On Friday, Nov 20th, Netflix uploaded 13 episodes of the first season of "Jessica Jones". As I'm fighting a cold, I managed to watch all 13 over the weekend, and liked them.
Jessica Jones is a Marvel Comics character, introduced as part of Marvel's MAX line of comics, geared at older readers (they swore a lot, and had "adult" themes). The original comic was published in 2001 and ran for 28 issues (Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos,
Marvel did an interesting think with Ms. Jones - they retrofitted Jones into the past continuity of Marvel - the back-story is that Ms. Jones was a young hero named "Jewel" who was part of the Avengers. In the present, she is a depressed, heavy drinker, running a private investigation service called "Alias Investigations", hence the series title "Alias". As the MAX line was independent of the mainstream universe of the regular comics, the retrofitted history was fine, and did not ignite fanboy rage.
The storyline in both the TV series and the comic book involve rape, particularly the whole idea of consent (e.g. the Purple Man insists it was not rape as she was "willing", she contends it was as her will was not her own), and is thus not a series for younger Marvel fans. The episodes basically involve a tracking down of the Purple Man, and in this TV world, like our own, it would be difficult to prove in court the idea that your will was not your own - the TV series does involve a defence lawyer and the difficulty in a) believing that the issue of control exists and b) figuring out how to prove this in court. This theme was not addressed in the comics, and adds and additional dimension of realism to the whole drama.
The series introduces another character from Marvel - Luke Cage (called Power Man in his earlier comics), who is a very strong man with impenetrable skin (Cage was wrongfully convicted of a crime, and agreed to an experiment in jail which resulted in his powers). Cage in the yellow is how he was presented in the 1970s, the right hand is how he's presented more recently, and quite close to the TV series depiction.
As with Daredevil (another Netflix Marvel TV series) and Jessica Jones, Luke Cage lives in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York and is a very down to earth hero. In the comics, he had a "Hero for Hire" business to provide super-powered services to clients. Netflix is expected to roll out a Luke Cage series, and eventually team Luke, Jessica and Daredevil into a Defenders series as well.
As with the Netflix Daredevil (and all the other current TV Series - Gotham, Supergirl, Agents of SHIELD, Arrow etc.) the casting decisions have been excellent. Krysten Ritter is prettier than I pictured Jessica Jones, who is kinda' frumpy in the Alias comic book, but does the character well. Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is exactly how I'd imagine Luke Cage. One scene has him being accosted by a group of rugby players, and his expressions are right out of the comics - he fights them off, but not with any real effort, more annoyed than threatened. Carrie Ann Moss plays a high-powered defence lawyer and does that aspect well, though the character is pretty damaged with respect to how she handles her personal life - maybe a little too quick with that storyline (they might have kept her character as a law and order one for much longer than they did).
|Jessica Jones as she appears in the "present time" Alias comic.|
Body count on this show is high, some graphical, though nothing quite hits like the "head crushed in door" from Daredevil or the more recent arm chopping off in Gotham. Lotsa' throwing folks around, execution by handgun, forced suicides and murders courtesy of the Purple Man.
All in all , not a bad way to deal with a cold.
|Jessica Jones as she's portrayed by Krysten Ritter (R) and as the flashback character "Jewel" in Alias, the comic|