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Marvel’s Jessica Jones

I’m a little late to the game, but I finally finished the first season of Jessica Jones on Netflix. Jessica Jones is one of the minor superheroes in the Marvel Universe. She’s appeared in a bunch of comics but she’s never been as mainstream as Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, etc. But now she has her own show, so Girl Power! and all that. Krysten Ritter stars as the titular character. She’s a washed-up superhero that currently works as a private detective. She ends up taking a case that becomes personal and her traumatic past comes back to haunt her. That sounds like a stereotypical film noir plot, but remember this is the Marvel Universe and crazy shit happens.

If you liked Daredevil, you should watch Jessica Jones. They take place in the same timeline, alongside the future Netflix shows Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Eventually all four heroes will team up in The Defenders, the Netflix equivalent of The Avengers. It’s going to be epic. Luke Cage is a character in Jessica Jones and he’s a badass. I can’t wait to see what his own show will be like.

Jessica Jones is slower paced than Daredevil. It kind of creeps along and I had to force myself to get past the first three episodes. There’s a lot of character development and not as much action as hoped. Then the plot kicks in and you start to see what they are trying to do. I think it’s more aimed towards women. I’m not trying to give much away, but the main villain stalks, torments, manipulates, and controls Jessica Jones. She has to fight for her right to be her own person. It’s about abusive relationships as much as it’s about fighting evil with superpowers.

The supporting cast is pretty solid, but David Tennant deserves the most praise for his portrayal of Kilgrave, the main antagonist. I really don’t want to spoil anything here, but I am so don’t read what I’m about to say if you plan on watching the show. Ok, ready? Here it is! SPOILER: he can control minds. He can make people do whatever he wants so he can do a lot of damage. David Tennant can make you sympathize with him, and make you believe that he’s not really evil. It seems like an oxymoron, but he’s a good villain, and you can’t have a good superhero without a good villain.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones isn’t my favorite show. But I would recommend it. That’s what I’m doing now. You would probably like it if you like superhero detective stories and strong female characters. It’s dark and gritty and realistic despite characters with superpowers. It’s worth binge watching.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed By Brendan H. Young

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Planet Hulk (comic)

Planet Hulk is a storyline from Marvel Comics focusing on everybody’s favorite green monster (sorry Shrek, you got nothing on Hulk). It’s written by Greg Pak with artwork by Carlo Pagulayan. It’s a pretty long story, spanning Incredible Hulk #92-105 and also including Giant-Size Hulk #1. I’ve never read any Hulk comics before this one, and this was a great one to start with. You don’t need to know much about the Hulk’s backstory to enjoy it. Most of the characters are new, so you learn about them as the Hulk does (although the Silver Surfer makes a brief appearance).

So basically the Hulk crashlands on a planet that resembles ancient Rome called Sakaar. Sakaar is run by the ruthless Red King, whose hobbies include slavery, genocide, gladiatorial combat, and absolute power. The Hulk gets sold into slavery and becomes a gladiator and has a chance to ultimately gain his freedom. Hulk reluctantly forms an alliance with a few other gladiators, and together they find the strength to survive. Along the way, they start to inspire the other slaves and repressed citizens of Sakaar, causing them to rise up and revolt. Imagine Gladiator, but with Hulk instead of Russell Crowe and you’ve got the right idea.

Planet Hulk is a fun read, and it leads right into World War Hulk. Marvel knows how to get you hooked. This is a great story, even if you don’t like comics.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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X-Men: Mutant Massacre (comic)

Mutant Massacre is an X-Men comics crossover involving the X-Men, X-Factor, the New Mutants, the Power Pack, and Thor. The basic premise is that the Morlocks (mutants who have given up on society and formed their own underground community in the sewers) are being attacked and killed by the mysterious Marauders. The X-Men and X-Factor both enter the sewers in a desperate attempt to stop the massacre. They arrive separately and the two teams never meet up with each other. The fighting results in a lot of minor characters dying, and some of the main characters obtaining severe injuries. Meanwhile, other Marvel characters from other Marvel comics show up to remind you this is all taking place in the Marvel Universe. The Power Pack shows up at one point. I hope you like wholesome preteen superhero siblings who try to fight crime before bedtime. The unnecessary and stupid antics of the Power Pack are forgiven by the emergence of Thor into the storyline. He storms into the sewers and kicks some ass and even saves Angel from the Marauders.

But this is not a story about superheroes. It’s a story about mutants, and it’s really about genocide. People die in this story. A lot of people. And they die because they are mutants, because they are different. It’s a social commentary about the injustices in the world, and just because the characters have superpowers and wear spandex doesn’t mean it’s not a true story.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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