Tag Archives: avengers

Avengers #1 Assembles for Marvel NOW!

Their ranks shattered by war, their spirits weighed down by tolls both personal and spiritual, what’s left of the Avengers must find the resolve to stand together once more. Marvel presents a new beginning for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and your first look inside the highly-anticipated Avengers #1! Eisner Award-winning writer Mark Waid joins rising comics superstar Mike Del Mundo to bring Marvel’s mightiest into Marvel NOW! and face-to-face with their greatest villain!

Now, Captain America, Thor, The Vision, The Wasp, Hercules and the Amazing Spider-Man leap into the time stream to confront Kang the Conqueror! But when the dust settles, not a one of these valiant heroes will make it to the final page alive. Welcome to…KANG WAR ONE!

AVENGERS #1 (SEP160885)
Written by MARK WAID
Cover by ALEX ROSS
Variant Covers by ADAM KUBERT (SEP160886);
Hip-Hop Variant by DANIEL ACUNA (SEP160889)
Action Figure Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (SEP160890)
Divided We Stand Variant by BUTCH GUICE (SEP160891)
Captain America 75th Anniversary Variant by ALEX MALEEV (SEP160888)
Blank Variant Also Available (SEP160892)
FOC – 10/10/16, On-Sale – 11/02/16


Fashion Spotlight: Wakanda Black Coffee, Avengers Rhapsody, Daft Mercenary

Ript Apparel has three new designs! Wakanda Black Coffee, Avengers Rhapsody, and Daft Mercenary, by BoggsNicolas, aaronmoralesdesignshnm, and Soulkr are on sale today only! Get them before they’re gone!

Wakanda Black Coffee


Avengers Rhapsody


Daft Mercenary







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Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day! What’d folks get? What had you excited? Sound off below in the comments.

While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – Svetlana Chmakova’s Awkward Wins Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics – Congrats!

Black Nerd Problems – Ms. Marvel Ripping Apart a Poster of Captain Marvel in Civil War II Is All of Us – A very good read.

Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher – Avengers Mansion board  – This is really cool.

Kotaku – Grieving Fans Ask Nintendo To Name Zelda Character After Murdered Singer – A very touching thing.

The Beat – Cerebus returns in collage comic Cerebus in Hell #1 – If you care, Heidi has the scoop.


Around the Tubes Reviews

The Beat – Action Comics #958

Comic Vine – Aquaman #1

The Beat – Aquaman #1

Newsarama – Detective Comics #935

The Beat – Detective Comics #935

Comic Vine – Detective Comics #935

The Beat – The Flash #1

Newsarama – The Flash #1

Talking Comics – Romeo and/or Juliet

The Beat – Wonder Woman #1

Whatever Happened to Jessica Jones?


Unfortunately, Jessica Jones hasn’t had a solo series since The Pulse was cancelled in 2006, except for a special one-off for 2015’s New York Comic Con. She’s had stories featuring her as the lead character in Brian Michael BendisNew Avengers, had a solo story by Bendis and her co-creator Michael Gaydos that is all but a pitch for Alias II in the Marvel 75th Anniversary Special, and even was a co-headliner in Chris Yost and Mike McKone‘s Spider-Island: The Avengers with Carol Danvers, but there have been no ongoing or miniseries with her as protagonist.

Also, even though Bendis gave her the semblance of an arc through six years of New Avengers as she went from mom to superhero and back to mom, Jessica has sadly become defined by her relationship with her husband Luke Cage and her daughter Dani. However, along the way, he has developed her relationships with Carol Danvers, Daredevil, and even Spider-Man, who she used to have a crush on back in high school and inspired her to first put on the Jewel costume. (This story is told in a wonderful backup drawn by former Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada.)  And when Bendis was running the Avengers (and by extension) and the main Marvel events, she made appearances in such high profile storylines as Secret Invasion, Siege, and Fear Itself and the tie-ins to Civil War and Avengers vs. X-Men. With Hickman in charge of the Avengers the past couple of years and Bendis focusing on the X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, she hasn’t appeared in any recent Marvel events, but this is going to change with Bendis penning Civil War II with artist Dave Marquez. Finally, Jessica is a consistent source of sarcasm and one-liners in the Marvel Universe making her a natural fit for the quip-heavy back and forth of the New Avengers team.


The first defining post-Pulse event in the life of Jessica Jones as a character is her marriage to Luke Cage in New Avengers Annual #1, which acts as kind of an epilogue to The Pulse. Also, it ensured that thousands of more readers would be exposed to the relationship between Jessica and Luke, and it gives their wedding an “event” feel, like the previous high profile Marvel weddings between Reed and Sue Richards, Vision and Scarlet Witch, and Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson. Luke and Jessica were separated once when she decided to sign the Superhuman Registration Act to protect her and her baby, but they still remain married after 10 years. Bendis also doesn’t give into cliche in this issue and has the New Avengers fight the Super Adaptoid before the big day instead of having Black Widow’s replacement ruin the fun. Jessica also makes her own vows and says that Luke has inspired her and helped her not be stuck in her own head all the time, like the early arcs of Alias. It is touching climactic moment in their relationship, and artist Olivier Coipel captures it in usual clean art style and gives her a really poufy dress.


The next big Jessica Jones moment (Sans her final guest spot in Young Avengers as team mentor where she gives Hawkeye’s bow to Kate Bishop and a couple appearances in Black Panther with Luke) is in New Avengers #22, which is a Civil War tie-in focused on Luke Cage deciding to not sign the Superhuman Registration Act. Bendis uses lots of loaded language and metaphors about the KKK and Jim Crow laws, but basically Luke wants to protect Harlem on his terms, not the government’s. Plus Jessica gets to call SHIELD, “the United States of corporate sellouts”. She shares a sad moment with Carol Danvers as it looks like the superhuman Civil War is going to fracture their friendship for a while, and she ends up not taking part in it going to Canada with her still unnamed daughter in tow for the duration of the event.


