Warning: This article contains minor SPOILERS for Krypton season 2, episode 2.
Though Syfy's Krypton takes place two centuries in the past, the Superman prequel series is already digging deep into the Man of Steel's rogues' gallery. Despite being in the early episodes of its sophomore season, the series is currently full of familiar faces from the comics. As it turns out, many of the threats in Kryptonian history are also present in Earth's future.
The inclusion of so many classic DC villains is easily explained by how closely the series, its plot, and its characters are connected to Superman himself. Superman's legacy is at the heart of the show, so his importance to the story - even if he may never appear on-screen - cannot be overestimated. Krypton season 1 began as a story about Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) and Adam Strange (Shan Sipos) trying to preserve history and prevent Superman from being erased from history. Due to time travel, the show is able incorporate major villains from the present-day DC Universe. However, Krypton has shown that not all of its DC characters need time travel to appear on the series.
Considering all the characters who are already being utilized on the show, there's no telling how many more will join in the action before the series ends. So here's a look at all the Superman villains Krypton has introduced so far.
Brainiac has a history as one of Superman's oldest and greatest adversaries. Typically portrayed as a green-skinned alien android with a computerized brain, Brainiac has clashed with Superman for decades. The character has evolved a great deal over the years by transferring his consciousness to new bodies and upgrading himself with new abilities.
Krypton's take on the character is faithful to the comic books. Brainiac is the first Superman villain to appear on Krypton and is initially regarded as the biggest threat to Superman's legacy. Known as the "collector of worlds," Brainiac, much like his comic book counterpart, sought to "bottle" the city of Kandor and add it to his collection. After taking on a humanoid form by stealing the body of Krypton's religious leader, Brainiac was eventually defeated and sent to the Phantom Zone.
Brainiac was seemingly killed in the season 2 premiere, but the latest episode of the season reveals that Brainiac lives on inside of Seg.
The one DC Comics villain with the distinction of killing Superman is Doomsday. The genetically engineered Kryptonian monster famously killed the Man of Steel in 1993's "The Death of Superman" crossover event. The character has appeared in live-action in season 8 of Smallville and in the 2016 movie Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Krypton's version of Doomsday is by far the most comic book accurate portrayal of the fan-favorite villain to date. Described as an "unkillable" weapon, Doomsday is an ancient creature created by scientists from the Zod and El families. When Doomsday was first introduced on the show, he was locked away in suspended animation. Adam Strange warned everyone of the dangers of unleashing Doomsday on the world. At the end of the season, Doomsday was released, allowing the monster to roam free while destroying everything in its path. In Krypton season 2, General Zod still regards Doomsday as a weapon he can use to further his agenda.
In Krypton season 1, Seg was captured and interrogated by a mysterious opponent, played by Colin Salmon, who was looking for information on Brainiac. In a shocking twist, the character was revealed to be General Zod himself, the son of Lyta Zod (Georgina Campbell). The Zod family was an integral part of the show from the beginning, but due to the timeline of events in the show, it was never expected that General Zod would be involved in the story.
As it turns out, Zod came to Krypton via time travel to stop Brainiac from taking Kandor. Just when it looked like Zod would have some sort of a heroic role on Krypton by helping the main characters save the planet, Zod's true intentions were exposed. What Zod really wanted was to seize control of Krypton and make it into the militaristic, conquering force that he always wanted it to be. By the end of the season, he succeeded. In erasing Superman from existence, Zod became the real main villain of the series.
Of all the Superman villains on Krypton, Jax-Ur is the least recognizable, and the only one to be drastically altered for the show. In the comics, Jax-Ur is an evil scientist who was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone for a terrible act of mass murder. Jax-Ur eventually escaped and became a recurring foe of Superman.
Krypton gender-swapped Jax-Ur by having the character played by Hannah Waddingham. Waddingham's Jax-Ur was the leader of the terrorist organization known as Black Zero in season 1. What's interesting about this version of the character is that Krypton keeps her comic book counterpart's criminal reputation, but flips it on its head. Jax-Ur is a wanted fugitive because she makes a stand against the corrupt people in power and actually has good intentions for Krypton. In season 2, Jax-Ur is one of the rebel leaders who resists Zod's rule.
The Krypton season 2 premiere introduced Lobo, a character who was promised to appear on Krypton at SDCC 2018. The alien bounty hunter was one of DC's most popular characters during the 1990s. Originally a villain, Lobo eventually evolved into an anti-hero and the star of his own comic book titles. Lobo's stories were known for their over-the-top violence and dark humor. His relentless pursuit of his targets have caused him to be at odds with heroes like Superman and Batman on multiple occasions.
Actor Emmett J. Scanlan plays Lobo on Krypton. After arriving on Brainiac's homeworld, Colu, Lobo easily captures Seg and Adam Strange and explains that his main goal is to bring in Brainiac. After a brief look at the character in the premiere, the second episode of the season makes it clear that Scanlan's Lobo is a remarkably faithful interpretation of the comic book villain, complete with his long list of nicknames, healing factor, and murderous tendencies. Syfy has big plans for the Scourge of the Cosmos, considering that a Lobo spinoff series is already in development.