By now, most people are familiar with the basics of Superman's origin story. As a baby, Kal-El was rocketed to Earth by his parents just before his home planet of Krypton exploded. Raised by Martha and Jonathan Kent, the infant grew up to become Earth's greatest hero, inspiring a legion of men and women to follow in his footsteps and defend those who cannot fight for themselves.
However, for as much as we know about what happened in Krypton's final hours and after, not much has ever been recorded about Kal-El’s birth planet or the House of El -- which is where Syfy's newest series comes in.
Debuting March 21, Krypton promises to spotlight a relatively uncharted corner of the DC Universe. The show chronicles the adventures of Superman’s grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), Krypton’s turbulent class system -- and a scheme to erase Superman from existence. The last bit is where time traveler Adam Strange comes into play; in order to save Superman’s present (and ours), Adam journeys to Krypton’s past with a warning for the Man of Steel's ancestor.
Ahead of the series premiere, actor Shaun Sipos, who brings Adam Strange to life, spoke with CBR about reimagining the classic DC hero for Krypton, his character's dynamic with Seg-El, and what it takes to become a hero.
CBR: How familiar were you with Adam Strange when you landed the role, if you were at all?
Shaun Sipos: I wasn’t that familiar with him. I was aware of him; he was a big superhero in the '50s and '70s, and a lot of stuff I read was from the '90s. I can honestly say I hadn’t read one of Adam Strange’s comics, but when I got the role, DC sent me a big box of his comics, literally a gift package. I was surprised to see how many comics he had. I read all of them, and they were fantastic. I thought, “Holy crap. This guy is amazing.” He parallels Superman in a lot of ways, except with a bit more cheek, a little sassier.
What inspiration did you draw from those comic books when crafting your version of Adam Strange?
I think Adam is able to take everything lightly, even dire situations. It’s that Indiana Jones quality or Han Solo quality. He’s like, “OK, we’re looking at death here. It’s all right. I figure we’ll make it through this,” while everyone else is losing their mind. He has that kind of quality that I really like. He’s able to smile at these crazy, outlandish circumstances that could very well kill him. He’s able to be creative and intelligent and not let that pressure get to him.
How much fun has it been playing a 21st century character in the Krypton timeline?
Brother, you have no idea. It’s a blast. It’s a dream to play him, and to play in this world and with these people. What's fantastic is I am the alien in the show. I am the one who doesn’t fit in. I’m the one who sticks out. For everyone else, that is their world. I’m there going, “Whoa,” much like Superman is on Earth. He sticks out. It’s not his world. It’s his adoptive planet. Throughout the show, Krypton becomes Adam’s adoptive planet.
Where do we find Adam at the beginning of the series? What brings him to Krypton?
We find Adam at the beginning of the hero’s journey. He’s responded to the call to adventure. The cause is noble; he’s there to save the greatest hero we have ever known. He’s there facing tremendous odds, and hoping he can pull it off.
Adam, as we've seen in the teasers, delivers a cryptic warning to Seg-El, Superman's grandfather. How receptive is Seg to this piece of information?
On Krypton, it’s forbidden to even think about the presence of an alien. With Adam starting off with, “I come from a planet called Earth,” Seg is almost not receptive because, “Aliens don’t exist. What are you talking about?” Then, to say, “I come from the future” time travel doesn’t exist for them. It’s a big, uphill climb Adam is facing. But, over time, I’m able to persuade Seg, and provide enough proof and things to make sense for him to get onboard.