Jessica Jones – SPOILER FREE Season 1 Review

No matter where your comic book loyalties lie (DC FAN FOR LIFE), you have to hand it to Marvel. Marvel has taken a specific formula for entertainment and shattered every imaginable expectation. That’s not to say DC doesn’t have the right things going for them – Arrow and Flash are a blast while Supergirl is finding her footing and Legends of Tomorrow looks awesome. However, DC had a solid year of a successful broadcast television series before Marvel released Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which has gotten very good over the last two seasons).


The scales tipped towards Marvel earlier this year when we learned that the coupling of Marvel and Netflix results in some beautiful babies. Netflix is the only outlet, other than picky premium channels, that can allow a more ‘adult’ comic book property to blossom with all of its child-unfriendly glory. Daredevil proved this and, in my humble opinion, was near perfect. The best comic adaptation produced thus far is without question Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. If TDK is a 10 on that scale, Daredevil easily ranks a 9. I cannot wait to check out season 2 with the inclusion of Punisher.


‘The Man Without Fear’ set the bar very high; it was hard to imagine another series with a B-list character coming even close to that mark. Such a reputation could easily be detrimental to properties in its wake. In the case of Ms. Jones I think this actually worked in her favor because people were willing to watch purely as a result of Daredevil’s reputation. I knew nothing of Jessica Jones prior to watching this. At face value it certainly lacks the allure of a superpowered man in red with horns. I’m so happy that didn’t stop me from watching.


Jessica Jones – Netflix Season 1



I called this a ‘spoiler free’ review and I will stick to that. It’s difficult to comment without referencing certain scenes so you’ll have to forgive any vague generalizations.


The story once again takes place in post-Avengers New York. There is almost a sense of resentment in the general public towards people with abilities because of the massive damage done during the Kree invasion. Marvel’s inclusion of this aftermath in multiple properties has made for a more realistic, enormously-scaled, cinematic world. I’m glad they’ve realized it doesn’t take a guest starring role from an Avenger to tie everything in. Seeing someone react to Jessica with a comment of “you’re one of them, aren’t you?”, or even with an unspoken shocked/frightened reaction to a display of powers, can be more impactful than Robert Downey Jr. waltzing on screen.


Speaking of powers, Jessica’s are impressive enough to set her well above the average person but don’t spare her from danger. This was a nice balance because it was believable for her to be in danger while facing certain foes. She’s also sarcastic as hell – a quality I respect in any character. Her actions were believable in the way she deals with her abilities and the rest of the world.


Casting in this series is flawless. Krysten Ritter made the part her own and stuck to it. She has earned her place in the Marvel Universe – can’t wait to see her return! All of the supporting cast also did a fine job in bringing something to the party. My favorite, by far, is David Tennant’s portrayal of the big bad guy – Kilgrave. He could go from down right charming to despicably evil in one breath. Mind control is a tough concept to show because it walks a line between silly and believability. Tennant took that line and masterfully traced his own path. His effortless commands came so fluidly that it was chilling. One moment you want to give him a hug while the next you are cringing at the execution of his orders.


Was Jessica Jones as good as Daredevil? No, and I mean that in the best way possible because it never tries to be Daredevil. Don’t go into it expecting the same experience. This series set its own path as a dark, mature crime noir drama with a kickass superhero flair. The combination works wonderfully! Add Jessica Jones to the top of your queue – it is well worth your time.


My rating of Jessica Jones Season 1 is 8 out of 10.

8 out of 10

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It was easy to frown upon Disney when they made their $4 Billion galactic conquest with the purchase of Lucasfilm. Regardless of how well they did with their last $4+ Billion splurge (Marvel), Star Wars is sacred ground for pretty much all of geekdom. I cringed at the thought of the relentless mouse empire taking over a galaxy far, far away. Three years later, I’m happy to admit that I may have judged them too quickly.

