Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Evolution of Krypton's History

This week a great comic came out, Superman Annual #14. It featured Mon-el finally finding out about his past and where he came from. Why he fell to Earth all the way from Daxam. They revealed a lot about Daxam - now officially a cousin of Krypton. While they made Daxamites clearly their own race, their origins, and similarities to Kryptonians, is not a coincidence.

What I found interesting is that Daxam followed the same Story-Evolution as Krypton.

See, modern day Krypton, before it all blew up, was a somewhat insular society. As revealed in this issue, Krypton did go to other stars - which makes sense when you consider how powerful they would be under other suns. But something changed - and they pulled back. They stayed on Krypton, and discouraged space exploration.

The reason for this insular attitude is for two reasons: the writers didn't want even more survivors of Krypton, ala a colony or space ship. And the second reason: the writers needed to contain the influence of Krypton.

In this issue, it revealed that Daxamites cannot interbreed with other races, except select ones that match enough. This plot point was very important - as it contains the powers, under a yellow sun, to the people of Daxam. Similarly, I think Kryptonians wouldn't have been able to interbreed with many other races - thus containing all the super powers that would suddenly be woven into various societies.

Essentially, Krypton and Daxam are unique themselves - there aren't a bunch of other planets with duplicates of Kryptonian powers and Daxamite powers.

It occurred to me, that these limitations are really all a result of Writer's simplifying the epic space situation of the DCU. As time as gone on, Krypton has been depicted as more insular and less space-faring, simply because it fixes those two problems I previously suggested. While I am not critical of this plot device, by any means, it still is interesting how modern concepts of space-faring civilizations conflict with the 1940s depiction of Krypton, with people who where originally all super powered. The first thing that really changed all that is the idea of the Yellow Sun being the reason Superman has super powers - and of Krypton having a Red sun - thus inherently "de-powering" the people of Krypton. Why do that? Two possible reasons, as I can see it: 1.) There's the question of wether Super Powered people would really die from an exploding planet. Superman has certainly faced much bigger explosions. And 2.) It again confines Kryptonians to Krypton, making fewer survivors. The insular lack of space-faring then answered the question of, even if they didn't have powers, why wouldn't they be out there in space with their technology.

What do you think? I just thought it was interesting how the concept of Krypton has changed - and how, now connected with Daxam, that planet similar followed suit - to better serve the world Superman and Mon-el live in.

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