Adam Strange isn’t the only time traveler on Syfy’s Krypton.
Last week’s episode with ended a major twist: When Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell) and Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) went searching for Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) in the icy Krypton wilderness, Lyta-Zod discovered that his captor was none other than her future son, General Zod (Colin Salmon). This revelation was obviously shocking for Lyta, but also for Adam, who traveled to Superman’s home planet to ensure the Man of Steel’s future remained intact and probably believed he was the only futuristic visitor.
“Yes, he’s surprised. The big surprise is that it throws into question [whether] he was right because he was acting on partial information,” Sipos tells EW. “It makes him question what he thinks he knows, which is interesting to watch because initially you have him with absolute certainty.”
He continues, “To see someone go from absolute certainty to, ‘Wait, there’s another player on the board. I didn’t know this piece was on the board, didn’t expect it to be on the board, and I didn’t expect it to be a power player,’ is fascinating and makes for some good TV.”
In addition to chatting with Sipos about Adam’s reaction to that big Zod twist, EW also had a chance to talk to him about what it’s been like playing a DC Comics hero who most non-comic readers have never heard of and which Adam Strange story helped him develop his character.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What attracted you to the role of Adam Strange?
SHAUN SIPOS: I think he really has a through-line that parallels Superman. He’s adopted the planet Rann in the comics. So he has given up his world and has taken on this new world, and he becomes a hero of that world, and he has an innate goodness in him that I strive to have in my own life and exercise in my life. He has an Indiana Jones quality to him; he’s able to take grave danger and very heavy situations with levity and creativity. Not to say that he doesn’t feel fear, but it allows him to make creative decisions and courageous decisions in spite of any fear that he’s feeling.
In terms of what really connected me with him were his feelings of being ostracized and not quite fitting in on Earth. I was transferred from school to school a couple times when I was growing up, so I felt like the odd man out. I didn’t feel like I fit. I lived in my imagination a lot. I was often on my own, and I stood up for people. I didn’t like bullies, so I would put myself in harm’s way to protect people who couldn’t protect themselves. Adam Strange does that too.
How familiar were you with him before signing on for the role?
I wasn’t that familiar. I knew of him, but I didn’t realize he was that big of a character until DC Comics sent me a gift package of a lot of comics, one of them being a 500-page comic of his. People put a lot of work and thought and care into the development of that character, and I know some people really love him.
Which stories in the package DC gave you helped you get a grasp of the character?
So, the “Rann-Thanagar War,” “The Man of Two Worlds,” and “Planet Heist,” [which] I think was maybe my favorite one.
Why was it your favorite?
The Omega Men were involved in that. There are actually a lot of similarities to what’s going on on Krypton. He’s travelling a lot [in “Planet Heist’], whereas “Rann-Thanagar War” is awesome, but he’s on Thanagar the whole time. In “Planet Heist,” there’s a whole political scheme going on where a character is trying to resurrect this evil entity that could destroy the entire universe. Against all odds, he’s able to come up with a way, through his intellect and wit, to defeat this entity. I think “Planet Heist” is everything that Adam Strange signifies. It’s all there.
Given that Adam Strange was a widely known character, did that make it easier or harder to find the character?
I suppose it made it easier, but then again I’m hypothesizing because I wasn’t in the circumstance of having to be bombarded while in prep. When the news came out, there were a lot of people who started hitting me up, going, “No one has played this guy! This character is f—ing awesome!” I just went, “Woah,” and I just didn’t look at it because I went, “I don’t want to have that pressure.” I wanted to isolate myself and have Adam Strange and myself have a picnic and get to know each other and see in what ways he speaks to me. So it helps to do that without having other people’s opinions and expectations.
Were you disappointed you wouldn’t be wearing the character’s classic look?
I did ask him about that when we first talked. I asked him if we were getting the jetpack and if we were going to be flying around with the laser and the whole thing. He said, “Not yet.” Which I actually really liked because it allows me to develop with him. We’re seeing Adam at the very beginning of his journey and the part that’s glazed over in the comics. In the comics, he get teleported to Rann and it’s sort of like brushed over that he becomes a warrior, and then he has the red suit and then he has the Zeta Beam, and then he starts doing heroic things and he’s the hero of Rann. What we don’t learn is what it was it was like on that journey to get to that point.
So here we are exploring that and the labyrinths of his mind and his heart, what his fears, what his joys are, that I think we all struggle with as well. Adam wants to be a superhero, he wants to be someone of note, and he wants to be great at it. We have these two voices [in our heads], one going, “You’re terrible. You can’t do this. You’re a bum. What are you doing?” and another one that goes, “Keep going. I believe in you.” He struggles with those voices. In prep for Adam, I struggled with those voices, and upon hearing those voices, I realized, “Oh, we’re in sync.”
Can you tease what comes after the big Zod reveal in episode 5?
We go further into what I was talking about with Adam, which are those voices: “Can I be a hero? Am I made for that material?” We discover who Adam’s helper is to propel him along this journey, and we see him unearth that mettle that’s in him. Then we see him throughout the season do what truly makes a hero a hero.
Krypton airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy.