Look up in the sky! Is it a bird (with a walker)? Is it plane (with wheelchair access)? No, it's Superman... well the grandfather of Superman. That's the premise of Krypton, the new pre-Superman series coming to Syfy in March.
Okay, so it's not actually an old man flying around trying to get supervillains off his lawn, but it does tell the tale of the Man of Steel's grandpappy Seg-El, played by Cameron Cuffe, back on Krypton centuries before the birth of his famous grandson. What's more, the series will be separate from the rest of the DC Universe so all bets are off with timelines.
"This is really an untold story," said executive producer David Goyer at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "And since you can tell ... that time travel is involved, what that means is that ... history can be changed, what happens in this show can be very different than the backstory that most people know."
Of course, the first question on every Superman and DC Comics fan is wondering which characters will make an appearance in the show. The good news for them is that the producers repeatedly said "the door is open" for other characters to show up, Superman included, and they've previously confirmed Hawkgirl and Doomsday will show up in some form or another. Just don't expect the same old story for those characters. For example, Cuffe says several members of the House of Zod, traditionally known for its villains, will feature some of the moralistic heroes of Krypton.
"Our approach is we're some 200 years before Superman's birth, so that's all untold story, that's all fertile ground for us to play in," Welsh said. "It's the best of both worlds, we have the great toy box full of the best DC characters and we get to use them in a playground that hasn't been used before."
"Yeah, we have freedom too, we can do our own iteration of Doomsday untethered to anything else," Johns said. "We can explore Doomsday in a way that hasn't been done and is kind of more true to the comics."
The inclusion of interstellar traveler Adam Strange in the series should be a tip off that Krypton won't be set just on the titular planet as well. Goyer also says the Phantom Zone figures into the show.
But let's say you don't read the comics and can't tell a Seg-El from a Segway. Krypton producers say don't worry; Krypton will serve as a boot camp to this lore that's been the domain of hardcore comic fans.
"Because it starts so far back in time, a lot of the characters that maybe are familiar to some of the comic book fans, they're in their genesis stage, so you get to come in at the ground floor," Welsh told TV Guide. "I think a lot of people will come to this show for various different reasons, whether they're DC fans, or sci-fi fans, or for whatever reason, but ultimately it will come down to one thing that will keep people staying and that will be characters." In that sense, says Welsh, it's like meeting characters for the first time.
Krytpon will premiere March 21, 2018 on Syfy.