After the war, Jessica ends up on the run with the New Avengers, but instead of going on cool missions with them in Japan and fighting Japan, she stays cooped up in the Sanctum Sanctorum with Dani. Wong or Luke even does her shopping for her because of the Registration Act. Of course, this leads to some major cabin fever, and she snaps in New Avengers #33, which kicks off “The Trust” arc when the New Avengers decide to work with the Mighty Avengers to take on the Hood and a consortium of supervillains, who want to blow up Stark Tower. As a stay at home, she feels like she is suppressing who she really is, and this is confirmed in New Avengers #34 when Doctor Strange does an “imagery” spell on the team to see who they really are on the inside (and if they’re Skrulls.), and Jessica’s image is her in her Jewel costume. Bendis is foreshadowing her possible return to the superhero life, but she won’t join the New Avengers for quite a while. She does get to name her daughter, Danielle, after Danny Rand even though she jokes that the baby was named after Danny Partridge and empathizes with Luke’s paranoia that Dani is a Skrull in light of Elektra being outed as a Skrull in a previous arc.


If New Avengers Annual #1 was the happiest moment for Luke and Jessica’s relationship, then New Avengers Annual #2 and its followup issue New Avengers #38, which is drawn by Michael Gaydos, is its darkest hour. In a frightening sequence of events, the Hood, who is majorly overpowered, overcomes the defenses of the Sanctum and Sanctorum causing Jessica to give Dani to Spider-Man while she runs away. She and Dani almost get sniped by Punisher villain Jigsaw, but Spidey saves them with his webs. The trauma of this attack causes Jessica to go to Avengers Tower and sign the Registration Act to protect Dani from both supervillains and Skrulls. She and Luke have a long argument where she tells him that he put his principles before being a father, and that all she cares about is Dani’s safety. He even almost gets arrested by the Mighty Avengers, but Carol does Jessica a solid and lets him go if he “thinks” about registering. Because Luke put his ideology before his family, Jessica and him separate with her staying in Avengers Tower, and him in an apartment owned by the Rand Corporation with the other New Avengers.


However, thanks to a Skrull invasion and crossover event, Jessica and Luke reunite as she joins the fray in Secret Invasion #7 leaving Dani with Jarvis in Avengers Tower. This is the first time Jessica has been in action since she fought Norman Osborn in the first arc of The Pulse, and there’s nothing like a big group superhero fight to rekindle a relationship. Unfortunately, Jarvis is a Skrull and kidnaps Dani. In spite of this momentous event, Bendis even takes some time away from the action to tell a flashback story in New Avengers #47 with Michael Gaydos from her days in Alias Investigations when Luke hired Jessica (His third P.I. choice after Jessica Drew and Dakota North.) to find his dad so he can tell him that he’s not a criminal, but a hero. The flashback part is paced much like an issue of Alias with silent opening sequence and a dialogue heavy interview sequence shot with Luke emoting while Jessica is quiet and listens. Jessica does track him down and meets Luke’s step mom, who reads about his exploits as Power Man in the newspaper, and tries to show his father Luke’s good side. Sadly, they aren’t reunited, and Gaydos puts a literal screen door between them. However, Luke and Jessica grow closer and share a joke about Luke’s costume choices during the Bronze Age, and it cuts to the present where they talk about how Dani won’t have a normal life because they’re both superpowered people, but at least she’ll see the world.

Bendis uses Dani’s kidnapping as an opportunity to make Jessica and Luke the focus of the first post-Secret Invasion arc of New Avengers during 2009’s Dark Reign when the US government thought it was a good idea to put Norman Osborn in charge of SHIELD. After being just a mom and wife for most of his New Avengers run, Bendis and artist Philip Tan give her a more active role in the plot as she, Luke, and Wolverine interrogate a SHIELD agent, who is a Skrull after Jessica gets a Skrull detector from Invisible Woman. Then, Luke shows that he is willing to put Dani first and teams up with Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers to get her back from the Skrulls. However, he beats up Venom and Bullseye with a crowbar to show them that he doesn’t work for Osborn, which creates a tension leading to a conflict between the New Avengers and the government sanctioned, yet utterly evil Dark Avengers.


At her new abode of Bucky’s apartment (He’s the current Captain America.), Jessica doesn’t get to play superhero, but she has more input in the New Avengers plans, like telling them to keep their battle with the Dark Avengers out of the apartment, and starts to forge a platonic relationship with Spider-Man after he reveals his secret identity to the team. Bendis and Tan mine a lot of humor out of Jessica’s high school crush on Peter, Luke’s feigned (Or is it.) jealousy, and the fact that he only knew her as “coma girl”. Bendis and Joe Quesada explore their relationship in more depth in a backup story in Amazing Spider-Man #601 retconning a background girl in Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man #4 to be Jessica Jones as she watches Spider-Man beat up Sandman. She also gets a great line about Spider-Man starting his own religion with  “With great power comes great responsibility” and says she’ll teach Dani about that. Spider-Man talks to Jessica about showing Dani her best side, and maybe that means a return to superheroing. It’s a great backup that gives Jessica another relationship outside of Luke and Carol, but Quesada’s art is overly posed and not his best work. Jessica Jones also looks like Mary-Jane Watson with brown hair for some reason.


