Tag Archives: marvel comics

NY Toy Fair 2016: Mezco “One:12 Collective” Spotlight – VIDEOS

A week before NY Toy Fair 2016, Mezco held a super-secret event for members of the media in their fortress of solitude (AKA Long Island City) to show off most of their newest releases. You can check out a walk-through of the event with Pierre from Mezco at this link here, but if you are like me, you have a huge interest in their spectacular One:12 Collective line, so this trio of videos specifically takes an extended look at their enormous 2016 line-up.

Kicking things off is their new DC figures, which includes figures based on the upcoming “Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice” film, as well as stylized comic book versions of Superman, Green Arrow, Flash, Reverse Flash, and Shazam. An additional note in regards to mech-suit Batman, the prototype here was not functioning, but the eyes will light up in the final product.

As if the DC stuff was not cool enough, Mezco will also be creating Marvel figures. This video shows off their two Captain America figures, two Punisher figures, and three Daredevil figures.

Lastly, here are there new figures from the original Star Trek series, which features Captain Kirk, Spock, and Lt. Sulu. Also seen in this video is Space Ghost, two versions of Universal Monsters Frankenstein’s monster, and Judge Dredd’s motorcycle, the Lawmaster.

Unfortunately, there was an issue with the music when the video uploaded, and I prefer not to take videos down once they are online, so this footage has no background music in it. That might mean more of you like it because of the lack of my stock music, so leave a comment and let me know.

Mezco will be unveiling a few more goodies at NY Toy Fair next week, so stay tuned for that very soon.

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NY Toy Fair 2016: Mezco Pre-Toy Fair Event – VIDEOS

A week before NY Toy Fair 2015 goes down at the Javits Center, Mezco held their own pre-Toy Fair event to get everyone on board the hype train.

In part one of this video, Pierre from Mezco walks us through some of the latest offerings from Mezco, including figures, statues and Mez-Itz from Mortal Kombat, Beetlejuice, Batman VS Superman, Suicide Squad, Hellraiser, and new Living Dead Dolls.

In part two of their booth tour, Mezco unveiled a ton of new licenses as part of their six-inch collector’s line, the One:12 Collective. 2016 will see the release of new figures from Marvel including two versions of Captain America and The Punisher, as well as three versions of Daredevil. DC will see three new figures from the upcoming Batman VS Superman film, as well as stylized comic versions of Superman, The Flash, Reverse Flash, Green Arrow, and Shazam.

Also revealed were new Star Trek figures, including Spock, Sulu, and Captain Kirk.

We also discuss any upcoming lines such as video games, the future for more vehicles and playsets, and just how much access Mezco has to the Marvel franchise.

If you want to see more video footage of the upcoming One:12 Collective figures (another 10 minutes that was not seen in the video above), head to this link here to see three additional videos highlighting the different franchises Mezco is working with.

Mezco will also be at NY Toy Fair, so expect more reveals from them next week during the big event.

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Bif Bang Pow! to Make Marvel Collectibles

Bif Bang Pow! is thrilled to collaborate with Marvel Entertainment, LLC to produce an exclusive line of memorabilia for Marvel fans and collectors.

“From Asgard to Midgard and everywhere in between, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to create a new line of collectibles from the Marvel Universe,” said Jason Labowitz, Co-Founder of Bif Bang Pow! and President of Entertainment Earth. “With such a vast library and history of characters, we’re excited to get started bringing a few fresh ideas to this amazing brand!”

Coming to market in 2016, this new line of collectibles will feature exciting merchandise spanning a wide range of character permutations from classic comic books to modern-day style from television and film. These diverse offerings will include various product types, such as license plate frames, car flags, jack-in-the-boxes, tin windup toys, and wooden figures from Bif Bang Pow!. Additionally, under the Entertainment Earth brand, JLA Direct, LLC is set to expand its highly popular line of patent-pending Chair Capes and release an all-new line of Marvel-themed mixed martial arts (MMA) gear and accessories.

Bif Bang Pow! products are available at Entertainment Earth and other fine retailers.

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“X-Men: Danger Room Protocols” fan-series shut down by Disney/ Marvel Comics

A few weeks ago, we reported on a fan-made animated series by Joel Furtado called “X-Men: Danger Room Protocols”. This self-funded Youtube show, a pixel-perfect homage to the 1990’s animated series, would have been free to the public. Unfortunately, those plans have been stopped dead in their tracks due to Disney/ Marvel.

In a video posted on his Youtube page, Joel explained the unfortunate circumstances behind the cancellation, as well as his opinion on why their decision makes little sense.

Joel discusses how he invested much of his time and personal funds to create this show, but due to a lawsuit from Disney/ Marvel Comics, he has been forced to pull down all videos about the project and will be unable to upload any future ones from it. In his rebuttal, Joel states that the show was not meant to be a threat to Marvel and was meant to be non-for-profit, and is extremely confused how Marvel views this as a problem as opposed to the erotic and hentai art of their brand that can be easily found sold in plenty of well-known online art galleries.

