This article consists of nothing but Krypton season 2 spoilers.
Who would have ever thought that the best DC Comics show on TV would turn out to be a Superman prequel? Well, to be fair, it’s either Krypton or the bonkers and bizarrely sweet Doom Patrol. But Krypton managed to avoid nearly every single prequel pitfall in its first season, and then raised the stakes and flipped everything on its head with a reality altering season finale that opened the door to even crazier storytelling in season 2.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 1: Light-Years From Home
– Before we start on this episode, it should be noted that there has been a six month timejump since the season one finale.
– The ceremonial robes Zod is wearing at the start of the episode as he gives his address feel slightly reminiscent of Jor-El’s “jailer” robes in Superman: The Movie. And while there were similar wardrobe choices in season one, it’s always worth pointing out how this show pays tribute to that movie at every chance it gets.
The fact that now everyone (since the Rankless appear to have been gentrified out of existence) are now prominently wearing their house sigils and have adopted more uniform dress is again reminiscent of Superman: The Movie. The more colorful garb that Kryptonians have adopted in the wake of Zod’s “make Krypton great again” campaign is more reminiscent of how the planet was depicted until roughly the 1980s in the comics (and then again more recently).
– The speech that Zod delivers opens with “my fellow Kryptonians” and references “Kryptonian exceptionalism” as he justifies his imperialistic plan for Krypton…just in case you had any doubt about where this show views the kind of rationalizations that charismatic leaders offer for imperialistic adventuring throughout history.
And just to keep the focus on Zod for a moment, his plan to terraform other planets is reminiscent of his plan in Man of Steel, which itself referred to the imperialistic Kryptonian M.O. of years past. While Krypton isn’t in continuity with Man of Steel or the DCEU, it’s still a pretty cool connection.
– Adam Strange has taken to a more colorful wardrobe this season, including a red hoodie (which prompts Seg, later in the episode, to point out that “red’s your color!”) Indeed it is, as that’s the dominant color on Adam’s costume from the comics.
– The moon of Wegthor was first mentioned in Superman #141 in 1961. It has appeared on film in Man of Steel (which Krypton still has a number of aesthetic similarities to) in Jor-El’s era. I’m not gonna spoil it here, but if you click this link and look for the Wegthor entry, you’ll get a glimpse of what might be on the way for this moon.
Wegthor never had a space elevator in the comics, but it’s pretty neat that the Zod regime was able to whip this up in six months. The miners are extracting an element known as “stellarium” which, actually has some DC Comics history, but I’ll save that for a little later in this piece. You’ll see why.
– Not only is this the first time we’ve ever seen the surface of Wegthor in live action, this is also to the best of my knowledge the first live action depiction of Brainiac’s homeworld of Colu. It is…surprisingly lush. Also, I defy any future movie version of Brainiac to be half as perfect as Blake Ritson’s portrayal and look on this show.
– The Sunstone crystal that Seg is carrying around “contains the energy of a 10 billion year old yellow sun.” For comparison, our actual yellow sun is just under half that many billions of years old.
– Seg saying he’s “got a bad feeling about this” is reminiscent of one of Han Solo’s favorite expressions in Star Wars.
– Lobo is here! The character was created by Roger Silfer, Keith Giffen, and Mike DeCarlo in the pages of Omega Men #3 way the hell back in 1983. Initially a somewhat throwaway baddie, Lobo grew to prominence in the pages of Giffen and JM DeMatteis’ brilliant Justice League International, before evolving into a full-blown (and beloved) parody of everything that was wrong with comics in the late ’80s and early ’90s. We have a much more detailed history of Lobo right here.
The character you’re seeing on screen here is a perfect distillation of everything that made Lobo such a sensation when he reached his peak popularity, from dropping trademark phrases like referring to himself as “the Main Man” or his go-to expletive of “frag” (not to be confused with “frak”). Syfy is betting big on the Main Man, as they’ve already commissioned a Lobo spinoff TV series.
Amusingly, Adam asks Lobo if “the rest of the Kiss Army” are on the way, which is downright hilarious. Fans have also pointed out the similarities to Rob Zombie, who in turn was inspired by Kiss.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 2: Ghost in the Fire
– One of the weapons Lobo uses to threaten Seg and Adam appears to be the kind of mace usually favored by Hawkman. We’ve been promised Thanagarians for a long time on this show, and I think we’re due for some kind of Hawkman appearance. I really hope it happens this season.
– Lobo mispronounces Seg-El’s name as “Siegel” which is no coincidence, as Seg is named for Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel.
But since we’re talking about Lobo, he rattles off a whole bunch of Lobo-esque facts and history in profane, rapid-fire fashion.
He mentions the Church of the Triple Fish God, which Lobo was indeed the custodian of during DC’s excellent 52 weekly series in 2006-2007.
He says his name translates to “he who devours his enemy’s entrails and thoroughly enjoys it,” which is straight out of the comics.
He specifically mentions killing his parents, but also makes oblique references to actually having killed the entire Czarnian race with genetically engineered “scorpion rattlers,” again…accurate.