And Jessica does return into action when the Dark Avengers kidnap Luke, and Stuart Immonen ups New Avengers‘ visual quality when he becomes the new artist on the title towards the end of 2009. After shaking off some criticism from her mother, who is keeping Dani, Jessica spearheads Luke’s rescue by saying, “You don’t fucking mess with Luke Cage.”, a one-liner that should definitely be said some time in the Netflix Defenders show. And, in New Avengers #59, she assembles her own Defenders lineup of Daredevil, Hellcat (First canon meeting between Patsy and Jessica.), Dr. Voodoo, Misty Knight, The Thing, Valkyrie, and of course, Iron Fist to spring him from Norman Osborn. They rescue him easily, but in action movie villain fashion, there’s a bomb on Luke’s chest. It doesn’t detonate when Spider-Man plays it cold and blows up Osborn’s summer home again. (He probably did Harry’s homework there.) These events cause Luke and Jessica to consider their mom’s advice about finding a more normal life about Dani, and they daydream about walking through the park with Dani in her stroller and finding a place to live where they don’t have to be in hiding.


Continuing the tradition of big Jessica Jones moments in New Avengers annuals, New Avengers Annual #3 features the return of the Jewel costume thanks to artist Mike Mayhew, who did the covers for The Pulse. The setup is reminiscent of DC’s Birds of Prey as the female members of the New Avengers: Ms. Marvel, Spider-Woman, and Mockingbird plus Jessica Jones team up to rescue Clint Barton from the Dark Avengers. They infiltrate Osborn’s helicarrier, kick around Mentallo aka the wannabe version of Mastermind, and grab Clint in a majestic fashion thanks to Mayhew’s painted art style. The successful mission has Jessica even more interested in being a superhero again and also features the return of Steve Rogers back from the dead to throw a wrench into everything as he becomes the head of SHIELD after Norman Osborn is arrested after the events of Siege, and the Superhuman Registration Act is repealed. This has a huge effect on the life of Jessica and Luke as they are no longer fugitives and take Dani on a simple walk in a New York City park in a gorgeous splash page from Bryan Hitch in New Avengers Finale #1.

But even if the happier times of the Heroic Age are upon Jessica Jones, she drew the short straw as Luke Cage got his own four issue miniseries called New Avengers: Luke Cage, written by BPRD‘s John Arcudi and drawn by Eric Canete (Martian Manhunter) and Pepe Larraz (Kanan). While Luke is off busting a crime and drug ring in Philadelphia, Arcudi writes Jessica Jones as a stereotypical nag constantly calling about him being back home instead of being sarcastically empathetic as a former superhero and private eye. To add insult to injury, Canete draws her like a teenage girl in a manga instead of an adult woman adding an air of creepiness into her all too brief scenes. Arcudi can spin a crime yarn, and Anete’s Philadelphia has real character, but their depiction of Jessica Jones is one note.


But even as she is turned into a sitcom wife in New Avengers: Luke Cage, Jessica Jones fared much better in the Heroic Age relaunch of New Avengers where Luke Cage bought Avengers Mansion from Tony Stark for $1 to house and support the New Avengers, who received a paycheck from SHIELD. Luke was still wary of getting a government paycheck because of his desire for independence, but Jessica accepted the check on his behalf and made a great quip about him being the original “hero for hire”. And she almost immediately jumps right back into battle when the Eye of Agamotto possesses Luke in New Avengers #2. Jessica punches it off him, and there is a lot of magic and possession genre stuff going like The Exorcist meets a standard superhero comic. She does get to punch ghosts and fly in Luke Cage to stop Agamotto (He’s a guy, actually.) opening a portal to scary dimensions along the way and rescue Carol Danvers from being incinerated by magical energy. You basically just want her to join the team.


And she does take another step to being a full-fledged New Avenger by searching for a nanny in New Avengers #7, which features some funny Marvel D-lister cameos as Bendis and Immonen show they can deftly balance humor and action. She and Luke eventually settle on Squirrel Girl even though she has a bushy tail and a weird past with Wolverine because she can easily control her powers and is interested in working in childcare while she is a student at NYU. Getting Squirrel Girl as a nanny allows Luke and Jessica to go on their first real date possibly ever in New Avengers #8 as Daniel Acuna draws her at her most gorgeous. Luke thinks that Jessica would make a great Avenger as well as a mom and suggests the moniker “Power Woman” for her, which of course, she vetoes. In the issue, Bendis shows her torn between wanting to be present for Dani while wanting to inspire her as a superhero. And there’s a battle between her, Luke, and Doombot where she take the robot out with a fire hydrant. This is the spark that she needs to decide to join the New Avengers for real with Luke adorably saying, “Boo yah.” New Avengers #8 is the lighter counterpart to New Avengers #31 as Bendis focuses in on Jessica and Luke’s ever changing relationship and takes a break from villain plots or magical mumbo jumbo to give her a real milestone as a character even if she is technically a supporting character in the title.


Jessica’s first mission is a pretty fun espionage tinged one fitted for Mike Deodato‘s photorealistic, noir style of art as she and the New Avengers hunt down Superia, who they later find out has a briefcase with the Infinity Formula that Nick Fury alive, not too old, and strong. She gets a pretty fun moment as she actually drives a truck to take down Superia while Luke carries his with his super strength with Iron Fist in it because Danny doesn’t have a driver’s license. Later, as a tie-in to Fear Itself, Jessica gets to punch Nazi robots controlled by the Red Skull’s daughter Sin, who has godlike status. It’s nice to see Jessica have an active role in a Marvel event for once instead of running away to Canada in Civil War, or staying in some kind of domicile like in Secret Invasion and Siege. She also gets a mini-team up with Squirrel Girl, who surprises Jessica with her squirrel summoning abilities, and successfully sets up the Avengers Mansion safety protocols to protect Dani. Nothing climactic happens to her in New Avengers Annual #1, but Bendis remembers she has a friendship with Daredevil from his days as her lawyer in Alias and client for her bodyguard services in his run on Daredevil. This is why it’s fitting that she gives him an Avengers keycard and welcomes to the team for a short duration as Bendis basically gets to make the New Avengers a clubhouse of all his favorite characters.