The video received plenty of responses from Youtubers, some in support of Joel while others seeming to revel in his bad situation, informing him that he “should have known better”, which he admittedly did by confirming the video series was intended to never make a profit and therefore should never have been an issue.

The most important comment came from Larry Houston, who directed 62 episodes of “X-Men: The Animated Series”, as well as working on other nearly every awesome animated show from the ’80’s and ’90’s among a portfolio of modern animation and live-action work. He wrote:

As the Director of the 90s X-Men:TAS TV series, I want to applaud your efforts, Joel, and I respect the passion you put into your work. Unfortunately, the Marvel I worked with and the Marvel/Disney (M/D) you’ve just experienced are not the same company and they are very litigious. A really smart PR department would’ve found a way to work with you so that their interests are protected and the free publicity you’d generate would be a win-win. But M/D really wants the rights to the X-Men back and your high quality of work and publicity is not what they want to happen at this time. M/D has taken very extreme measures to undercut the franchise, rewriting their comic book mythology to replace the word mutant with Inhuman, in a major power play against Fox. You are now, officially, just part of the collateral damage in the ongoing corporate battle of egos.

It is very sad that Joel has had to deal with this and suffered terrible losses here with his time, money, and the soul that he put into his great work. However, Joel has brought more attention to himself in the public eye in a positive way and his video about the situation demonstrates a great deal of class and professionalism. It is disappointing that the series will not come to fruition, but we salute and praise Joel Furtado for his hard work and are positive that this will be the last time we see his videos online in a big way.

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Diamond Announces Top Selling Comic Books & Graphic Novels of 2015

Star Wars returned to Marvel Comics in January with the million-selling Star Wars #1 from Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, kicking off a blockbuster year of Star Wars success that climaxed with Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattering box office records worldwide, earning Marvel not only the best-selling comic book published in 2015 but the best-selling single issue in over two decades with Star Wars #1, based on total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture merchandise.

Written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by John Cassaday, Star Wars #1 debuted in January, 2015 and each subsequent issue has consistently been a monthly top five bestselling title for Marvel Comics. The entire Star Wars comic book publishing line was a success in 2015, with Star Wars: Vader Down #1 (#6), Darth Vader #1 (#9), and Princess Leia #1 (#10) joining Star Wars #1 in the Top-10.

Overall, comic books and graphic novels continued their positive trends, with 2015’s annual sales increasing 7.17% over the previous year; comic book sales specifically were up 8.99%, while graphic novel sales rose by 3.14%. Over 98 million comic books were sold to comic book specialty stores in 2015, an increase of 6 million units over 2014, with just over 8 million graphic novels units shipped.

Marvel Comics finished the year as the comic book specialty market’s top publisher, leading in both Dollar and Unit Market Shares, with a 38.74% Dollar Market Share and a 41.82% Unit Market Share. Marvel Comics had seven of the year’s top ten comics; in addition to the four Star Wars titles, Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic’s Secret Wars #1, Spider-Gwen #1 (a spin-off from Spider-Verse), and Invincible Iron Man #1 (the launch title for the All-New All-Different Marvel relaunch) were among the top ten. On the year, Marvel had 78 titles placed in the top 100 best-selling comics.

DC Entertainment was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2015 with a 25.75% Dollar Market Share and a 27.35% Unit Market Share. DC Entertainment’s top comic book, Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 by Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, John Romita., Jr., and Klaus Janson charted at #5 for the year, while perennial graphic novel bestseller, Batman: The Killing Joke HC, charted as the #5 graphic novel for the year. Several issues of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman run and the Convergence main issues from Jeff King contributed to a strong showing for DC among the top 100 comics for the year.

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ science fiction epic, Saga from Image Comics dominated the top ten graphic novels chart and solidified Image Comics as the year’s third largest comic book publisher, with a 9.93% Dollar Market Share and a 10.70% Unit Market Share. Image Comics took seven of the top ten graphic novel spots, including all five collections of Saga as well as two volumes from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead series. The best-selling comic book for the year from Image was another Brian K. Vaughn bestseller, We Stand on Guard #1, at #124 for the year.

IDW Publishing’s was the comic book specialty market’s fourth largest publisher, propelled by its licensed titles such as My Little Pony, Star Trek, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others. The company’s Dollar Market Share was 5.59% for the year. Based upon the hit BBC America show, Orphan Black #1 was IDW’s top-selling comic book landing at #4 for the year.

Dark Horse Comics’ creator-owned titles helped the company to be the fifth leading comic book publisher to the comic book specialty market in 2015 with a 3.79% Dollar Market Share. Dark Horse’s top comic book for the year was Fight Club 2 #1 at #129, a sequel to the cult-classic movie penned by writer Chuck Palahniuk.

