There’s nothing wrong with creating a broader backstory for the greater mythology of Superman. Indeed, DC Comics from time to time has tinkered with the legend of Krypton – its people, its places, its cruel fate – and some of those stories have even been pretty darn compelling. Still, I think Syfy’s Caprica showed audiences that sometimes there really isn’t much “there” there when you go about investigating the story behind the story, but Syfy seems to be willing to wade into such treacherous waters as this latest trailer for the Krypton television series indicates.
And – for that matter – I’m on record as having just downright hated what Warner Bros.’s Man Of Steel did with Jor-El. For Pete’s sake, the man was a renowned scientist, people, and he wasn’t the cultural prototype of the cinematic action figure. I have no quibbles with giving him some greater substance and/or subtext given the fact that he’s obviously tied so closely to the lessons his son learns years on Earth … but at some point “the son becomes the father” gets stretched thin when we learn that long dead world needed a Superman of its very own.
This isn’t to say that Krypton won’t become a favorite in my household. It’s just an honest reflection of how we as storytellers sometimes look for meaning where occasionally there isn’t any and then we go about re-shaping it until there is. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Krypton doesn’t go too far into that frontier, and – as always – thanks for reading!