Wednesday, May 27, 2015

AKA Jessica Jones Might Not Be The Marvel Show We Wanted, But Could Be The Marvel Show We Need

Later this year Marvel will be premiering AKA Jessica Jones on Netflix.  The show will be about a former super hero who opens a private investigation firm.  She deals in cases involving other people with powers.  She will also be the second female lead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the first one with powers.

No one I know was calling for a Jessica Jones show.  Alias, the book the show is based on, was excellent.  But it was not a big seller.  Everyone was focused on Agent Carter and Black Widow.  The calls for a Black Widow movie were coming fast and furiously.  Agent Carter has been renewed for a second season, but it appears Black Widow is going to continue as a supporting character in other heroes' movies.  Instead we are getting Jessica Jones on Netflix.  I think this was the right move.

Alias was a darker book that was published under Marvel's short lived mature line, MAX. It showed the seedier side of the Marvel Universe, and acknowledged the sexuality of the characters as in the very controversial anal sex scene with Jessica and Luke Cage.  The lead character smoked cigarettes and cursed.  It was a long way from Spiderman, that's for sure.  There is no way this story could be told in the family friendly MCU without being watered down beyond recognition.

Then Daredevil hit Netflix.  Darker in tone, more serious, more bloody, more intense.  This show proved that on Netflix at least, Marvel was willing to make a more mature show.  Now suddenly it appeared Jessica Jones might be done justice.  I don't expect to see a recreation of the anal sex scene. But the tone of the show, the violence and more mature subject matter might make it mostly intact.  Jessica suffers from PTSD, which has a chance of getting a fuller and more serious exploration than it got in Iron Man 3.  Dark conspiracies will be investigated.  In short, we will get to see a more fully realized female lead than we are likely to get in a feature film.

Black Widow would have been little more than an ass kicking sex kitten.  It would be a fun movie, don't get me wrong.  But we are going to get a more realistic character, and get to see more of the consequences of the events that she lives through. They can explore aspects of being a female super hero that the movies cannot without getting away from their core audience.  Jessica Jones has the potential to be a more satisfying show than a Black Widow film could ever hope to be.  This is a development that could bring a lot of needed depth to the MCU.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Finale 9 Surprises

The finale for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was tonight, and while I saw some of the developments coming from a mile away, I was genuinely taken by surprise a few times.  Here were some of the best twists.  Should not need to say it, but there will of course be spoilers.

1.I did not expect Skye's mother (not sure on the spelling of her name without checking) to be so downright evil, even after last week.  I had made a joke on a forum about Marvel using her as a stand in for Magneto, and that's what they did on a small scale here.  She was using the excuse of protecting her people to justify exercising her hatred of humanity.  Very well played.

2.I really thought Raina would play a bigger part next season, I did not expect her to get killed off so soon after getting her powers.  I especially did not expect her to sacrifice herself so that Skye could learn the truth about her mom.

3.I thought they were setting up killing Fitz with that scene with Simmons.  Turns out it was a head fake for the scene when Gordon dies.  The FitzSimmons scene was setting something up though, just a little later on.

4.Ward killing Kara thinking she was May adds another level of crazy to what is turning out to be Marvel's most interesting villain by far.  I am really looking forward to seeing where this goes. 

5.Going back to the scene when Gordon died, for second there I thought they were going to kill Coulson.  When he caught the crystal I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then I was in shock as he started to turn to stone, then my shock was doubled when Mack cut off his arm to save him.

6.May appears to be softening a bit, calling her ex and taking time off.  She did go back to get her gun though, so she's not going to get too soft.

7.I expected a Terrigen bomb, but what Marvel did was so much more clever and subtle.  No dramatic explosion to herald the new world, just people suddenly either getting powers or turning to stone.  Well played Marvel.  Also, I suspect at least, a lead in to Civil War.

8.I knew they would find something with whatever is in that box, but I did not expect it to absorb Simmons like that.  What the hell is that thing?  And how am I supposed to wait 4 months to find out what it did to Simmons?

9.Tahiti being used to put Cal safely back into society was pretty great.  Although Kyle McLachlan was so good that I hope the mind wipe doesn't take so he can come back.

I think we all saw the Secret Warriors set up coming, and the showdown with Cal and Skye's mom was telegraphed a mile away,  But overall this episode was amazing, the action was great and it built a lot of tension.  Definitely has me pumped for next season!  I guess I'll spend the intervening months making wild guesses about what happened to Simmons.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

If you are a MCU fan, you should read this guy's blog

I want to recommend a blog for all the Marvel Cinematic Universe fans out there.  Mostly Marvel Reviews is obviously written by an uberfan.  I also write a lot about the Marvel Universe.  This guy takes it to a whole other level. He spends a lot of time discussing all aspects of every t.v. episode and movie.  He is a passionate fan, and it comes through in the time and care he puts in his blog.  If you love the MCU, you should check this out.