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Data for Diamond’s sales charts — which includes the monthly market shares and all top product charts — are compiled by Diamond Comic Distributors from sales made to thousands of comic book specialty shops located in North America and around the world. Additional sales made to online merchants and other specialty stores may be included as well.

Unit and dollars sales are calculated based upon orders invoiced and shipped to Diamond accounts during January to December 2014, which comprises initial pre-orders, advance reorders, and reorders, minus any copies that are received back from a title marked as returnable.

The New Titles Count Chart includes all titles that were invoiced by Diamond to retailers for the first time during 2014. Variant edition comic books and graphic novels at the same price point count as a single SKU. Variant edition comic books, lenticular covers, digital combo packs, and graphic novels at different price points count as separate SKUs for each edition.

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Get your ’90’s on with fan-made “X-men: Danger Room Protocols” Cartoons

Joel Furtado, an animator who has worked for plenty of big companies, unveiled a trailer for a new web-series he has been developing, starting everyone’s favorite mutant team of superheroes.

“X-Men: Danger Room Protocols” is planned as an action-packed 18-episode animated fan series, with each episode featuring the titular characters trying to survive one of the various missions from the Danger Room, the X-Men’s famous training grounds. In it, they will meet plenty of familiar foes including Magneto, Sentinels, Nimrod, and Mr. Sinister to name a few that have been revealed thus far. The best part – the look is that of their 1990’s cartoon show that used to air on Fox Kids! This is the series that certainly made many kids fall in love with the X-Men and jump into the comics, and the look of the characters has since become iconic.

Here is hoping that Marvel Comics/ Disney is not too litigious about this sort of thing. Furtado is truly testing the legal limits of what Disney will allow when it comes to their franchise rights, but one thing is for sure – the man has already made a name for himself based around all of the hype around this well-made trailer.

The debut episode will arrive on Youtube (for free) starting January 19, so suit up and get ready for this epic-looking show!

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“Marvel’s Jessica Jones” Season 1, Episode 6 Review – “AKA You’re A Winner!”

Just when things couldn’t get any worse for Jessica, they explode into a million tiny pieces with another missile headed for her at breakneck speed. Welcome to episode six of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” titled “AKA You’re A Winner!”

Last time on “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”, Jessica successfully took out Kilgrave with the help of Trish and Officer Simpson (once those two took a break from banging), but The Purple Man had the upper hand on them and his team of hired thugs rescued him. Jessica confronted Malcolm about Kilgrave’s control over him, and was able to help him start to kick his drug habit, but at the cost of giving in to Kilgrave’s demands that instead of having photos shot of her, she would directly send him one image a day.

At the start of this episode, we watch Kilgrave be victorious in a high stakes poker match against some unsavory characters. While he had no problem controlling the waitresses and most of the players to make them do things, he seemed to have some trepidation when it came to money and numbers. Either way, The Purple Man walked out of the match 1.26 million dollars and richer, and has given us a question that we will get an answer to by the end of this hour.

Back in the office of Alias Investigations, Jessica is hanging out with a recovering Malcolm, who seems to be coming along well since we last saw him. No longer in withdrawal and ready to help, Malcolm wants to meet with the Kilgrave Interaction Survivor Society (or KISS as I like to call them) to set up a profile of Kilgrave and his abilities, while Jessica just wants to kill him. A knock on the door interrupts their meeting, as Luke Cage walks back into Jessica’s life and wants to hire her to help him find a missing person in some illegal financial debt as a favor for a friend of his who has info on the murder of Luke’s wife. This causes great stress for Jessica, since it turns out that she had a hand in killing her while under the influence of Kilgrave.

Meanwhile, we learn what happened to Hope at the end of the last episode when she was beaten by her fellow inmates. With Jeri’s help, Jessica does some investigating of her own to see if Kilgrave is coming after her. After beating up Sissy Garcia, the ringleader of the gang, Jessica learns that Hope was actually the person that hired Sissy to rough her up. Her goal? To cause a miscarriage for the baby that she is carrying, fathered by the rapist named Kilgrave. Yikes.

