Oh, why do the good ones have to go? The recently canceled show, Krypton, was the perfect answer to a running theme in every Superman story: that Clark Kent has no real knowledge of his home planet’s infrastructure, government, even his own family and the House of El that he was born into. Set 200 years before the Man of Steel, Krypton fans got to see what it was really like living on the birth-planet of the most famous superhero in the world. Needless to say, there were a ton of things revealed that no one had ever seen before.
10 It had a pretty strict ranking system
When Superman’s great-great-grandfather Val-El brings disgrace on the House of El with treason, the family is ostracized and demoted to Rankless, or without a House or Guild. The Rankless are basically considered street rats and are treated poorly by those in Guilds.
The houses of Krypton are as follows: House of El, Superman’s ancestors; House of Zod, the ruthless warriors and protectors of Krypton that produced Superman’s greatest enemy, General Zod; House of Vex, the lawmakers and a political powerhouse known for being secretive and manipulative; and lastly House Em, who are devout servants of the Kryptonian sun God Rao.
9 Krypton’s technology was super-advanced
The Kryptonians were light years ahead of Earth in terms of technology. They were able to find a way to eradicate disease and aging through cloning. They created advanced weapons and military vehicles to support their law-enforcement and space vehicles for space travel; and the scientist, Val-El, although deemed a traitor, was able to predict the coming destruction of Krypton at the hands of Brainiac. Through their advanced technology and knowledge, namely cloning, Kryptonians were also able to keep themselves young and healthy, practically immortal. However, the whole cloning thing wound up doing more harm than good in the long run.
8 Kryptonians worshipped their sun
Kryptonians called their red sun Rao. In Kryptonian religion, there are six Gods, but Rao is the King. His spokesperson is called “The Voice of Rao,” a priest who wears a mask with six faces and luxuriant robes. His cleric, “The Word of Rao” are a group of devout Kryptonians who spoke for him to the masses, interpreting Rao’s will to them. Some Kryptonians are devout Raoists, some not, as with any major religion. This powerful theocracy, however, turned out to do more harm than good when “The Voice of Rao” was revealed to be something other than he claimed.
7 The Kryptonian government was not that different from Earth’s
Scandal, manipulation, intrigue, lies and shameful coverups; sound familiar? Most of Earth’s governments have dealt in one form of treachery or another, and TV dramas love to capitalize on it to spice things up in the storyline. Krypton is no different.
Filled with different factions, political ideologies, hidden agendas and greed, the Kryptonians government might have been backed by more advanced technology but that certainly didn’t keep them safe from the corruption that ultimately brought their civilization down. Power was the name of the game on Krypton, not honor and science as it had been in the time of Val-El.
6 Kryptonians believed they were alone in the universe
The entire reason behind the fall of House El revolves around the Kryptonians refusal to believe in alien life (that definitely sounds familiar). Val-El spent most of his time researching the possibility of other life in the universe and trying to prove it. Once he found proof of life, he tried to warn the High Council of Rao about a ‘world destroyer’ coming for a vulnerable Krypton but was charged with high treason and sedition. The followers of Rao wanted no rival against their God and asserted the belief that He would protect Krypton. They paid dearly for that belief.
5 The Fortress of Solitude was created by Val-El
The Fortress of Solitude is as iconic as Superman himself, but where did it actually come from?
According to the Krypton storyline, it came from Val-El, Kal-El’s great-great-grandfather. That means that it wasn’t just a cool place Superman created to hang out and get much-needed down-time, it was actually a family heirloom. It was in the Fortress of Solitude that Val-El hid his illegal research so that the High Council of Rao wouldn’t destroy it. It was this research that would potentially save Krypton (if the new timeline plays out) and ensure the birth of Clark Kent.
4 They don’t actually have any superpowers
Since most of what we see of Kryptonians is during their escapades on Earth, it’s easy to forget that back on their home planet they’re as normal as any human. Well, except for their basically being immortal, having beyond advanced technology and their staggeringly superior intellect. Yeah, besides being way cooler than humans on almost every level, they’re not what one would call “super.” Superman gets his abilities from Earth’s yellow sun; Krypton is orbited by a red star and has much higher gravity. There’s no chance of seeing any Kryptonians flying around or shooting lasers out of their eyes on their own planet.
3 They Had Guilds
The Guilds were the internal and social structure of the Kryptonian government and culture. There were six main Guilds: The Military Guild, The Science Guild, The Lawmakers Guild, The Artisans Guild, The Technicians Guild, and The Religious Guild. If a Kryptonian did not join a Guild or belong to a specific House, they were considered to be without honor and shunned. This is the state that Sag-El is in at the beginning of the show, disgraced and unranked by The High Council of Rao. Eventually, Sag-El is able to redeem himself and gain rank, putting him back into Kryptonian main society.
2 Its destruction was forewarned
As was mentioned before, Val-El spent an extensive amount of time searching for other life in the universe. What he got was an unpleasant surprise: evidence of the world eater, Brainiac, on his way to Krypton. This was 200 years before the birth of Clark Kent, a good period before the coming destruction.
There was plenty of time to prepare and fortify Krypton to survive; unfortunately, those in The High Council refused to cooperate or listen to the evidence. We know what happens eventually because of this neglect: Krypton goes boom, and Earth gets the greatest superhero it has ever seen.
1 The House of El was not very popular
In the comics, the House of El is propped up to be honorable and beloved, just like the hero that bears the symbol of hope. However, during a long stretch of time, The House of El was disgraced on Krypton. It had once been revered as one of the oldest, most accomplished houses on Krypton. The House of El was known for having steely resolve, uncompromising morals, defiant confidence, and a self-sacrificing spirit. They also founded The Science Guild, which was responsible for all of Krypton’s technological advancements. Unfortunately, all of this was swept aside by the religious High Council of Rao.