Tagged: Kilgrave

The Law Is A Ass

Bob Ingersoll The Law Is A Ass #377


Now if you or I had said what Detective Erickson said of a previously non-violent person who suddenly snapped and committed a vicious assault in Scarlet Witch #1; “He claims to have no recollection of his actions, which is the first step to an insanity plea;” we would have been correct. But unlike Detective Erickson, you or I don’t live in the Marvel Universe. Or the DC Universe, we don’t even live in the slightly more mundane Dark Circle Universe. We live in the completely mundane Life As We Know It Universe.

The Life As We Know It Universe is a universe where there aren’t mutants, aliens, freaks, supernatural beings, master hypnotists, and Stan knows what else out there that are all capable of mind control. We don’t live in a world where any one of those beings could take over our minds or bodies and force us to things we wouldn’t ordinarily do. (At least, I don’t think there are but I did watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo once.)

Seriously, if you do a search on the term mind control in the Marvel Comics Wiki, you’ll find eight pages each with sixteen entries and then ninth page with another thirteen entries of characters who exhibit the ability to control minds. And those entries didn’t even include Maynard Tiboldt, who just uses good old-fashioned hypnosis to force others to do his bidding. Or demonic possession https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demonic_possession, walk ins such as Deadman, or other plot devices.

The point being, in the Marvel Universe, where mind control is as prevalent as halitosis in a garlic festival, how does a simple prosecutor ever get a conviction? Even when a perp was caught red-handed, said perp could claim that he or she didn’t want to do it, someone like Kilgrave or Puppet Master took over his or her mind and forced him or her to commit the crime. Would even one hundred eyewitnesses all of whom saw the defendant commit the crime and positively identified the defendant in court be enough to get past the reasonable doubt raised by a literal “The Devil Made Me Do It” defense?

The problem wouldn’t be any better in the DC Universe. The same mind control search in the DC Comics Wiki yields eleven pages of sixteen entries, plus a twelfth page with one entry of mind controllers. If anything, the problem would be even worse there.

And it’s not just mind control. What about shape shifters? Again, you could have one hundred eyewitnesses all say, “We saw D. Fendant kill Mr. Boddy in the Library with the wrench,” and Mr. Fendant could argue it wasn’t him the eyewitnesses saw, it was Mystique or Clayface or a Skrull  or a Durlan who changed their appearance to look like Mr. Fendant for their own nefarious reasons. Or going back one step, maybe one of those 198 mind controllers, one hypnotist, assorted demonic possessors, other assorted walkers in, or abundant plot devices we were talking about earlier used their powers to make the eye witnesses think they saw Mr. Fendant, when he had nothing to do with the crime.

Either way, it could shove so much reasonable doubt into the case that it would turn what was once a slam dunk into a hard-to-swallow turducken.

What’s a prosecutor to do?

I don’t know.

Maybe the prosecutor could convince a jury that none of those very possible possibilities had happened. After all, juries in our Life As We Know It Universe are extremely reluctant to accept the insanity defense. The Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity plea is only used in about one percent of all felony trials and fact finders return a verdict of N.G.R.I. in only one-quarter of the cases where the defense is even raised. Maybe juries in the Marvel or DC Universes would be equally reluctant to find a defendant not guilty by reason of mind control, shape shifting, possession, walk in, or other plot device.

Maybe. Or maybe not.

Again, I don’t know.

I do know this: the prevalence of mind controllers and shape shifters in our comic-book universes would make life for the Harvey Dents and Blake Towers of those worlds interesting. But interesting in the “May you live in interesting times” is a curse kind of way.

Oh, I also know something else: I haven’t finished wrapping my Christmas presents yet. Hell, I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping yet. So, while I can to raise the questions and point out the problems, I don’t have enough time to analyze them more fully.

In fact, all I do have time for is to say, “Merry Christmas, everyone.”

Joe Corallo: Jessica Jones’ Sexuality


Hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a nice one. I used some of the time off from the work I had to finish up Marvel’s Jessica Jones. I’ve read articles like this one about how the show is queer-inclusive, and have seen that term being thrown around elsewhere since. I’m using my column this week to make what I feel is an important point: Jessica Jones is in absolutely no way queer-inclusive.

Please be advised that there are SPOILERS ahead for both Jessica Jones and Daredevil.

Prior to Jessica Jones premiering, speculation was abound that she may end up being Marvel’s first queer lead. She is not. The speculation was based on her close relationship with Trish (Patsy) Walker. Trish and Jessica are sisters through adoption. They do tell each other they love each other. That’s because they are sisters. No other reason. This isn’t opening the door to a queer relationship later on. They both have a very full and active sex life with exclusively cis male partners in the show.

The fact that this caused speculation of any kind shows just how starved audiences are for queer representation in comic book properties, and I hope that Marvel takes note. That being said, let’s please end any continued speculation on Jessica Jones’ sexuality until we have a real reason to think of her as anything but straight.

Jessica Jones features one important queer character, Jeri. In the comics the character of Jeri was a man, so in the show they gender swapped that character while keeping the sexuality of that character the same. You could make the argument that she could easily be swapped with a man and it would have had no impact on the show at all outside of reducing the queer representation.

Jeri is a cis white lesbian, or at least an assumed lesbian since we don’t know about her sexual history beyond her ex and her current lover. Her lovers are also cis white and assumed lesbians. Unlike Jeri, they’re both blondes. We even get a “steamy” fully clothed almost sex scene in Jeri’s office with her assistant that goes out of its way to make sure we don’t see anything too scandalous, despite the show being described as “sex positive.” Wow, that’s some extensive queer representation there! Seriously though, one of those characters couldn’t have been openly bi, nonwhite, or something else to be even a little more inclusive?

Making Jeri an assumed lesbian in the show was a smart move for Marvel. It allows for two additional, albeit minor characters, to also be queer, thus upping the level of perceived queerness in the show. However, that’s not how being queer-inclusive works. This is New York City in 2015. Even more so, this is Hell’s Kitchen.

This is a place in New York City that currently has a fairly large and well known queer population. Largely cis white gay or bi men, but still very much a queer population. By not showing queer characters in the background, active queer bars or clubs that Jessica could have gone into, a case someone can try to hire her for involving a queer character, even openly queer people living in her building, Marvel is hetero-washing New York City. Whether this is intentional or not, it’s something that needs to stop happening and we can and should demand better. This isn’t a demand for more representation than we deserve. It’s a demand for accurate representation of the world as it is now, and without that I can’t consider this show queer-inclusive and you shouldn’t either.

Getting back to Jeri, she’s also not a particularly good person in the show. She’s shown as more likely than not being unfair to her ex and trying to keep her ex from money that she’s entitled to herself. Jeri also seemingly manipulates her current lover into killing Jeri’s ex. That’s right, one of the minor lesbians kills the only other minor lesbian. This all occurs while Jeri thoroughly betrays Jessica in a way that results in people getting killed and Kilgrave gaining the upper hand.

So not only do we have little queer representation, the representation we get drops from three characters total to two. One of them winds up in prison and the other one continues being a cutthroat lawyer and an untrustworthy friend of Jessica’s. Clearly queer viewers got some strong characters in this show to look up to!

Marvel’s Jessica Jones is not queer-inclusive. If anything, it hetero-washes its setting, just as Daredevil did. I’m not discouraging anyone from watching and enjoying this show, but I am discouraging people from spreading around the notion that this show is queer-inclusive.

That’s not the only diversity related issue Marvel’s Netflix shows have been lacking in, like how both shows feature only one older black man in a senior position helping our heroes that gets killed towards the end. What’s up with that? But that’s another story for another column.