Jessica offers to help her and tries once again to remind her that it’s not her fault, but Hope is not in a place of great faith at the moment. Through the assistance of Jeri and her huge wallet, Jessica is able to get Hope a drug to cause a miscarriage, and leaves her in the hands of Jeri to watch over her while it does its work. Speaking of, Jeri proposes to her secretary Pam, who is flattered but insists that first she gets her divorce finalized. The hold-up is still Jeri’s ex-wife refusing to sign the papers, and she is still waiting for Jessica to dig up any dirt on her to make it happen faster. More on Jeri later…

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Jessica begins her investigation with Luke, starting at the home of the missing Antoine. She finds his phone number and using her sleuthing skills AKA dumpster diving, finds that Antoine enters many contests. She impersonates one of those contests and tells Antoine over the phone that he won an XBOX One (sounds like he lost if you ask me). Luke confirms her suspicions that this is not Antoine since he has the wrong voice, and the two head out to the address to catch their man. Before they can do that, they are confronted by a loan shark (Jessica believes they are Kilgrave’s men at first but is quickly corrected by them), the one whom Antoine owes money to. Luke volunteers his and Jessica’s services to team up and find the buy, much to her disapproval, but her attitude changes once she rides off with Luke on his motorcycle, her hands wrapped around his waist (and ‘dem abs).

After Luke drops Jessica off at her apartment, Malcolm walks onto the scene and warns Luke not to hurt her. Luke picks up on this and asks if it has anything to do with Kilgrave, and Malcolm spills the beans about him with her. Minutes later, Luke goes back up to Jessica’s apartment and confronts her about what happened, and she breaks down to insult herself. Luke comforts her and tells her “You’re not a piece of shit,” and the two embrace and resign to another session of super-powered bed breaking.

Before things can get too personal, Jessica remembers that she has to take a photo for Kilgrave to protect Malcolm. Being a few minutes late, Kilgrave reminds her of that and warns her not to miss that deadline again.

Jessica and Luke track down “Antoine”, or at least the person pretending to be him, and follow him to a warehouse. Side by side, they tackle the drug-den, filled with weed. “Sweet Christmas”, Luke exclaims as he sees the stash, using that phrase for the second time in this series (forgot to count it the first time because I wasn’t sure if it would happen again). The pair find the real Antoine, who says he was going to come home once he became an “entrepreneur” from selling his weed and pay back the loan sharks, but this happy reunion is interrupted when the loan shark bursts in and wants to get what he is owed with interest. Going up against two people with super-strength is not a bright idea, and the duo clean house the best they can. Luke gets overwhelmed by the numbers, and Jessica abandons Luke with the kidnapped Antoine in tow.

Back at the clients house, Jessica dumps Antoine and gets the info that Luke wanted moments before he arrives. Afraid that Luke will discover that Jessica was responsible, she tries to talk him out of reading it, but to no avail. Surprisingly, the info that this client had for Luke was related to the bus driver who hit Reva, who was revealed to have been drunk at the time of the accident. The MTA covered this tidbit up because the driver knew someone with enough authority to hide that, and he is still operating the same bus to this day. Luke goes after him, intending to kill him, with Jessica not far behind ready to stop him.

Luke finds the driver and wastes no time tossing him out of the bus… through the glass window in the front of it. Jessica shows up just in time to stop him, but Luke refuses to listen and is ready to murder him for what he did to his wife. In an act of desperation, a tearful Jessica admits that she was the one that killed Reva. Not sure what to do, Luke smashes the bus and looks Jessica dead in the eyes to say, “I was wrong. You are a piece of shit.”

Heartbroken once more, Jessica breaks down in her apartment and tries to gain her composure, chanting the mantra that she has said since the first episode. “Birch Street, Higgins Drive…,” her coping mechanism to handle her anxiety attacks.

At the KISS meeting, Malcolm is eloquently explaining his situation and how Kilgrave got him hooked on drugs and whether or not he would have turned to them without his help. In a matter of days, Malcolm has taken control back of himself and is already doing some serious self-introspection. Back in the detention center, Hope is still in the process of having her miscarriage. While she is busy with that, Jeri informs the nurse in charge (with a hefty bribe) that she is purchasing that dead fetus for reasons yet to be explained. Back in Trish’s apartment, she is still unhappy about her performance during the attack on Kilgrave, and begins to load her gifted revolver.

Over in New Jersey, the Purple Man has purchased a house from a tenant, but seems to not be using his powers quite as much, especially when it comes to money. Perhaps a weakness is being shown here? The most important question is what does Kilgrave need with an old house in Jersey? The answer is uncovered as he strips away the wallpaper in one of the rooms, revealing height marks for a growing child by the name of “Jessica”. The location of the house – Birch Street and Higgins Drive.

Episode six has left Jessica more broken than ever, and while we have more answers about her past, they have opened up more holes in her heart. How she will reconcile with Luke is anybody’s guess at this point. What is Purple Man planning to do now that he has Jessica’s childhood home? Your guess is good as mine. What is going on with Jeri’s marriage and the dead fetus, and how does any of this relate to Jessica Jones? What will happen to Ruben and his banana bread that he brought to her in this episode? I doubt we will get too many resolutions to this in the next episode as Jessica continues to try and not spiral into complete depression, but the only way to find out is to come back next time when we look at episode seven, “AKA Top Shelf Perverts.”

