Krypton Syfy Kandor city glass Brainiac Superman
It doesn’t take a twelfth-level intellect to realize the Superman villain Brainiac will be the big bad in the new Syfy series Krypton. Blake Ritson (Da Vinci’s Demons) plays the aptly named alien, who is obsessed with obtaining knowledge by collecting the last survivors of alien civilizations. Brainiac uses a shrink ray to abduct alien cities then destroys the planet in order to hoard their knowledge for himself. One of those abducted cities was Kandor, the capital of Krypton.

The TV trailer features one such bottled city though there is no scale reference to infer its size. It’s possible Brainiac’s space ship is immense enough to hold full-sized cities. The ship appears to be on a course for a red sun presumably Krypton’s sun. Brainiac has long been vexed by the last son of Krypton, Superman.

“Your existence outside of my bio-shell, this ship, allows others to share in Kryptonian science and culture,” he explains in Action Comics #868.

Superman’s mind is probed by the alien but the link works both ways. He witnesses firsthand a world’s sun exploding immediately following the abduction of a city. Superman accuses him of being responsible for the destruction of Krypton. Brainiac doesn’t explicitly answer the charge but he implies he’s to blame. He taunts his captive with the knowledge that Earth will suffer the same fate as Krypton when he launches his solar-aggressor into the Sun in Action Comics #869.

Action Comics 868 869 Brainiac Superman Kandor Krypton

Brainiac is a humanoid from Colu, a planet of geniuses. However, the 12th level intellect is not satisfied with being the smartest Coluan and gives himself cybernetic enhancements. He has had many incarnations over the years including human and robotic hosts as well as numerous descendants, most notably Brainiac 5 AKA Brainy who joins the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th Century. The heroes traveled back in time to recruit their hero, Superboy. The Legion will undoubtedly get involved to ensure the legacy of Superman.

This looks like a job for Superman’s grandfather!

The series takes place on Krypton two generations before the birth of Kal-El AKA Superman, who will never be born if Brainaic has his way. Space adventurer Adam Strange (Dark Matter‘s Shaun Sipos) travels back in to warn his grandfather, Seg-El, portrayed by self-professed comic book nerd Cameron Cuffe (The Halcyon). Series creator Damian Kindler says he offered the actor Superman comic books to look over but Cuffe insisted he already had enough in his personal collection.

Superman’s fate is looking grim. The House of El is stripped of its rank when Seg’s grandfather, Val-El (Game of Thrones‘s Ian McElhinney), is found guilty of treason. Seg grows up alone in the Rankless District.

“Clark Kent had the benefit of growing up on Kent Farm, this beautiful place where he’s accepted and loved,” Cuffe told Empire magazine. “Seg grows up in a society that’s leaning hard towards authoritarianism. He’s much more of a rogue than superman. A bit more angry, wily, street-smart.”

Strange is an human archeologist who becomes a superhero when (different) aliens abduct him. He is accidentally transported by a Zeta-Beam to the planet Rann, where he gains alien technology including a jet pack and ray gun. Rann has a longstanding conflict with the Thanagar, the home planet of Hawkwoman, who will also make a cameo.

“The connection with Thanagar is going to be important,” Kindler teased.

Thanagar is the source of Nth metal, a magical metal that allows flight. It’s used not only by Hawkman and Hawkgirl but also in Legion flight rings that are issued to all members.

In addition to Brainiac, creators have teased other characters from the DC Universe including escapees from the prison dimension known as the Phantom Zone and Doomsday, the infamous super villain who killed Superman. Doomsday is actually an artificial lifeform that evolved on ancient Krypton.

Krypton Syfy Dev Em (Aaron Pierre) Lyta Zod (Georgina Campbell)
Kryptonian soldiers: Dev-Em (Aaron Pierre) and Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell).

Star-crossed lovers

The greatest threat may be Seg’s love interest, Lyta-Zod portrayed by Georgina Campbell (Broadchurch). The House of El and Zod are the Hatfields & McCoys of Krypton. Zod has had it in for Kal-El ever since Superman’s father, Jor-El, banished him to the Phantom Zone. Hopefully, Seg won’t kneel before Zod and propose marriage thus erasing Jor-El and subsequently Superman. Seg even has his own General Zod AKA Lyta’s mother, Alura Zod, portrayed by Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness). He also has to contend with a fellow suitor, Dev-Em played by Aaron Pierre (Britannia). The elite soldier is trained in Kryptotian martial arts so even is Seg gets the girl, Dev could literally hurt him so bad his children will feel it.

Krypton goes up, up and away March 21, 2018 on Syfy.