Krypton Season 3 Would've Been Brightburn Meets Superman: Red Son


WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Syfy's Krypton and the James Gunn-produced Brightburn.

Syfy's cancellation of Krypton after two seasons has been met with disappointment by fans. The Superman prequel subverted well-known comic book lore in its focus on the Man of Steel's grandfather Seg-El as he sought to stop villains like Doomsday and Zod, save the planet and continue the family line.

While much of the series centered on the civil war engulfing the doomed planet, the scheming of Zod to become dictator and the threat of Doomsday, a key component has been Brainiac trying to bottle Krypton. Despite Seg-El  finding ways to outwit him, Season 2 ends with the Collector of Worlds and a newly christened infant Jor-El heading to Earth in what sets up an homage to Superman: Red Son. However, a newly released peek at what might have been reveals the third season would have also included elements reminiscent of Brightburn.

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Showrunner Cameron Welsh released a short script for a teaser for what part of the third season would have looked like, detailing a young kid in Russia being bullied, only to be taken by his Jonathan Kent-esque father to try to make peace with his tormentor. When the boy tries to convince the bully non-violence is the way forward, it becomes clear the bully is actually the superhuman. He fries the bullied boy with heat vision, and the father is killed by an alien tendril, leading to the shocking reveal that murder was committed by a human-looking Brainiac, living disguised in Russia, watching over his adopted son, Jor-El

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In 2003's Superman: Red Son, by Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, Andrew Robinson, Walden Wong and Killian Plunkett, the rocket carrying infant Kal-El from doomed Krypton crash-lands on a Ukrainian collective farm rather than in Kansas. He's raised as the champion of the Soviet Union, turning the Cold War into a super-powered arm race.

Welsh's setup is somewhat different, however, because Brainiac is undoubtedly raising the kidnapped Jor-El (who would be Superman's father) as a god among men beneath the yellow sun, presumably detached from global politics.

In the comic, Superman was morally conflicted at times, and wrestled with his purpose. However, Brainiac no doubt would have raised Jor-El to become a ruler rather than a servant, as in Red Son.

In director David Yarovesky's superhero horror film Brightburn, an alien baby crashed in Kansas and was raised by good parents, in the tradition of Superman's origin. However, the child, Brandon, became a bloodthirsty Superboy because his spaceship had a telepathic connection to a dark lord who wanted him to conquer Earth. On Krypton, Brainiac would have maintained a physical presence, as opposed to Brandon's "father" in Brightburn, who communicated through mental messages, and corrupted the boy to the point that he seemed possessed.

Clearly, with Jor-El, there's would be no possession; he would presumably adopt the worldview of his adoptive father, Brainiac, at least until Seg-El and his allies intervened. It would have been interesting to see how Welsh's team would codify this father-son dynamic and flip what we know of the Kents, and the House of El, thereby giving us another dimension to the Superman mythos.

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 Jayna-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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