Krypton takes place 200 years before Superman lands in Smallville, giving the series a lot of creative freedom with its story. Originally teased as a tie-in to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, Krypton exists within its own continuity with no ties to any previous Superman story. With that being said, the series takes inspiration from many different takes of Krypton. There are plenty of nods and easter eggs from both the original Superman, Man of Steel and even Superman the Animated Series. Given its own identity, strong visuals and tone, and a great plot thread, Krypton has the potential to stand out as one of the most ambitious comic book adaptations of the modern era.
Fans of the DCEU might be disappointed with this series not being directly tied to the films as it was originally teased to be, but the series is definitely worth checking out if you’re a DC or Superman fan. As a die-hard DCEU Superman fan I’ll admit I was skeptical once the overall look of the show was completely changed to look and feel less like the DCEU, but I was pleasantly surprised by the premiere. The tone of the show still feels mostly in line with what Zack Snyder set up with Krypton in Man of Steel.
One thing about this show that I find interesting is how it deals with the family houses, divides amongst the lower divisions of society, and the privileged super class. Having a show dealing with family honor, a society that rejects the notion other worlds, artificial population control, arranged marriages and revocation of ones own identity, are all very fascinating elements rarely seen in a comic book tv show.
Krypton has established its premier with good talent throughout. With relatively unknown actors, it gives the show real weight to rely on its own story and not necessarily the big names. Cameron Cuffe leads the show portraying Seg-El, the last in the line of the house of El. who has the responsibility of restoring the honor of his family as well as saving the planet and the future. Cameron does a good job of playing the troubled Seg. The character is forced to live in the slums of Kandor City after his Grandfather was labeled a traitor and stripped of the House of El rank. I personally got a Captain Kirk vibe from the character but that’s a good thing as it gives the audience a chance to connect with him. Between his stuggle to fight for his family’s good name, his newly found place amongst the science guild, his arranged courtship with Nyssa Vex (Wallis Day), and his forbidden romance with Lyta Zod (Georgina Campbell), the first episode of Krypton lays down all the plot seeds that will develop throughout the season.
The female characters on Krypton truly stole the show for me. Every female character shown in the premier has an important role in the episode and will definitely be featured heavily throughout the season. From Lyto, to Seg’s mother, and the familiar face of Alura Zod, being portrayed by DCEU and Wonder Woman alum Ann Ogbomo, the head of the military guild. Each of these characters had moments in this episode of intensity and powerful emotion. This element of the show immediately gravitated me to the series.
As far as the easter eggs go, I did enjoy them for the most part. As much as I was not a fan of the use of the John William’s Superman theme in Danny Elfman’s score of Justice League, I found its place here to be a lot more fitting. Given that David Goyer has been developing this show from its conception, I appreciate the series keeping the nods to the DCEU such as the genesis chamber, the design of Krypton, and the overall tone of the show. The Kryptonian language used in the series seemed to be a direct callback to Smallville. Krypton does a great job honoring all versions of Superman, which is fitting as it premieres in the year of Superman’s 80th anniversary. On that note, it is worthy mentioning the design of Brainiac is nothing short of amazing and has a cinematic quality to it.
My only minor gripe so far is the element of Adam Strange. While the actor was okay in the role, I feel like having a character from Earth in a series about a planet 200 years ago almost took me out of it but I do think it will blend better as the story continues.
All in all I enjoyed the start of Krypton. There is something in this series for everyone. Fans of the DCEU will enjoy the Man of Steel easter eggs, Donner fans will enjoy the callbacks and fans of the comics and other interpretations of Superman will find a level of familiarity as well. Krypton has the potential to new one of the best shows DC Comics has made and I will be tuning in next week.