However, Jessica Jones’ Avengers status is less than permanent, and she completely unravels as a superhero in New Avengers #16.1, a special issue drawn by Neal Adams. Jessica is part of an escort to transfer Norman Osborn to the Raft when he becomes the Green Goblin again and threatens to kill Dani until Wolverine forces him to stand down with his claws. However, he ends up escaping, and a few issues later, Jessica confides in Luke that she is afraid to leave Dani’s side because Norman Osborn on the loose. Jessica’s concern for Dani’s safety causes her to sit out of the team’s next mission even though Squirrel Girl is there to watch the baby. Later, she uses her status as a relatively unknown superhero and tries to speak to protesters who decry the destruction left in the wake of the Avengers’ battle, but gets called a spoiled princess. This causes her to go on the run yet again with Dani and Squirrel Girl and argue with Luke for putting their daughter in harm’s way by being at Avengers Mansion. This is basically a rehashing of what went down in “Dark Reign”, but with Deodato instead of Immonen art except with Jessica quitting the Avengers team. Bendis and Deodato also make a clumsy parallel between Luke’s participation in Avengers vs. X-Men with a soldier going to war and leaving his family behind.


Michael Gaydos makes his final (for now) return drawing the character of Jessica Jones in New Avengers #31, which is mostly a conversation between Jessica Jones and Carol Danvers, who has taken on the identity of Captain Marvel. Jessica feels like she has driven Luke to quit the New Avengers and is a “bad wife”, but Carol reassures her by telling her that it just took him a while to understand his responsibilities as a father and husband. Jessica is really happy with Carol’s new name and costume saying that it suits her as a great superhero and friend as she gets sarcastically sentimental. Even though some of the writing makes Luke seem flighty or a deadbeat dad, Bendis and Gaydos really capture what is great about Jessica and Carol’s friendship, and it’s a pity that they haven’t had much time to interact in issues after this arc of New Avengers. This is probably because Carol’s solo books, especially the past two volumes of Captain Marvel, are more concerned with cosmic threats and adventures than earthbound things. With Bendis on Civil War II, their lack of interactions will likely change, and it will be interesting to see if they resent each other after such a long absence.


After a magically caused battle between the New Avengers and Avengers team, Jessica Jones finally says her goodbye to the team in New Avengers #34 as she, Luke, and Dani are there for the unveiling of a statue of Victoria Hand, who went from Norman Osborn’s stooge to government liaision to the Avengers, and dying heroically. It’s a pretty touching issue filled with lots of jokes about the events of previous issues, and she even gets a warm hug from Spider-Man. Deodato draws a beautiful double page spread showing all their big moments from Alias onwards as Bendis tries to make an argument that they were the heart of his New Avengers run. I could maybe see that Luke Cage was the focal point of his nine years on the family of books as he went from being a barely used supporting character in Daredevil and Alias to a team leader of both the New Avengers and the Thunderbolts. (He was more of the Tbolts’ babysitter.) However, Jessica Jones, despite her showcase issues, ended up mainly being a mom and sarcastic comic relief. For every scene where she got to punch a Doombot or joke around with Spider-Man, there’s another one where she’s standing silently with Dani on her arm with a baby bottle.

But, at least, while Brian Michael Bendis’ New Avengers was a key book in the Marvel Universe and led to or tied into the big summer event books, Jessica Jones got panel time. This hasn’t been the case since Jonathan Hickman and other writers have taken over the books titled Avengers and New Avengers. Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn, and Mike Hawthorne use her as a nagging wife stereotype in a couple of stories dealing with Deadpool’s team up with Luke Cage and Iron Fist against the racist supervillain, White Man. It’s a pretty funny parody of the old Power Man and Iron Fist comics, and Jessica Jones does get one great moment when she punches Deadpool out a window when he remarks on her “post baby body.”

Jessica later becomes a supporting character when Luke Cage starts yet another Avengers team in Mighty Avengers, but Al Ewing is careful not to tread on old Bendis plot points and has Luke have the team meet in an old theatre while Jessica and Dani have their own apartment. She doesn’t factor into the plot much except for a great scene where she gets to clock Superior Spider-Man (When Dr. Octopus’ brain was in Peter Parker’s body, and he was a pompous ass.), but continues to be occasional support and comic relief and gets past Blue Marvel’s hard shell to chat about his college age daughter. Jessica plays a similar supporting role in David Walker and Sanford Greene‘s Power Man and Iron Fist where she exists to say funny lines and get on Luke’s case for not spending enough time with Dani. Again, she hasn’t factored into the plot so far in the first three issues.

On a brighter note, Jessica made an appearance in the epilogue of Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #5 in an homage to her friendship with Patsy in the Jessica Jones television show, which is the equivalent of her friendship of Carol Danvers in Alias without the extra Avengers and cosmic baggage. Jessica Jones is a P.I. for Alias Investigations in Hellcat and is actually working for Patsy’s rival, Hedy, which should stir up some real drama as the comic continues. And hopefully this portrayal continues to seep into the other corners of the Marvel Universe as Jessica is supposedly playing a role in Civil War II and getting her own solo series in its aftermath, written by Bendis with art by Michael Gaydos and covers by David Mack.


Thanks to the high status Brian Michael Bendis has had in the Marvel stable of writers since in the mid-2000s, Jessica Jones had consistent appearances in the New Avengers titles as well as appearing in Avengers when she became a New Avenger during the Heroic Age. Because of her friendship with Spider-Man, she also appeared in some issues of Amazing Spider-Man, like when the New Avengers helped in the whole “Spider-Island” situation when random New York citizens all got powers, including Dani Cage-Jones, who promptly stuck Squirrel Girl to the wall. But her myriad appearances were mostly in support of Luke Cage or the New Avengers team with the exception of the occasional “solo” issue of New Avengers that Gaydos drew, or special annual that gave her a semblance of an arc.

