Friday, March 18, 2016

Superhero Smackdown

Spoiler Warning: Daredevil and Jessica Jones will be discussed in depth. If you have not seen all of the episodes, you might not want to proceed. If you have or simply don't give a damn, by all means, continue on friend.

Marvel has been blowing it out of the water lately, especially where Netflix is concerned. I'm completely pumped for the release of Civil War, but until then I will content myself with the amazing superhero stories provided for streaming. Daredevil made some serious waves, particularly for its violence. Then Jessica Jones hit the air and I was amazed at its ability to accurately portray the emotions that can follow rape. While some characters in Jessica Jones were directly raped, there is also the rape of their mind in the complete lack of control when being taken over by mind control. 

In any case, both shows are kick-ass (ha, another superhero) and I couldn't wait to do another comparison post. I have with me today my awesome ex-coworker Randy who is big comic book fan and Preston, another ex-coworker, to be our tie breaker. And now, let's smackdown!

Ass Kicking Superhero
Matt Murdock aka Daredevil vs. Jessica Jones

Randy: Matt Murdock lost his father to crime, was trained as a warrior, spends his days taking on criminals in the light as a lawyer, and spends his night brutally beating criminals in the dark as Daredevil. Matt’s entire motivation is that he sees crime as a plague that he needs to eradicate. But he struggles with how far must he go to achieve that goal.

Jessica Jones is a hard drinking, hard hitting, private investigator who takes nobody’s crap. She’s so tough she’d make John Wayne bake her a cake out of fear. Jessica’s complexity comes from the fact that all of that hard edged persona is an armor that hides a person who needs to be redeemed, but on her own terms. She was a victim to a powerful sadist who made her do terrible things that victimized other people. Jessica will do whatever it takes to save people from that fate and in doing so, can move past the things she was made to do before.

If the idea was “who is the stronger character” I’d have to side with Jessica because she has a truckload more trauma than Matt and faces a more powerful enemy. But Matt represents more of what I envision as a superhero. He’s selfless, he fights overwhelming odds as one man with no powers or special equipment, he turned his weakness into his greatest strength, and he ends up with a pretty awesome costume and a secret identity. But the strongest contrast is that Matt constantly wrestles with the question “Does the ends justify the means?” He knows that murdering criminals would mean “no more criminals;” but he knows that would make him what he hates and strives to do the right thing even when it is the hard thing. Jessica wrestles with the “Should I kill him?” question as well; but not as hard or as often as Matt and ultimately, she does justify those means.

Matt Murdock

Alex: Matt Murdock as Daredevil did hit the scene first, and he hit it hard. Hardcore. I mean, the guy is blind and he can eliminate people no problem. That is pretty superhero worthy. He had an unfortunate accident while young, but he trained like a boss to be able to fight. And he's got a great heart to boot. Now Jessica Jones is all sorts of something else. She also had an accident while younger, but she doesn't train for ass kicking. She's just a brawler. A super strong brawler, but still a brawler. I admire her tenacity and strength to not only be mentally controlled by a man but to also be raped, and come out of it and decimate him.

Verdict: I got to give the edge to Matt Murdock.  While I freaking love Jessica Jones and would go to war with her, she didn't train and dedicate herself to honing her skills the way Daredevil did.  But I do like her costume better...bourbon soaked tees with jeans and a leather jacket? Yes, please.


Best Friend aka Wannabe Sidekick
Foggy Nelson vs. Trish Walker

Randy: Foggy is Matt’s college roommate, law partner, and best friend. They are like peas in a pod… or avocados of law… I forget which. The point is that Foggy is a good friend and on his own merit is a good man. Most of what we see from Foggy in the series is related to Karen, but he still has his vital part to play with Matt.

Trish is Jessica’s once reluctant foster sister and later becomes Jessica’s greatest friend. Trish and Jessica watch out for each other but they are also 100% real with each other. Not afraid to call out each other’s bad decisions or backhanded comments; which there are an abundance of both between them. But when push comes to shove, they got each other’s backs.

