WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the pilot episode of Krypton, which debuted Wednesday on Syfy.
Set on Superman’s home world two generations before his birth, Syfy’s Krypton is of course filled with links to the Man of Steel’s mythology, from his iconic cape to the looming threat of his classic foe Brainiac. However, there’s one connection you may have missed in the series premiere.
The sci-fi drama centers on the superhero’s grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), whose once-prominent family is stripped of its status and ostracized after his own grandfather, the brilliant Val-El (Ian McElhinney of Game of Thrones), defies Krypton’s new ruling theocracy. A brash young man, Seg gets by on his wits in the bars and alleyways of Kandor City while carrying on a forbidden relationship with Lyta Zod (Georgina Campbell), daughter of the head of the military guild. That hardscrabble life is turned upside down with the sudden appearance of an unusual man wearing unusual clothing who claims to have traveled across time and space to find Seg: Adam Strange.
Played by Shaun Sipos, the character is familiar to comics fans as the Silver Age sci-fi hero who was teleported from Earth to Rann through a Zeta-Beam to protect that planet from otherworldly threats. However, he’s not quite the same Adam Strange on Krypton, where he’s more of a hoodie-wearing Obi-Wan Kenobi who issues to Seg his own call to adventure: Someone is coming to destroy the planet, to prevent his grandson from becoming “the greatest hero in the universe, like, ever.” Adam hands Seg a Sunstone Crystal bearing a modified version of the El family crest, and then disappears, presumably because the effects of the Zeta-Beam has worn off, sending him back to Earth.
It turns out the Sunstone is the (literal) key to unlocking Val-El’s hidden Fortress of Solitude, long sought by Kryptonian authorities. Unfortunately, Seg’s curiosity about the mysterious crystal sets off a series of events that leads to the deaths of his mother and father. Distraught, Seg returns to the Fortress of Solitude, storehouse for his grandfather’s research and discoveries. There he’s greeted by Adam Strange, who declares, “Thank God it worked!” before placing a cigarette between his lips. However, it’s not just any cigarette, as we see when an angry Seg knocks him to the ground. No, it’s a Luthorello.
Presumably a play on cigarillo, the existence of Luthorello’s suggests Luthor’s LexCorp megacorporation has further expanded its diverse interests, beyond pharmaceuticals, bio-engineering, robotics, media, real estate and the like, to include the tobacco industry — a move some might contend is downright evil. The packaging’s font and color scheme evokes the real-world Marlboro brand, the name is all Luthor.
There’s a long history, dating back to at least 1960, of movies, television shows and even video games depicting the fictional Morley cigarette brand, a play on Marlboro. Its first known appearance was in the Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho, but since then it’s appeared in such films as Platoon and The World’s End, and on a long list of TV series, including The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Twilight Zone, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Walking Dead and The X-Files.
However, we’ll have to wait and see whether Luthorello’s find their way onto other DC comics-based properties.
Airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy, Krypton stars Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El, Shaun Sipos as Adam Strange, Georgina Campbell as Lyta Zod, Elliot Cowan as Daron-Vex, Ann Ogbomo as Alura Zod, Rasmus Hardiker as Kem, Wallis Day as Nyssa-Vex, Aaron Pierre as Dev-Em, Ian McElhinney as Val-El and Blake Ritson as Brainiac.
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