Way back in December 2014, reports first surfaced that "Krypton" -- a prequel to the Superman mythos, not unlike current Batman-inspired Fox series "Gotham" -- was in development as a series at Syfy. Last week, news hit that the show is near a pilot order at the cable network, the first major update on the David S. Goyer-produced show in more than a year.
Of course, the natural question for comic book fans is, which characters might make an appearance on the show? It's been said that the series will focus on Superman's grandfather, but the window seems open for some more recognizable DC Comics heroes and villains from any timeline to play a part -- similar to all the Bat-villains that have already been seen on "Gotham." The cosmic setting also expands the show's potential, even after CBS' "Supergirl" has debuted characters like Non and Martian Manhunter. Though there's still a long road between now and the show possibly nabbing a spot on Syfy's schedule, right now feels like a natural time to speculate on which DC characters may make the trip to "Krypton."
Upon the original "Krypton" announcement, many fans wondered if Brainiac could be the show's big bad, given that in multiple versions of Superman's origin, the evil alien android played a part in Krypton's destruction. It feels likely that Brainiac would exist somewhere in this new series, whether it is as a villain or an artificial intelligence that has yet to turn on those that built it. "Krypton" could find a great deal of story potential detailing the origins of the consciousness that will one day become one of Superman's greatest foes. Brainiac has a nearly 60-year history as a Superman villain, and seems the most natural fit for a spot on "Krypton" -- so watch out for those signature dots.
The New Gods
If "Krypton" is picked up, the series will undoubtedly explore the origins of Superman's home world -- but the planet that birthed the Man of Steel was potentially visited by many cosmic beings, right? Perhaps the eternal war between New Genesis and Apokolips could have spilled over to Krypton, as well. The battles between Superman and Darkseid are legendary, but what if Darkseid became aware of Superman's home world years before he first encountered the Man of Tomorrow? There are many ways to combine Jack Kirby's Fourth World characters with Krypton's past, and heck, Darkseid's first comic appearance was in the pages, of all places, "Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen," so the Fourth World/ Superman connection already has a precedent. The DC cosmos is a vast place and a planet as important to the galaxy as Krypton seems bound to get the attention of the gods.
We know another "Green Lantern" film is in the works from Warner Bros., and if any degree of corporate synergy is possible, "Krypton" may be the place for it. It wouldn't be too far a stretch to introduce Abin Sur, Hal Jordan's predecessor as protector of Sector 2814, to the world of "Krypton" as featuring a Green Lantern could scratch the superhero itch in this presumably sci-fi-focused series. "Krypton" could be a place to focus on the early history of the Corps before the Green Lanterns are reintroduced to movie fans in 2020 -- although, given how DC and WB seem determined to keep the worlds of movie and TV separate, this one is a longer shot.
The Legion of Super-Heroes is one of the most important concepts in the Superman mythos. The existence of a futuristic team of teen superheroes inspired by Superman's legend solidifies the Man of Steel as a heroic figure not only in the present day, but a thousand years in the future. While "Krypton" plants the seeds of Superman's origins, it could also set the foundations for the creation of the Legion of Super-Heroes by introducing its contemporary counterpart, the intergalactic band of mercenary space cops, L.E.G.I.O.N. The "L.E.G.I.O.N." series was one of DC's most consistent comics in the turbulent '90s and would be a great way to introduce some of DC's alien races to the world of Krypton. The team's leader is Vril Dox, an heir of Brainiac -- which could be another way of representing the classic villain on the show.
Another connection to the Legion of Super Heroes, the Daxamite known as Mon-El could be inserted into the narrative of "Krypton" to provide a superpowered presence. The series would have to play fast and loose with parts of the timeline established for Mon-El in the comics -- certainly not unprecedented for a live-action adaptation -- but Mon-El is an important figure in the history of Superman and could be introduced early on to create a deep bond between the future Superman and the mightiest Legionnaire. Mon-El might make sense as the first encounter the people of Krypton have with a superpowered being enhanced by a yellow sun -- obviously a portent of big things to come.
The Omega Men
The Omega Men are practically DC's version of the modern-day Guardians of the Galaxy, and could be an easy way to introduce a vast variety of alien heroes to feature on Syfy. The Omega Men have connections to some iconic locales in the DC Universe like the planet Tamaran (the birthplace of the Teen Titan known as Starfire) and would be a means for the series to explore signature DC locations beyond Krypton. The Omega Men have a "Defiance"-like vibe, and their group aesthetic would expand the palette of any DC-based series.
Nightwing and Flamebird
No, we're not suggesting that the adult Dick Grayson should journey to Krypton's past (although that would be awesome). Nightwing and Flamebird were two legendary Kryptonian vigilantes that shared many similarities to Batman and Robin. Having two costumed vigilantes protecting the streets of a major metropolis on Krypton could create a thematic parallel to Superman's role on Earth, plus pay tribute to the adventurous spirit of the Silver Age of comics. The stories of Nightwing and Flamebird could be used as the inspiration for the House of El in creating the morals and mission statement that shaped Superman's identity.
Who says everything has to be dire all the time? The mischievous imp from the Fifth Dimension, Mister Mxyzptlk, could have a new reason that he loves to pester Superman so much -- perhaps he also played his games with Superman's ancestors. Mister Mxyzptlk is one of Superman's most enduring foes but also one of his most underutilized, as the playful tone the character brings doesn't always fit into the hard sci-fi that permeates modern Superman stories. But a multidimensional prankster? Surely that has a place on Syfy.
Mongul could be a perfect choice to challenge the sanctity of Superman's home world. Imagine a season-long conflict between Mongul's Warworld and Krypton and you understand the scope that this series could potentially reach. Introducing Mongul can potentially mean the introduction of classic story elements, including the myriad aliens of Warworld. Mongul could branch the scope of the series beyond Krypton's borders, and into the vast cosmos of DC. The hatred that Mongul holds for Superman may have begun long before the despot first encountered the Man of Steel, and that tale could potentially be told on "Krypton."
Perhaps Superman's grandparents could meet a hero from Earth, one with a Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers vibe that can show the Els our planet's potential when it comes to heroism and sacrifice. Captain Comet is one of DC Comics' oldest space heroes, and could make sense as an inspiration for Superman's costume and ideology. You can't go wrong with some classic, movie serial-inspired sci-fi and if "Krypton" has any contact with Earth, Captain Comet is a fitting pick for a bridge between Superman's two worlds.
Yeah, probably not. But how fun would this high concept be? A cabbie who tools around in space having adventures while he picks up fares? It's an old-school concept that could deliver a little levity to the likely serious-minded happenings on "Krypton."