematic, it was shown that in a future where Brainiac had conquered Earth that the few remaining superheroes made their final stand at the Fortress of Solitude. Batman, Lex Luthor and a newly empowered superhero intended to use the advanced technology situated there to send one of them back in time with the Exobytes to warn defeat Brainiac. However, Luthor betrayed his allies and departed through the temporal gate but not before initiating the self-destruct sequence in the Fortress as Brainiac's forces had arrived.
- In Mortal Kombat vs. DC, the Fortress of Solitude appeared as a playable stage in the fighting video game.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us, the Fortress appeared in the story and as a playable stage in the video game.
- In Injustice 2, the Fortress appeared again in the video game sequel where it was shown in the story mode and as a playable stage. It was the site of a Luthor-Wayne research facility that sought to dismantle much of its technology and prevent the remaining One Earth Regime members for using it. During Brainiac's invasion, Batman reluctantly decided to free the captive Superman who had been deprived of his powers by red sun radiation prison cell. As such, he sought to use the solarium chamber in the Fortress to repower himself under yellow sun energy.
- In DC: Unchained, the Fortress of Solitude appeared in the setting of the mobile video game.
- Superman v1:
- Action Comics v1:
- Superman/Batman v1:
- Action Comics:
- Batman/Superman v1:
- Superman Unchained v1:
- The Man of Steel:
- Superman v5: