Krypton Recap: The Series Premiere Goes Deep Into Superman’s Family Lore
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Anyone who knows even a little Superman lore knows that Superman’s home planet of Krypton is doomed. The new series Krypton, which premiered last night, asks the question: ‘What if the planet was doomed a full two centuries earlier?’ Obviously Kal-El (aka The Man of Steel, aka Superman) would never be born. Which means, in terms of the chores DC has him doing here on Earth, humanity would be in big trouble.
In the first episode, we learn all about Supe’s family tree: how his grandfather’s grandfather was a scientist who was sentenced to death for warning the governing council that they were not alone in the universe—and that some of their fellow sentient beings may mean them harm. The council called that treason and executed him in front of little Seg-El’s eyes.
Jumping 14 years (or “cycles” if you’re a Kryptonian) in the future, Seg is now the hero of the story—although that isn’t immediately apparent. His family was stripped of their rank, name, and honour. For money, Seg’s dad works for the very guild that killed his father-in-law while Seg gets into bar brawls and makes money off the patrons who bet on the outcome. Everything changes when an oddly dressed stranger claiming to be from the planet Detroit shows up with with a shiny bauble engraved with the outlawed House of El insignia.
Amidst all this El family drama, Seg just happens to be in the right place at the right time to save everyone in the Lawmakers Guild from a Black Zero terrorist attack. Following this act of bravery, guild leader Daron-Vex generously admits Seg back into the elite fold, restoring his rank and honour—but not his name. He’ll be marrying into the house of Vex, binding with Daron’s kickass ice queen daughter, Nyssa (which is bad news for both Seg and his secret gf, Lyta Zod).
These new developments push Seg’s mother to realize it’s now or never time: she’ll have to tell Seg about his grandfather’s secret science hideout before he becomes too swept up in his new life. Together, they take off in a stolen skimmer. Destination: only the FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE! Turns out that the shiny thing Earther Adam Strange give Seg is a key that opens the fortress where the family has been continuing to do Grandad El’s work.
But the joyride to the fortress has landed Seg’s parents in hot water. To save him, they turn themselves in, claiming to be a part of Black Zero and testifying before the council (including the multi-faced, gold-headed Rao) that Val-El was right: Krypton is not alone, and it IS in danger. As a thank you for this warning, they’re both shot dead by Lyta Zod’s formidable mom, Alura.
Beyond bummed, Seg seeks out solitude in his newly inherited fortress but instead finds Adam Strange again, who he blames for his parent’s very recent deaths. But Strange has no time for sentimentality or apologies. In his hand, he holds a red cape with the House of El insignia on it—and it’s disintegrating before his eyes. The cape, says Strange, is an hourglass, and the thing it’s measuring is the time that Seg has left to try to save his planet from the Collector of Worlds, Brainiac.