Saturday, February 6, 2016

Book Review: Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 2 by Brian Michael Bendis et al.

Jessica Jones: Alias Volume 2 written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Michael Gados, and coloring by Matt Hollingsworth

Two more adventures for Jessica Jones. First, she is drawn to a small town in upstate New York where a missing teenager case needs her assistance because the missing girl is rumored to be a mutant. After that story is resolved, she returns to New York City goes on a blind date with Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man.

I found the mystery in the missing persons case very interesting and well plotted. But I found the tone of it ham-fisted and hypocritical. When Jones talks to some locals, one of the girls says that it would be awful to be a mutant, "just like being gay or...Jewish." Later, Jones goes to the local church where the pastor is practicing his Sunday sermon about how mutants are unnatural and caused by human greed, not by the good Lord above. She castigates him for inciting bigotry and goes on to tell him she doesn't know much about religion or organized religion, but she believes the purpose of religion is to make people nice, not mean. So in the name of fighting against bigotry and small-mindness, she makes a stereotypical blanket statement that underlines her ignorance about the diversity of religions and what they themselves say their purpose is. What should be a subtle but powerful point about bigotry comes off like a lecture about how terrible small town small-mindedness is. I kept rolling my eyes in disappointment. Especially since the actual mystery is interesting.

On the other hand, the blind date with another superhero was interesting and a lot of fun. They have a shared background (they both have connections to the Avengers) and have a great conversation over an al fresco dinner. The dialogue is witty in both senses of the term--intelligent and hilarious. This story went a long way toward restoring my faith in Bendis as a storyteller. So I will continue on to Volume 3. Maybe Kilgrave will finally show up?

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