Superman Comics Returns to Krypton for New Stories

After more than eighty years, Krypton remains – for better or worse – one of the most important planets in DC Comics history. First appeared in Action comics #1 In 1938, the home planet of one of the world’s greatest heroes, Superman, presented a world of science, leadership and choice.

Instead of watching Krypton crumble to dust, the writers chose to explore the planet further; as a result, the Man of Steel’s homeworld has become an enduring symbol of what society can achieve. Like the Roman Empire, Krypton offered an inspiring yet tragic glimpse into a utopian world where science, leadership, and choice flourish – but fail – its people. Timeless and tragic, Krypton’s legacy continues to inspire and challenge readers to this day.

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In the recent Krypton World series (by Robert Venditti, Michael Avon Oeming, and Nick Filardi), Krypton’s Science Council must prevent the planet’s core from triggering a cataclysmic event. The head of the science council, Jor-El, establishes a protective shield to preserve the energy that remains in Krypton’s core. Fueled by faith in his fellow Kryptonians, Jor-El pleads with the public to reduce their power consumption; however, the audience ignores Jor-El’s request. In record time, the planet’s core becomes unstable, triggering the loss of Krypton.


From a storytelling perspective, Krypton serves as a cautionary tale for Earth. Like citizens today, Kryptonians consumed without concern for the welfare of their planet. In the real world, environmental issues such as carbon emissions, climate change and global warming threaten to destabilize – and potentially destroy – the planet. In that vein, the creators call on Krypton to warn of the dangers of ignoring environmental concerns. Once a vague possibility, the fall of Krypton has become an inevitable reality. While many people are still wondering whether or not Earth can avoid its path to destruction, the final fate of Superman’s homeworld might hold the unfortunate answer.


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In addition to science, Krypton World highlights Krypton’s commitment and struggle to maintain democracy. When Jor-El’s call for Kryptonians fails, General Dru-Zod, Krypton’s head of security, arrests the Kryptonian protesters, banishing them to the Phantom Zone. While Jor-El trusts his people, Zod feels that Kryptonians are unworthy of that trust. In the end, neither man prevents the fall of Krypton.

The leadership styles of Jor-El and Zod remind readers that democracy can be messy. While citizens on Earth search for the perfect leader, the fate of Krypton suggests that infallible leaders do not exist. The legacy of the fictional planet allows creators to discuss complex ideas about real-world government, leadership, and politics. If a writer shines a spotlight on Jor-El, he’ll discover the pros and cons of entrusting citizens with the task of achieving the greater good. On the other hand, Zod’s story reveals the perils of an authoritarian regime. Creators often draw parallels between Krypton’s failed Utopia and America’s struggle for a more perfect union.


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Instead of leaving readers in the rubble of a fallen utopia, the writers explored Krypton’s most enduring theme: choice. In 2016 super girl series, Kara’s father Zor-El travels to Earth to ask his daughter to help restore Argo City to its former glory. Understandably excited, Kara presses her father on his plan, and Zor-El reveals that he intends to steal Earth’s life force and resurrect the citizens of Argo City. No longer a prisoner of Krypton’s legacy, Kara ultimately rejects her father and chooses to stand with Earth.


The writers love to test Kal and Kara’s loyalty to their lost planet passing them off as Earth-resident aliens. Krypton’s bloodline demands that The House of El preserve their legacy, but The Last Son and Daughter of Krypton chooses to carve out a new legacy on Earth. Their stories affirm the power of choice and its potential to change one’s destiny. The creators are always pushing Kal and Kara into uncomfortable territory, forcing them to make tough decisions in the face of fear, but in the end, these heroes always choose to reflect their best, and in doing so, inspire audiences to do the same. .


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