NOR-KAN (or Nor-Kann; Nor Kann)
The elderly Kandorian scientist, once a close friend of Supermanâ€™s parents, Jor-El and Lara, who befriends Superman and Jimmy Olsen during their visit to Kandor in January 1963. Once a colleague of Jor-El on the doomed planet Krypton, Nor-Kan happened to be visiting Kandor when it was stolen by Brainiac and hence escaped the cataclysm that soon afterward destroyed his native planet. Dwelling in a stately â€œsuburban mansionâ€ on the outskirts of Kandor, Nor-Kan carries on his scientific work in a â€œsecret underground labâ€ constructed beneath his house. Inside his home, he has placed a pair of lifelike â€œphoto-statuesâ€ of Jor-El and Lara, so as, in his words, â€œnever to forget our friendship!â€ It is a pair of Kandorian birds, a â€œnightwingâ€ and a â€œflamebirdâ€, owned by Nor-Kan that inspires Superman and Jimmy Olsen to adopt the alternate identities of Nightwing and Flamebird and to fashion a pair of colorful costumes evocative of their plumage. With Nor-Kanâ€™s blessing, the hidden laboratory beneath his house becomes their secret subterranean headquartersâ€”the so-called â€œnight-caveâ€ or â€œnightcaveâ€ and his automobile is converted into their specially equipped â€œnightmobileâ€ (S No. 158: â€œSuperman in Kandorâ€ pts. I-IIIâ€”â€Invasion of the Mystery Super-Men!â€; â€œThe Dynamic Duo of Kandor!â€; â€œThe City of Super-People!â€).
For almost two years Nor-Kan serves as Supermanâ€™s faithful friend and Kandorian ally, only to succumb to â€œa fatal dose of radiationâ€ in October 1964 while experimenting with the rare radioactive element Illium-349 (Act No. 317: â€œSupermanâ€™s Rainbow Face!â€).
In January 1963, Nor-Kan meets Superman for the first time and becomes the Man of Steelâ€™s ally in the struggle to prevent the â€œfanatic scientistâ€ Than Ol from bringing doomsday to the entire city of Kandor (S No. 158: â€œSuperman in Kandorâ€ pts. I-III â€œInvasion of the Mystery Super-Men!â€; â€œThe Dynamic Duo of Kandor!â€; â€œThe City of Super-People!â€).
In February 1964, when Brainiac is brought to trial in Kandor on the charge of having shrunk and stolen the city prior to the explosion of Krypton, Nor-Kan is chosen to prosecute the case on behalf of the Kandorian people. Nor-Kanâ€™s eloquence wins a swift conviction, but the Kandorians are ultimately compelled to let Brainiac go free in order to save the life of Superman (S No. 167: â€œThe Team of Luthor and Brainiac!â€ pts. I-IIIâ€”â€The Deadly Duo!â€; â€œThe Downfall of Superman!â€; â€œThe Hour of Kandorâ€™s Vengeance!â€). (See Lex Luthor)
In August 1964, Nor-Kan renews his friendship with Superman when the Man of Steel returns to Kandor to battle a â€œmetalloidâ€ menace there (WF No. 143: â€œThe Feud Between Batman and Superman!â€ pts. I-IIâ€”no title; â€œThe Manhunters from Earth!â€). (See Than-Ar)
In October 1964, after Superman has been deprived of his super-powers by the baleful radiations of a mysterious green comet, it is Nor-Kan who advises Ar-Val of the â€œterribleâ€ method that might be used to â€œundo the cometâ€™s effects,â€ but only at the cost of Ar-Valâ€™s own life (S No. 172: pts. I-IIIâ€”â€The New Superman!â€; â€œClark Kentâ€”Former Superman!â€; â€œThe Struggle of the Two Supermen!â€).
Soon afterward, Nor-Kan is struck in the brain and killed by â€œa fatal dose of radiationâ€ while experimenting with the rare radioactive element illium-349 in hopes of finding a way to use the substance to power an â€œenlarger rayâ€ with which to restore Kandor to normal size. Following Nor-Kanâ€™s death, a solemn funeral procession is held for him in Kandor, and a memorial tablet, bearing this inscription, is erected in his honor: â€œIn memory of Nor-Kan, who gave his life attempting to find a safe enlarging ray so that Kandor, in normal size, could become a city of Earth!â€ (Act No. 317, Oct 1964: â€œSupermanâ€™s Rainbow Face!â€). (TGSB)