Friday, 24 February 2017

Jessica Jones: Alias Book 1 (#1-9) PART TWO

"What the fuck?" - Jessica

So in part one we met Jessica Jones.  She's an ex-superhero in a bit of a tail spin.  She drinks, she smokes, she has casual sex, and as of yet we don't know why she is such a mess or why she forsook her superhero identity "Jewel".  She has super strength and can sort of fly although finds landing hard.  She now works as a private detective, her agency is called Alias Investigations and she keeps finding cases that bring her back into the superhero fold.  In the previous case she became an unwilling part of a convoluted attempt to bring down the President by pinning a murder on Captain America.  It was all sorted out thanks to S.H.I.E.L.D and Steve Rogers came to thank her personally and told her to reconnect with Carol "Ms. Marvel" Danvers which she did at the end.  So her past is still a mystery, her present a pile of self loathing, her future yet to be revealed.  So lets finish Book one with another look into the world of Jessica Jones.

The story begins with Jessica and Carol "Ms. Marvel" Danvers having a meal out together and having a good laugh about their superhero looks in the past.  Jessica says her costume was bad but her hair never went the "Farrah".  Carol says Jessica was totally "Flashdance".

Jessica: "Fuck Jennnifer Beals and what she did to my youth.  I look at some of those pictures and I say: man, was I giving off the slut signal or what?"

Carol asks her what the boy situation is these days.  Jessica says in her line of work all she meets in cheaters.  Jessica admits she has done "stupid stuff with guys lately".  Needy and pathetic like she wouldn't believe.  Carol asks if she is going out with Luke Cage.

Jessica is silent, then asks how she knew.  "Grapevine" grins Carol.  Jessica says she isn't going out with him.  Carol says good because he is "a cape chaser" and lists all the superheroes he's shagged.  Jessica is diappointed she read him so badly.  Carol asks what it was like with him, Jessica says "I was hammered, I have no fucking idea".  Carol says she's lying.  Jessica says shes in shock from the cape chasing thing.  Carol says she is going to have to find her a guy.
Luke Cage is a man-whore!
She suggests Scott Lang the current Ant-Man.  Jessica says she isn't interested, Carol says thats because she only wants to sleep with the bad boys.  Jessica says she wants to "stay out of the genetically-altered pool altogether".  Carol ignores her protests and using a little device she prints out Scott's number for her.  Then Carol gets the Avengers Assemble call and makes to leave saying she'll call her later because she didn't even tell her what she wanted too, leaving Jessica on a cliffhanger.

Later she is flirting with someone in a gay chatroom for work, she signs off ruminating that she is doing this while Carol saves the world.  She lights a fag and thinks about her current case. A woman named Nancy Moss hired her, she belives her husband has gone from cybersexing behind her back to full blown actual sex.  And while she didn't mind the cybersex (much to Jessica's digust) finding out her husband was gay when he left his computer signed on and she could witness messages from "BIGBLACKDICKFORU" and "TSSDSALAD" was too much.

Jessica's job is to initiate cybersex with him  ask to meet in real life.  "I wonder if this is the first time in the history of the internet that a guy was speaking to a girl posing as a guy?" she thinks to herself.  She has him "primed and pumped".  The next time she contacts him she'll set up a meeting.  The wife is as "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore", she is building the most damning divorce case she can.

She goes to have a pee and freshen up and bumps into a strange teenage boy with a case.   He tells her he's a big fan of hers, "all the guys at my school are into the X-Men and that tool Spider-man and shit...but I like you goin' on.  I like that you ain't into the costume shit".  He says he read up on her online, then watched a movie where De Niro plays a private eye and it reminded him of her.
Jessica's teen admirer.
She asks how old he is, he says seventeen.  She gently shuts the door on him, ignoring his offers of help. She goes to check her messages when there is a knock at the door.  She starts yelling at the teenager then opens the door to a weeping woman.  She says her name is Jane Jones, her husband has gone missing for weeks and she doesn't know what to do. Her husband's name is Rick Jones, which should be familiar to those with wider knowledge of the Marvel Universe. she also says he's related to Jessica.