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“Marvel’s Jessica Jones” Season 1, Episode 5 Review – “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me”

Life ain’t easy when you are Jessica Jones, and this episode gives us a glimpse of the complexity of having superpowers and not being sure of what to do with them.

In the last episode, Jessica formed a makeshift support group for people who were under Kilgrave’s control, which I named the Kilgrave Interaction Survivor Society (or KISS for short), which she also hoped to use to get info on him. Officer Simpson, the cop that tried to kill Trish in episode three, has joined Team Jones to help her find the Purple Man, and made up with Trish who has now taken quite a shine to him. Meanwhile, Jessica managed to get some info out of KISS and discovered the man that had been stalking her this whole time for Kilgrave was her drug-addicted neighbor, Malcolm. This episode brings us into Jessica’s past and first meeting with Kilgrave, as well as her first chance at stopping the man and what will happen to her and Malcolm.

Things kick off as Jessica trails Malcolm and unfortunately discovers that Malcolm is indeed doing Kilgrave’s bidding, having an anxiety attack the minute she sees him in the flesh in Union Square. With this new info, she calls Trish to make a plan of attack. However, Trish is a bit busy at the moment, courtesy of Officer Simpson and his magical tongue.

It’s odd how last episode, Jessica wanted his help, and this time when the Chris Evans look-a-like is volunteering it, she suddenly doesn’t want it as the trio make plans on how to stop Kilgrave. The past two episodes in fact, she was helping Simpson, but the moment he wants to help her, she shuts down and treats him like dirt, which according to Trish is pretty normal for Jessica.

Simpson turns out to be a former Special Ops soldier and has plenty of useful skills, including access to a safe house to lock up Kilgrave where no one can touch him and he would not be able to use his powers. The plan is formed and they are ready to follow Malcolm one more time to deal with Kilgrave.

Meanwhile, Jessica gets a call from Hope in the detention center. Hope is not doing too well, and needs money to give to a group of abusive cellmates. We later see just how terrible this group is, and there is sadly nothing Jessica can do to save this girl other than give her what she needs to keep her out of less trouble.

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Back in Union Square, the plan is set into motion, despite Kilgrave meeting Malcolm in a more public place than usual in front of a restaurant. Unfortunately, a balloon from one of those pesky and non-existent NYC balloon vendors bursts, and Kilgrave starts looking around, staring directly at Simpson and his dart gun. Jessica jumps out from behind her hiding spot to distract Kilgrave long enough for Simpson to successfully take the shot. Unconscious and causing a scene, Jessica says she is taking him to a hospital. Funny enough, there is a hospital around the corner from Union Square, so she was not too off in telling someone that. #NYFACT

However, Kilgrave has a tracking device in him that led a group of hired goons right to them, who beat down the trio and retrieve the Purple Man. Simpson was able to detain one and intimidates him enough to get info on who hired him, and it turns out it was not even Kilgrave but a private anonymous client. Jessica also figures out that Malcolm told Kilgrave that she got the drugs since Malcolm was her accomplice in the task, and that is most likely why he hired these goons. We also discover that six months before Purple Man entered Malcolm’s life, he was completely clean and drug-free.

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Before we head into the conclusion of this episode, now is the perfect time to go into all of those flashbacks I mentioned earlier which flesh out Jessica’s life before Kilgrave entered it. Jones was working dead-end jobs that she could not hold for more than a few weeks, although her penchant for investigating things was already being implemented here and there. With Trish’s help, Jessica had a handful of these jobs but ultimately went nowhere, while Jones contemplated becoming a superhero. Trish even makes her an outfit, which Jessica rebukes. Easter egg for comic nerds, her suggested name of “Jewel” was Jones’ moniker for a brief period when she wore the same hideous costume that you see Trish holding here.

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Jones had been dabbling in the heroism, saving a child while doing one of her odd jobs dressed as a hoagie (hence the title of this episode), and even saved a stranger getting beat up by some thugs, who we later learn is Malcolm. It’s at this crossroads of her life when she first meets Kilgrave, who falls in love with her power and her looks. He immediately takes control of her and thus begins his reign over her that would culminate months later when he got hit by the bus.

Returning to the present, Jones saves Malcolm from a drug-pusher in his apartment and handcuffs him to a radiator in his bathroom to try and clean him up. He must make the choice to fight or give in to his drug habits and continue to ruin his own life. Malcolm refuses to make this choice and reminds her that she can not save him again. While she leaves Malcolm to make his choice, Jessica returns to her office where she get a chilling call from Kilgrave, who is exhilarated by what transpired and tells her that Malcolm would have been a junkie whether or not he controlled him, he simply expedited the process.

Kilgrave then tries to cut a deal with Jessica, asking her to take one photo of herself per day in exchange for leaving Malcolm alone. Jessica hangs up on him and goes to check on Malcom, pleased to see that Malcolm has tossed his drugs into the toilet and is going to try and clean up. Seeing this as her way to save Malcolm, Jessica agrees to these terms and sends Kilgrave a photo of her self.

