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Syfy’s ‘Krypton’ may star Superman’s grandpa, but it’s a show about strong women

What I love about the Syfy network is that it’s not afraid to take risks. Unlike many—if not all—networks, Syfy is not afraid to go “full sci-fi” with its series. (See: Van Helsing, 12 Monkeys, The Magicians, Wynonna Earp, classics like Battlestar Galactica, and new series Nightflyers from the mind of George RR Martin.) The network has also lifted a big middle finger to the stereotype of a “damsel in distress”. Take Wynonna Earp and Van Helsing, two of the network’s newer and more popular shows, both starring (badass) female leads with character journeys that go beyond your typical love triangle.

Yes, these shows have love stories in their own right—but that’s not what these characters are caged into. As a woman, I can say that my love life does not define me, but it’s also a huge part of me (like many women.) Shows like Van Helsing and Wynonna Earp dive into the many other complexities of its female stars, making the shows widely popular—and, dare I say, defying stereotypical female leads.

Then there’s Syfy’s other new show, Krypton. The show’s premise is “The untold story of Superman’s grandfather as he fights for justice on his home planet,” but oh, it’s so much more.

Then there’s Syfy’s other new show, Krypton. The show’s premise is “The untold story of Superman’s grandfather as he fights for justice on his home planet,” but oh, it’s so much more. While the history of Superman’s home planet Krypton is fulfilling to DC fans (overall, diehard fans have been pleased with the adaptation of Superman’s family/species history), it also expands the Superman universe into highlighting the planet Krypton’s female inhabitants. Much like the female characters in the MCU’S 2018 smash hit Black Panther, Krypton’s female characters are strong without cause—they just are. They aren’t powerful because they are seeking revenge or because they were scorned by a loved one. These are only amplifiers to their innate strength, and this is why young—and older—women need to watch this show.

During San Diego Comic Con I joined the show’s press room and chatted with two of its females stars (sorry, fans—Georgina Campbell wasn’t there. I was beyond bummed!) I was pleasantly surprised by my enthusiasm following my interviews with Wallis Day, who plays the deliciously captivating Nyssa-Vex, and Ann Ogbomo, who plays Lyta-Zod’s mother, Jayna-Zod. Naturally the conversation flowed from the excitement of being at Comic Con to elating in the strength of the female characters they portray.

Ann dove into the extreme complexities of her character Jayna-Zod: A mother with a duty to her job, her heritage; a mother with the innate feeling of love and protection for her children; a woman trying to cope with betrayal and how to know what to do next—how to move on. Sound familiar? Well, it should. Because it’s every woman, and it’s what makes me want to stop writing this article and go finish watching the show. (Full disclosure: I paused watching on season 1 episode 3; I had a baby and life took over for a while. #RealTalk)

Then there’s the Nyssa-Vex: A woman bound by duty with a genuine heart that’s inching its way to becoming the hero she never thought she’d be. As women, do we have to be manipulative to be powerful? Why is this trope so often the one we fall into—both on and off screen? Even on Krypton with super-strength, women go to their rooms alone—secluded—and feel the same way.

Entering the Krypton press room, I expected to learn about the twists and turns of the show’s second season, but instead I left holding my head a little higher. Who knew a show that started with a premise of a man in blue tights and a red cape would be the one relating to women, moms, and aspiring badasses (hint to all you female readers: you’re already the latter.) Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to binge Krypton and finish trying to figure out how to sew my daughter’s cape for her first birthday party.

Check out the full interviews with Krypton’s Wallis Day and Ann Ogbomo from SDCC 2018 below:

Krypton season 2 will air in 2019 on Syfy.

Featured image: Syfy

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Liz Prugh

Liz is the co-founder of PureFandom.com, an always aspiring #fiercefemale, and loves geeking out over any and all sci-fi/fantasy. She believes Luke Skywalker is the most underrated Jedi and still thinks vampires are cool. She hosts several Pure Fandom podcasts, and you can find her currently covering The CW's 'Batwoman' and 'Legacies'. Nerd out with her on Twitter @lizprugh.

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