“Krypton” not super, even with Superman

Because of Detective Comics and Marvel’s success with dark live-action series, it seemed natural that a show centered around Superman would eventually premiere.

“Smallville,” which focused on a pre-Superman Clark Kent, ended its run in 2011. “Supergirl” is still on the air, but instead centers on the hero’s similarly-dressed and powered cousin.

So, because it has been a while since the “Man of Steel” has graced the small screen (and the DC cinematic universe’s portrayal has garnered mixed reviews from fans and critics), it is finally time for Superman to return to the air. But, that is not what we got.

Instead of giving fans an origin story or following the hero on daily adventures in Metropolis, Syfy’s original series “Krypton” takes place 200 years before his birth. The show follows his grandfather, Seg-El, on the ill-fated planet as he works to continue his grandfather’s work of space exploration and carry on his family legacy.

While this sounds backwards, do not worry, as Superman is still the central focus. However, this is because, rather than telling the rarely-adapted story of his family history, the show reveals that alien enemy Braniac has traveled back in time to prevent him from being born, and it is up to Seg-El to stop him.

So, in a series that could have stood separate from Superman while also detailing the origin of some of his greatest foes, the show decides to revolve the main character’s destinies around the future hero.

In the first episode, not only does the show use samples of composer John William’s “Superman March” from the original film series, but Adam Strange, a human who went back in time to warn Seg-El of Braniac, gives him Superman’s cape.

The story is not very grand either, as, alongside his mission to save his future grandson, Seg-El becomes angry at the planet’s government for the death of his family and seeks revenge.

His allies include Strange, a bartender, a military warrior and a holographic projection of his dead grandfather. However, among all the show’s seemingly-unique characters, the most interesting is the Voice of Rao, Krypton’s masked leader who rarely speaks.

Another character worth pointing out is Daron-Vex, Krypton’s chief magistrate, not for his personality or story, but for Elliot Cowan’s overacting. While sometimes restrained, one never knows if he is going to be listing off the names of the Kryptonian gods or shouting in an over-the-top manner.

However, the one standout of the show is the special effects. While not as epic as those of “Man of Steel,” it beats out the subpar locations of “Arrow” and “The Flash” by showing off grand cities and technology.

While the creators have promised the show will feature more classic DC characters, like Doomsday and Hawkgirl, I am unsure if sitting through the rest of the series is worth it.

Overall, I give the series 2 1/2 out of five stars. While not as disjointed as DC’s cinematic universe, it is not as interesting or creative.