Foggy and Trish are both great best friends to have, but I have to give the win to Trish. Jessica and Trish are open with each other about everything, especially Jessica’s powers and her time with Kilgrave. Foggy had to learn about Matt’s vigilantism the hard way and though he keeps it secret, he is not happy about it and trailers from Season 2 show that trend continuing. Trish argues with Jessica to allow her to help, trains in hand-to-hand combat to defend herself, and ultimately takes experimental drugs to give herself temporary super strength to protect Jessica when she was wounded. Also, in the comics she becomes the hero Hellcat and no avocado can compete with that.

Verdict: Trish Walker

Alex: Foggy is adorable, I mean c'mon...his name is Foggy. And he is a good friend and good person, but he gets kind of beefy with Matty boy. I mean, Matt is going on and trying to do good and Foggy is kind of an ass about it. He does attempt to keep Matt from getting in over his head, it just doesn't work. 

Trish Walker does not immediately get along with Jessica, but once Jessica proves her might against Trish's abusive mother the two are thick as thieves. Until Kilgrave that is. But Trish does everything to bridge the gap, and by connecting dots one can assume she might become a superhero in her own right. By the name of Hellcat. Now if that isn't a bad bitch, I don't know who is?

Verdict: Trish Walker. She isn't just there for Jessica through it all, but she actually can completely become a legit sidekick.


Secretary of the Year
Karen Page vs. Malcolm Ducasse

Randy: Karen starts as a client to Matt and Foggy then becomes a literal secretary. She buys office equipment, albeit crappy obsolete office equipment. But she also is integral to the case against Fisk. She chases leads, questions people for information, and does what is necessary to put Fisk away.

Malcolm is a bit more complicated. He seems like Jessica’s drug addled neighbor, but is revealed to be spying on her for Kilgrave. Kilgrave mind controlled Malcolm and got him addicted to drugs to keep him chained to his services. Malcolm was able to break free from that because of Jessica and then he tries to help her. Malcolm starts a support group for Kilgrave victims, helps get rid of a body planted by Kilgrave in Jessica’s apartment, and supports Jessica to keep fighting.

Karen and Malcolm both have debts to repay and also are victims who don’t want others to be put in their situations. The key difference between them is that Malcolm honestly tries to do the right thing, but it often ends up backfiring on him and making things harder for Jess. Such as getting the annoying neighbor Robyn involved, which leads to Kilgrave gaining a bunch of victims to give him an edge over Jessica. Karen… she straight up shot Wesley to death to avoid those type of problems. You go, Karen! I sincerely hope you don’t sell out Matt to the Kingpin for drugs like you did in the comics.

Verdict: Karen Page

Alex: Karen Page is another innocent caught up the in the shitty situation of Hell's Kitchen and Fisk's enterprises.  When she's found by Matt and Foggy, she's given a chance and is actually a very successful secretary.  But her presence is most likely going to cause some heartbreak and tension between the two best friends.

Malcolm isn't actually a secretary.  He gets addicted to drugs by Kilgrave's influence in order to get dirt on Jessica.  But, he does exhibit some tremendous courage in that regard.  He is mind controlled by Kilgrave to get addicted to drugs, but once the mind control is up he chooses to kick the habit. He has a brief moment of doubt about trying to help Jessica, purely because he doesn't have super strength and it doesn't appear that she wants him. But he does stick around and is seen answering her phone at the end of the episodes as people want super help. Jessica may not want him, but she needs him.
I'm picking Malcolm, because I'm all for survivor stories and beating the odds.

Verdict: Malcolm Ducasse

Tie-Breaker: Okay. Karen Page is the better secretary for the following reasons. First off, she proved herself competent enough to warrant attempts on her life. She demonstrated not only an intellectual threat to Fisk-n-friends but a physical one as well, seeing as she was the one who murdered Fisk’s right-hand/best-friend.  
Malcolm is inferior in this regard not only because he’s a junkie and recipient of mind-control but because he poses no actual threat to anyone. In fact, the only reason he’s targeted at all is because Kilgrave wants to hurt Jessica Jones anyway he can.