Jessica sits and Jane pours out her story.   He's been gone over a month, the Avengers don't answer their door, they've been married six months and met at one of his shows, "the voice of an angel, he has, I meant it - an angel".  But he got caught up in superhero shit which stopped hm going the whole way.

Apparently he stopped the Kree-Skrull war all by himself.  He ran with the superheroes but she never met any, the Avengers have tight security, he'd always come home and tell her the stories.  She found the "perfect man" but had to share him with the world everyonce in a while.  She feels sick not knowing where he is.  He also spoke highly of Jessica.

Jessica then breaks the news that she isn't related to her husband.  She never met him.  Bewildered Jane says Rick talked about her all the time, "he really admires you".  Jane fumbles with some cash.  Jessica tells her to put it away and give her  contact details and she'll look into it.  Jane thanks her.

Sitting on the toilet Jessica does some thinking. She did her quickie check that Jane was for real and she is, married to Rick Jones. She mulls over who she could ask for help and comes up empty.  She's really confused about supposedly being related to him.
The glam life of a PI.
She first phones one of her parents to check if they have any Ricks in the  it devolves into an argument about her superhero past reflecting badly on her parents and she finishes the call.  She then goes to the bookshop and finds a book by Rick Jones in the remainder bin.  It's called "Sidekick" and is about all his exploits as sidekick to various Marvel heroes the rest of the arc includes text extracts from it.

Later she is outside reading the book when a young woman comes up and asks what powers she has.  Jessica wants to knowwhy she'd ask that.  The woman says her power is detecting who has powers, she says she's a mutant but her friends don't believe her. One of her friends comes up and sees the book she is reading and calls her "a fuckin' Jones groupie".

Jessica asks if he knows him, the young man says "fucker doesn't shut up!! Well, he shuts up when he's fucking every girl in New York City..." Jessica say so he's talked to him, the young man says Rick Jones talks at you.  He might pay for food but doesn't shut up about the Kree-Skrull war and hanging out with Hulk and Captain Marvel, yet can't write "just one decent fucking song".
Rick Jones?
Jessica queries this and they point her to a club he plays at called "Ultimate".  He usually shows up after his set at tenish, elevenish.  Then the two youngsters leave bickering with each other.   Jessica goes to the currently closed Ultimate club and sees many flyers with Rick Jone's name on. 

She then revisits the club when it is open and Rick Jones appears on stage and starts a song which he dedicates to his friend "Bruce".   Later Jessican approaches him backstage.  He grabs his guitar case and uses it as a barrier between them and aggressively asks:

Rick: "Who are you with, the Kree or the Skrull?  WHO SENT YOU TO FUCK UP MY LIFE AGAIN!?!?!"

She grabs his arm and tells her that her name is Jessica Jones and she is neither Kree nor Skrull "so.. calm.. the.. fuck... down".  She tells him that his wife hired her to find him, she's worried about him.

She wants to know why he didn't go home. He says he can't because of the Kree Skrull fucking his shit up.  She wants to know why he told his wife they were related.  Rick doesn't know why she said that, he never said he and Jessica were related.  He says his wife is so whacked she concocts "theories with no foundation".  So she made it up.

As they sneak out of the venue, he goes onto say he "married a lunatic". But he loves her. Jessica asks him to come with him to see her, but suddenly there is a boom and he ducks into an alleyway.  It was just a car backfiring.  She catches up with him and he asks her what she knows about the Kree-Skrull war.  She says she read it in his book.
Reasons to fear.
He says after winning the war, he had a book and record deal, but he couldn't be so high profile, "there's a bounty... an actual price on my head".  Powerful people from another planet are pissed off with him.  He starts to climb the fence and Jessica asks "just.. who is after you?" On the other side of the fence Rick says he's tired and at his wits end.  Because of the bounty on his head and that he's considered a war criminal he's not going to endanger his wife.

"War crimes" queries Jessica and she rips the fence apart. Rick tries to explain himself, he did nothing but:

Rick: "I just.. I got heroic for a second and I ended the thing.  So now the governments want a little under-the-table payback.  Like no little human pisher's going to fuck up their chances of dominance.  You think those kinds of heroics or whatever go unanswered? They do not.  So now my life is fucked again!"