The fifth episode remains a strong one, and the situation is getting stickier for Jessica as the season progresses. While she might be saving a person or two, the cost of her own soul is being used as a bargaining chip. It is interesting to see that Jessica was contemplating using her powers for good, but it be a good assumption that being under Kilgrave’s control made her afraid of using her skills and putting herself out there. We all see the hero in her, as does Trish, but Jones struggles with being able to do good and the fear of seeing the people she loves getting hurt because of this. With a villain like the Purple Man compounding that worry, it’s no wonder that Jessica is such a troubled character.

The sub-plot with Jeri’s divorce was missing in this episode and there was still no sign of Luke Cage, but that will change in the next episode (according to Netflix’s preview info). Stay tuned next time for episode six of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”, titled “AKA You’re a Winner!” With a title like that, what could possibly go wrong?

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“Marvel’s Jessica Jones” Season 1, Episode 4 Review – “AKA 99 Friends”

Welcome to the fourth episode of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”, and my first attempt at a better recap & analysis for you faithful readers.

When we last left Jessica Jones, our heroine had gotten her hands on the drug she needed to defeat Kilgrave (after abandoning her drug addict friend, Malcolm) and managed to piss him off thanks to Trish’s radio show, but also track him down after he attempted to off her buddy. Unfortunately, she was unable to confront him for more than a second, but as a result of this encounter, she learned that he has been stalking her every action for quite some time. In the end, she broke up with Luke Cage (again) and has become a lone wolf as she tries to figure out who else is under the control of the Purple Man.

At the start of this episode, Jessica finds herself more alone than ever, and “AKA 99 Friends” is a real roller coaster of emotions when it comes to the subject of relationships. We have already seen in the past three episodes how much trouble Jessica has with forming and holding onto intimate personal relationships, both friendly and romantic. She has become very self-independent, a burden that was forced upon her due to her circumstances. This episode deals with that from her point of view, juxtaposing it with other characters in similar situations to show they handle their relationships after the abuses they suffered.

Jones is on the hunt for the mystery photographer that is working for the Purple Man, but her mission is sidetracked when she gets a new client that wants her to follow her husband and catch him in the act of cheating. To make matters worse, Jeri also wants to cash in the favor that Jessica owes her by having her tail her ex-wife to see if she can dig up dirt on her. Trish is also still recovering from her assault at the hands of Sgt. Simpson, the police officer who was under mind control that Jones beat up and later saved from death.

In spite of the threat of the Purple Man looming over her, more people are showing up that claimed to have had interactions with him. Jones is put in charge of deciphering who has actually met him and who did not – the stories the people told of being under his influence were appropriately chilling. Jones forms a circle of survivors, and essentially creates a support group for them all to stay in contact with each other, even though she certainly doesn’t see it that way. While Jessica might not yet be able to help herself entirely, she is able to reflect what she wants onto others for their own good, and in this case, Jessica is being a hero. However, as we learn later, not everyone sees her as a hero.

Trish deals with her own demons in this episode, as Office Simpson returns to the scene of his crime to try and make sense of what has happened. Jessica does her best to help him understand, and in doing so gains a new ally in her search for Kilgrave’s whereabouts. Simpson manages to get her access to the NYPD surveillance footage to see if Jessica can ID the photog, which turns out to be a dead end for most of the episode.

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In the meantime, Simpson heads back once more to Trish’s home to apologize and offer her a gift – a handgun. Wary of the man that once tried to kill her a day earlier, she hides behind her fortress as the two begin to talk and she eventually lets him inside, her hand on the gun the entire time as she converses and laughs with the officer.

Back on the case, Jessica suspects her new client being under the Purple Man’s power, and does her best to dig up info on her to prove whether or not this is true (even discovering her practicing her shooting in a warehouse for unknown reasons). As Jessica gets closer to the truth and finds the location of her hubby, she uncovers that there was no mistress at all and it was a set-up after all. This time, it’s not because of Kilgrave, but because her client hates super-powered people, and blames her kind for the death of her mother during “the incident” AKA the events in “The Avengers” movie. It’s this scene that gives an odd catharsis for Jessica, who tells the client that she can’t take her pain out on other people while destroying the apartment. She also tells her that there are 99 other people like her that she knows, and if this crazed woman doesn’t leave New York by the next day, she and her 99 friends will make sure she does.

That bit of self-therapy leads Jessica to join the Kilgrave Interaction Survivors Society that she started (or KISS for short), and while keeping a good physical distance away from them, listens to their experiences. In doing so, she discovers info from one of them who directly helped chauffeur Kilgrave around the city to pick up the photos from the sneaky photographer. While he never saw the person’s face, he was able to tell her about the blue & white scarf that he saw the guy wear, and with that bit of info Jessica checks out the surveillance footage one more time to discover the identity of her stalker – her neighbor, Malcolm.