– The name “Flamebird” is invoked for the first time this season (it was mentioned as a codeword by Jax-Ur during season one). Flamebird was a superheroic identity adopted by Jimmy Olsen when he would go on crime fighting adventures with Superman in the bottle city of Kandor. Since then, a number of other characters (most Kryptonian in origin) have used the name and costume. But I believe this is the first time the name has ever been associated with a Raoist creation myth. It will be interesting to see if this show ever decides to explore Flamebird as an identity.
– The idea that Kryptonian physiology can adapt to the rigors of the Outlands is cool, and speaks to the overall adaptability of the species. After all, Kryptonians are powerless under a red sun, but under a yellow sun gain “powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.” So this little tidbit of info about how adaptable Kryptonians are seems like a subtle piece of worldbuilding to help explain why Superman is able to do what he does on Earth. It’s a nice touch.
– The poor guy that Lyta beats the absolute crap out of is named Lor-Ran according to the credits. Perhaps you, like me, got excited thinking his name was Lor-Van, which would make him a relative of Lara Lor-Van, who would be Seg-El’s daughter-in-law, or more succinctly, Superman’s mother. But you, like me, would be wrong.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 3: Will to Power
– Brainiac’s home planet of Colu looks amazing and weird from the outside, as it should.
– The green/corrupted Fortress as Seg’s “mind palace” to indicate Brainiac’s control of him is a nice touch.
– The architecture on Krypton is starting to look more and more like the kinds of structures seen in Superman: The Movie.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 4: Danger Close
– During the flashback, Kem is repeating a joke/fable about Rondors that we heard during season one.
– Also, as we see the first meeting between Lyta and Seg, it looks like the binding scarf has House of El colors (ala Val’s costume)
– “A little short to be a Sagitari” is a reference to the first Star Wars movie. When Princess Leia first meets Luke Skywalker he’s wearing a stolen Stormtrooper uniform, and she remarks that he’s “a little short for a Stormtrooper.”
– The silver sheets on Lyta’s bed are reminiscent of the silver sheets on the Fortress of Solitude bed in Superman II. If you go by Superman Returns continuity, that is likely where Superman and Lois’ child was conceived, so perhaps this encounter between Seg and Lyta is where little Dru is conceived. Well…at least that’s what I thought until it turned out this Lyta was likely a clone.
– Adam’s anxiety about a version of the future where it appears that time and the universe have just come to a halt makes me wonder if this show will indeed somehow tie into the version of Crisis on Infinite Earths coming to the CW DC shows. It’s extraordinarily unlikely, I’ll admit, but I can’t rule it out completely.
– We see Cor-Vex in a cradle containing shiny red, blue, and yellow blankets, which is once again reminiscent of how baby Kal-El was swaddled in Superman: The Movie.
– They’ve played the whole “Zod is from the future and Superman’s greatest enemy” so chill on this show that when he speaks in familiar turns about the Phantom Zone “that horrific place” it’s easy to forget that he would indeed know.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 5: A Better Yesterday
– When Jayna talks about Dru-Zod being unwilling to stop “until everyone kneels before him,” well…you know that this is once again a wonderful reference to Terrence Stamp’s most famous Zod catchphrase.
– It is purely coincidental that Jax-Ur says “whatever it takes” here, and her context is completely different from that of Avengers: Endgame, of course.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 6 Review: In Zod We Trust
– Jax-Ur has been a sympathetic character throughout this series, but with her murder of Lyta, her heel turn is more or less complete. Sure, the character still has redeeming qualities (as do all villains on this show), but now you can see how she eventually ends up exiled to the Phantom Zone and menacing Superman on Earth.
– Kryptonian names in this episode include Tai-Un, Ton-Re, and Taz-Ran. As far as I can tell, none of these are from the comics, although Taz-Ran does call to mind an earlier episode’s Lor-Ran, so perhaps they’re related. It’s also a slight anagram of “Tarzan” who was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, who also created Jon Carter of Mars, a character who had a profound influence on the creation of Adam Strange.
– There’s another, although far more nebulous (and coincidental) connection with one of those names, though. Ton-Re calls to mind the name Tomar-Re, a Green Lantern Corps member who patrolled Space Sector 2813. Tomar-Re wasn’t Kryptonian, but DC felt compelled at one point to explain why the Green Lantern Corps were unable to stop Krypton from exploding. Well, it turns out, they TRIED, and Tomar-Re had planned to stabilize Krypton’s unstable core using, you guessed it, Stellarium, the same mineral that is being mined on Wegthor. Anyway, there’s no actual connection between Ton-Re and Tomar-Re, I just thought that was worth pointing out.
– The Codex plays a major role in this episode, and it was the primary driver of the Man of Steel movie, which this show continues to resemble in little ways, even though they exist in different corners of the DC multiverse.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 7: Zods and Monsters
– Doomsday’s origin story was first told in Superman/Doomsday: Hunter Prey by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding. That was the direct sequel to the famed Death and Return of Superman story, although there, Doomsday’s origin was a little different. Instead of being a Kryptonian undergoing a procedure to produce the perfect soldier, he was a small creature, fired off into an inhospitable environment to be killed over and over again, until, after 30 years, he evolved into Doomsday.