Jessica wants to know why he still performs at the club, he says he lost everything but he needs to get on stage and strum a guitar.  She asks why he didn't ask the Avengers for help.  After some prodding from her he admits Captain America is pissed at him.  He is angry about the book and Rick doesn't want to bother him.

Jessica says they could talk to Reed Richards, so he agrees to go to the Baxter Building with her.  They arrive at reception to be greeted by a robot receptionist.  She says access to Dr. Richards is by appointment only.  When they try and tell her what the problem is the receptionist tells them she won't be making an appointment for them and to "have a nice day".
No help from the Fantastic Four.
They leave, and Jessica tries to phone the Avengers, suddenly Rick says "oh my god..." and he takes off into the crowd.  Calling after him Jessica chases him but he knocks a man down and she stops to see if he is OK.  Then Rick is lost in the crowd, "what the fuck!" she exclaims.

Jessica finally gets through to the Avengers Emergency Hotline, she leaves a rambling message saying she was hired to find Rick Jones and found him and he's in trouble with the Skrulls, he's running scared and even though he's fallen out with Captain America his life is in danger and "that's more important than whatever thing he is goibg through with you guys".

She leaves her number and asks if she can please be told what's going on.  She is back in her office and knackered, she check her internet and her gay honeytrap worked the man wants to meet her in Starbucks wearing a rollneck sweater, "how incredibly uninteresting on every level".  She checks her mail then slumps forwards asleep.

She wakes up to find her teenage admirer fielding a phonecall.   She grabs the phone off him and speaks to Jarvis the Avengers butler.  He is calling on behalf of Captain America regarding her call:

Jarvis: "Now this Rick Jones... this was here in New York City? Well ma'am, I'm sorry to tell you that the gentleman you found is not Rick Jones.  Rick Jones is safe and sound in Los Angeles".

He goes on to say they are aware of the fake Rick Jones running round the West Village.  If she has anymore trouble with him let them know and they'll have "the proper authorities deal with him".
Jessica finally gets some answers.
After she puts the phone down she yells "GOD! FUCKING...SHIT OF ALL SHIT!", her teenage admirer is still there, he asks for a job, she tells him to get lost.  She returns to the park and finds Rick Jones playing guitar and his wife is with him.  She rushes over and hugs Jessica in thanks for finding her husband.  Jesica says he worked it all out, and he says he did she was a huge help and he has his Janey back. What about the "trouble" he was in? "Not in front of the civilians" Rick says.

She goes and sits in a Starbucks.  A bearded man sits next to her.  She asks him what he does and he says he a psychotherapist. She asks him about meeting a man who has everyone convinced he's another famous guy.  There are huge holes in his story and the more you look at it the less convincing he is, yet "everyone buys it".

"Pseudologica Fantastica" says the psychotherapist. A person starts out with small lies and the ie gets "bigger and grander and more outrageous".  The interesting twist is the bigger and more fantastical the lie the more innocent peple believe.   Why do they believe asks Jessica.  "They just want to.  People...they're desperate for excitement.  They want to know famous people".

Psychotherapist: "This is the world we live in... movie stars, rock stars, the Fantastic Four, mutant envy..."

"Mutant Envy?" says an incredulous Jessica.  "It's just not enough for some people just to be...people" says the Psychotherapist.
Putting it in persepctive.
He tells her some stories about what some people have done for a touch of fame.  Jessica thanks him for answering her questions.  He says no problem, the person he is meeting is late anyway.  She looks him in the eye and then says to him:

Jessica: "Go home to your wife, and come out of the closet.  She loves you and you're hurting her.  She deserves better than what you're doing to her".

He looks at her with terrified alarm, gathers his coat and flees the shop.  She then flashes back to her night waiting with Rick for the Baxter building to open.  She told him his book really got to her.  She especially identified with him talking about having physical reaction to people in costumes, she realised her body was screaming at her not to be around the costumed people, " body would freak out and say 'don't be here. This isn't where regular people should be'"

Rick says she has powers though but she says it was one of the main reasons she shouldn't be wearing a costume.  Because Rick feels the same it's nice to meet somene in the same boat, "it was nice to know I'm not nuts".  Rick is silent.  Then he gets up to go to the bathroom and says it was nice what she said.  We end with her back in Starbucks,

Jessica: "'The peasants want the kings to come down and play...' fuck."

