If I say the name Superman, we all recall the man from Krypton flying and lifting cars. Eighty-one years old, and the Kryptonian still captivates our imagination. After numerous incarnations, Henry Cavill hit the big screen with the CGI cape. Here we are, nine years later.
Man of Steel Summary
So, let’s go on with Man of Steel the Krypton review!
With the imminent destruction of Krypton, their home planet, Jor-EL and his wife seek to preserve their race by sending their infant son to Earth. The child’s spacecraft lands at the farm of Jonathan and Martha Kent, who name him Clark and raise him as their son.
Though his extraordinary abilities have led to the adult Clark living on the fringe of society, he finds he must become a hero to save those he loves from a dire threat. — Google.
Kryptonian Civilization Is What You Want
One interesting thing about Superman is that, unlike Batman’s Gotham, Krypton is a subject that doesn’t have much information. Therefore, what we know is negligible can be whatever someone decides to be.
We know that Krypton faced destruction, which is why Kal-EL arrived on Earth. Not much of a backstory aside from his parents trying to save their firstborn.
The movie Man of Steel presents Krypton as an ancient civilization dating back 20’000 Gregorian years. They expanded their reach by sending out ships to colonize other planets.
The species itself, being quite advanced, has the architecture distinctively resembles—in my opinion, a fit to a dystopian book.
Krypton Is A Dystopian Tale
The planet is on its last mile, running on fumes. Jor-EL, part of the “high planetary council,” tried to convince everyone about leaving Krypton. But alas, no one listens to him.
The reproductive system of the Kryptonian is artificial. They use the DNA of their people to procreate. In that manner, each baby is born in synthetic amniotic liquid on vines kept in a sort of laboratory vault below the surface.
Lucky for Jor-EL and Lara—who we never know if she is simply Lara, La-Ra, or Lara-EL, is his wife. No, wait! She does have a full name never mentioned, Lor-Van. Seems to make sense, right?
So, those two love birds were capable of biologically procreating. Their home planet is about to blow, and weirdly enough, the only pod available can contain only one baby. It’s a boy! a male Kryptonian they named Kal-EL. Horrible timing, in any case.
The Gregorian Years
Kryptonian history says the ship that landed on Earth was 18’000 years old. My theory is that when they sent Kal-EL into space, he was in an artificial stasis, keeping him as a baby. After all, the pod could only sustain one small organic life form.
People don’t realize that the distance between stars is beyond what our imagination can comprehend. Even at “warp speed,” Kal-EL could take centuries to arrive on Earth. For that matter, I suspect it took him thousands of years to get here, and the pod kept him alive.
It is the only logical explanation for the events on Krypton to match the life of Kal-EL and his encounter with General Zod and his accomplices.
But Wait A Minute, Krypton!
We’re talking about a civilization that survived 20’000 years. A people spread throughout the milky way in every direction, even Earth! Seriously, at that point, for all we know, they could be our ancestors or the missing link!
For such an advanced civilization, why wouldn’t they be capable of evacuating their planet? Suddenly no more starships worked on all those they used to colonize other planets. There is no other rock where Kryptonians can survive?
Krypton was so advanced, yet they didn’t listen to their lead scientist who said the planet was about to go kaboom. No meteorologist, geologist, astrophysicist, or any job finishing with a ‘gist’ on that planet can support Jor-EL’s theory?
Insert The Rolling Eyes Emoji
So, everyone on that super-advanced planet is led by algorithms, clearly working through a form of aristocratic system. We are told that every child’s DNA dictates its future and purpose for Krypton. Each House has a theme. EL is for science, Zod is for the military, etc.
With that in mind, why didn’t Jor-EL build a ship capable of sustaining his wife, baby and himself? It just happened that a pod could support Kryptonian life and an auto-drive to Earth? Can someone explain that to me?
Again, the planet is about to go kaboom, and the first organically born child’s life relies on an automated pod leading to Earth.
That pod is so sophisticated that we assume it can deviate from comets, asteroids, space debris, alien attacks, among many other possibilities, and end up on a planet the parents “think” is suitable for their only child.
Excuse Me, Is This Bad Parenting 101?
I’m not a parent, but please, do not launch your newborn baby in space! It’s a bad idea.
