Brainiac is coming to Krypton, and he has the potential to change Superman canon as we know it. In a new reveal of actor Blake Riston (DaVinci’s Demons) as the classic comic book villain for Syfy’s Superman prequel series Krypton, Riston says that the show will be able to explore new canon previously unseen in the comics.
On Wednesday, in an interview with USA Today, Riston says that the time Krypton takes place, 200 years before the birth of Kal-El and his arrival on Earth, allows the series to explore things the comics have not. “[I]t’s something of a blank canvas that has allowed a lot of freedom for the writers to world-build,” Ritson said. “This is a major expansion of the Superman universe and mythology and the civilization that fostered the greatest hero that ever lived.”
Meanwhile, Brainiac himself will be pretty familiar to anyone who’s picked up Action Comics over the last few decades, as Riston’s version will be familiar. But Riston is adding new depth to Brainiac, who believes he’s saving the galaxy with a Noah’s Ark-type of plan.
“Yes, he traverses the universe in a gigantic skull ship, ripping cities out of planets, miniaturizing them and placing them on board. But he does so in the spirit of conservation,” Ritson explained. “In his mind, he’s committed to the ultimate philanthropic act: saving all of creation. In many ways it’s analogous to Noah plucking out two of every animal to ensure their survival, even while knowing that others must perish.”
Riston’s unveiling on USA Today also comes packaged with a one minute explainer video from Syfy, in which series showrunner David S. Goyer and DC head honcho Geoff Johns explained that Brainiac “made absolute sense” as the show’s big bad.
Krypton star Cameron Cuffe, who plays a young Seg-El — the grandfather of Kal-El — credits Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank for defining the version of Brainiac seen in Krypton. Adds Geoff Johsn: “We definitely decided to take a run at making him colder, more emotionally distant and ancient, and that version of Brainiac did heavily influence what we’re doing on the show.”
Introduced in Action Comics #242 in 1958, Brainiac is one of Superman’s most recognized villains that isn’t Lex Luthor. An android alien collector of cities, Brainiac possesses unparalleled intellect absorbed by the millions of cultures he’s collected and destroyed. Depending on the continuity, Brainiac is the sole responsible party for destroying Krypton.
Krypton will air on Syfy on March 21.