This is a interesting story, it's basically a series of conversations about truth, lies, reality and fantasy.  Opening the story with a several page meal and chat between Carol and Jessica was a great way to set that stall out from the start.  It was also nice to see the somewhat troubled Jessica smiling and having a good time.  What's fascinating is how we're getting a look at the sort of class system the hero class has bought to America, even more untouchable and unreachable than celebrities, for a street level hero like Jessica getting any kind of respect seems difficult despite her having connections within the Avengers.  The rest of the story is a dissection of the cult of celebrity and how people will cling to a scrap of it.  Even Jessica is fooled as her final flashback shows.  The story structure is also strong with the luring out of the gay husband paying of brilliantly at the end.  Some people will bemoan the lack of action in this story but I'm more interested in it as a character and world building exercise.  I like Bendis's dialogue and I like Gaydos's art and how well they mesh.  Look out for volume 2 next month.


  1. This just gets better. You know I like 'real' but this takes it a stage further. It's not just (like say the Fury/Castle stuff) real people but still in amazing (albeit plausible) situations; it's real people in mundane everyday nothing special scenarios.

    I like the 'hierarchy' of superhero society. To follow on from your class parallels, I'd never really considered the idea of 'D list' if you get my drift. The (glorious) film Mystery Men sort of touched on this but in a fantastical and heartwarming way. I like the drudgery of this story.

    You're from a background every you've seen behind the curtain at how unglamorous showbiz really is. This reminds me of that. There are two sort of aspects. Even the most celebrated of people still have to do normal human stuff. There's a series of documentaries about celebrity autopsies. It's actually not as prurient as it sounds. They examine the last hours of the deceased and it's strangely intriguing how unglamorous their lives are. Even if they've been coming back from some major bash it's all stuff about how they've rummaged round the fridge then gone to the toilet.

    But beyond that there's also that horribly depressing life of ex celebs. The sort of people who end up on crap shows like 'celebrity enemas' just scraping a living and no doubt wondering what happened to their 15 minutes of fame. Or when you find out some famous actor from your childhood now works in ASDA.

    This seems really reminiscent of that. Jessica trying to contact the Avengers makes me think of say David Copperfield gatecrashing a party at Tracey Ullman's mansion (although they still might be great mates for all I know). But in a world where superheroes exist (and I like that this takes place in the wider continuity) then for every Reed Richards or Bruce Wayne there's going to be some hasbeen working at the 7-11 or signing autographs for $5 at some terrible convention in Shitsville, New Jersey.

    Jessica hasn't quite got there but it's so easy to imagine her as the superhero version of "Hey, didn't you used to be in Bucks Fizz?"

  2. Mystery Men is a wonderful fun that is tragically unappreciated. It was one of the first dvd's I owned. Yeah definitely familiar with the mundanity behind the glitz. Being the last one out of the theatre at night to lock p, having to check each dressing room. Even for a classy place like Buxton Opera House it's a little tawdry. Then you have the autograph hunters, we had some remarkably persistent ones that remind me of not-Rick Jones here, they seemed to think they had a Very Special Connection to the actor and if I just let them in.... (of course I never did).

    I will say this for Jessica she's tried to take her life in a new direction rather than struggle on as a D-List super (and she does have specific reasons we find out later), being a PI is better than as you say winding up on celebrity enemas (lol).

  3. As always. My reading thoughts:

    - „She suggests Scott Lang the current Ant-Man.”

    That man has a young daughter, Carol. Do you really want to inflict the influence of Jessica on her?

    - “"I wonder if this is the first time in the history of the internet that a guy was speaking to a girl posing as a guy?"”

    Male writer showing. Of course not. It was, and in many cases still is, pretty necessary to claim you're a guy or not disclosing your gender while letting guys draw the wrong conclusions given what the alternative is (being harassed, sent unsolicited dick pics, etc.).

    It might have been one of the first times of a guy cybersexting with a girl pretending to be a guy though. :D


    “for every Reed Richards or Bruce Wayne there's going to be some hasbeen working at the 7-11 or signing autographs for $5 at some terrible convention in Shitsville, New Jersey.”