Love Interest Extraordinaire
Claire Temple vs. Luke Cage

Randy: Claire patches Matt up, keeps his secrets even in the face of torture and death, and sometimes finds herself sharing a kiss or two with the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. Claire is strong and unwavering, but still fragile. She openly feels fear for the repercussions that Matt may face for his actions and she doesn’t hide that it is difficult for her to be with him romantically while he runs on rooftops and dodges bullets. But she still makes herself available to Matt when he needs medical assistance… which is quite often.

Luke Cage is a complex love interest. He seems cool and collected, eventually reveals that he has super strength and impenetrable skin. He goes so far to tell Jessica that she can’t hurt him because he is “unbreakable.” But the more we learn about Luke the more we see that he is vulnerable. Sure bullets and broken bottles can’t hurt him but loss and betrayal cuts to the heart. He feels both of those things because of Jessica. Kilgrave made her kill Luke’s wife and she begins a relationship with him without telling him the truth. Luke’s arc doesn’t fully get resolved in Jessica Jones, but we know that Luke’s own series begins this fall. The only thing we have until then is Jessica cuddling up to an injured and unconscious Cage saying that he is the only person she can see herself with.

Because the arc between Luke isn’t over I have to give the edge to him. Claire and Matt’s relationship seems to only be one of a platonic nature going forward, even if it is also wrought with regret and sexual tension. Plus Matt’s old flame Elektra is a part of Season 2 and I feel that is going to be the more prevailing relationship on that show. Claire deserves to be with someone who is going to take her feeling into account. Cage and Jones have more to tell and more to grow on. Plus in the comics, Jones and Cage eventually get married and have an adorable daughter. Who doesn’t want to see that?!

Verdict: Luke Cage

Alex: Claire Temple is played by Rosario Dawson.  I would switch teams in a heart beat if she asked me to come join her in bed.  She's gorgeous.  As Claire, she's a nurturing nurse who sticks around to help patch up Matt.  Which proves she's also a fighter.  But as a normal woman, it is hard to run with the fighters.  She has the attitude, no doubt about it. But with the soon to be around addition of Elektra, I sense Claire might be pushed aside.

Luke Cage...oh, the things I would do with him if I had the chance.  The man is indestructible.  Well nearly.  During sex, he and Jessica break a bed.  They break...a bed... If that isn't the hottest thing ever, I don't know what is.  I have to give an edge to Luke because I know his story with Jessica isn't over yet.  Unless the show decides to completely ignore the source material, Jessica and Luke will definitely be seeing more of each other and I desperately hope that means more of Luke without a shirt on...Mhmmm...

Verdict: Luke Cage


Evilest Villain Around
Wilson Fisk vs. Kilgrave

Randy: I have to preface this by saying that this is the hardest decision to make for me. Both villains are extremely evil and not in a mindless, “want to see the world burn” kind of way. But in a way that is thoughtful and is the direct byproduct of childhood trauma and the need to no longer feel helpless. But I think they are both very different villains and for that I have to decide which type of villain is more evil than the other.

Fisk is a man with almost unlimited power. He has money and influence, he has numerous partnerships and allies, but most of all he has charisma. He can empower and inspire some and make others tremble with fear. He can make you feel that you are a valued asset mere seconds before he counts you as a loss and disposes of you. But more so than any of that, is that he feels that he is not a villain. He is simply doing what is necessary in his viewpoint to make Hell’s Kitchen better. Sometimes the worst villain is the one that thinks themselves the hero.

