House of El (2021 - 2023)

Dated Mar 21, 2023; last modified on Sat, 29 Jul 2023

House of El. Claudia Gray; Eric Zawardski. . . 2021.


[Tribune Member] Krypton is the most advanced civilization known to exist in the galaxy. For generations, its citizens have been genetically engineered to make them the greatest examples of their kind. We have the best soldiers that can possibly exist. The best scientists. The best leaders. Could the people designed to rule this world fail to defend it? Could any society truly be failing when they can terraform other planets, and shape them as they desire?

We’re soldiers. We weren’t made to save our friends' exes. We don’t ask what “the point” is. We only exist to give our lives for Krypton. [General Zod] Not exactly… Yes, you’re meant to give your lives for Krypton. But not to waste them. Had you died on Rado, that would have been a waste. You’re worth more than that.

That there exists some finite value of a soldier’s life, though not high enough for the life to be intrinsically valuable, is noteworthy. Zod is not the typical antagonist who assigns little to no value to the lives of those under him.

The pre-determination of it all adds more depth to Zod’s shortcomings. From :

[Zod] We could have built a new Krypton… …in this squalor. But you chose the humans over us. I exist… …only to protect Krypton. That is the sole purpose for which I was born. And every action I take… … no matter how violent… …or how cruel… …is for the greater good… …of my people. And now… …I have no people. My soul… …that is what you have taken… …from me. I’m going to make them suffer, Kal. These humans you’ve adopted, I will take them all from you… …one by one. #utilitarianism

How much of Zod is his nature, and how much of it is his malevolence? He does realize his predestination in , so not really a mindless mass-murderer. There is some agency in his actions.

[Voss] One of our people let himself get caught because we believed it might help. You agreed it was a plan worth pursuing. But you actually let him throw his freedom away because you had hope?

[Lara] For instance, we were programmed with intelligence and curiosity. You were programmed with strength and courage – without any fear for your own life. But our ancestors were so concerned with the traits they were programming into us that they didn’t consider the traits they left out. [Sera-Ur] What do you mean – left out? [Jor-El] Okay, take my wife’s house, the House of Re. They’re all supposed to be leaders of some kind. Most of them go into politics, but a handful of them - like Lara - apply their talents towards mathematics or science. What they don’t have, usually, is creativity. The ancestors gave that only to artists. But creativity plays a role in discovery and innovation. Also, soldiers don’t have a sense of self-preservation – which is in my opinion immoral. [Lara] The point is, Kryptonians are over-designed. They lack the ability to be full, complete people.

Shades of that has a scientist, living in an advanced civilization, raising alarm bells without the support of the establishment.

[Sera-Ur] But – only the lowest of the low don’t engineer their babies. Not elites in the House of El. [Jor-El] That’s the point. Our programming has made us unwilling – or unable – to challenge the status quo. Krypton can’t change with a population that’s incapable of change. #change-motif


  1. House of El Book 1: The Shadow Threat. Chapter 1. Claudia Gray; Eric Zawardski. . Jan 5, 2021.
  2. House of El Book 1: The Shadow Threat. Chapter 2. Claudia Gray; Eric Zawardski. . Jan 5, 2021.
  3. Foundation - Apple TV+ Press. . Sep 4, 2021. Accessed Mar 11, 2023.
  4. Man of Steel. . . . Jun 10, 2013. Accessed Mar 21, 2023.