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Superhero Sundays: Jan. 4-8

Supergirl is back! Plus we round up this week's hero news, recap the penultimate episode of Jessica Jones, bring you Luke Cage's naked torso (you're WELCOME), and fangirl all over the latest issues of DC Bombshells, A-Force, Archie, and Bitch Planet. 

Superhero Sundays: Jan. 4-8

Hello! Amanda R. here and we're bringing you all of the superhero-ness that we could find from the interwebz, plus a couple of recaps and our comic picks from this past week! Everybody have popcorn to throw at Kilgrave? Good - let's dish!

Small Screen Supes

Speedy Synopses

Supergirl 1x09: Blood Bonds

The action picks up right where the cliffhanger left us, with Supergirl and Non in the middle of a high-flying action-packed fistfight. But Non isn't after Kara -- it's Henshaw he wants, and he takes off with the DEO director before Supergirl can do anything about it.

Non wants to trade Henshaw for Astra, but the DEO and General Sam Lane want to get information about the aliens' base and plans first.

Meanwhile, back at the office, Cat Grant is still the smartest person in any Superman/Supergirl show, having figured out quite quickly that Kara is Supergirl. She tells Kara that she shouldn't be wasting her day with a secret identity and should instead be out saving people with that time instead. (Whoa. Thought-provoking point.) She threatens to fire Kara to get her out there, unless she can prove she's not the Girl of Steel.

Kara, overwhelmed by the stress and confusion of her life, is ready to take out her anger on Maxwell Lord after learning he roughed up James Olson a little. Winn and James comfort her with some cozy handholding, and recharged with warm fuzzies, Kara is ready to face her problems.

Supergirl and Alex Danvers make the deal with Non, and Astra, struck by Kara's compassion, makes sure that the deal is honored. They're not allies, but there's some hope for resolution.

Alex lets slip that Henshaw could have "transformed" to take care of things himself, and when Kara overhears, they reveal his identity as J'onn J'onzz. Kara makes good use of his shapeshifting abilities to show Kara and Supergirl in the same room in front of Cat, and all is right in her world again.

The episode ends with more super-kind text messages from Clark Kent, which always make me tear up a little, and a hint about a villain to come. (Kelly)

Jessica Jones 1x12: AKA Take a Bloody Number

If I had to pick an episode that has Kilgrave at his douchiest, his most manipulative, terrible and deluded, I'm pretty sure that this penultimate episode is it. Picking up right where the previous episode leaves off, Jessica is at Luke's bar, which is currently engulfed in flames. She tries to suss out exactly how much influence Kilgrave has had on Luke, and it all seems pretty straightforward...until we realize that Kilgrave's getting stronger and stronger, and this his effects are lasting much longer thanks to his poor father being compelled to work night and day on a super serum. 

Trish is still recovering from her brush with superhero-dom, and her mother arrives at the hospital, supposedly because she wants a relationship with her daughter, but we all know that dog ain't gonna hunt. She brings Trish some paperwork from when she adopted Jessica; it's medical in nature, and it has IGH stamped all over it. The same IGH who provides their super soldiers with red, white and blue pills. 

Jessica and Luke try to get a leg up on Kilgrave, which is exactly what he wants. We're treated to a pretty stellar fight sequence between Jessica and a still-under-the-influence Luke, which is all kinds of heartbreaking. Jessica has to put a bullet in him to keep him from killing her, and my only solace is that Luke now knows what it's like to be under Kilgrave's control. Perhaps he can find his way to forgiving Jessica for real this time. (Amanda R.)

Hero of the Week: James Olsen, Supergirl

Supergirl's pal James Olsen isn't afraid to take matters into his own hands when he knows something shady is going on. James strikes off without super-help (but he does have Winn's tech wizardry) to investigate Maxwell Lord, but gets into more trouble than he bargained for. And he's still undeterred. But what makes James a hero week after week is his unwavering support of Kara and compassionate pep talks that never fail to get her back into action. (Kelly)

Honorable mentions: Jessica Jones/Jessica Jones, Hank Henshaw/Supergirl

Villain of the Week: Kilgrave, Jessica Jones

Telling Jessica that her chemistry with Luke is ACTUALLY because the real chemistry is with HIM and he's controlling Luke? Kilgrave wins the gold for dickishness. (Amanda R.)

Honorable mentions: Maxwell Lord/Supergirl, Dorothy Walker/Jessica Jones

Ab-tastic!

Biff! Bam! Pow!