Fans of Jessica Jones can only hope that Marvel’s heroic character who doesn’t want to be a superhero, overcame PTSD to be a great mom and Avenger, and might have the sharpest wit in all the Marvel Universe, but cares for the little guy and often helped out civilians while the rest of the New Avengers were punching things, gets a story of her own in the years to come and doesn’t have to play second fiddle to Luke Cage. The other Jessica gets a nuanced portrayal as mother, friend, and superhero in Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez‘s Spider-Woman, and I hope Jessica Jones gets a series like that soon, especially with the critical and commercial success of her Netflix show.

Investigating Alias #26-27

Alias27CoverInvestigating Alias is a weekly issue by issue look at the source material that inspired the popular and critically acclaimed Jessica Jones Netflix show.

In this installment of Investigating Alias, I will be covering Alias #26-27 (2003) written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by Michael Gaydos, and colored by Matt Hollingsworth with flashback art on Alias #26 by Mark Bagley, Rick Mays, and Art Thibert and flashback colors by Dean White.

In Alias #26-27, writer Brian Michael Bendisartist Michael Gaydos, flashback artists Mark Bagley and Rick Mays, and colorists Matt Hollingsworth and Dean White show how Jessica Jones decided to swear off the superhero profession, and why she hates being pitied. Bendis also give Jessica and Killgrave their non-flashback meeting in The Raft where Killgrave is aware he is in a comic book in a twisted version of Animal Man #26 as he says he can’t escape prison because he’s not “the writer”. There is a theatrical quality to Killgrave’s dialogue that David Tennant channels in the Jessica Jones Netflix show, and Bendis uses the character to get in some cracks about people not buying the comic, slut shaming Jessica Jones because she enjoys sex and sleeps with multiple partners, and worst of all is a “continuity error”. Along with being a rapist, murderer, and manipulative bastard, Bendis makes Killgrave the kind of comic book fan, who sees female characters as sex objects and cares more about continuity and big reveals than an emotionally authentic story. The metafictional twist is a little jarring so late in the series, but it’s evidence of Killgrave’s god complex as he “scripts” the page with his dialogue and also shows how much he gets under people’s skin with his abilities.

Alias #26 continues Jessica’s recounting to Luke Cage of her time under Killgrave’s thrall. There is the final Bagley and White flashback as she dodges Thor’s hammer, but gets decked by Vision as both the Avengers and Defenders try to take her down. Luckily, Carol Danvers swoops up and takes her to a SHIELD hospital before she sustains any more injuries. The art switches again to a manga style from Rick Mays (Kabuki Agents: Scarab) as Jean Grey tries to get Jessica out of her coma by telling her that none of this was her fault, Daredevil took down Purple Man, and making her realize she needs help. Next, Jessica recovers at a SHIELD hospital and strikes up a friendship with Agent Clay Quartermain, who has appeared throughout the series, and she also gets an apology from Iron Man and the (Kurt Busiek/George Perez-era) Avengers along with a job offer as SHIELD liaison to the Avengers. But because she was manipulated by Killgrave, Jessica thinks she failed as a hero, and this is her official retirement as a superhero. The issue ends with Jessica going to The Raft (and getting access with the help of Quartermain) to confront Killgrave and find some kind of closure for herself and the families that have been affected by him.


As I mentioned earlier, Alias #27 starts strangely with Killgrave being aware that he is in a comic book and breaking the fourth wall in a creepy, opposite of Deadpool and She-Hulk kind of way. Talking with him is too much for Jessica, and she apologizes to the head of the support group that she was supposed to help. Then, there is a major plot twist with Killgrave escaping The Raft after a prison riot, and the support group woman blames it on Jessica because she’s a “mutant fuck”. The next pages are very tense as Jessica is afraid to go to her apartment or office and calls Carol, her mom, and Malcolm as she freaks out about Killgrave’s whereabouts. Quartermain offers to pick her up in a SHIELD helicopter, but she thinks he is being manipulated by Killgrave and runs to Scott Lang’s apartment. She wakes up with the TV blaring and sees Scott covered in his own blood and ants in a mega cliffhanger setting up the final issue of the series.


Alias #26 is all about Jessica Jones coming to terms with her trauma and PTSD in her own way from the flashback sequences to her conversation with Luke Cage and finally deciding to confront Killgrave head on towards the end of the issue. The opening page of the issue is intimate and emotional as Gaydos uses a six page grid to show the give and take nature of Jessica and Luke’s chat as she talks about how difficult it is to tell her story out loud, and that she doesn’t want to be pitied. And Luke is there just to support and listen; he admires the fact that she dodged a blow from Thor’s hammer and gives her yet another warm hug. For some reason, she calls Scott instead of him in Alias #27, but that could because of her panic captured by lots of shadows and black from colorist Hollingsworth and pained, intense facial expressions from Gaydos.


And part of Jessica Jones’ trauma involves superheroes as Bendis and Bagley create a dark juxtaposition between the speed lines and bombastic poses of Thor, Iron Man, and Vision swooping through the sky, and the dialogue about how fast and scary this encounter was. Both Bagley and Gaydos show the physical damage that Vision inflicted on Jessica for hitting Scarlet Witch while under Killgrave’s control , and the mental scars are much worse as she slips into a coma. This flashback scene shows that the Avengers aren’t the best choice for solving problems that involve any kind of psychological nuance. Saving the planet perhaps from the Kree, Skrulls, and Thanos perhaps, but not helping a young woman overcome the mental control of her psyche as well as PTSD from being used as a sex object by a twisted man. And because of their punch first mentality, they don’t listen like Jessica Jones does in her private investigator work and possibly cause more harm than good.


