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Friday, July 12, 2019

Comic Cuts - 12 July 2019

With the bulk of the work now done on the book I have been working on – for a change one that I've not been involved in writing, only in publishing – I've been putting up more books and magazines on Ebay. I've tried to keep it varied: I put up some old TV tie-ins on Monday; spent Tuesday working on the book; put up a bunch of random books, ranging from Mars Attacks! tie-ins to biographies of Jack Kerouac and Jonathan Swift, on Wednesday; for Thursday it was old comic book price guides and various Asian cinema magazines; and today, if all goes to plan, I'll  be posting a few more horror magazines, including a run of Marvel UK's Hammer magazine.

I'll have to be a bit careful. I posted some book covers on Thursday of titles that I was selling through Ebay and within a few minutes received a warning that the post violated Facebook's community standards and I had to agree to take it down. The reason was a visible nipple on the cover of one of the books. While I'm for the most part anti-censorship this is not the hill I choose to die on, so I didn't even argue. However, you'll be able to see the offending cover in tomorrow's Stephen John cover gallery.

Something I was thinking about during the week was Krypton, which I was a little dismissive of back in July 2018 when I watched the first season:
It's another series where supposedly brilliant people and military leaders react to everything as if they were teenagers so that the teenage audience can understand their actions. Krypton is home to a lot of good-looking British and Irish actors and has a lot of winding corridors and winding streets and winding tunnels. Also, everyone loves Seg-El, grandfather-to-be of Superman: Daron-Vex (who crushed the El family) wants him to marry his daughter; top Kryptonian military warrior Lyta-Zod wants to marry him; Nyssa Vex wants his baby; others fall in line whenever he has a plan. Mind you, I think at some point or other, every one of his friends has either pulled a gun on him or somehow betrayed him.
I was wondering whether to bother with the second season and checked in with Rotten Tomatoes, which had a 100% approval rating. The first season only managed 61%. Is the second season such a massive improvement?

I suspect not. I suspect what has happened is that a number of critics who took against the show in its first season cannot be bothered to watch and rate the second season. At the same time, people who liked the show are more likely to be back to watch season two and they have also replaced the critical critics. In other words, over the first few episodes of the second season – and I think TV reviewers generally get to see the first two episodes ahead of broadcast – the critical audience for it is friendlier towards it. As episodes are broadcast, you will see other critics begin to look at the show and the initial numbers may start to fall.

This isn't an isolated case – I've seen other second season shows initially earn a 100% brilliant rating only to subsequently fall away. In the case of Krypton, I might keep an eye on it and, should the elevated ratings stick, I'll give it a chance. There's just too much else to watch at the moment.

I have a teetering pile of DVDs that I've picked up but not had time to watch. I made a tiny impact by watching the third season of Falling Skies, the Steven Spielberg produced TV series from a few years ago. It's a typical post-alien invasion yarn, with a once nomadic group now settled in Charleston and taking the battle to the invaders thanks to the aid of a few Skitter rebels and a second alien race, the Volm, who are enemies of the first alien race.

With only 10 episodes, the storyline didn't outstay its welcome and packed in a lot of plotlines. Hal (Drew Roy), the son of leader Tom Mason (Noah Whyle), coming under the control of alien-aider Karen (Jessy Schram), and believing he is the spy leaking information to the enemy and responsible for the death of Arthur Manchester (Terry O'Quinn), tasked with finding the spy. Mason's girlfriend, Dr. Anne Glass (Moon Bloodgood) gives birth, quickly discovering the baby is more than human; she disappears with the human-alien hybrid. The President has survived and meets with Mason and the Volm ambassador, Cochise, but their aircraft is destroyed and all are thought lost. At the same time, there are still questions about the motivation of the Volm, who are building a weapon that might save humanity, or might be used to enslave them once their enemy, the Espheni, are destroyed.

Good news (for me) is that the series does come to a conclusion at the end of season five... I've another twenty two episodes to go, although quite when I'll get to them I have no idea. I quite fancy watching a thriller and I have plenty to choose from.

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