Kilgrave’s power is more limited in the strength of its reach but more potent in the power of it’s influence. Kilgrave can make anyone, do anything… and he does, often. Kilgrave’s motivations are not grandiose in scope or nature. He is actually rather small time in comparison. He simply wants what he wants and he takes it. No bargaining, no intimidation, no shady dealings… just takes it. I think the most villainous thing about Kilgrave is that he has no regard for anyone or anything other than himself; but even further, he doesn’t understand why Jessica or anyone else thinks that is wrong. He, like Fisk, doesn’t think himself the villain; but he, unlike Fisk, doesn’t have a seemingly noble goal and doesn’t even think that the individual things he does is wrong on any level.

So what is worse? The guy who is a monster for no purpose and doesn’t know it; or the guy who is a monster and knows it, but tries to justify it? Personally, I think the latter. Fisk knows that he does bad things. He knows he kills people and that he perpetuates violence but sees it as a necessary evil to reach his goal. He actively and knowingly participates in evil and finds it justified. Kilgrave does worse things in comparison and is overall scarier in scope; but the lack of a moral compass makes him more broken than evil.

Verdict: Wilson Fisk

Alex: So here in this category, we are comparing two father killers.  Quite literally.  Both are responsible for the deaths of their fathers.  In pretty ugly and vicious ways too.  Both are pretty terrifying to me, but for very different reasons.

Fisk is terrifying to me because he believes that everything he is doing is for the greater good.  He believes he is the change Hell’s Kitchen needs to become great.  So viciously threatening or killing people is just part of the process to him.  And he’s really good at being vicious.

On the other hand, Kilgrave is scarier to me.  Truly and completely terrifying because of what his powers are.  I’m a survivor of sexual assault and part being raped or assaulted is having your control completely taken away.  That is what Kilgrave does when he mind controls someone.  Not only that, while women are under his mind control, he forces himself upon them.  So he mentally and psychically rapes them.  And he sees nothing wrong with this.  He genuinely believes Jessica wanted to have sex with him while and after being under his mind control.  He doesn’t believe she might have felt coerced into participating for her own safety.  And that is why he is scarier to me.  Because he rapes and feels no remorse over it.

Verdict: Kilgrave

Tie-Breaker: Kilgrave’s parents indicated that he was born sociopathic—which is to say that he is merely a product of nature and can’t fully control his power and inner darkness.

Fisk on the other hand was created as a product of society (nurture) and chooses to make his own decisions since he’s not influenced by supernatural factors. He did chop a man’s head off with a car door just because his dinner was interrupted.

As a side note an interesting comparison between these two villains is that they both murdered their fathers. However, in terms of who is more evil I have to give this one to Fisk for the sole reason of choice.

Certain concessions I will make for the reverse is that while he majority of Fisk’s crimes are somehow related to his vision of a better society, Kilgrave’s crimes are because he likes to hurt people. However, Kilgrave did once (if only once) use his powers for good. I can’t remember if the same can ever be said for Fisk.


Evil on the Fringe
James Wesley vs. Jeri Hogarth

Randy: James Wesley is Fisk’s right hand man and closest friend. He speaks on Fisk’s behalf to other criminal heads, he threatens informants and lackeys when they become a liability, and he is the only person who reciprocates the importance of the love that Fisk has for Vanessa. Wesley is actually a pretty great friend, even if he and his friend are awful people. Wesley is even willing to get his hands dirty himself just to spare Fisk the trouble of doing so, even if that might not have been his smartest move…

Jeri Hogarth (who is actually a man in the comics, btw) is interesting. She is cold and calculated. Her number one priority is her career and wealth. When we see that she is willing to do anything, and I mean ANYTHING, to keep from going through a divorce that will bankrupt her; we realize that Jeri is ruthless and unwilling to count her loses. She allows a psychopath like Kilgrave to be free just so she can gain something, which ultimately ended up costing her much more.

I have to give this one to Jeri. Wesley may be an awful person who is willing to kill, threaten, and bribe anyone he needs to. But he ultimately does so for Fisk. His boss and his friend. His evil comes from a devotion to another person. Jeri, however, is a cheater, a liar, and willing to employ evil and dangerous people just to get what she wants. Her greatest remorse from the whole ordeal is that Pam will have nothing to do with her afterwards. Not the people who Kilgrave killed after she set him loose and not the death of her wife at the hands of Pam, who was trying to protect Jeri; but the fact that she lost that which she wanted.

