That’s a heavy burden to place on the shoulders of someone who’s already lost so much. But while we know Brainiac won’t succeed in his mission (Superman does exist in the future, after all), neither, ultimately, can Seg-El. Not entirely. The evidence is in Krypton’s setting — its specific setting — and in the glimpse inside the iconic skull-shaped ship of the Collector of Worlds.
Those haunting, colorful globes cradled by tendrils in the vessel’s bowels aren’t for lighting or merely decorative purposes; they’re miniaturized cities, souvenirs of the planets Brainiac has devastated. You see, he earned his epithet, this Collector of Worlds. Likewise, Krypton’s capital is also known by another, longer name, one more familiar to comic book fans: the Bottle City of Kandor.
Traditionally, Kandor, with its 6 million inhabitants, was miniaturized and stolen by Brainiac years before the destruction of Krypton. Decades later, Superman discovered the bottle city in the possession of the villain when he arrived on Earth, intending to add to his unique collection. The Man of Steel then relocated Kandor to his Fortress of Solitude, hoping to one day discover how to return the city, and its inhabitants, to full size.
We can certainly argue that the Collector of Worlds actually did the Kandorians a favor by rescuing them from a doomed planet, but its miniaturized fate has been a part of Superman’s mythology for 60 years. Mind you, Krypton has, and will yet, tinker with elements of long-established lore (“What you thought you knew about Krypton, you can forget,” showrunner Cameron Welsh has said). However, it seems unlikely the producers would play up Brainiac’s ominous alias, and offer a foreshadowing glimpse of his stockpile of pint-sized cities, only to spare Kandor of its well-established destiny. That would be a cheat.
It may mean, then, that Seg-El will gain a fleeting reprieve for his beloved home world, at the cost of Kandor, which some might view as an acceptable loss, considering the stakes. It’s cold comfort, however, considering Krypton will inevitably explode, mere moments after the vessel bearing the infant Kal-El — the future Superman — charts a course toward Earth. In that, Seg-El can claim victory, even if he’ll never live to see it.
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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