Friday, April 8, 2011

Krypton is for Adventurers

Krypton (the planet that is, not the element) is mostly known for blowing up--that and giving us the baby that would grow up to be Superman. But in Superman #239 (1971) E. Nelson Bridwell designed maps of Krypton appeared, revealing it to be one hell of a place to adventure.

Let’s take it by hemisphere. Here’s the “Old World” first:

1 Striped River: Simply a two-toned river? Surely not! I bet these are two different fluids with two different dangerous ecosystems. Swim away from a purple water shark, right into the jaws of a magenta river shark.
2 Erkol: “Oldest City on Krypton”--which means of course, ruins...and treasure.
3 Fungus Caverns: Yes, please.
5 Ruins of the Ancient City of Xan: See (2) above, except this city looks even more ruinous.
6 Mt. Mundru: The highest peak on Krypton probably has some monastery at the top where monks are waiting to teach their martial arts skills--and esoteric wisdom, but mostly the skills. Or maybe there are just Kryptonian yetis.
7 The Glass Forest: Where even mundane flora and fuana become dangerous thanks to their razor-sharp glass edges, and their habit of turning into a shower of shards when destroyed.
8 Jerat: “The Ghost City” offers two intriguing possibilities. It could be a city inhabited by ghosts, or the ghost of a city, whichever fits your challenge rating, or whatever the kids call it.
9 Vathlo Island: This “highly developed black race” is probably like elves crossed with Parliament. Or maybe like the super-scientist Globetrotters on Futurama. Whatever, so long as their key features are “black” and “highly developed.”

The “New World” Hemisphere starts off with a bit of a let down, because...

1 Kandor: isn’t there anymore because its in a jar at Braniac’s place. Maybe the dungeon’s beneath Kandor are still there, though.
4 Fort Rozz: is probably run by an AI which will go crazy, and turn the installation into a trap-filled Fort of Horrors.
5 Atomic Town: seems to be shaped like a pentagram, so is probably a gigantic sigil for summoning a nuclear horror. Probably Azathoth.
6 Jewel Mountains and 8 Gold Mountain: Sort of “Monty Haul,” but that was Bridwell, I guess.
7 Rainbow Canyon: An idyllic land of freedom from care--or one constant Prismatic Spray?
13 Bokos: The island of independent thieves--which suggests this is a guild-free shop. Maybe its like the city of thieves from Adventure Time and everybody who enters the city eventually becomes a thief?
14 Magnetic Mountains: In other words, you’re gonna regret getting the full plate.


Logan said...

Great stuff! It's a nice option for an adventure setting. *print*

The Angry Lurker said...

Definitely a place of interest but not for the untrained tourist.

Jeff Rients said...

Great find! I'm digging on the Bokos, Island of Thieves.

Stefan Poag said...

I'm loving that magnetic mountain is shaped like s giant horseshoe magnet. Is there another mountain shaped like a giant thumbtack being pulled towards Magnet mountain?

Incredible stuff. Where does he find it?

Matt Neumann said...

Great post! Just started following! keep it up

Akrasia said...

Very cool!

Justin S. Davis said...

About a decade ago, I was told by none other than The Internet's own Jess Nevins that it was my destiny to write a funnybook called Kal-X, Soul Son of Krypton. Yes, Vathlo Island would play an integral role.

And I should probably revise my old Blaxploitation Champions article some time....

Lemmiwinks said...

great background on this

Trey said...

Thanks for stopping by, guys.

@Limpey - Thematically a giant magnet demands something equally giant of metal to be pulled towards it, doesn't it? ;) This I got from the Comic Book Cartography blog, which I recommend.

@Justin - You definitely should. Or should I say "Right On!"

netherwerks said...

Cool. Adventures on Old Krypton. Before the Final Explosion. What a great scenario--and those are some incredible environments/locations to go exploring. Someone really needs to develop this further, not just as an RPG-thing, but as a mini-series for DC. It's be awesome. Has Johnathon seen this?

Unknown said...

Too bad the maniacs blew it up, blew it all straight to hell.

Trey said...

@NetherWerks - Yeah, DC seems unwilling to explore there old silliness these days when they can enter whole now realms with the likes of lanterns all the colors of the rainbow.

@GC - Heh! Indeed.

Needles said...

I think there might be room for a declining Rome sort of adventure in a science fiction universe involving this.Krypton was a part of the Traveller rpg located in the Solomani Rim. Here's the designation! Krypton (0330 Solomani Rim): "Traveller News Service" Survival Margin!
Krypton was very briefly depicted in the first Fleischer Studios-produced Superman cartoon in the early 1940s as "a planet that burned like a green star in the distant heavens [and where] civilization was far advanced and it brought forth a race of Supermen whose mental and physical powers were developed to the absolute peak of human perfection," implying that all Kryptonians had Superman's abilities even on their own planet. The planet is seen only from a distance, just before its explosion.
Awesome post & this will be making an appearance in an upcoming game of Human Space Empires I'll be running. Thanks Trey as always

Trey said...

Strangely, I had never even thought about its application in science fiction games, but you're right, it would make one hell of a planet of adventure.