Verdict: Jeri Hogarth

Alex: Boy, these shows are fraught with some sketchy people.  Though not the villains, James Wesley and Jeri Hogarth are pretty bad in their own ways.  Everything Wesley does, he does in honor of Fisk.  Whether it is threatening partners to keep them in line or killing lesser issues, he does it all for his best bud Fisk.  It ultimately bites him in the ass cause you know, he gets all deaded. 

Jeri is actually male in the comic books, which makes me wonder if the show would have taken the same route if they had kept the gender the same.  She’s a lawyer, which means by nature, she needs to be pretty ruthless.  But this bitch takes it to a whole other level.  She cheats on her wife with her secretary, asks for a divorce, takes her girlfriend to the restaurant where she proposed to her wife, asks her girlfriend to marry her before the divorce is even finalized, and then threatens her wife because she’s taking too long signing the papers.  She promises to help Kilgrave, which she does and which also bites her in the ass because he mind controls Wendy the wife into slicing the shit out of her.  The girlfriend comes to the rescue and kills wifey, because there was no other way to stop her.  So Jeri doesn’t get any of the blame.

Wesley does what he does for his boss and friend.  Jeri don’t give no shits for anyone but herself.

Verdict: Jeri Hogarth


Good Guy Caught in the Crossfire
Ben Urich vs. Officer Clemons

Randy: Ben Urich is a great character. The guy selflessly throws himself into dangerous situations all for the truth behind the story. He helps Karen even when she has little to go on. He gives info to the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen even when he is reportedly a dangerous criminal. He even lies to Fisk’s face about Karen’s involvement just to save her from his wrath, paying the ultimate price himself. That death cut me pretty deep, because even in the comics Urich is a prominent figure for both Daredevil and Spider-Man; now he is gone...

Officer Clemons was a surprising twist. The guy is a good cop and all he wanted to do was help catch a dangerous criminal. We unfortunately didn’t know a whole lot about him, just that he was someone that Jessica actually respected; which is amazing since she doesn’t really respect anyone. His death at the hands of Officer Simpson (known in the comics as the supervillain, Nuke) was incredibly shocking and sudden.

As much as I love Ben Urich, I have to give the nod to Officer Clemons. Not only for the level of shock around his death, but also the fact that unlike Clemons, Urich knew exactly what he was getting into. He knew Fisk would be after him because he spent his life pissing off criminals with his editorials. Urich’s death was tragic, but it was not unexpected. Clemons’s death was totally unexpected and came at the hands of someone you thought to be an ally, even if he seemed to be an unstable one.

Verdict: Officer Clemons

Alex: You can never have enough good guys, except maybe in a comic book show where they become fodder for the story.  In Ben’s case, he is already putting pieces together and gets dragged into the drama.  Ben is trying to make the most for his wife, which is such a devastating story.  But once he realizes the magnitude of the situation, he continues.  So he isn’t really caught in the crossfire so much.  He willingly puts himself in the way of Fisk and his desire to murder people to get his way.

Officer Clemons on the other hand, gets truly caught in the crossfire.  Jessica is determined to get him to understand that Hope is innocent.  He doesn’t want anything to do with the situation for the longest time.  Eventually he comes around to it and his reward?  Getting his face melted off.  But that douche bag Will.  All Clemons wanted was justice.  I hope he comes back and haunts Will.

I’m picking Officer Clemons, because he really didn’t understand the magnitude of what he was getting into when he decided to listen to what Jessica had to say.  And he got set on fire as a result.

Verdict: Officer Clemons


Hottie Love Interest of Someone Else
Vanessa Marianna vs. Pam

Randy: Vanessa Marianna is charming, eloquent, and seductive. It takes little effort to see why a man like Fisk would become infatuated with her. The moments where she talks about art, especially with Matt Murdock where she describes a painting to a blind man, is indicative of her poise. But behind that poise is someone who has no trouble with the fact that her man is a murdering psychopath with overwhelming rage issues. Bet you won’t find that in her profile.