In contrast with the violent punches and split second decision making of the Avengers (Except for Carol Danvers, who truly cares about Jessica and gets her out of the brawl.), Jean Grey takes a slower, more meditative approach to helping Jessica rebuild her mind after Killgrave’s manipulations. First, she places her at ease with the pretty manga style of Rick Mays’ artwork being attributed to Jessica’s enjoyment of the “kick-ass” film Akira. Mays’ art style is cartoon-y, accessible, and almost therapeutic and works in tandem with Jean telling Jessica that none of this is her fault, and that Killgrave wasn’t in love with her. However, the cut back to reality via Gaydos’ art is super jarring with Jean wearing a green sweater and not a cute green and yellow Phoenix get-up and Jessica still recovering from her physical injuries. But she finds support at the SHIELD rehab along with hugs and smoke breaks from the “cute” Agent Quartermain, and his willingness to be genuine and hear her out creates a nice friendship between them. His taking out the skeevy political kingmaker back in the first arc of Alias no longer reads like a deus ex machina, but helping a friend out.

This real connection between Quartermain and Jessica is the total opposite of the Avengers’ apology to Jessica as Iron Man doesn’t even let Carol greet her and launches into a spiel about how bad he feels that they attacked a fellow superhero. His dialogue reads like a politician’s off a teleprompter. The awkward poses of the various Avengers from the late-1990s/early-2000s iteration of the team written by Kurt Busiek, including Beast, Wonder Man, Jocasta, Scarlet Witch, and Vision, makes them look like they’re going through the motions for a Make-A-Wish kid instead of truly apologizing for physical and mentally hurting a fellow superhero. And, of course, Jessica sees through the facade and calls Nick Fury’s immediate job offer after the “apology”, a “payoff”. Why would she want to work with people, who detached her retina and beat her up? There’s also her own insecurity about being a superhero after Killgrave forced her to use her abilities to beat up police officers and Scarlet Witch. She has a very good reason for turning her back on the superhero profession, and her disdain toward random people asking her why she retired and if she knows The Thing and other random heroes makes complete and utter sense now.


Alias #27 is also proof positive than Killgrave is more frightening when he is offscreen or panel and in a character’s head rather than smarming around like some Joker wannabe. The pace in the “Purple” arc truly picks up in this issue as Jessica flies, jumps, and runs all over New York to her main haunts of her apartment and office. Gaydos’ panel layouts get thinner, and he uses lots of close-ups on her to show how unsafe and uneasy she feels. Jessica even calls her mom, who she hasn’t talked to the entire the series because that is how dangerous Killgrave is. And there is the continued use of black from Hollingsworth, which is kind of like the purple that the Jessica Jones TV show uses, when she is afraid of him. This visual touch puts an added level of desperation into every conversation that Jessica has until she crashes at Scott Lang’s place. And Bendis and Gaydos go full horror movie on the final page of Alias #27 with a truly revolting image matched with an insane reaction shot from Jessica.

The Jessica Jones TV show captures the tone of the second half of Alias #27 and extends it to a full season of television. Basically, tonal adaptations are much better than straight up adaptations of comic book arc’s plots. (Looking at you, Zack Snyder and Watchmen.) With his ability to get anyone to do what he wants, virtually anyone can be his pawn, and both Bendis and Melissa Rosenberg channel this fear in the comics and TV story of Jessica Jones. In the Jessica Jones TV show, there are cutaway shots of Killgrave whispering to or licking Jessica when she is doing some normal like sitting in her office or on the train home. Likewise, in Alias, Michael Gaydos shows his presence by having a drop of purple in Jessica’s eye when he escapes from The Raft. He is a relentless presence of evil, who thinks he can get away with anything and is a compelling, utterly loathsome villain.


Killgrave’s terrible comments towards Jessica about her getting naked for comic book readers and multiple references about her being a human retcon show that Bendis and Gaydos are aware of fan criticism of Alias being paced, plotted, and extremely different in tone and attitude to that most Marvel superhero books. Alias isn’t filled with fight scenes, huge plot twists, and there are no easy answers to Jessica Jones’ problems. Michael Gaydos also draws the book in a more naturalistic way with a touch of noir and a muted color palette from Matt Hollingsworth, who will occasionally go bright when a character, like Captain America, Spider-Man, or even Speedball shows up in the comic.

Alias is about a woman, who thinks she isn’t a hero and does heroic things in her own unconventional-for-the-genre ways and focuses on the nuances of her emotions and fucked up relationships instead of punching, hitting, or telling a thrilling crime yarn like Bendis’ work on DaredevilAlias #26-27 shows this by spending an entire issue of Jessica Jones coming to terms with her traumatic relationship to both Killgrave and superheroes, facing her fears and confronting Killgrave, and then unraveling everything because just punching someone, quipping at them, and throwing them in prison doesn’t solve everything. (Sorry, Spider-Man, who definitely has his share of personal issues.)

Knight Model’s Marvel Universe Miniature Game Launches

We’ve been covering the lead up, but Knight Models has officially launched it’s latest game, Marvel Universe Miniature Game. The game allows you to play as Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the X-Men, pitting the factions against each other. There are three starter sets which include 4 metal miniatures as well as a mini rulebook. The price for the starter sets will retail for roughly $50 in US dollars but are currently on sale for about $45.

What is new is the blister packs launching along with the game, along with a template and markers. The blisters retail for $22.50 and the launch figures are Black Panther, Deadpool, and Nova. Definitely not ones I was expecting. There is also a marker set for each faction.

Check out the images below and you can order them directly from Knight Models.

Investigating Alias #24-25

Alias (2001-2003) 024-000Investigating Alias is a weekly issue by issue look at the source material that inspired the popular and critically acclaimed Jessica Jones Netflix show.

In this installment of Investigating Alias, I will be covering Alias #24-25 (2003) written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by Michael Gaydos, and colored by Matt Hollingsworth with flashback art and colors on Alias #25 by Mark Bagley and Dean White.