    Current Great Lakes Avengers has an ongoing (variant) cover gag that you can take you picture with the team and a cardboard cutout of Squirrel Girl (their only successful member ever) for 1$, up to and including the media trying to interview said cardboard cutout as least flat character around.

  4. The more you tell me about Great Lake Avengers the more I love them. I even did a bit of a Google. It's great how adorably rubbish they are. In a way they're the proto Mystery Men. I'd love it though if, in the same way Squirl Gurl is the best superhero canonically, one day they get to save the world and they're the only superhero team left standing.

  5. They actually saved the world at least once (in their first mini). Nobody ever knew or believed it though.

    Whoever heard of supervillains with doomsday devices in Wisconsin?! RIDICULOUS!

  6. Aww bless. Although that is so perfectly fitting.

    I do like a good underdogs finally prevail story though, even though it's bit of a cliché.

  7. I think the whole is this the first time a girl has pretended to be a guy thing is more a relic from when the series was written. I fondly recall the saying when I first started using the net from home in 97 which was "The internet, where men are men, women are men and children are FBI agents". :D

    I was having a browse in Forbidden Planet and the Squirrel Girl section has a Great Lakes Avengers trade which I have added to my to buy list now. They sound so much fun!

  8. I was starting to use the net from college. It was in 98. I learnt pretty fast to not tell people that I'm a girl. ^^;

    That GLA trade probably has the mini, and possibly some of the one-shots they appeared in. The first trade for the current ongoing is scheduled to come out in April and collect issues #1-6.

  9. Oh started using the net in 93 and I always said I was a girl. And a lesbian. I guess I was pretty lucky in all the net communities I was a part of no one gave a shit. I've never been very good at pretending not to be me, blame all the therapy I have had xD

  10. Also I am pleased you feel able to be a girl here, that's mega-cool :)

  11. Nad I just remembered Grant Morrison's "Bulleteer" mini from Seven Soldiers of Victory deals with life as a D-list superhero, including conventions and porn as ways to earn cash.

  12. I didn't realise that comics had actually had the idea of supes doing conventions, but I suppose it does make sense. There's a really good book called Moondust. The author tracked down all the surviving Apollo astronauts. There was a big distinction between the ones who actually walked on the Moon. They could charge tens of thousands of dollars just to make an appearance and got offered gazillions to be on the boards of various enterprises. Compared to the guys who flew the command module but didn't actually land themselves. They were literally signing autographs for ten dollars a pop at Sci fi conventions. It was one of the saddest things I've ever read.

    Funnily enough my first incarnation on the net (or the PADD as it was then) was as Dr Alana Bertrowsh. My (female) identity though was just cos a mate had created a fake account for me where I had to pretend to be an academic so we could sneak onto the computer system at the local uni.

    When we steal your life story though for our definitive comic about school life we'll have to include the delights of being a girl on the net.

  13. I think my being a girl on the internet was helped by the fact I have a very "laddish" sense of humour. The first big community I belonged to was GameFAQs in the late 90's-early noughties and for ages I was the only woman who was "out" as one. I never got creeped on or bullied, I think I have just been insanely lucky maybe?

  14. "The first trade for the current [GLA] ongoing is scheduled to come out in April and collect issues #1-6."

    ... I just checked the extended forecast and stand corrected it was scheduled to May and apparently pushed back to June. I made the error because it was in the April solicit.


    Damn it Marvel, stop making me worry about my favorite titles!
    (I mean: there is no new GLA issue in the May solicit, but according to info the trade will only collect up to #6, and they already solicited issue #7 for April so there must be at least one more, right?... and now I find out that they delayed the trade. Sometimes I hate them.)

  15. I'm genuinely bewildered (and unenthused) by all the mainstream superhero movies today. I quite liked Captain America cos that was pretty self contained and you didn't need to know any of the backstory. But all the others are just so confusing. Both in the way they interconnect and internally in the narrative.

    I would watch a GLA movie though. And I don't think that's a daft idea. The most successful supes movies recently (in terms of ROI) have been guardians of the galaxy and deadpool. So a low budget film about lesser known, but far more interesting, characters could be a good investment.