Here, there are two Kryptonian scientists creating Doomsday. One is named Wedna-El, a name that does indeed have roots in Kryptonian history. Wedna Kil-Gor was the mother of Val-El in the comics, and first appeared in The Krypton Chronicles limited series in 1981, which, of course, has some influence on this show.
The other is Van-Zod, and while as far as I can tell that name has never appeared in the comics, Van is a common Kryptonian name. There was, however, a Van-Zee, a resident of Kandor who adopted the superheroic identity of Nightwing (no, not Dick Grayson).
There are some fun touches with the costumes in these flashback sequences. For starters, they’re both “ancient” and also kind of art-deco sci-fi. There’s a touch of the Flash Gordon serials about their looks, and of course Flash Gordon was a massive influence on Superman in general and Krypton in particular in the early comics. But also, Wedna’s “S” has a hint of the Man of Steel version of the logo about it, as well as a little of the Earth-2 Superman.
But there’s lots going on in the (relative) present of this episode, too…
– Seg’s pep talk to Nyssa is the most Superman-esque moment the character has ever had, and Cameron Cuffe pulls it off brilliantly. You could imagine Kal-El himself pumping up Flash or Green Lantern with something similar, and it’s the inspirational power of the members of House El that count for a lot. The wink he throws in at the end helps, too, a nod to the early Max Fleischer Superman cartoons, the George Reeves TV series, and many comics from Superman’s first 50 years.
– And, of course, we have the “Cor-Vex is now Jor-El” moment, which needs little (if any) explanation. But again, Seg has a big moment, and his speech to the newly named Jor is reminiscent of the one Marlon Brando’s Jor-El gives to baby Kal-El before launching him into space.
– They even give us a hint of the John Williams theme there. Krypton has been wise not to deploy that too often, but when they do, it matters.
– Seg finally gets to wear the “S” and you can tell Cameron Cuffe relishes it. Nice touch that he has to open his jacket to show it off.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 8: Mercy
– The Black Mercy has been teased since the earliest episodes of the show, and is the subject of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ all time classic Superman story “For the Man Who Has Everything.” For more on that story and other Alan Moore Superman tales, click here.
Here, as in that tale, Lyta begins to see through the facade of this “perfect world” and her own anxieties cause it to collapse and escape the Mercy’s influence.
During Lyta’s fantasy, Seg’s white ceremonial gear makes him look an awful lot like Brando’s Jor-El at the beginning of Superman: The Movie.
Incidentally, the Black Mercy was also the subject of an episode of Supergirl, although they didn’t lean into the body horror of it all the way they do here.
– A number of space sectors are rattled off. Sector 2813 is indeed Krypton’s sector (and neighbors are own (2814). Others mentioned include 2683 and 2684, although I believe only 2684 has ever actually been shown in the comics. Don’t forget, kids, it was the Guardians who divided the universe up into sectors, so this show is basically tempting us with some Green Lantern action down the road, and we need to see it.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 9: Blood Moon
– Doomsday’s utterly R-rated slaughter (not to mention his murder of Kem) feels straight out of the character’s comic book appearances…but bloodier.
– Adam mentions “the only person” who could potentially stop Doomsday. Three guesses who that is.
– And we finally get to see the destruction of Wegthor. It’s impressive that something that has long been a kind of Silver Age Superman trivia answer gets such weighty, dramatic, and effective treatment on TV.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 10: The Alpha and the Omega
– Annnd after all those other sectors were mentioned in episode 8, we finally get a shout out to our own home, Sector 2814! Of course, that’s where Brainiac is taking poor, innocent Jor-El…
– Val tells Seg that Kem will be remembered as “Kem-El.” In the comics, well…Kem-L was the creator of the Eradicator, and he wasn’t as nice a guy as our beloved Kem.
– As far as I can tell, all of Adam’s stuff about his home life here is entirely created for this show.
– Seg’s perfectly delivered, “General, would you care to step outside?” is a wonderful homage to one of the all time great Christopher Reeve line deliveries in Superman II.
– Oh, and while we’re talking about Superman movies where General Zod was the villain, you’ll note that Seg had a chance to break Zod’s neck here, but didn’t…unlike a certain OTHER Superman movie…
– Zod being subjected to the Black Mercy he had been using on others feels very much like the end of “For the Man Who Has Everything” which ended with Mongul under its influence, and living out his own fantasies of conquest.
– Adam Strange not only finally gets his jetpack, but gets something resembling his comic book costume!
– Lobo’s return would indeed seem to set things up for his solo TV series, or at least for his continued presence on Krypton Season 3 (which as of this writing hasn’t been renewed…but it had better be!).
– Nyssa ends up on Rann…and spots winged troops flying overhead, presumably the cause of the carnage she sees. Are those Thanagarians, the Hawkmen who have long been known to go to war with Rann? Or…are they Darkseid’s Parademons? The Omega symbol in blood on the cave wall could speak to the latter.
Spot anything we missed? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!
Read and download the Den of Geek SDCC 2019 Special Edition Magazine right here!