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The fourth episode has kept the momentum going of this series, and while we have some mysteries solved, new ones keep popping up. What will happen with the budding relationship between Simpson and Trish? If we learned anything from “Daredevil”, it’s that the most harmless and lovable characters are the quickest to kill, and I greatly fear that Trish will lose her life before the end of this season.

Is Malcolm really under the spell of Kilgrave, or is he just using something else to control him without needing to employ his powers? What will happen to KISS? My theory on that – they’re all going to die horrible deaths at each others hands once Kilgrave finds out about it, but not before he uses them to screw with Jessica first.

This was the first episode with no Luke Cage in it, which was sad, but I am hoping that changes soon and they are able to make up. As we have seen in the previous episodes, Jessica is a very closed person because of what happened to her. With Luke, she felt safe and was able to let her guard down. With KISS, she gave it a try and that alone is an accomplishment for her, and I am hopeful that this is not the last time we see that group explored. The story within this story was the ability to trust again, with Trish being the opposite of Jessica at this time – able to forgive and let go to try again. The KISS group is the middle ground, working to recover but not quite there yet. It’s a complex web right now for the characters of “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”, and the ride will certainly continue to stay bumpy before it gets smooth.

Next time, we head into the fifth episode to see what goes down in “AKA The Sandwich Saved Me”!

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“Marvel’s Jessica Jones” Season 1, Episode 3 Review – “AKA It’s Called Whiskey”

When we last saw our favorite heavy-drinking super-strong sleuth, Jessica got info on the Purple Man’s weakness, Hope has a lawyer to get her out of trouble after killing her parents under Purple Man’s influence, and Jones discovered that the bartender she has a crush on also has super-strength and unbreakable skin. Where will this episode lead? Let’s find out!

Episode three starts up immediately after the last one, with Jessica still in shock over Luke’s abilities, but also incredibly aroused. The two strip down and play with each other, before having some passionate sex that, unlike the first time, actually has emotion behind it. Jessica has opened up to Luke, not just physically but on an emotional level, and the difference is in the scene (go watch it on Netflix, this site has a rating of PG-13).

After being interrupted by the upstairs hipster, the pair go out for a bite to eat and to discuss their powers. When Luke asks if there is anyone else like them, Jessica gets uncomfortable and locks herself back up for a moment, Kilgrave on her mind. Luke gets her back on track and we learn that he got his powers from an experiment, and that they both hide their abilities so that they don’t put a “target on their backs”. Jessica also explains that she tried being a “hero” once but it didn’t work out, alluding to what happened with Hope and how it went sour. Cage gives her some good advice, telling her “The way I see it, most people got both going on, just depends which part wins that day.” Apparently, good advice leads to arousal as the two head to Luke’s apartment for more sexy times, which includes Luke’s bed breaking as she goes for a ride. Hawt.

After their sexy fun-times, Jessica goes into Luke’s bathroom, and for whatever reason, begrudgingly looks inside his medicine cabinet again. There, she finds the same photo that she saw the last time of a woman, this time triggering a brief flashback from Jessica. Luke walks in and explains that she died, which Jessica already knows. She apologizes as her eyes become glassy, but before she can shed a tear, she runs away from him and gets back to work (but not before buying a bottle of whiskey, her favorite place to hide).

In her office, Jessica looks up the Sufentanil Propofil that we learned about in episode two while listening to newscasters talk about Hope’s case in horrible ways, wondering if it really is possible for someone who has suffered under Purple Man’s control to really forgive themselves for what they did, even if they were not aware of what was happening.

Jessica confronts Jeri Hogarth about the negative press, and Jeri fires back by asking about Jessica being one of Kilgrave’s victims, which she told Hope in private. Jessica does not want to testify about this, but says there are plenty of other broken people out there that he left behind. Unless Jessica brings them in, Jeri says she will have to testify, so now Jessica has to track down his victims and the Purple Man himself, all while ignoring Luke’s texts.

Jessica visits Trish to ask for her help, by using her TV show as an outlet to discuss Kilgrave’s powers, but Trish refuses since no one would take it seriously. Disappointed that Jessica is using her once again, Trish says farewell until she learns that Jessica needs to get some drugs – specifically the ones to take down Kilgrave. Before they can get too deep in that convo, Jessica notices the bruises on Trish from her training, and Trish reveals that she has fortified her house in case of any emergency and has turned Jessica’s old room into a training gym (we learn that they were former roommates and that Jessica used to protect Trish from someone else, in particular it is hinted that her mother is the culprit here).

