It’s time for another Mighty Marvel Monday! Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Marvel fandom (and everyone, really) lost their shit last week when Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans appeared on Jimmy Kimmel to release the first official Captain America: Civil War trailer.
In case you need to see it again, but want to be even more emotionally compromised, I suggest you follow these links to the first (of what I can only assume will be of many) Bad Blood and Hello versions.
Or maybe you just want to see it in gif form, because there was a lot to take in. And because for a lot of fans, the conversation about the trailer has been boiled down to this
But there are so many more people to be excited about!
Scarlet Witch + #SquadGoals
And the Blink-And-You’ll-Miss-It appearance of Sharon Carter (with Martin Freeman’s yet-to-be-named character)
And the movie doesn’t even come out for six months. There’s a lot of stuff to think about, and to talk about, which is why you should be on the lookout not just one but two roundtable discussions from WWAC, one about the Civil War comics event, and one about the upcoming movie, although obviously, there will be some overlap both in the contributors and the themes found within.
Moving on to my new problematic fave: Jessica Jones.
Jessica Jones is still earning universal praise and the first critical essays are starting to appear. Here there be spoilers.
Vox Media (which I linked another article from in last week’s roundup) also looks at the feminism of Jessica Jones, specifically the ways in which Jessica Jones doesn’t just pass the Bechdel Test, but turns it on its head. The article asserts that in Jessica Jones, the women are the primary doers of things, while when the male characters talk to each other, it’s almost always about a woman. If this reversal was intentional, it would be quite the subversion.
In that same vein, this article from Panels (Hey, Panels!) highlights one of the themes found in Jessica Jones, that of women saving each other, and saving themselves. There are so many examples of characters, both men and women, having to deal with the aftermath of having been used by Kilgrave, to various degrees. But the fact that the show focuses on so many women, and especially on the friendship between Trish and Jessica, is so, so important. Because we–everyone, regardless of gender–need all of these examples.
Which is why it’s been incredibly annoying in the face of the unparalleled success of Jessica Jones for people to pit Jessica Jones against Supergirl, the other woman superhero offering on TV this fall. This article from The Mary Sue gets at exactly why this bogus contest between DC and Marvel through Supergirl and Jessica Jones is so annoying, and attacks the either/or binary by asserting both/and–which I, as an academic, appreciated.
One “defense” I’ve read on twitter is that it’s okay for us to have both shows because Jessica Jones is for adults and Supergirl is for kids, which is not an argument that I appreciate or think is true. When people assume that Jessica Jones and Supergirl are intended for different audiences, and that there would not be crossover between them, I have to question why they think I, who loves Jessica Jones for everything that she and the series stands for, would not also look forward to 8pm Monday nights when Supergirl airs. Not only do I watch Supergirl, it is the fucking highlight of my week.
And it seems like Krysten Ritter and Melissa Benoist feel the same way.
— Melissa Benoist (@MelissaBenoist) November 30, 2015
Moving on, Slate would have you believe that Jessica Jones is the “first identifiably post-Gamergate thriller.” What I think that means, after reading through the article, is that Kilgrave, the unapologetic rapist who doesn’t think he’s a rapist, among other delightful character quirks, is the embodiment of not just the patriarchy but geek men in particular (Why else cast David Tennant, best known as The Doctor, hero to geek boys the world over, the article invites you to ask.). The article also links the ever-present-ness of Kilgrave for Jessica (expressed visually through the use of the color purple) and her (justifiable) paranoia to harassment techniques employed by men online against women, but that argument is less persuasive to me.
This article on MCU Exchange lays out some of the ways in which Kilgrave is the patriarchy personified, and the conclusion is particularly powerful and worth sharing:
So while Jessica Jones is interested in deconstructing Jessica’s personal trauma and what it means to be a hero with real-world baggage, it’s also very focused on taking apart the patriarchy through a character that has been written with careful consideration and extraordinary detail. Rosenberg and her writing staff have made Kilgrave the ultimate force to be reckoned with, not only acknowledging and providing him the tools we white men are granted upon birth, but by meticulously pitting them against the protagonists in a fashion nothing short of genius. It seemed nearly an impossible task, but despite all of its grime and gloominess, Jessica Jones has some of the most hopeful heroes of the year not because they’ve got super strength or impenetrable skin, but because they’re fighting a battle all women engage daily.
I liked this article because it summarized one thing I keep seeing, over and over on twitter–how Jessica Jones is making people, particularly men, understand what it means to be a woman in ways they couldn’t before. They get it now.
And speaking of getting it, but in a totally different way, Vulture had this fantastic piece with the cast and crew of Jessica Jones about the sex scenes from both technical and narrative perspectives. It’s a good read for those who enjoy the behind the scenes stories, but also for those who want to know more about what bringing sex into the MCU means, and why it’s there in Jessica Jones when it’s so notably absent in every other offering to date.
One last thing, and probably the only time I’ll ever link to Buzzfeed, but they have helpfully recorded and compiled everything that Jessica Jones drinks in the series, episode by episode. Spoilers: It’s a lot of whiskey, in many different variations.
There are a ton of fantastic sales going on right now that it’s the
buying holiday season, and today is CyberMonday. Make sure to check out Torrid, Hot Topic, HerUniverse, and WeLoveFine, but don’t forget places like JCPenney if you are in desperate need of some new Marvel swag. I mean, who doesn’t need a Captain America waffle iron?