Pam, who apparently is not fit to have a last name, is Jeri’s secretary and mistress. She is outspoken, stands up for herself, and genuinely seems to love Jeri. She, however, is totally cool with breaking up someone’s marriage and puts some pressure on Jeri to get that done. Too bad for Jeri that when Pam goes to jail for bashing her wife’s head between a flower vase and a glass table there isn’t much spark left in the relationship.

If this was solely a “who do I think is hotter?” question, the answer is Pam. All day. Everyday. Pam… Pam. BUT, I don’t think Pam is a good love interest. She places pressure on her lover to break up her marriage and then becomes shocked and appalled at the lengths she was willing to go to do that. Yes, that whole situation was Jeri’s fault, but Pam definitely made that situation tougher than needed. Vanessa loves Fisk after he blows up buildings, smashes brains in with a car door, and throws people down elevator shafts. Ah, murder is so romantic.

Verdict: Vanessa Marianna

Alex: On the one hand, we have Vanessa.  She is cultured, smart, and sophisticated.  As well as being gorgeous.  She knows there is more to Fisk than meets the eye.  But she does deal with and tolerate his murdering habits, which isn’t necessarily a good perspective to have.  But whatever works for her, I suppose.  She’s certainly smart enough to be able to engage her own psyche in some kind of detachment from his decisions.  Love is complicated, y’all.

On the other hand, we have Pam.  She’s not just gorgeous.  She’s fucking hot.  I don’t know who her stylist is on the show, but I want every single dress she wears.  Because if they can accent her cleavage that nicely, it should work well for my own girls.  But she’s not really a good person.  She is the mistress and pushes Jeri to file for divorce.  I just don’t understand people who cheat.  If you are unhappy, end your relationship. Talk to your partner.  Why the need to fuck someone else on the sly?  If you free yourself from your unhappy relationship, you can fuck them not on the sly.  Or maybe at people’s cores, they enjoy lying to people. I don’t know.  Her redeeming moment is saving Jeri and taking the fall for the situation.  But it just isn’t enough.

Verdict: Vanessa Marianna


Innocent Caught in the Crossfire
Elena Cardenas vs. Hope Schlottman

Randy: Elena Cardenas was a sweet old woman who just wanted to stay in her home. She had to deal with brutes defacing her home, slum lords threatening to sue her, and then bombs going off nearby. That poor woman went through Hell just keep her home and just when you think she would get what she fought for and justice would prevail, she gets killed. Awesome...

Hope Schlottman was an innocent college student from a small town who came to New York full of dreams and hope for the future. Then she met Kilgrave and he took that all away. He forced her into all of the terrible situations that he forced Jessica into, then made her kill her parents. Hope was arrested and charged for that murder. Though it took most of the season, Jessica was able to eventually get Hope out of jail and on the road to rebuilding her life. Then Kilgrave got his hands on her again and she killed herself in an attempt to motivate Jessica to do what was necessary to end Kilgrave once and for all.

This is depressing and almost a little reminiscent of Sophie’s Choice. Both options are terrible and depressing with no way to feel good about the results. But I have to go with Hope Schlottman, just because of the sheer volume of things that she had to go through was unbearable, but then she had no hope felt after it was all done. She didn’t even want to be released from prison, she felt her life was over. The fact that she was beaten down that much by Kilgrave just makes her "win" by default. Even though I was more upset about Elena because I enjoyed her more as a character,; Elena was not mentally suggested into doing terrible things, become impregnated by the evil guy who did bad things to you, and then ultimately decide that life was not worth living anymore. Sorry, Elena… you got it pretty easy by comparison.