Alias #24 begins the final arc of the comic, “Purple”, in which Jessica Jones finally talks about how she was mind controlled by Zebediah Killgrave, aka the Purple Man, forced to watch him rape young women, and eventually sent on a “mission” by him to kill any superhero in her path. Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artists Michael Gaydos and Mark Bagley (with the exception of one panel with two naked girls on Killgrave’s bed) don’t show Killgrave’s rapes, but convey his horribleness from quick flashes of him using his power on Jessica Jones, and Jessica’s reactions to him in the present day.

Alias #24 and #25 are powerful and unsettling issues of the series and had a huge influence on the Jessica Jones Netflix show from the close relationship between Jessica and Luke Cage to Killgrave’s ability to instantly make someone do what he wants and even the support group for Killgrave’s victims. And most of all, the show and comic both show the effects of Jessica Jones’ PTSD without exploiting her or participating in victim blaming.

Alias #24 features an out of left field cameo appearance from Kevin Plunder aka Ka-Zar, the ruler of the Savage Land, who wants Jessica Jones to find his pet sabretooth tiger. This case is a little too much for her so she goes home looking for something more local, and then gets a phone call from a woman named Kim Rourke, who needs her help finding information about Zebediah Killgrave. Kim was referred by Avengers Mansion so Jessica flies over there and confronts her friend Carol Danvers for bringing up something terrible for her past, and things get heated with Scott Lang shrinking, growing, and hopping in her cab while Captain America just wants everyone to sit down and have a cup of tea. Scott also found out about her past with Killgrave without her permission so Jessica jumps out of the cab and goes to Kim’s house where dozens of Killgrave’s victims are assembled. She tells them about how his powers come from pheromones, and that he is currently in the supervillain prison, The Raft, after confessing to some mass killings. However, the people in the support group want closure and for him to confess to each of their situations, and Jessica empathizes with the group and takes the case.


Alias #25 opens with Jessica Jones lying in her underwear at Luke Cage’s apartment. Working the Killgrave case has heightened her PTSD, and she ended up angrily calling Luke, flying into his apartment, and then puking all over clothes. Luke sent her clothes to the cleaner, let her crash on his couch, and now wants to know what’s wrong with her. Jessica tells him about Killgrave as the art style switches to the style of Mark Bagley’s Amazing Spider-Man comics in the 1990s complete with early digital style colors from Dean White that are different from Matt Hollingsworth’s darker, more naturalistic palette. Jessica (then Jewel) was doing a routine superhero patrol when Killgrave placed her under his mental control, made her attack the police so he could get away, and made her his slave for eight months. He didn’t have sex with her, but even worse, he made her watch as he raped college age women and forced her to bathe and beg him for sex. After a headline shows Daredevil saving the day, Killgrave just snaps and orders Jessica to kill him and any superhero in her path. The issue ends with Jessica flying and then punching Scarlet Witch when she is surrounded by both the Avengers and Defenders. She flies away and is confronted by Thor.


Alias #24 and #25 is a study in what to do and what not to do with someone, who has been through a traumatic event, like being raped or having a family member murdered in front of them in the case of some of the people at the Killgrave support group. Listening is the key, and this is why most of these issues is dialogue driven with Gaydos using the interview layout format for Jessica Jones to answer the support group’s questions about Killgrave. He also uses a 21 panel grid as Jessica opens up to Luke Cage about her past with Killgrave. Luke Cage isn’t perfect and makes an insensitive joke about group sex with the New Warriors, but he’s a better listener than Scott Lang, whose dialogue in the issue is basically him mansplaining to Jessica that he already knows all about her past because he has Avengers clearance. He also doesn’t respect her boundaries and uses his size changing powers in creepy ways like jumping into her taxi cab, hiding on her sunglasses when he’s shrunk down as Ant-Man, and generally making a mess of things.


Unlike TV shows, like Law and Order: SVU and the recent season of Game of Thrones, and comics like Lobo and Aquaman, which use rape for cheap drama in advancing plotlines, Bendis, Gaydos, and Bagley take Killgrave’s actions very seriously and focus on how his victims’ feelings instead of throwing in cheap plot twists. They show Jessica to be visibly affected by the return of Killgrave to her life with Gaydos drawing a double page spread of Jessica Jones flying on top of a roof, touching her stomach, and taking a moment to process her feelings before she goes to the support group. Bendis, Bagley, and Gaydos also use dialogue, facial expressions, and gestures to depict his actions instead of showing the rapes. Bagley draws his first appearance in Alias #25, which goes from being a happy superhero escapade complete with upbeat dialogue from Bendis and a poster worthy splash page to slow close-ups of Killgrave’s smirking face as he tells Jessica Jones to take off her clothes and then beat up the police so he can finish his steak. This jarring shift in tone from traditional superhero tale to disturbing mental manipulation shows how destructive and evil he is.


Alias #24 and #25 establishes Killgrave as one of the most terrible and pathetic villains in the Marvel Universe. Like in the Jessica Jones TV show, he never takes “No” for answer and is what rape culture apologists, like Roosh V and his Return of Kings cronies, aspire to be. He uses his mental abilities just to sate his own appetites from telling 84 people to stop breathing when a restaurant is too loud to his rapes of college students that he makes Jessica watch for eight months. However, like most men who sexually assault women and manipulating other people for their own pleasure, Killgrave has an inferiority complex and tortures Jessica Jones mentally and sexually because of the many times he had been defeated by Daredevil, the Avengers, or other superheroes. He hates these superheroes because they have the power to ruin his lifestyle of getting anything he wants from anyone.

