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A Kryptonian dark goddess. According to legend, she attempted to wed Rao, Krypton's greatest god, and the progenitor of the House of El (or, in English, the House of Light). For a time, her courtship of Rao seemed to succeed, but when it became apparent she sought him only because she wante his power to sire her children, he rejected her. Krypton then entered a time of great darkness as the two gods, he of light and she of cold, became locked in a long battle known as the Wars of Fire and Ice.
Eventually Rao subdued her, but was unable to kill her. Instead, she was banished by Rao and the other gods in a kind of hell, presiding over a dark void that housed dead mortals whose wicked lives had failed to secure a more pleasant afterlife. In order to keep her in this void, the "good" gods had to exercise tremendous energies. When Krypton was destroyed, it is thought they lost their hold over her, and so she was released to exact her revenge upon the last living Kryptonian. Kal-El was that man, a direct, if extremely distant, descendant of Rao.
Mortal response to the Wars of Fire and Ice was to purge emotion from their society, lest they be tempted to follow the path of Cythonna. Thus, she is the mythological reason why Byrne's Krypton is so sterile. As the 2001 Loeb reimagination of Krypton has reduced that version to an act of intentional deception on Jor-El's part, it is probable that much of her backstory, derived from the Jor-El-made computer at the core of the Fortress of Solitude, isn't exactly true.
First Appearance: Superman: The Last God of Krypton (1999) One-Shot
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Superman: The Last God of Krypton (1999)
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