Like everyone else in the world who has Netflix, my husband and I binged Jessica Jones last year. And we loved it. I’m not a huge Marvel person, so to me, that was a big deal.
I’ve only seen one of the Avengers movies, I hated the two Thor movies that I saw, thought the first Captain America was a bore (although, I quite liked the second one), and have abstained almost completely from the X-Men ouevre. And I hated Daredevil on Netflix. Couldn’t even finish the first season. I wanted to like it, but it was just too dark (literally, too damn dark) and I didn’t really care about any of the “amazing” characters. It was just too comic book-y for me.
But here’s what I do like about Marvel: I loved Deadpool, and I adore the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan. I find I’m much more of a DC kind of gal.
So yes, it was kind of a big deal for me to fall for Jessica Jones.
I loved that Jessica was a tragically flawed figure. She drank and she had sex in order to feel something. She wasn’t a particularly nice person, but she was amazingly loyal to those that she loved. Plus, David Tennant was the best worst person ever.
So last week, while on vacation, my brother threw the first three volumes of Alias: Jessica Jones at me and told me to enjoy. And I did.
The Alias version of Jessica is quite different from the Netflix version. She is still a drunk, but it doesn’t seem to affect her everyday life quite as much. She still sleeps with Luke Cage, but it seems like only a one-time thing so far (she finds out that he’s a “cape chaser” which is a huge turnoff for her). Her lawyer is Matt Murdock and her best friend is Carol Danvers, so she has strong connections into the world of the Avengers. She talks quite a bit about her life as a super hero, but she has no regrets about hanging up her supersuit.
Jessica is smart and strong (not just “super strong”) and she generally wants to do what’s right, even if that means bending the rules or the law in order to do so. She has no time for people who think she — or others like her — is an abomination because of her mutant abilities, and that includes well-known characters like J Jonah Jameson, who really comes off as a bit of a racist ass here.
And this version of Jessica is gets set up on a blind date with Ant Man, which is kind of fun.
But Jessica makes a lot of mistakes. She’s not a terribly trusting person, and pushes people (like Malcolm, who just wants to help) away constantly. But she has integrity. When she catches Captain America’s secret identity on video, she refuses to sell it to the highest bidder, as she has been set up to do. And by doing that, she gets an ally in good old Cap.
And even though Ant Man is more or less her boyfriend, she still sleeps with other men. But she doesn’t talk to them, or let them get to know her. She just uses them for sex and companionship. She only lets Scott (the current Ant Man) get close.
The art in these books is really quite amazing. The contrasts between dark and bright colors is frequenly jarring, and used to good effect. When Jessica thinks back about her days as an Avenger, the art is usually much brighter than her day-to-day life.
Sadly, I only was able to read the first three, so I didn’t get to the Kilgrave story. I’ll be on the lookout for sure, and might even buy these for my own collection.