I Really Enjoyed the First Episode of New Gods- Wait That Was Krypton?- A Review
The premiere of Syfy’s newest series Krypton was last night. The 10-episode series is set to explore the history of the house of El some two hundred years before the birth of Kal-El; the child who would become Superman. It follows Superman’s grandfather, Seg (Cameron Cuffe) who tries to regain the honor and status of his family on Krypton. For a show supposedly set on Krypton, this show seems more suited for Apokolips.
Warning: Spoilers Contained Within…
In the past, Krypton has been portrayed as this Utopian society. It’s glistening and ultra-clean and Kryptonians are dressed in fine linens. Yet on this show, there’s two sides to Kandor. One full of luxury and power. Then there’s the seedy underbelly of the capital of Krypton. The version of the ‘Armaghetto’ of underprivileged Kandor City looks like the sets (as were the costumes) from Blade Runner 2049 were re-purposed with an extra layer of grime and excrement layered on top. I really do not know this place unless it was ruled by Darkseid.
Speaking of despots, Krypton is ruled by tyrant known as the Voice of Rao. In public, the Voice wears a golden helmet with emotionless faces while allowing his underlings to carry out his unjust vengeance against any who speak out against his teachings. Just Roa’s mere presence is an Omega Beam aimed straight for the jugular. Such a fate was bestow on Seg’s grandfather who was banished to the Phantom Zone for standing up against Rao’s teaching that Krypton was the only planet in the universe.
Seg reminds me a lot of Mister Miracle. He’s trying to escape his lot and has a great chance to regain all his family lost after his grandfather’s banishment. Seg inadvertently saves the Voice of Rao from a terrorist merely because his father was in proximity to the danger at hand. As a reward, Seg is bonded to Rao’s daughter Nyssa played by Wallis Day. However, Seg would much rather be with his secret paramour, Lyta Zod, ancestor of the one-day bain of Krypton General Zod.
Let’s talk about the Zods for a moment. Lyta’s mother Alura is the head of the military guild in Kandor City. She’s a sadistic drill sergeant that preaches a diplomacy of ‘No Mercy!’ Alura is our Granny Goodness, ever faithful to the throne of Rao and willing to train allegiance by any means necessary. Beleive me she will be a real thorn in Seg’s side.
Clearly the class struggle between scientist Seg, the warriors of the House of Zod and elitist Nyssa will come into factor. But it’s playing too much like Marvel’s Inhumans and that was a real stinker. I want action and adventure in my stories and Krypton is almost like having to sit through Richard III or some other Shakespeare snooze-fest. It is especially dull with all the British accents and ten-dollar words of dialogue being thrown about.
One thing that I enjoyed in this episode was something that a lot of people have expressed disgust to. Several modern characters such as Brainiac and Adam Strange appear on the show. Normally, I would be upset too that DC is playing fast and loose with established canon. All I will say is that this is okay this time. See, there is an element of time travel involved and it involves characters we know as being interactive with Superman now interacting with Seg. Hawkgirl is also supposed to appear at some point and since time travel is at play, I will wait to see what her role is in all this before getting angry.
If Krypton was a New Gods TV show, I think Jack Kirby would be proud. But this series is supposed to be based on the Superman mythos. Thus I am thinking Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster are rolling in their graves. If Krypton is supposed to have any promise, they’re going to have to do something by episode #2 because I will not be holding out for a third helping.