Current Reviews


Alias #28

Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2003
By: Shawn Hill

"Purple Part 5"

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Michael Gaydos

Publisher: Marvel MAX

It's the final showdown between Killgrave and Jessica. His fascination with her persists, and he has a new plan in honor of their shared past. He's going to make her kill an Avenger, he doesn't care which one.

It's hard to argue with the sentiments Bendis expresses on the letters page. He's right about this being a good ending place for the story. As he's constructed it, this arc answers the questions that have haunted Jessica since the debut. It also, in a development both clever and surprising, resolves some personal issues as well.

If last issue piled everything up as bad as could be, as a cascade of worst-case scenarios for Jessica (Killgrave is crazy, Killgrave won't give her closure, Killgrave escapes and comes after her), this one deflates all of that tension. Not in a bad way, in fact, the moment of climax is long-awaited. Other developments, some predictable, some not, occur in satisfying and seemingly offhand ways. You can't accuse Bendis of not using the guns he places on the mantelpiece: every development in this issue can be traced back to earlier moments in the arc, and before. Let's just say it: at long last, Jessica gets something that resembles justice for her biggest known loss.

So does Killgrave.

That the agent for this reversal is Jean Grey is a fitting take on how the character is portrayed these days; she's an uber-powerful Ur-mutant, more than capable of multi-tasking consultation. She makes an excellent guest star in what is essentially a second-tier Avengers book. Why shouldn't the Avengers consult the best psychic they know when one of theirs goes down; and why shouldn't Jean take it upon herself to make things right? This Jean Grey is clearly the rightful heir to lead Xavier's school after the Professor steps down.

The most interesting part of this issue for me is the impending changes to Jessica's personal life. I really didn't see a love connection coming from her friendship with Luke Cage. It had always previously seemed to me like theirs was a casual liaison, but Luke (in excellent broken and awkward Bendis dialogue) lets Jessica know his feelings for her have surpassed the casual. As luck would have it, so have Jessica's. Heck, who was it she ran to at the beginning of this arc after all?

Yep, she chooses Power Man over Ant Man. At the very least she's picked someone strong enough to deal with her inevitable setbacks, which may have been an unfair fate for Scott Lang (or his absent daughter).

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