Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sounds Like Troub-El To Me

Back in May, the Siffy Channel announced it was producing a new Superman prequel series titled Krypton. This week, they finally released details on the project.

According to Siffy, the series "will be set two generations before the destruction of Superman's home planet, telling the story of his grandfather, who's fighting to restore his family's honor following a public disgrace."

No doubt he'll successfully refurbish the family name just in time for the planet to explode. That's pretty much what has to happen, right? We all know Krypton's destiny. Who wants to watch the struggles of a group of people who are doomed to die in a few years? 

On the other hand, that worked out pretty well for Game Of Thrones, so never mind.

The pilot will be written by David S. Goyer, the "screenwriter" of both Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. That right there guarantees I won't be watching. Hell, I may even take an ax to my TV to make sure I don't see even a minute of the show by accident. 

Goyer's pilot will no doubt be dark, dreary and full of self-loathing characters wearing grim, pained expressions, who look like they don't want to be in their own show. It's too bad the show's set before Batman V Superman, else Jimmy Olsen could make a cameo and get shot in the head again. Just for fun!

So first we had Gotham, a Batman series without Batman in it, and now we've got a Superman-less Superman series. I honestly don't get the appeal of these types of shows. Who wants to watch a superhero show without any superheroes? Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. suffered from this problem in its first season, but the producers wisely course-corrected and finally started giving us some comic book action.

Siffy released a plot synopsis of the Krypton pilot, and it's a doozy. The show will center around Superman's grandfather Seg-El, an "athletic, quietly confident" man in his twenties. Obviously the Seg-El name is a little nod to Jerry Siegel, the co-creator of Supeman. His possible love interest is Lyta Zod, who has a family tie to General Zod, and is a reluctant warrior. 

Also in the cast is Val-El, who's Seg-El's own grandfather, who discovered the Phantom Zone, Ter-El, Superman's great grandfather, and Dev-Em, described as a "Kryptonian juvenile delinquent." 

It all sounds like a bunch of Driv-El to me. In fact I'd go so far as to say it's Terrib-El. Dispicab-El, even. The whole thing's Inexcusab-El. It's Unthinkab-El. Whoever greenlit this project is Certifiab-El. OK, I'm done.

The show begins production this summer, and will likely premiere in the fall, just in time for a Christmas cancellation.

5 comments:

  1. Val-El actually was Kal-El's grandfather, at least. I just read an issue of DC Comics Presents from about 1984 in which he has somehow been jettisoned ahead to the present. He's met Superman in an earlier issue, and he works with Superman, Hawkman and Hawkwoman to fight off an alien invasion. Oh, and he dies at the end (bummer).
    I used to really enjoy the stories of Krypton that were the backup feature of Superman or Action, plus the mini-series like World of Krypton and The Phantom Zone. I suspect none of that will be used as source material for this series.

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  2. Also: I don't feel like "Who wants to watch the struggles of a group of people who are doomed to die in a few years?" is a valid critique. Aren't we all doomed to die in a few years? Eventually, of course, our planet will be consumed by the cooling, expanding sun. Why bother to watch any dramas at all, knowing that our eventually fate is to be returned to the stardust from whence we came?

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    1. Yes, that's all true. But this is fiction we're talking about. Most readers like for their stories to end with "And they lived happily ever after." They don't like knowing the characters will all be dead within two generations.

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    2. Didn't Titanic being a hit. Or A Night to Remember. Or that recent Lincoln film. Or any movie ever made about Queen Elizabeth I. Or ...

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    3. It also won't stop Rogue One from being a massive hit, even though presumably every one in it (apart from Vader) dies at the end (since they're not in the Original Trilogy). For that matter, kids born today will still enjoy the Original Trilogy, even though they now know that Han Solo (spoiler!!) doesn't die of old age.

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