  16. GLA as a movie... I don't think stretching powers (Flatman has that, along with being literally flat) ever looked good in live action, and let's just say that that team has some dark subject matter built into it (size discrimination, depression, etc.) which needs some sensitivity... yeah, the comicbooks were hit or miss with that. ^^;

  17. It would be an interesting technical challenge. The nearest I can think is the Dr Who episode 'Flatline' or that hologram in 'I, Robot'. I'm sure it could be managed though. Of course then you get those issues of acting to CGI inserts which can really spoil a movie ("You don't notice; but your brain does").

    The good thing about lower budget though is film makers can be a bit more adventurous with complex issues. There's less concern about alienating the mainstream audience. So I think it would be a good opportunity to address the darker and more controversial issues. You don't have to lay it on with a trowel, but you don't have to be as scared to acknowledge it.

    Of course they'd probably end up casting Jennifer lawrence as big bertha and congratulate themselves on being so daring.

  18. Yeah I reckon there is a market for a quirky team of heroes again. Like you say Deadpool showed a risky property pay off, Guardians of The Galaxy was enormous fun and even though critics hated Suicide Squad I rather liked it and it made plenty of cash. Though I am holding out for a Harley Quinn movie in the vein of her solo DC series.

  19. Varalys and Hayley sitting in a tree...

    Not that I can speak of course; I'm still itching for a Black Widow solo outing. But that raises the thing about women lead movies. I am rather sceptical about the theory that they aren't marketable. I just don't think they've been given a chance. I loved the Tomb Raider films, and surely I can't be the only boy who did. And, notwithstanding the minor MRA fuss, that last Mad Max film was apparently brilliant, and successful (still haven't got round to seeing it, shame on me).

    Be interesting to see how the Wonder Woman film fares. I hope it succeeds. Then we might see studios taking more 'risks'. You familiar with the theory that the economics of films are affected because generally women supes don't wear masks? Supposedly it's cheaper to do masked heroes cos you can make more use of stuntmen and CGI. But are make actors paid by the hour or something? Hmm, not convinced.

    I'd like to know more about HQ. I'm only vaguely familiar and I initially only knew of her as the sort of Joker's accessory. But I liked the stories you wrote about. She seemed a lot more of her own character there. Is that what you mean when you talk about how the film should be? I'd watch that.

  20. One of the reasons I am team X-men rather than team Avengers is that they have a nice array of female heroes and villains. Of course these things are never perfect (in the comicbook Days of Future Past it was Kitty Pryde who went back in time not Wolverine) but they have a nice variety to choose from, even if you dig blue chicks.

    And yeah I'd like to see Harley Quinn as how she is written right now, the crazy land lady who breaks the fourth wall, is bisexual and generally gets mixed up in very, very silly antics. There is something to be said for her prior relationship with he Joker as being quite an accurate portrayal of a very abusive relationship, but we see enough of that everywhere. Let her have FUN!

  21. Well I did like Venus Bluegenes (Rogue Trooper's sort of girlfriend). And Mystique is pretty fiesty, so that's cool.

    But yeah, did really like HQ in the stories you wrote about. Ironically I think she's better than the Joker. He's now just a poster boy for 14 year old edgelords. The Heath Ledger portrayal was quite entertaining, but that was more down to good acting. I've heard good stuff about Mark Hamill's work too. But, and this maybe because I grew up on Adam West, I like zany. And HQ has that in spades. Like you say, it's all about fun. Comics lost that a bit in their attempts to be seen as a 'serious' artform. They forget that even Shakespeare wrote comedies. Sometimes it's almost like in Name of the Rose where the monks are suppressing that book just because it implied things can be both worthwhile and funny.

  22. One of the reasons I championed the DCYou so much was it was such a reaction against the relentless gloom of the New 52. I don't know what tone the Rebirth has taken because the first round of trades haven't apppeared yet, but I hope they have backslid into grimdark again.

  23. That sounds like the sort of name people gave themselves in 80s goth clubs.

    "Good evenink, I am Raven Grimdark"

    "Yeah, but at school you were Cheryl Aynsworth"

  24. Heh heh. Well it's the short slang term for when things are dark just for the sake of being dark rather than arising naturally from the book's plotlines. Not always a pejorative term for example Warhammer 40K is always described so and it's a feature of the game. But both Marvel and DC have recently had editorial edicts against their characters ever being happy for.. I dunno reasons? Anyway one of next months posts touches on that topic slightly.