Pull List

Top Titles

A-Force #1, written by G. Willow Wilson and art by Jorge Molina

Huge crossover events can turn away casual readers of comics. If you weren’t into the Secret Wars event that shook up the Marvel Universe last year, but you were intrigued by the idea of an all-female team of heroes, you’re in luck: A-Force is now in the All-New, All-Different Marvel. A-Force #1 is a new ongoing book and the first issue is designed to catch you up quickly. A new face in the Marvel Universe, Singularity, is trying to find her old friends from Battleworld: Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Medusa, Dazzler, and Nico Minoru. But none of them remember her. They are getting quickly acquainted, however, thanks to the appearance of the destructive being Antimatter. Will Singularity find her place in this universe? (Kelly)

Archie #5 by Mark Waid, with art by Veronica Fish

Jughead and Betty make a deal with the devil, and in Riverdale the devil is Reggie Mantle. They're desperate to get Archie to see how awful Veronica is, but it all backfires when Betty realizes that perhaps Veronica really does recognize all of the goodness in Archie, that she might even be perfect for him. Archie is disappointed that his friends would be so underhanded, and we're left with a rift between our friends at Riverdale High. Fish's broad-stroked, large-paneled art style is a perfect companion to Fiona Staples' established look for this series, and Waid continues to bring his A-game. (Amanda R.)

DC Bombshells #8 by Marguerite Bennett, with art by Laura Braga and Sandy Jarrell

We all knew it was a gamble to create an entire world for a line of stylized posters and statues, but damn it all if Bennett hasn't created one of the most compelling alt-histories in the DC 'verse. Diana and Steve are still at the front lines in Greece, and they both realize that Steve's PTSD isn't even the worst of their problems as zombie soldiers calling themselves The Tenebrae (which translates from Latin as "shadows" or "darkness") make comrades out of the POW camp. Elsewhere, Stargirl and Supergirl are struggling with again being used as tools of propaganda, even if it's for the Allies this time. We're also privy to some gorgeous art nouveau-styled panels as Stargirl's mom confesses that her papa isn't her biological father. This only amplifies Supergirl's feelings of being an outsider, and she flies away from her sestra when faced with Samuel Whitmore, Stargirl's father. Meanwhile, Mera entertains the troops on a naval ship (and makes no apologies for her talents or her gorgeousness) when she's called underwater to find the source of mysterious music. Turns out The Tenebrae aren't just land creatures. (Amanda R.)

Pick of the Week: Bitch Planet #6 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, with art by Taki Soma

It's no secret how we feel about Bitch Planet here in our little corner of the web. And I'm freely going to admit that it was a reply by Danielle Henderson to a Concerned Male Reader that pushed this issue up to Pick of the Week. (No really - she takes him down about fifty notches. It's beautiful.) This issue focuses solely on Meiko Maki's backstory and what would eventually lead her to being labeled as Non-Compliant and sent to Bitch Planet. There's a content warning at the front of the issue, and it's pretty heart-clenching to read about women being sexually assaulted by prison staff. What's perhaps even MORE devastating is that Meiko had a great family; wonderful parents and a sister, and she gave up her freedom to keep them safe. The intersections between gender and race are glaringly clear, and this issue will light a fire of indignation in your soul. (Amanda R.)

As Seen in the Daily Planet

News

Teen Titans show is no more. TNT decided that the TV landscape is currently well-served in the superhero department. (Fair enough, really. Although I'm VERY SAD at no Dick & Babs on my small screen.)

Jewel Staite of Firefly fame is coming to Legends of Tomorrow as a character with serious DC ancestral roots. #hereforit

Supergirl picked up a People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama. Aww.

Robbie Amell will be returning to The Flash, and his Earth-2 counterpart, Deathstorm, seems DARK AF.

The CW gives us all a very belated holiday pressie in the form of a King Shark episode of The Flash, complete with John muthaeffin' Diggle.

We have our first look at Paul Reubens (!!!) as Penguin's dad in Gotham.

New Agent Carter cast photos give us our first look at this season's Big Bad, Madame Masque.

Marvel editor Sana Amanat talks Ms. Marvel with Seth Meyers and gives voice to Kamala should she ever run into Donald Trump in Jersey City. 

Rachel Keller (Fargo) cast in X-Men TV show Legion, possibly as Rogue but details are still on the hush right now.

The X-Men franchise can't stop/won't stop! New Mutants film poised to be Young Adult, so now we have months to pontificate on their leader.

More Doctor Strange concept art.

Gene Luen Yang (Boxers & Saints, Avatar: The Last Airbender, American Born Chinese) is the first graphic novelist chosen to be the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

In April Boom Box is bringing us Goldie Vance, a new teen girl detective series! Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time) and Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat) will be at the helm so it's sure to be AWESOME.

Trailers

The Daredevil season two trailer is more of a "previously on Daredevil" than an actual trailer, but we'll take it:

Since Agent Carter has been delayed by the State of the Union (LAME), I'll just keep watching the trailers:

Are any of y'all in love with Trish and Jessica's friendship as much as I am? What were your favorite comic picks this week? Is your DVR going to be overwhelmed once all of our shows return AND new shows begin? Let's convo in the comments!

Amanda Reid's photo About the Author: Amanda R. is an East Coast girl living in California who will never stop missing a true autumn. She's a bookseller who specializes in kid and teen lit, the leader of FYA Oakland, and bakes a damn fine pie.