He SAID: Messy Marvel

Christopher M. Enis

Marvel might be mostly straight-laced on the big screen (Tony Stark nonwithstanding), but it’sjessjones1 a different story on the small screen. First, we were led to the dark side with Daredevil. Now, Marvel is following up with an equality morally ambiguous Jessica Jones. This is the second installment of the collaboration with Marvel and Netflix, and so far it’s working very well.

Based on the Alias comic book series, Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is former super-powered vigilante. These days, she’s a hard drinking, PTSD suffering, super-powered (’cause that’s what we call small screen ‘superheroes’. What, you didn’t get the memo?) private detective. And she’s moving around the very same Hell’s Kitchen where Daredevil resides. Her former and current lives collide when she takes on the case of finding a missing girl, the ironically named Hope (Erin Moriarty).  Jones’ case leads her to the very person responsible for destroying her life.

The show is similar to Daredevil in terms of grit and violence. But where Daredevil’s first season an R-rated superhero show, Jessica Jones reads like a psychological thriller about people who just happen to have super powers.


Ritter is great in the title role.  She’s physically strong, cynical, emotionally distant, scarred, and downright unlikeable… sometimes all in the same scene. It’s a demanding role, and Ritter appears more than up for the challenge.

Creator Melissa Rosenberg has been trying to bring the series to television since 2010. Operating within the Marvel universe is not for the faint of heart, what with all the references to other characters and easter eggs designed to keep old fans and attract new ones. Rosenberg manages to do jessjones3all of it and more, even previewing Luke Cage (coming soon to a small screen near you).

And parents, please be warned: Jessica Jones is based on a comic book but it is NOT for kids. If you want superheroes who pick up after themselves and go to bed by 9, stick with the blockbusters on the big screen. Jessica Jones has been through hell and lived to tell the tale, and she makes no apologies for any of it. If you’re down to ride, Jones will take you on one that you’re not likely to forget.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones is currently streaming on Netflix.



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