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Friday, April 12, 2019

Comic Cuts - 12 April 2019

Work on the Gwyn Evans quartet of books continues. I now have book four scanned, although I haven't started on cleaning up the text yet. I'm still part-way through book three on that front. I'm still tinkering with cross-promotional adverts to put into the books and I still haven't gotten around to the covers. But as this is all being done in spare moments, I've surprised myself at how far I've managed to get!

I've produced a little chart so you can follow the progress of the books over the next couple of weeks.

As for paying work, I've almost run out and will be unemployed within the next couple of weeks. Being an eternal optimist – although that's against all the evidence of late – I'm sure something will come along.

I'm taking a look at Hanna below the picture... warning, there are spoilers galore here!

At only eight episodes, I managed to watch Hanna over only a couple of evenings while Mel was helping a friend at a convention. I was looking forward to this as I am a big fan of the original movie that the TV show is based on.

Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) has been raised in isolation by her father, Erik Heller (Joel Kinnaman), who trains her in hunting, fighting, while trying to educate her about the world she has never seen beyond the confines of the Polish forest. Hanna begins to venture further into the forest and stumbles upon Arvo, a teenage logger who introduces her to chocolate. She spends time with Arvo, watching the stars atop a satellite dish. Unfortunately, climbing onto the dish triggers an appearance by the police, who arrest Arvo as Hanna runs.

Word of this encounter reaches Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos), a CIA agent who was involved in the death of Hanna's mother fifteen years earlier. Knowing that they have little time, Erik Heller leaves for Berlin and Hanna allows herself to be captured.

At a mysterious facility, Hanna asks to speak to Wiegler. The CIA instead introduce her to a lookalike. Hanna kills her and breaks out into the facility, grabbing some papers on the way before emerging in the desert. With an army of vehicles chasing her, she fortunately runs into a young teenage girl, Sophie (Rhianne Barreto), on holiday with her family and they drive to a Moroccan market town.

Beyond a little expansion, the TV show has followed the movie faithfully. However, as we hit episode three, things begin to diverge. Heller and Hanna meet in Berlin, and Heller recruits a team to help him observe and then kill Wiegler at her hotel. Wiegler, meanwhile, has located and threatened one of Heller's team and is expecting the attack.

Hanna (who ignores every effort to keep her out of danger) discovers that Heller is not her biological father, refuses to escape with him and instead we next find her in London. She is hiding in the camper van garaged around the corner from where Sophie and her family live. Her relationship with Sophie fractures when Hanna sleeps with a boy Sophie fancies. At that same moment, Marissa Wiegler arrives, having discovered a photo of Hanna' in Sophie's social media feed.

Hanna allows Marissa to take her away. She tells Hanna that Erik Heller is dead... but he is not. Instead, he is being tortured by the CIA operatives who have taken over the case from Marissa, who is now considered a rogue operative.

Comparing the new Hanna to the 2011 movie proves just how spare you can make a script without damaging the plot. You did not know Hanna's origins when she was played by Saoirse Ronan. There were hints at some bigger project – the movie's Marissa (Cate Blanchett) burning documents – and Erik (Eric Bana) revealing at the end that Hanna was part of an experiment to create super soldiers. But this was just the McGuffin that caused the movie – now, in the TV series, we get to meet those super soldiers.

I wonder whether this was writer David Farr's original intention. He was, after all, a regular writer on Spooks and may have pitched Hanna as a TV show first before stripping it back to become a movie.

For the TV show the action scenes are heightened, the storyline expanded and, as mentioned, we get to see the super soldier facility at the end. My initial thought that this would be an issue fizzled out as I was caught up in the continuing story. This is a tricky one to grade as I think I'd give the TV series higher marks and a rave review if I hadn't already seen the movie and rated that so highly. If you've not seen the movie, watch the TV series; if you have seen the movie, I think you'll find the expansion of the storyline satisfying. I certainly did.

Today's random scans... some novels by people also known for their comic strips...

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