The last few episodes of the excellent Superman-based sci-fi series Krypton have been lessons in “Nothing is as it seems:” Doomsday wasn’t originally a villain, Brainiac wasn’t really purged from Seg-El on the first try, a character’s name can be changed into one with major significance, and characters thought to be…well, there will be no spoilers here about this week’s major twist.
This episode opens with an obvious dream sequence. Why is it obvious? Because Seg-El (Kal-El/Superman’s grandfather) and Lyta never eloped to Kryptonopolis and lived happily ever after, since Lyta was brutally executed by Jax-Ur.
The previews for this week’s episode revealed that Black Mercy would be a story element, so it's no spoiler that it is the reason behind the idealistic dreams we see. In the comics, Black Mercy was used on Superman by the alien Mongol in Alan Moore’s classic 1985 story "For The Man Who Has Everything", in Superman Annual #11. The Black Mercy placed Superman in a coma while his happiest dreams were made real to him. Mongul believed it to be the perfect trap and the ultimate defeat of Superman.
Zod has submitted a victim to the Black Mercy in order to extract toxins emitted during its symbiosis, to try to control the Doomsday creature.
In the comics, Black Mercy created experiences is so real and so pleasant for the victim, that they did not want to escape its clutches, but Zod's disturbance of the Black Mercy causes negative reactions, allowing the victim to escape the fantasy.
The alien symbiote’s invasion of a human subject is more graphic and nightmarish on Krypton than it was in the comics. I can only hope that Alan Moore's ending to his Black Mercy tale is repeated on Krypton.
Much admiration and kudos should be given to the costume designers and hairstylists on Krypton, for the elaborate and imaginative white and gold formal fashions of the wedding party and guests. Their collaborative designs are very futuristic, alien, and beautiful. They are yet more examples, along with the very convincing CGI views of Kryptonopolis, of the totally immersive alien experience that has been created on this show.
Previews for next week's episode show Doomsday in action, so don't miss it!
Krypton airs Wednesdays on SyFy.
Superman Annual #11 (1985) - Black Mercy
Superman: The Man of Steel #18-26 – Doomsday and the Death of Superman
Superman, Vol. 2 #75-83 – Doomsday and the Death of Superman