TV Review: Krypton – Season 2

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

TV Review, SyFy, TV, Superheroes, comic book, Superman, DC comics, lobo, krypton, Cameron Cuffe, Wallis Day, Emmet J. Scanlan, Science Fiction, general zod

Synopsis: General Dru-Zod is now in control of the city of Kandor. He’s on a ruthless mission to rebuild Krypton according to his ideals and to secure its future by conquering the universe. Faced with a bleak outlook, our hero, Seg-El, attempts to unite a dispersed group of resisters in an effort to defeat Zod and restore hope to their beloved planet. Their chance at redemption is threatened however, by their opposing tactics, shifting alliances and conflicting moral boundaries – forcing each of them to individually determine how far they’re willing to go in pursuit of a better tomorrow.

TV Review, SyFy, TV, Superheroes, comic book, Superman, DC comics, lobo, krypton, Cameron Cuffe, Wallis Day, Emmet J. Scanlan, Science Fiction, general zod

Review: Going into the first season of Krypton, I had low expectations. I mean, who was going to care about a series telling the story of Superman's grandfather? No one on the planet Krypton had superpowers since Earth's yellow sun granted that. So what would it actually be about? My review of that first run of episodes boiled it down to a science fiction version of Game of Thrones, with warring houses jockeying for political control. While that jockeying is still going on in the second season, this year is much less Game of Thrones and more focused on integrating DC Comics characters and telling a STAR WARS-esque story of rebels and evil empires. And, it is still a Superman story without Superman.

The second season opens with General Zod (Colin Salmon) in control of Kandor. Adam Strange has ventured to the future and found it worse than before which forces him back to align with Kal-El's ancestors to try and set the timeline right. The Kryptonian superweapon, Doomsday, is still at large after escaping in the season finale, and Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) is stuck in the Phantom Zone with Brainiac. While the series eventually gets everyone back together, the season starts with much of the cast following their own subplots, primarily setting the table for General Zod's regime to eventually come into direct conflict with the Black Zero rebels, or what remains of them. This makes for fairly consistent storytelling compared to the first season, which if you weren't too interested in won't change your mind here.

While hearing a bunch of British people talk in accents about the fate of the universe may appeal to some, the stakes here never feel tangible. While this version of General Zod is unique in his knowledge of the future and using it to control the past, it convolutes an already convoluted mythology. What helps this season improve upon the last is the secondary villains that populate the cast. Doomsday, while a CGI creation, is the best live action take on the character we have seen yet. Feral and imposing, he looks straight out of the original Death of Superman story arc and superior to the monstrosity seen in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. This Doomsday will make fans happy, even if we don't see a showdown between the Man of Steel and his eventual murderer.

But, what this season of Krypton delivers that elevates it to something every comic fan should check out is Lobo. Teased since last season, the antihero bounty hunter (and in many ways DC's answer to Deadpool) is played here to perfection by Emmett J. Scanlan. Since the initial photos of Scanlan in character were revealed, I was not entirely sold and even his limited screen time in the teasers and trailers to date had me ambivalent. But, I assure you that this is a home run portrayal of the cult favorite character who has had big screen interations in development hell for years. Scanlan plays Lobo as a fearless, smart-ass, pansexual killer with a sarcastic sense of humor and a healing factor that matches Wolverine. If this season of Krypton proves anything it is that Scanlan deserves to headline his own solo Lobo series as soon as possible.

TV Review, SyFy, TV, Superheroes, comic book, Superman, DC comics, lobo, krypton, Cameron Cuffe, Wallis Day, Emmet J. Scanlan, Science Fiction, general zod

As for the rest of the cast, pretty much everyone from season one is back and aligned on new sides of the ongoing battle for the planet. Of the five episodes made available for review, I found that the pacing was much improved overall despite still getting bogged down in some subplots that really don't do the story any favors. When Krypton focuses on the Seg-El, the series shines. When the focus shifts to the supporting cast, it begins to feel sluggish. As nice as it is to see this sexy, young actors (especially the gorgeous Wallis Day) on screen, there just is not enough depth for viewers to really care about what happens to them when it doesn't serve the main narrative.

While only slightly so, the second season of Krypton is an improvement over the first if only because it is now embracing the comic book elements that people want to see realized in live action. The concept of the series still follows the led of the recently ended Batman prequel Gotham in that it is telling a story without the character everyone cares about. But, if you are able to look past that, there is enough to enjoy in Krypton assuming you can keep your Zods, Els, and Vexes straight in your mind. With the universe building behind it, Krypton is starting to come into it's own and that is mainly thanks to the charismatic villains. Now if they could just drop the unnecessary subplots and the show would be so much better.

Krypton's second season premieres June 12th on SYFY.

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Alex Maidy has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been JoBlo.com's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.