Karl Puschmann tells us why the new Superman spinoff TV show, Krypton, is destined to fail.

Superman is only super because he is here on earth. In reality - well, you know what I mean - Superman is neither super, nor is he a man.

Superman is an alien. He gains his super powers due to his constant exposure to our yellow sun which supernaturally boosts his alien abilities because... science, I guess?

Whatevs, it's not important. Sunshine makes him super. That's the deal. We all accept it. Let's move on.

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Superman is only here on earth because his old man wrapped him up when he was a baby and posted him here. He did that because their alien home world of Krypton was about to blow up and, like a good father, he didn't want his new born son to blow up with it.

If things were all good on Krypton then his dad wouldn't have needed to do that and Superman would not be here on earth being super. He'd be there on Krypton being average.

Sure, he may have displayed some athletic ability perhaps. Maybe shown a little flair in tracking down a scoop or two in his position as junior reporter for the The Krypton Herald. But he wouldn't be a big deal.

Without the awesome power of vitamin D he'd just be some dude, a working man, a chump with a bad haircut, poor eyesight and corrective glasses.

Back on Krypton the guy would've had no game. But, here? He's running faster than a speeding bullet, saving the world and pulling Lois Lane - a broad who would normally be way out of his league.

When you get right down to it the end of his world was the best thing that ever happened to him.

So it's puzzling that the latest big superhero TV show to be announced is not going to be about superheroes at all. Because it simply can't be.

Instead, it's titled Krypton, and it's set on Krypton years before the big bang. So yes, it's another origin-prequel thingy that, depending on your point of view, either rips off or riffs on DC's other big origin-prequel thingy Gotham.


TV show Gotham.

Unlike Gotham, which often sneaks in a pre-teen Bruce Wayne in order to get at least a little Batman onscreen, Krypton won't be able to shoehorn in Superman at all. Unless there's a scene showing a pregnancy ultrasound scan (which, by the way, is a bit of fan service I would almost guarantee is busted out at some point during the show's run).

This is because Superman was only a baby when the planet blew so there'll be no beginnings of a hero here.

Instead, the show is going to follow Supes' grandpa as he goes about trying to use science to warn his fellow countrymen of their planet's rapidly escalating problems. It's a task he's obviously going to be ill-equipped to handle as his actions will lead directly to his family being ostracised and the eventual destruction of the entire planet. No matter which way you look at it, that's a pretty big stuff up.

As he blows his mission so bad, I thought Krypton might be a slapstick comedy in the style of Mr Bean, full of scenes of gramps missing his big speech by oversleeping or getting stuck in a round-about.

But then I learned Man of Steel scribe David S. Goyer is behind the show. I'm now assuming it's going to be a humourless drama that eschews everything great about the characters in favour of presenting gritty boredom, interrupted only by frantically noisy bursts of nonsensical action.

Okay, okay, I'm being a little facetious here. While I did think Man of Steel missed the entire point of Superman, I owe Krypton a fighting chance solely because it's been commissioned by the SyFy channel. These are the people behind Battlestar Galactica, one of the greatest shows of the noughties, so, at the very least, it deserves the benefit of the doubt based on that alone.

Besides, there's definitely potential for a gripping yarn here. Krypton could present a colourful world full of political nitwits, all point scoring and bickering against the very real evidence being shown to them by a desperate leading scientist as their world slowly engulfs them in flames.

On second thoughts maybe not. That sounds a little too far fetched.

Oh, wait...

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-nzherald.co.nz