Friday, September 20, 2019

Before the Krypton show debuted on SyFy we checked out the Krypton Chronicles; and now that it's apparently been cancelled we've got another limited series looking at the history of Superman's birth planet: from 1979, World of Krypton #1, "The Jor-El Story" Written by Paul Kupperberg, per the GCD uncredited layouts by Alan Kupperberg, pencils by Howard Chaykin, inks by Murphy Anderson. This was DC's--and possibly comics in general--first limited series.

Since this was well before any Crisis or similar retcons, this was putting together in one place several decades of history into a single narrative; and Jor-El had a pretty busy life. Primed from the age of 3 by his father for a career serving the people of Krypton, Jor-El threw himself into his studies, but was self-aware enough to realize he was neglecting other parts of life and worked at being sociable as well. Showing potential in several fields, he went into the rocket program, where he was immediately smitten by an astronaut trainee, Lara Lor-Van. Discovering the principles of anti-gravity, Jor-El has a test rocket constructed out of gold: it was cheap there, and with anti-grav it didn't matter how heavy it was. Stealing the rocket for a test, Lara is blasted by cosmic rays and--wait, that's not right. She crashes on one of Krypton's moons, but is able to survive until Jor-El stows away with a rescue team to find her.

Seemingly immediately after, Jor-El moves into the field of criminal rehabilitation, with a program to launch criminals in suspended animation into orbit, where they could be "hypno-trained" back into "useful citizens." I'm sure that isn't as ominous as it sounds; plus the alternative being considered was a "matter-dissolver," so...Meanwhile, Lara had set an appointment with "Matricomp," a computer system that determined compatibility of potential spouses, and had a 100% success rate going. It of course denies their wedding, since Matricomp itself had fallen in love with Lara, and created an android in the image of its creator to hypnotize her and keep her for itself. As happens. Jor-El has his hands full first with the criminal test subject, who seemingly returns from space with super-powers, but it's a ruse involving a murdered twin and the matter-dissolver pushing councilman's crime ring. Jor-El then fights Matricomp, and shortly thereafter marries Lara--with Superman himself in attendance! But that would have to wait until the next issue to see how that played out.

I haven't watched Krypton yet, partially because I haven't had cable in years, but also because SyFy has burned me more than once: trust me, if I like a show there, I've pretty much guaranteed it's gonna get cancelled. I thought it would probably end up on DC's streaming service eventually; hopefully without a cliffhanger ending. As much of a cliffhanger ending as you could have for a prequel where you know what's going to happen, anyway.

1 comment:

H said...

I always enjoy these pre-Crisis looks into Superman's history. Interesting fact (at least, to me)- this was originally going to be a part of Showcase but the book got cancelled before they could get to it.