Fast forward to a clinic, where Jessica meets Wendy Ross-Hogarth, a “somewhat flexible” doctor AKA Jeri Hogarth’s wife who is now in the process of divorcing her due to catching her cheating. Jones attempts to manipulate Wendy into getting the prescription, but instead gets one for an anti-psychotic for Jones to use on herself. Unable to use her words to get what she needs, Jones considers robbing a hospital to get it, but reconsiders when she sees an armed guard and an expecting mother inside.

On her way back home, Jessica runs into drug-addict Malcolm, who is higher than a kite and about to get beat-up by a hipster on a bike. Jessica rescues him from the cyclist, and while it’s not necessarily an important scene, it is one to remind us of something useful for 20 minutes from now.

Later that day, Trish tells Jessica that she is doing a live interview by satellite with Hope, which Jessica is unhappy with, worried that they will drag her through the mud more than she already has been, and more concerned that Kilgrave will see it and do something.

The story of Luke & Jessica continues as Jones apologizes to Cage, then immediately asking if he knows how to get drugs. Jones’ intimacy and trust issues are making this relationship troublesome, as she is already doing to Luke what she has done to Trish… difference being that her and Trish don’t have sex afterwards. Their post-coital pillow talk leads Luke to flat-out asking her why she is constantly holding things back from him, and the two have one of their most meaningful conversations to date. Jessica is beginning to trust Luke enough to open up emotionally, and sort of explains her trauma and the Purple Man situation, but not quite giving him the full story – not yet, anyway.

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Back in the jail, Trish interviews Hope who tells the world about Kilgrave and his mind control powers. Unfortunately, Jeri dismisses these allegations as delusions, much to Trish and Jessica’s surprise. As Trish tries to defend the idea of this super-powered psychic, Jessica begins to panic and destroys her mic to stop her from talking any further. Unfortunately, Trish refuses to relent and takes calls from her listener – one of whom happens to be Kilgrave, in the flesh. Hope and Jessica recognize the chilling voice, and we can see Jones beginning to stumble under this new development. Jones is paranoid, and that seems to have rubbed off on Trish, who attacks a fan when she gets too close to her.

Jessica continues her quest to get the drug to stop Kilgrave, and does this by bringing a highly drugged-up Malcolm to the hospital to use as a distraction. After tossing him into a nurse, she breaks into a drug cabinet and gets her hands on the drugs, but abandons Malcolm there now that she what she needs.

Meanwhile, Trish has her own troubles when a police offer comes by her house to “investigate” the fan she attacked earlier. Trish’s spidey sense tingles, and she prepares for the worst when she allows him to enter her home. Before he even sets foot, a fight breaks out between them, and Trish holds her own. She even uses a triangle choke off her back when he attacks her, but had she remembered to hook his leg she might not have gotten slammed by the cop to get out of it. I am disappointed that she did not switch to an armbar once he started choking her, considering she knew a triangle choke, but Jessica makes the save and beats down the cop. Unfortunately, she is too late… or so she makes the cop believe by injecting her with the drug she just stole to make her play dead. The cop walks away, mission accomplished, and tells Jessica that he doesn’t want to shoot her, since “he says it’s not your time.”

Jessica plants a tracking device on the cop and follows him back to Kilgrave’s lair, where she prepares to attack him. Unfortunately, her plans are changed when Kilgrave orders the cop to kill himself, and in act of heroism, Jones prevents him from committing suicide. This brings Jones face to face with Kilgrave for the first time since the accident. Seeing his face brings us the full flashback of what happened to cause much of her PTSD, as a bewitched Jessica kills a woman for Kilgrave. When she goes to check on him, against the orders of Kilgrave, he walks in front of a bus which had supposedly killed him.

The cop safe from harm (after Jessica knocks him out), the Purple Man makes his escape and uses the denizens of the house where he is staying at to defend him. Jessica makes her way through the hellhouse and finds his room – filled with photos of her all over the city. Now there’s a new mystery afoot – who is following Jessica for Kilgrave?

With nowhere to turn, Jessica goes to Luke’s house and attempts to break up with him over her issues, but Luke believes it is because of his “issues” AKA the picture in his bathroom, which we now learn is of his dead wife. Heartbroken, alone, and more paranoid than ever now that she knows someone else is keeping an eye on her, Jessica’s life just got a lot more complicated as we come to the close of episode three.

And so ends the third episode of “Jessica Jones”, and the last time I do an overly verbose review like this. The series is staying strong three episodes in, and I am really loving the cast and the writing in the show. Jessica Jones has become a very complex individual, portraying super-strength in a believable way, despite her small stature. Moreso, her ability to show her ever-changing state of mind is great insight to the character of Jessica Jones and what makes her tick. It’s not an easy role to play, and I think Krysten Ritter is doing a great job so far. I look forward to seeing more of Mike Colter and Rachael Taylor as well, and of course, the more Tennant, the better.

Next time, prepare for a more concise analysis as we take a look at “AKA 99 Friends”!

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