With most of the series coming to the end of season, we start to see the trailers for the new ones coming next Autumn, and the first among these is Krypton, set on the doomed planet Krypton a couple of centuries before Superman arrives on Earth. The protagonist of the series will be Superman’s grandfather, Seyg-El (in this version mispelled Seg-El), who’s introduced as a young member of the disgraced and ostracized House of El who fights to reconquer the lost honor of his family. The series will be part of the DC Extended Universe, acting as a prequel to Man of Steel, and as we see from the trailer it will all be told in a message Seg-El leaves to his future grandson Kal-El. Now, waiting to meet Superman’s grandpa in flesh and blood, let’s take a look at his paper version…who surely doesn’t start as a disgraced nobelman at all.
Seyg-El was born in Kryptonopolis, one of the richest and most populated cities on planet Krypton, second only to the capital Kandor; he was the son of Ter-El, and he was a member of the renowned House of El, one of the most important noble families on the planet. Since his birth, Seyg-El was genetically destined to the Kryptonian Science Council, and his formation was programmed so that he could excell in it and lead it. He grew up along with his brother Zim-El, but the relationship between the two wasn’t exactly a siblings’ one, as relations were in general pretty cold within the House. As all the nobles on Krypton, Seyg-El didn’t chose his mate, as she was selected by the Master of the Gestation Chambers to preserve the purity of his blood: he was introduced to a girl named Nimda An-Dor, who became his wife. From her, Seyg-El had two children: a son, Jor-El, and a daughter, Kara Seyg-El. Just as sibling relationship, even the father and son one wasn’t exactly a passionate and warm bond on Krypton, and Seyg-El, who took care of Jor-El’s education personally, treated him with cold interest, making sure that he learnt Kryptonian traditions and science, but with the same attention a particularly detached teacher could have for a promising student. Jor-El, however, wasn’t like his father at all: albeit he properly studied Kryptonian etiquette and history, and he proved to be a versatile scientist and a curious researcher, he didn’t like the strictness of Krypton’s traditions, and dreamed of something more in his life than genetic perfection and oppressively organised society. Seyg-El didn’t understand his son’s ambitions, quite the opposite, he came to consider him a public embarassment, an apple that had fallen far distant from its tree. The greatest dishonor that Jor-El ever brought to his father came when the boy was about fifteen years old, and a great opportunity came to him and to the House of El in general, albeit in one of the harshest times ever for planet Krypton, as the Green Plague was claiming thousands of lives.
Among the ones who fell victim to the plague was Zon-Em, a respected nobleman, and his mate-to-be, Lara, was left without her future husband. The Master of the Gestation Chambers selected Jor-El as a replacement for Zon-Em, finding his genetic template worthy of mixing with Lara’s one. Seyg-El, understanding the honor this represented, prompted his son to accept, informing him of the privilege the Lords had granted him (Jor-El had not yet participated to the rite of passage to adulthood, and it was unheard of that a “child” was chosen as a mate for a noblewoman). Much to Seyg-El’s relief, Jor-El accepted the offer…but he managed to put him in great embarassment the moment he demanded to actually meet the woman he was supposed to marry and to conceive children with, a request that nobody, in centuries of genetic perfection-oriented combinations, had ever promoted. Father and son argued harshly about this, with Seyg-El seeing this request just another sign of Jor-El’s disrespect for Kryptonian traditions, a meaningless whim of a maverick; Jor-El, however, was unmovable, and when the Master of the Gestation Chambers actually granted his request and allowed him to meet Lara, Seyg-El rushed away, not wanting to have anything else to do with his rebellious son ever again. Seyg-El completely focused on leading the Kryptonian Science Council, and he did so with total respect of Kryptonian traditions, becoming a renowned conservative judge of any Kryptonian matter. To make things worse, soon Jor-El, who had in the meanwhile fallen in love with Lara and had married her nevertheless, became a scientist himself, subject to the Council as a result. Even more, in the moment when all Krypton’s greatest minds were trying to find a cure to the Green Plague without success, letting it destroy millions of lives, Jor-El started exposing theories about a destabilization of the planet’s nucleus that would have brought to the destruction of Krypton. Seyg-El refused to listen to his own son, and ordered him to keep quite about this not to spread panic among the population: this last act of pride, however, would have costed him much…
Seyg-El is a serious and proud member of the House of El, the heir of a long legacy of rules and traditions who consecrates his entire life to respecting and protecting them. A brilliant scientist and a deep connoisseur of Kryptonian history and customs, he’s the leader of the Science Council, a perfect man shaped by eugenics who doesn’t accept the slightest flaw in himself or in others. Severe and inflexible, Seyg-El represents everything that made Krypton great…and everything that marked its downfall as well.