Verdict: Hope Schlottman

Alex: This category has no winners.  Seriously.  It’s picking between a shitty situation and an even shittier situation.  First, we have Elena Cardenas.  She’s just a poor, old woman trying to fix and keep her home.  She helps lay the groundwork for Foggy and Karen.  Which then gets totally blown up.  By a literal bomb.  Then when you think Elena will get her justice…she gets deaded instead.

Second, we have Hope Schlottman.  A college student who came to New York trying to follow her dreams gets all sorts of fucked up.  She gets mind controlled and raped.  Then she gets rescued, but then gets mind controlled into killing her parents and arrested for the crime.  The rape results in a pregnancy, and painful abortion.  She’s able to get out, but it’s not like Kilgrave will leave her alone.  What kind of happy life can Hope have going forward?  She sees none in sight and kills herself to give Jessica motivation to end Kilgrave for good.

Hope has no hope.  She’s my pick because what should have been a chance at opportunity and dreams instead resulted in her rape, the murder of her parents, jail time, unplanned pregnancy, and suicide. Just UGH all over the place.

Verdict: Hope Schlottman


Upcoming Character
Frank Castle aka the Punisher vs. the Elusive IGH Corporation

Randy: Frank Castle is one of the most interesting characters in the Marvel universe. He lives in a world with gods, mutants, super soldiers, and aliens. Most would feel powerless in that kind of world but Frank Castle has something that many of them don't have; conviction and a helluva lot of bullets. Castle runs around New York brutally murdering criminals without a second thought with a skull painted on his body armor, calling himself the Punisher. The trailers for Season 2 show a man who is willing to do what Daredevil won't in stopping bad guys; he's willing to put them in the ground.

IGH is an enigma and we got merely enough of a taste in Season 1 of Jessica Jones to be intrigued. They have ties to Simpson/Nuke and the drugs that turn him into a super strong maniac and they also seem to have ties with the accident that gave Jessica her super strength. I am hoping that Season 2 will explore that relationship further and perhaps with Kilgrave's remains and the research that extended his powers, we will see something truly nefarious from them next season.

As much as the possibilities for IGH can make me feel excited, I can also see the possibility of being let down since we know nothing in regards to Jessica Jones season 2. But with all the things we see from Season 2 of Daredevil and even the glimpses of Jon Bernthal's portrayal of Punisher from the trailers has me beyond pumped for his character.

Verdict: Frank Castle

Alex: Everyone loves a good story about vengeance.  Enter Frank Castle.  This guy goes full force to bring a sense of justice to the victims and little guys. I mean, on the one hand, we have due process for a reason.  But on the other hand, fuck those guys.  I’m all for having a day in court, but I’m also all for serving actual justice.  Something the courts often get wrong.  He’s complex and bad-ass.  He’s Batman without a mask or morals.

IGH has been on the fringes throughout the first season, and we were left with just a tease of what could be to come.  The thing with corporations being involved in superhero business is that you can’t always know the extent of what they are involved in.  Much like HYDRA, corporations have many arms and can reach about doing all sorts of nefarious shit.

But my pick is Frank.  I can’t wait to see Daredevil deal with a guy who gives no fucks about serving his form of justice.  Jon Bernthal is going to be boss as hell.

Verdict: Frank Castle



I think the fact that the shows remain tied is all the proof we need to show how amazing and epic these shows are.  I know Randy likes Daredevil better, and I like Jessica Jones better.  But we both enjoy both.  Marvel is on point with their Netflix shows, and I know I can speak for myself and possibly Randy and Preston, that I cannot wait to see what they put out next.  I can see some great crossover with Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.  I’m torn on the Iron Fist casting, but we’ll see how it goes.  I’ve always been a Marvel over DC fan, and it continues to be true.

However, if you can’t pick between Marvel and DC, you don’t have to!  With my new art piece, you can have the best of both worlds.  Check out my Etsy for more information!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Big Sister Blues

This weekend, my dad and stepmom took a vacation out to Arizona.  Dad had to problem leaving my siblings alone for the weekend, mom disagreed, so here I am.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I haven't spent significantly long periods of time with them since they were young enough for me to put them in a corner for time out.  Apart from the occasional vacation together, my time with them since they were young usually averaged around 3 days.  So these kids, now young adults, were slightly foreign to me, despite shared genetics.  I was entering into uncharted territory.

