Why Did Krypton Explode In The Comics, TV Shows And Movies?

Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El in the Fortress of Solitude - Why did krypton explode

If you’ve been watching SYFY’s Superman prequel Krypton, you might have a few questions. Like, what’s up with Doomsday? How is General Zod there? And hold up, why did Krypton explode, exactly?

Weeeell, spoilers for Krypton past this point, in case you’re not caught up. But the neat twist we discovered during “Civil Wars” was that when Brainiac (Blake Ritson) takes the city of Kandor, it destabilizes Krypton’s core. 200ish years later, the planet explodes.

That’s not, by the way, why Krypton usually explodes — in the comics the show is based on, at least. That said, with 80 years of continuity, and DC Comics’ frequent penchant for rebooting said continuity, the question “why did Krypton explode” is a little more complicated to answer than you’d think.

Here’s every way the planet blew up, in the books and on screen:

Why Did Krypton Explode: It Got Old

When Superman was first introduced (way back in “Action Comics #1”), it was implied the planet got old. That was pretty much it! Nothing too complicated, just a regular old planet blowing up, just like how old people blow up when they die.

Why Did Krypton Explode: The Destroyer

When writer/artist John Byrne rebooted Superman in 1986, after the seminal miniseries “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” he introduced a device called The Destroyer. A massive weapon built during Krypton’s Clone Wars (really), the radical faction Black Zero set off the weapon which shot nuclear blasts into the planet’s core. Black Zero was stopped, but the damage was done. Centuries later, Superman’s father Jor-El discovered the core was going to explode and take the planet with it.

Why Did Krypton Explode: It Just Kind Of Blows Up

In the first Superman TV series, Adventures of Superman the planet blows up after being drawn closer to the sun, because of gravity. Fun fact: this is a real thing that happens all the time!

Why Did Krypton Explode: It Just Kind Of Blows Up

Though Brainiac sort of gets blamed for it on Superman: The Animated Series because the sentient computer doesn’t tell anyone Krypton is about to blow up, it just blows up. The end.

Why Did Krypton Explode: It Was Too Much Mining

On The CW’s currently running Supergirl, the eighth episode of Season 1 (when the show was still on CBS) revealed that Krypton exploded because they overmined the core of the planet.

The same thing happens in 2013’s Man of Steel, leading to a light sort of tie between the two versions.

Probably an environmental metaphor about Earth or whatever, amiright? I am right.

Why Did Krypton Explode: The Sun Did It

Oh, you rascally sun. In the animated shows Super Friends and The New Adventures Of Superman, we find out that as the sun exploded, it took Krypton with it.

This was followed up on in the original 1978 Superman movie, and remains arguably the most popular interpretation of what happened. Though it does take the responsibility off the Kryptonians, and those guys suck.

Why Did Krypton Explode: It Was A Guy Named Rogel

To be fair, we need to find out more about this. But Brian Michael Bendis’ first story for DC Comics revealed an alien named Rogel who claims he was hired by Jor-El to destroy Krypton. BUM bum BUM.

So in summary, why did Krypton explode? A lot of reasons, and none of them good.

Be sure to subscribe to our Krypton podcast for recaps as soon each episode is done airing!

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2 thoughts on “Why Did Krypton Explode In The Comics, TV Shows And Movies?

  1. On The Adventures of Superman, the explanation is that Krypton is being drawn closer to the sun, and is destroyed by the sun’s gravity.

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