  25. @Alan:

    „Of course they'd probably end up casting Jennifer lawrence as big bertha”

    I also imagine and then they put her into a very fake looking fat suit just to be extra cringy.


    “One of the reasons I am team X-men rather than team Avengers is that they have a nice array of female heroes and villains.”

    I “blame” Claremont.

    As seminal X-men writer he felt it's his duty (and possibly fetish) to create as many female characters and smuggle in as much subtext between them as it was humanly possible. Avengers didn't really had such an influential writer at all, even without the preference for heroines/villainesses.

    “I don't know what tone the Rebirth has taken because the first round of trades haven't apppeared yet,”

    Well, given it has a book about a Chinese knock-off Super-Man (New Super-Man), and a teamup book of Damian Wayne and … I've no clue how Superman's kid is called ^^; (Super Sons) (I've a friend who reads these). I don't think they back-slid into total grimdarkness at least.

    "But both Marvel and DC have recently had editorial edicts against their characters ever being happy for.. I dunno reasons?"

    Because they confused it with maturity (True Art is Angsty(tm))? At least that's my guess. XD

  26. Creaming Jesus did a rather excellent cover of Temple of Love where the lyric was just: "goth, goth,, black, black....even blacker!". That pretty much encapsulated a large part of the 80s for me. Ah but the romance. Working your way through 15 layers of lace and hooks and eyes.

    "If I actually get to *you* within 3 minutes do I win a crystal?"

    I've never subscribed to that true art is angsty motif. Brit comics like Action and 2000AD could cover the most serious subjects and were ridiculously violent, but they always had an underlying humour. Sometimes that was just tongue in cheek, but even at their most 'grown up' there'd still be a poignant whimsy at the absurdity of life. I think that's part of the Brit consciousness though. It's why America's response to the Nazis are things like Indiana Jones or Captain America whereas for us it's Dad's Army and Allo Allo.

    During the early Afghanistan campaign the American military called the area 'death mountain' and the British 'Tora Bora Tompkinson'.

    I think that's why Zenith was so good. Give a British teenager superpowers and he will just use them to chat up girls. 'with great power comes great opportunity for copping off'

  27. The True Art Is Angsty trope seriously needs to die in a fire. Don't get me wrong I've written about some tragic and tear jerking comics here but I see no difference in "artistic" merit compared to something like Squirrel Girl which makes me genuinely lol, you know the saying, "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard" makes me have a tonne of respect for writers who can pull of funny comics well. My main problem with the grimness of the New 52 was it artificially imposed negative storylines and character development as dictated by editorial and not as an outgrowth of natural story development and having it be relentless across all 52 series.

  28. "The True Art Is Angsty trope seriously needs to die in a fire."

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. For me the worst part about "true art is angsty" is that it makes stuff boring. Darkness Induced Audience Apathy is a thing and I'm apparently bored easily by grimdarkness meant seriously. ^^;

  29. You probably already know this by now, but Suicide Squad won the Oscar for best hair and make-up. So maybe you will get your Harley movie!

  30. Well my dream is they do a Deadpool with Harley's film. She is basically the DC female Deadpool as it is. She was also the best thing about Suicide Squad by far.

  31. It's weird how the internet all connects up. So if I write someone here then Facebook pops up related material. So I can tell you (in the unlikely event you don't already know) that there is almost defiantly to be a Suicide Squad 2. Mel Gibson might even be directing. That could be interesting.

    "Er Mel, we're having a few issues with where you're taking the plot"

    "What's wrong with a supervillain who controls all the world's banks and media trying to start another war?"

    There's also something called Gotham City Sirens (TV series maybe?). Margot Robbie is a producer and as well as Harley it'll possibly have those birds of prey characters.

  32. Actually I didn't know that, chalk it up to not using social media much. Gotham City Sirens is a fun videogame although I haven;t played it, it could make a good TV show. Hopefully Suicide Squad 2 gets the tone right from the start rather than be a serious film with comedy bits bodged in after they saw how popular Deadpool was.