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A distinguished scientist, Sul-Van often tried to reign in what he saw as excessive egotism in his son-in-law, warning him that his dogmatic statements would ruin his professional and political career. Their disagreement came to a head when Jor-El predicted the destruction of the planet Krypton. When Jor-El presented his findings to the Council, and was discounted by Brainiac, Sul-Van did not speak up for his son-in-law. However, when Sul-Van visited Jor-El's home later, he had the chance to examine Jor-El's research in detail, and was troubled to find that it was actually quite persuasive. Just then, Jor-El arrived home after a confrontation with Brainiac, fleeing from the police and revealing that the planet would explode within the next hour. He now said they had no choice but to send Kal-El, alone, on the one-man ship he had designed. But Jor-El said he had to flee the house to distract the police, to give Lara enough time to launch the ship, even though she said she couldn't do it herself. Though he objected to the plan, Sul-Van ultimately agreed to be the one to distract the police, leading them on a wild goose chase that ended in a non-fatal crash. As the rocket launched, the earthquake heralding Krypton's destruction began. Sul-Van waited calmly for the end, knowing he had done his part to ensure his grandson's survival.

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