Pir-El was a native of the planet, Krypton and a respected member of the noble House of El. He was commander-in-chief for the Kandor-Kryptonopolis Federation during the waning days of the Last War. In the Kryptonian year 9846, the reigning Drygur Moliom of the Kryptonian Science Council instructed Pir-El to formulate a retaliatory strike against the enemy nations gathered on the continent of Urrika. Pir-El deployed Disintegrator-Spheres and sent them to four major Urrikan city-states, including the capital city of Erkol. For a brief period, they believed that the war had been won, but the commanders of Erkol struck back with a solar-powered robot-craft.

The robot-craft released a destructive wave of red solar radiation, completely leveling the city of Kryptonopolis. Following the destruction of the majestic city, the enemy issued an ultimatum: The citizens of Kandor had to surrender or else suffer the same fate as Kryptonopolis.