Here's some background information.  I'm ten years older than the eldest of the three.  Mark Jr is 16, and the twins, Anna and Michael, are 15.  I've always felt a disconnect, but seeing as how I'm a decade older than them, it isn't a mystery.  Plus that whole not-living-with-them thing too.

My brother Michael was already home from school when I arrived.  And by arrived, I mean punched random numbers into the garage key pad until it opened.  I knew the range, I just had to fudge about for a bit to get it since my key didn't fit the front door.  Probably the wrong key...  My sister Anna arrived next and bolted to hug me when she came through the door, forgetting that I was going to be here this weekend.  We immediately sat down and started talking.  I got to know her fears and dreams for the future.  We covered so many topics in such a short time.  Stuff that is incredibly difficult things to talk about but also knowledge about oneself that I'm not sure I was close to understanding at that age.  Later after Mark arrived home, Anna and I helped him work on his short story he had to write for school.  We offered suggestions, which he considered and reworked in some instances.  I eventually retired upstairs to watch the newest season of House of Cards and eventually went to sleep.

Saturday morning I was up bright eyed and bushy tailed, or more rather, tired eyed and coffee fueled.  Mark had a dermatology appointment which we arrived early for, sat, and waited 4 times longer than the actual appointment. Cause, you know, doctor's offices are like that.  Back home I indulged in a bubble bath for a while.  Post bath, all four of us sat and played Cards Against Humanity for over two hours.  I got to know their personalities.  What they find funny, which is sick and sarcastic and so totally the same as mine.  Leading me to be pretty certain that we get this from our father.  Thanks, dad.

Me and my sister Anna
We evaluated where we wanted to go for dinner and separated.  While the boys were playing video games, I asked my sister if I could do her make-up.  It's been ages since anyone has done my make-up for fun or played with my hair.  I couldn't resist.  I offered her tips (eye shadow can easily be used as eye liner) and talked about music (she liked almost everything from my mellow playlist.)  When we rallied for dinner, our first choice had an hour wait to be seated.  So we headed up the road to what happens to be one of my favorite places in the world, LA Cafe & Java.  It's the place I first had and enjoyed coffee.  I always get the blue corn chip nachos with mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli (YUM.)  While waiting we started playing the movie game (I won,) followed by a word spelling game (I won again,) and we were still playing Would You Rather as we left the restaurant.

When we got home, we all sat down to watch the horror movie Would You Rather as I had mentioned it previously.  After that, we watched Unfriended, another horror flick I suggested.  Once the second horror film was done, we realized we needed some laughs so we watched funny videos for at least another hour.  Once we all retired, I helped Anna take off her make-up and gave her skin care suggestions.  Acne is a bitch.  She said, "Good night, I love you." Which I of course reciprocated.

And then I realized that it made me really sad.  I'm sad that I missed them growing up.  That I missed watching them turn into these amazing people and personalities.  I was always the big sister, but I wasn't around.  I wasn't the presence that their friends got to know when they came over to the house.  I didn't stay up late with them, giving them boy advice or tell them what high school is like.  I wasn't even there enough to be the big sister who was so "over it" and wants them to "get a life."

I know why my situation was the way it was.  And I will always be grateful to not have to endure divorce.  My parents were always amicable and supportive of each other.  They never fought in front of me, though I'm sure over 26 (almost 27) years they disagreed on things.  My dad still checked on my mom when we were in the hospital, even though I was on another floor and my stepmom went into labor on another.  I'm lucky given the situation of my surprise appearance, that neither parents bailed, especially dad.

But I missed out on the sister thing.  I'm only getting the chance now to be and experience what I always wanted.  And I know I could have done something before now.  But such is life.  I'm so happy to have this chance to get to know them.  I only wish it had been sooner.