Since that time we’ve seen a resurgence in Star Wars everything (not that it ever went away). Knowing more movies were on the horizon was enough to build (cautious) excitement but that wasn’t enough for the suspiciously-evil efficiency of Disney’s marketing. A little later we got the new animated DisneyXD series, STAR WARS REBELS. It started out a little goofy… then it quickly found its footing and turned into a worthy entry to the Star Wars Saga. Minor updates about the movie were gradually released to whet our appetite. New merchandise with unfamiliar characters flooded stores like a maliciously deliberate tease. Throughout there were superbly composed trailers for THE FORCE AWAKENS released that periodically incited a riot of anticipation. Now we’re two months away from a new era of Star Wars! My first showing tickets are pinned to my fridge ready to be redeemed. Before the movie hits you can peak into what happened after the fall of the second Death Star in Marvel’s four-part series…


Cover from the final issue (my favorite cover art of the four)

SHATTERED EMPIRE (written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Phil Noto and Marco Checchetto) picks up right where Return of the Jedi stops. The war didn’t end with the death of the Emperor and the destruction of the second Death Star. Think about it – the Galactic Empire has ‘galactic’ in it for a reason… it’s flippin’ huge! Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the fighting would continue throughout the galaxy as the Imperial war machine churns on without Palpatine at its head regardless of their ‘loss’.

Through a four issue arc we’re treated to the characters we know and love while being introduced to a few new players. Rebel Alliance pilots Shara Bey and her husband Kes Dameron are used to illustrate the desire for a return to normalcy after the supposed fall of the Galactic Empire.

I found it refreshing to have a look at the smaller aspects of the Star Wars universe that are normally glossed over in the traditional properties. Unfortunately, the concept isn’t properly expanded upon which turned it in to a bit of a hindrance. Shara and Kes are both likable in their own right, however, the short story arc doesn’t give readers enough of a chance to become attached to either of them especially when the core characters share the page. SHATTERED EMPIRE would have carried more emotional weight if we had the opportunity to become emotionally invested.

With that said, there’s still plenty to like in SHATTERED EMPIRE. The art is phenomenal. Phil Noto and Marco Checchetto do a fine job bringing life to the war-weary Empire. There are a few issues when in regards to the portrayal of the core cast but it is easily compensated with the intricate battle scenes. My favorite part is the attack on Naboo; it was one of the few points where tension was successfully created. The final issue was sadly the weakest (especially following the third issue which was the strongest by a healthy margin). It left me with a “is that it?” aftertaste.

JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – SHATTERED EMPIRE is worth a read for any Star Wars fan. Even with its shortcomings, it succeeds in building the excitement for Episode VII higher than ever. My rating is 7 out of 10.

7 out of 10

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE – Movie & Graphic Novel Review

“Never judge a book by its movie.” That rule is usually a good one to follow. I personally try to read the source material prior to seeing its screen adaptation. In recent years, however, the surge in comic book adaptations have increased the quality of the material. Now movies originating from books can easily have every bit of potential that their source material has.

Kingsman didn’t pop up on my radar until the buzz started after its theatrical release. I’d never heard of the book so I went against my normal policy and started with watching the film. Thanks to the rarity of a date night with my wife (damn kids), I didn’t get to see it until it hit Redbox and man did I ever regret the wait!

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Movies are so serious these days! This one was a breath of fresh air because it was a hell of a lot of fun. The action was top notch with appropriate humor supported by great casting. Samuel L. Jackson is better than ever with genuine ‘laugh out loud’ moments coming from his ridiculous lisping character. Director Matthew Vaughn showed yet again that any movie with his name attached is in good hands. I wish I’d managed to see this in the theaters.

My rating of Kingsman: The Secret Service (movie) is 8 out of 10.

8 out of 10

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons

This is one of the few times I can say that I liked the movie more than the book… the movie expanded on certain areas that were somewhat glossed over in the book. There was a lot of buildup to the finale without much time spent on the conclusion. I did enjoy the dialogue between bad guys; its casual/pop culture-related theme added some depth that was easy to relate to. Example – the henchmen telling the villain that his nicknames for them are insensitive. My favorite part was the opening with Mark Hamill… I won’t say anything past that because it’s worth reading.

I went into the book with an expectation set by the film. Overall, the book came first but finished last. My rating of KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons is 6 out of 10.

6 out of 10

Give it a read if you happen across it or don’t have many other things in your to-read pile. Otherwise, skip it in favor of the movie.

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