Spoilers ahead for tonight's episode of Krypton, titled "House of El."
As we were reminded in last week's Krypton pilot, the world of Krypton as it exists at this point in its history is a fairly militaristic culture, and one where life and death hang by a thread.
It should be no surprise, then, that a character with a familiar name has already met his fate in the show's second episode.
Quex-Ul, a Sagitari commander, died in combat against Lyta Zod during tonight's episode, after her concerns about his reckless plans for pacifying the rankless district fell on deaf ears. There is an ancient rite observed on Krypton that allows a subordinate to challenge their superior in order to make the military guild better by overtaking that commander and taking their rank.
Quex-Ul was created by Edmond Hamilton and Curt Swan, first appearing in 1962's Superman #157.
In the comics, he is most commonly associated (ironically enough) with Lyta's eventual son, General Dru-Zod. There, he is represented as a Kryptonian criminal who was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, where he survived the destruction of Krypton. Despite his innocence, years of imprisonment alongside other criminals would turn him evil and he eventually became an antagonist to Superman.
There have been various takes on the character over the years; he was one of a trio of Kryptonian supervillains Superman put to death during the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity, and a member of General Zod's invasion platoon in Man of Steel.
While he dies quickly in Krypton, his original Silver Age version actually had a short career as a villain -- but a longer life as a human.
How's that work? Well, along with Quex-Ul came the introduction of gold Kryptonite, a mineral that removes Kryptonian powers forever. He attempted to use it on Superman but ultimately ended up using it on himself. After the battle, he awoke with lost memories, and was convinced that he was actually an Earthman. Clark Kent convinced Perry White to give him a job at the Daily Planet, and Quex-Ul was no longer a threat.
You can hear From Crisis to Crisis: A Superman Podcast's Michael Bailey reminiscing about that story in a podcast below.
Krypton airs on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on SYFY.0comments