Unless you’re in the Berlanti-verse, DC and Warner doesn’t seem to know what the heck they’re doing with their properties on TV these days. After a surge in TV shows based on their IP’s, they suddenly were all wiped off the air and left for future discussions on what could have been, by comic book geeks all over the world. It’s a shame because, since while all of DC and Warner’s TV series don’t re-invent the wheel, they’re at least bold enough to try something new and unique. Your mileage will vary when it comes to “Krypton” and “Swamp Thing” Blu-Ray releases, but you have to give them credit for at least thinking outside the box.
As a die hard Superman fan, I was never too optimistic about “Krypton,” if only because there really isn’t a whole lot you can do before you have to confront the beginning of the end of the planet and the birth of Kal El. The series ultimately watches like it wants to be a superhero themed version of “Game of Thrones” but also seems very beholden to keep reminding us over and over that this is a series with a foot in the Superman lore. It’s tough to create interesting lore for Krypton that isn’t reliant on Superman and the series—well—does a pretty okay job.
It also has some time travel motivation all held together by the first live action appearance of Adam Strange. After Syfy Channel in America announced the sudden cancellation of “Krypton” last year, fans were treated with a second and final season that seemed to offer up some potential for a bigger universe beyond the series. “Krypton” delves more in to how the past reflects on the future of Superman, and even introduces some classic villains in to the series, as is inevitable.
Along the two season run, we get to meet a horror flavored version of Brainiac, the monster Doomsday, and the anti-hero Lobo in the process. I thought of “Krypton” as fine enough for some elseworlds tale involving rebellions, warring families, and the reign of the Zod dynasty. Of course we never got to see how the writers would have further developed the timeline and narrative as Syfy eliminated all threads to the series, even canceling a planned “Lobo” spin off. The second and final season comes with the Digital Copy Code as well as the thirty eight minutes Villains: Modes of Persuasion, which discusses the idea of villains and how they all vary in the series within the series and in the comic books.
This is a fun documentary and one that does a good job analyzing their importance. Finally, The Fate of Superman is a three minutes exploration of Krypton’s character arcs and how they define Superman’s lineage. It also explores Zod’s role in the story and dilemma faced by Seg-El faces in the series.
Speaking of series snuffed out before their prime, DC and Warner release “Swamp Thing: The Complete Series” a second attempt to bring Swamp Thing’s episodic exploits to television that was inexplicably cancelled way before the first season even finished production. The show follows scientist Alec Holland (Andy Bean) who dies mysteriously in a Louisiana swamp. As he morphs into the sentient The Swamp Thing (the legendary Derek Mears), fellow scientist and CDC doctor Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed), returns to her old stomping grounds of Marais, Louisiana where she encounters a slew of mysterious happenings with the plant life in the area.
This involves a lot of curious genetic monsters and murders that bear grisly connection to the surrounding swamps. Avery Sunderland, as played by the always excellent Will Patton, is the wealthy man of the town and also the series’ main villain. There are also appearances from Kevin Durand, Jennifer Beals and Ian Ziering.
“Swamp Thing” isn’t perfect but it damn sure tries to give us an entertaining and unique angle on the DC comic that opts for a more horror themed season arc, while also dabbling here and there in the Alan Moore storylines. I think given enough time, the writers could have been allowed to delve in to the sentience of Swamp Thing a lot more, and offered up some amazing material. With the incredible make up and monster effects, as well as Mears’ top notch performance, “Swamp Thing” might very well have morphed in to something stellar.
Alas, just wasn’t meant to be and the season ends on hints that the producers were planning so much including opening up Swamp Thing’s universe and villain gallery. Despite the usual Digital Code for consumers, DC and Warner plop the series on to Blu-Ray without any extras at al. There are no trailers, Behind the Scenes, episodes of old DC animated series, or even peeks at the production.
It’s bone dry, folks.
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