We all know the story of Superman. What we don’t know…what we’re now learning…is how that story almost never came to be.
HOUSE OF ?
The House of El was scorned. Its symbol, one that evokes a sense of majesty and awe, was now considered illegal and all family members stripped of name and privilege. Not for any good reason but because Val-El, Seg’s grandfather, rejected the Voice of Rao, the figurehead of a tyrannical religious regime that rejected science and truth.
He refused to take the knee and swear allegiance and as a result was charged with sedition and sentenced to death.
14 years after watching his grandfather die, Seg is…a bit of a mess, to be honest. He pulls scams with his buddy Kem to make extra money for his family and he’s still carrying a lot of anger over his current lot in life. But he has a good heart so…that’s a start at least, right?
When Seg stops by the Guild his father works at to drop off his meds, he inadvertently gets there just as an assassination attempt is being made on the Voice of Rao. He stops it and lands square on Daron-Vex’s radar; aka the same man who took his grandfather away 14 years earlier.
Daron-Vex has a plan and it involves Seg. We know this because he tells Seg he’s conferred with the genetic council, and they’ve deemed him worthy of the Science Guild. More than that, he wants Seg be assigned a new surname…his surname…and that he’d be bound to his youngest daughter Nyssa.
It also means a trip the Genesis chamber to give a drop of blood and learn about their future offspring, Cor-Vex.
Nyssa lays it out for him: the reason he was chosen for Nyssa was because Daron-Vex wants to tame him. Corral the grandson of a traitor. Nyssa has her own game, however, as she admits she’s the one who picked Seg for herself.
And if stopping an attack, getting married and being given a new surname wasn’t enough, Seg prevented an old man in the street from being beaten by the Voice of Rao security detail. Thankfully, Lyta-Zod was there to pull a catch and release on him.
And oh yeah, they’re totally lovers. Can you say Romeo and Juliet?
OH MY ZOD
Lyta-Zod is a Sagitarian and a member of the House of Zod. Like her intended, Dev-Em, she trains to defend Kandor City from any threats. Her mother Jayna-Zod is the leader of Kandor’s Military guild. And she’s about as soft and fluffy as a porcupine.
Lyta-Zod seems to have a good heart and that good heart gets her into trouble with her mom. Reference how she stabbed Lyta in the hand during training because she asked for mercy.
VISITOR FROM EARTH
Seg is stopped on his way home by a stranger, whose name also happens to be strange. Adam Strange, that is. He’s there with a dire warning about the future, about Superman and just as Seg’s ready to make a break for it, Adam hands him something he recognizes. A Sunstone with the glyph for the House of El on it. Then he disappears in a wisp of smoke.
Seg tells his parents what Adam said and they underplay the importance of what he said.
His father, Ter, suggests he take the Sunstone away since the glyph is outlawed. (Seg gets it back moments later of course.)
Out after dark and easy pickings for a military patrol, Seg is stopped and searched. He bolts and runs straight into a skimmer with his mom inside. A borrowed skimmer, as in…not theirs. She’s there to tell him the truth about the Fortress Adam told him about, as well as why his grandfather was executed and to take him to his Fortress of Solitude, far outside Kandor City.
Charys tells Seg his grandfather was trying to find proof that they weren’t alone in the universe, and that he did find something. A threat that would one day come for Krypton. And the Council had him executed for it.
They can’t stay long thanks to the military tracking the skimmer but Charys urges Seg that they must finish Val-El’s work.
Moments after getting home, the military is already on them.
Charys hides Seg and submits to Dev-Em and the guards, confessing that she serves Black Zero, a terrorist organization.
Charys’ confession was a lie. She wasn’t a member of Black Zero, but she wanted to get in front of the people to tell them that Val-El was right. They are not alone.
Daron-Vex and Jayna-Zod continued to press until Ter had no choice but to say he was in the skimmer too, in order to protect Seg and the Sunstone. Ter steals a weapon and aims, and Jayna is forced to kill him. Charys follows suit and soon Seg is left with no one.
Lyta wants to provide him comfort but Seg is too broken to receive it. What’s worse, he calls off their relationship, accepting it as being impossible.
Seg begs Kem for a skimmer and he’s off to be alone at the Fortress of Solitude. That is, until Adam pops up again. Seg’s livid at Adam for bringing all this down on him. It cost him his parents, it cost him everything.
Adam shows him it’s not the end. He pulls out Superman’s cape as proof that the House of El will endure. Except the cape is slowly disappearing. Once it’s gone, so is the hope for the future. Adam warns there’s more at stake than just Kal-El, that a civilization conquering entity known as the Collector of Worlds…Brainiac…was on the move.
What will Seg do? Will he run or will he take up the challenge? Of course we know, he’ll stand and fight. Otherwise it’d be a pretty short series.
- What is the deal between Jayna and Daron? He’s very condescending to her. But more than that, there seems to be a shared history, especially in regard to the House of El.
- Will Cor-Vex actually be born? I got a little confused with the whole Genesis Chamber thing
- Is it really over between Seg and Lyta??
- What does Adam think Seg can do to save the future from Brainiac?
- Seg instinctively coming to the aid of anyone in need
- Nyssa showing there’s more to her than meets the eye
- Charys proving she has faith in her son, even if he’s a little rough around the edges
- The resolve of the House of El continuing to be felt
The “Pilot” episode was, I felt, a very good start for the series. The world created within is immense and textured. Class differences, ranked versus unranked are all timeless principles. The powerful elite rarely give much much care to those under their thumb.
It will be especially interesting to see how Lyta adjusts to all that’s going on. She is a Zod after all, and Zod’s have a well documented history of being enemies of El. Is she the black sheep of the family or will she harden her heart? Only time will tell.
I give Krypton’s “Pilot” episode 4.5 forbidden family glyphs out of a possible 5.
You can @ me on Twitter @theuberfan any time to discuss all things Krypton.
See you next week for an all new episode!