Alias: In Which We Meet Jessica Jones

Happy Jessica Jones Week, e’erybody!

As you all know, Netflix’s Jessica Jones series is coming out this Friday, November 20th and I am HYPED!  In preparation for this, I just finished reading Alias, the comic series that introduced her to the Marvel canon.

Alias was written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Gaydos.  The series was the first to be published under Marvel’s MAX imprint which specializes in mature, R-rated content.  The story is very much in the style of a gritty detective noir, with Jessica Jones as a private investigator with an acerbic tongue and a penchant for cigarettes and alcohol.

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Little Hits: The Continuing Adventures of Hawkguy & Lady Hawkman

I adored the first volume of Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja, and was excited to jump into the next trade paperback.  This second volume, Little Hits, collects issues 6-11 of the series.  And bro, it futzing delivered.

No need to beat around the bush — I loved this book.  Not only did Little Hits continue & expand upon everything that was great with My Life was a Weapon, it took what few issues I may have had with the first volume and fixed them nicely. Continue reading

To Quote the Poets — Monstress #1 is Pretty Amazeballs

Monstress is a new comic series written by Marjorie Liu with art by Sana Takeda.  The pair had previously worked together on X-23, and have rejoined forces to create an original, creator-owned property for Image Comics described thusly:

Set in an alternate 1900’s Asia, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power…a connection that will transform them both, and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers…

The 66-page, triple-sized first issue was just released yesterday, and I loved it.  I have heretofore mostly stuck with reading collected editions and trade paperbacks of comic books, but I pre-ordered Monstress #1 on a whim when I saw the gorgeous artwork by Sana Takeda.  The series’ unique visual style blends Eastern aesthetics with art deco and a dash of steampunk for good measure.

Monstress #1 Cover Art (via Image Comics)

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Bro. I Just Read My Life as a Weapon, Bro.

As a kid, I didn’t read too many comics.  But now as a twenty-six year old woman, I’ve been trying to make up for that by diving headfirst into the realm of sequential art.  I’ve generally been sticking to indie, creator-owned, non-Big 2 comics since I’m afraid of missing out on important backstory and/or references to the extensive Marvel and DC universes.  But as a fan of their respective mythologies via other media, it was nigh on inevitable that I would pick up some superhero books.

Enter Hawkeye.

Hawkeye Vol. 4 was written by Matt Fraction with illustrations by David Aja and various other artists.  After hearing many rave reviews about it, I picked up the four trade paperbacks that comprise the Fraction/Aja run.  The first of these, My Life as a Weapon, contains issues 1-5 as well as a Fraction-penned issue of Young Avengers Presents.

Let me start off by saying that I had little to no knowledge on Hawkeye prior to reading this book.  I was introduced to Clint Barton with the other comic non-savvy plebs in the MCU’s Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012).  So to me, Hawkeye was just the “normal guy” who fought alongside the powerful Avengers with a bow and arrow.  Color me amused, then, when Barton himself lampshades this in the opening panels of the first issue.  In fact, you could say the whole volume is about exploring this strange dichotomy.  While the other Avengers are demi-gods or wear superpowered armor, Clint Barton is just a guy trying to keep his neighbors from being evicted from their building.

The opening description puts it thusly:

hawkeye

Unlike many superhero comics, there are no universe-ending, global-scale issues at stake here.  Fraction’s Hawkeye is more of a street-level hero.  But the great thing about this series is that although the stakes may be smaller scale (e.g. the eviction of Barton’s building), there is still a weight to them since they are personally important to our characters.

*Spoilers from here on out!* Continue reading

Y is for Y: The Last Man

Y: The Last Man is a comic book series written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Pia Guerra.  This Eisner Award winning series ran for 60 issues from 2002-2008.

The story follows Yorick Brown, a young man who suddenly finds himself to be the only human man left alive. After a strange phenomenon known as “the plague” kills off all organisms with a Y-chromosome, Yorick and his pet capuchin monkey, Ampersand, appear to be the only males left on the planet. As he heads out into the apocalyptic aftermath in search of his girlfriend, Beth, Yorick finds that, with the sudden disappearance of half the population, the world has been thrown into chaos. There are many theories thrown about as to why the men suddenly died off, and many different ideological factions arise. Yorick finds himself in danger as some groups wish him to be killed along with the rest of the men, but he soon meets a woman known as Agent 355, who protects him at the behest of a secret government agency known as the Culper Ring.

I read Y: The Last Man a few years ago, and was absolutely floored by how great it was. The series has so many twists and turns; the readers are in the dark just much as the characters. It’s truly an exciting piece of fiction that explores many interesting ideas and themes. I highly recommend you check it out! It has admittedly been awhile since I read it, but I remember loving it. Just in writing up this post, I’ve gotten extremely excited about re-visiting this fantastic series. I will certainly have to read it again soon!

Disclaimer: All images shown belong to Vertigo/DC Comics, the use of which have not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  This blog post is for non-commercial criticism and comment purposes only. I believe that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law.