One of Bendis’ finest moments as a writer in Alias comes in issue 24 when Jessica is talking with Kim Rourke about Killgrave’s abilities and whereabouts. Jessica tells her, “It isn’t the person. The victim cannot be blamed  for– for– for anything they do when they are under this asshole’s control.” This line of dialogue is a sharp right hook at victim blaming and gains meaning later on when Jessica reveals to Luke that she still struggles with realizing that her beating up police officers and Scarlet Witch and watching Killgrave rape women wasn’t her fault because his pheromones felt so “pure”. Killgrave’s abilities could be a metaphor for date rape drugs, like rohypnol, which incapacitates victims and impairs memory. But, in spite of these manipulations and feelings, Bendis makes it completely clear that Killgrave is 100% in the wrong, and that it isn’t Jessica or any of his victims’ faults that they did terrible things for him.


On a slightly happier note, Alias #25 starts to a create an emotional bond between Jessica Jones and Luke Cage and was the first issue of the series that I could see them actually working as a couple. First of all, Luke doesn’t shame Jessica for her drinking or use of profanity like Scott does in their date back in Alias #15 and helps her at her lowest moment without getting angry or defensive. She got angry and flew into his apartment and busted his fridge? So, he makes up a spot for her on the couch while cleaning her vomit stained clothes. However, they really bond once Jessica opens up about her past and feels bad that no one asked about her when she went missing for eight months while she was with Killgrave. Gaydos draws a pained expression on her face, and then Bendis gives Luke some simple dialogue (“Come here.”) and he gives her a hug. Luke Cage doesn’t have the answers to all of Jessica’s problems, but he is just there for her and listens. He is supportive of her just like Jessica is supportive of the other Killgrave victims that want her to investigate him.

By caring about the emotions and feelings of victims of Killgrave’s rapes, sexual assaults, and other mental manipulations, Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, and Mark Bagley use Alias #24-25 as an opportunity to create empathy for Jessica Jones the character and show how truly difficult it is for her take on the case involving him. They also lay the foundation for Killgrave as a villain, who is the ultimate embodiment of rape culture, with the inability to be refused anything by anyone that continued to be explored in the Jessica Jones TV show. One difference between the comic and show in regards to him is his hatred for superheroes, which is why he sends Jessica after them.

Alias #24 and #25 are two difficult comics to read and think about with their descriptions of rape and depictions of PTSD, but Bendis, Gaydos, and Bagley make sure that the blame for all these terrible things are laid squarely on  the rapist, Zebediah Killgrave.

The Avengers Revealed for Knight Model’s Marvel Universe Miniature Game

Today the Avengers have been revealed for Knight Model‘s upcoming tabletop game Marvel Universe Miniature Game. This comes the day after the Guardians of the Galaxy were revealed, and the X-Men preceded that. The game will be released with three starter sets, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, and Avengers, that will each included four metal miniatures, character cards, and a mini rulebook.

The Avengers are made up of Steve Rogers as Captain America, Tony Stark as Iron Man, Thor, and Natasha Romanova aka Black Widow. We don’t know who will be in the blister that will be released along with the starter set.

Each character’s description sounds like they embody their comic counterparts. Captain America is a leader who provides boosts to his teammates. His Vibranium Shield acts to help boost his defense and can be used offensively attacking multiple enemies as it bounces off of them in the air. Iron Man is all about the suit which allows him to fly with speed, his built in offensive repulsor blasts, missiles, and the Unibeam. Thor fills the role of the flying tank in his strength, and Mjolnir. He can also bring down lightning and like Cap, use his hammer as a shield. Finally Black Widow is about the stealth and close combat. It sounds like she has an infiltrate ability and uses close combat, firearms, and her Widow’s Bite to take on her opponents.

So, now that all three starter sets have been revealed, which will you be getting? I can’t decide, so I guess it’s all of them for me!

Avengers Marvel Universe Miniature Game

(via Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher)

Beyond the Fourth Wall: The Roots of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

In the latest episode of Beyond the Fourth Wall, Jon and Joe explore the roots of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Their discussion takes them from daredevils and mutants to web-slinging wonders.

The Ultimate Guide To Fill Your Pets Geek Need

With Christmas just around the corner, many of us are stressed to the max with shopping. Who wants to go to a store and shop when you can find just about everything online. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have something neat. Let us help you make shopping for your pets easy with these suggestions.

Doctor who cat box

This is the purrfect way for your kitty companion to travel the universes just like the Doctor in Doctor Who. Visit CacaoFurniture to buy this cat sized Tardis for a mere $60.00.


This Zuul is a awesome addition if you have your own little hellion at home or you want to make your Ghostbuster team compete with a villain. This can be found for $150.00 at Olipra.

Captian America Hat

Make your pup part of the Avengers with this Captain America knit hat. Order one at SoChaChaWonderlandTW for $37.28.

Raised Pet Feeder

We all know our bigger pups need to eat higher up, so why not do it in style. Check out this Bat Girl feeder at FastigesMadeWithLove for $50.00.

Star Trek Dog Costume

If you have multiple dogs in your house, perhaps a Star Trek team maybe something that interests you. This is a affordable gift at only $12.00 from thecaliforniachi.


For all the hardcore Star Wars lovers out there, this R2D2 costume allows you to bring the cuteness home. This is more costly then your average pet store costume, but well worth it at $60.00 found at HachiCorp.

Spiderman Pajamas

Not like your dog is not cute enough, but come on dogs in pajamas are just a bit cuter. Check out these Spiderman pajamas. This is a cheap gift at $12.00 found at PawsUpbyRoseandPheeb.

Cat Toys Dr Who

If you can’t do the large Doctor Who perhaps this is more affordable. These catnip toys look real cool and are found at CatsCraftsAndGeekery for $8.00.

Indiana Jones Cat Bridge

As a Indiana Jones fan we all remember that bridge. Bring it home for your beloved kitties. This is being sold for $150.00 at CatastrophiCreations.


Give the force to your kitty with these Star Wars cat nip lightsabers. Buy them at FeltySpice for $9.00. Make those YouTube videos come to life.

Whether you are on a budget or can go all out, these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg to spoil your furbabies. Just remember that you and your pet will be geeked out this holiday.

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