Of course, following the launch of Kal-EL in space, Jor-EL dies at the hands of the EL enemy, General Zod.
However, that is when we learn a bit more about Krypton and the history of his House. Zods are bred to protect Krypton and its DNA at all costs.
You would think that biological birth would be something he welcomes, but instead, he considers it a form of treason to the Kryptonian tradition.
It makes total sense. I mean, it’s not like mammals are to reproduce by giving birth to a stranger through a vaginal canal!
After the murder of Jor-EL, here comes the Phantom Zone.
Something About Black Holes?
So, this mysterious Phantom Zone finally has an explanation. Due to the extremist acts of General Zod and his followers, the punishment they go under is the Phantom Zone.
Before we proceed, do you remember Superman II, Zod has two goons with him, a giant male and a female with excellent skills? All three of them stand before the council and are ready for punishment. They then end up in a square window-like thing, remember? Well, it’s not like that, but it’s quite unique too!
Poetically, the Phantom Zone came from the mind of Jor-EL and is the most outstanding achievement if you ask me. The prisoners face a plane of existence from which the location is in subspace. The only way, in or out, is through the Phantom Zone projector.
Sadly, after Krypton went “kaboom,” General Zod and his loyalist followers worked together to morph the Phantom Zone into an engine, creating the Phantom Drive alongside a scientist.
General Zod Explains The Functionality Of This Phantom Zone
How effective, this House of Zod and holding a grudge is art for his House too! Let’s think before eradicating my theory of how long it took for Kal-EL to make it to Earth. The Phantom Zone is based on the science surrounding the event horizon where one is stuck in a specific plane of existence, neither aging nor dying, where time sort of stands still.
When Krypton went kaboom, all power to every piece of machinery gave up. However, if your machinery mimics a singularity, depending on where it is in space—because you wouldn’t want that in your backyard—it’ll take years before reaching it. E.g., the sunlight and its warmth before it reach Earth.
In other words, it might take Zod and his crew, once the machine releases them, thirty-three years to build their ship. But we don’t know how long they were in this particular stasis of the artificial event horizon.
So, after thirty-three years, Zod finally locates a Kryptonian signal leading to Earth itself! Thanks to Kal-EL, who decided to activate a 20’000-year-old spacecraft frozen in the arctic.
Ah, Dear Krypton
This particular vision of the end of Krypton had much potential. The visual of the planet is stunning. However, if you give so much credit to this ancient civilization, why make every single outpost rely on the natural resources and technology of the mother planet? The rock is pumping for its people and the colonies. That’s far-fetched and a little unrealistic. I mean, no wonder the poor planet died.
Also, with such advancement, I doubt any council would reject the theory of their dying home happening if it’s sustaining an x number of colonies. Jor-EL’s scientific research would be years in the making and accompanied by an entire team of scientists in various fields, not him alone.
The destruction of Krypton happened relatively fast despite him saying it was showing signs for years. Years? It would be centuries! The best, I believe, would be a terraformation gone wrong, like the planet’s volcanoes are awakening, and they are trying to sustain the damage it can cause, solar flare followed by a collision, etc.
Or they worked a more advanced Phantom Zone, the singularity is unstable and “Oops, we just gave birth to a freaking black hole! Let’s evacuate. No time to explain.”
Krypton Is Dead Anyway
So, the goal was to end Krypton dramatically, and Man of Steel does it as close to the comic book as it could. However, the story took place decades ago and needed more refreshing.
I know purist fans don’t like when you play with their characters, but sometimes what worked in the past can’t evolve with science. The logic is unrealistic despite all the other factors being magnificent.
The art, the visual, the design and the casting were right on point. The only thing keeping you from being engrossed is the logic behind the planet’s destruction and parental decision. Seriously, no extra ship? How about a multigenerational ship until you find a world like a Noah’s Ark ship?
My Final Thoughts
Man of Steel is, in fact, my favourite representation of Superman in a movie. I might be hard on Krypton, but that is normal since it was the first time someone dared dive into it headfirst.
As years go by and someone tries again, the ideas will grow and get better. Man of Steel wasn’t too far off, just like the comic, which lacked some science they didn’t have back then that we possess now.
So, for the Krypton part of the movie, I still give it a solid 6.5/10 for attention to detail in the art, design, and casting.
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