“Jessica Jones” gives Marvel fans a refreshing look into the Marvel Cinematic Universe through a semi-action packed, dark humored but nonetheless, drama filled Netflix series based on an ex-superhero turned private investigator.
Marvel had been under scrutiny due to its lack of female-led-based television series until its debut of “Agent Carter” and now “Jessica Jones.”
Jessica Jones, who is played by Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad), is a moody, emotionally-complicated alcoholic who is hired by lawyer Jeri Hogarth, played by Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix Trilogy), to do her dirty work and find any evidence of foul play for her clients.
Her powers include strength, endurance, speed and a loose interpretation of flight (jumping very high).
The series begins with two clients coming to visit Jones in hopes of her agreement to find their missing daughter, Hope Schlottman, only to have Jones find out that the man Schlottman is with was Jones’ antagonist, Kevin Thompson.
Thompson, who is referred to as Kilgrave in the series, is played by actor David Tennant (Doctor Who).
Now, when it comes to villains, there really isn’t anybody more terrifying than Kilgrave due to his abilities. He is a skilled manipulator, is highly intellectual and can control the mind.
Throughout the series, he makes people his slaves by sending them off to relay messages, house him, kill others and even kill themselves. While Jones was under his control, she was his sex slave, pet, and hitman.
Marvel does a brilliant job with creating a villain who is so evil. One begins to despise him, but you cannot help empathizing and somewhat caring for him as the series progresses.
As the series continues, it introduces Trish Walker, played by Rachael Taylor (Transformers), who happens to be Jones’ best friend. Walker was a child actor abused by her agent who is also her mother.
The series goes on to introduce characters such as the man with unbreakable skin, Luke Cage (Netflix series due 2016), and Will Simpson, a New York cop who had been under Kilgrave’s control and Walker’s love interest.
The series undoubtedly brings an entertaining number of twists throughout the show such as Jones’ tie in with Cage, but there are some questionable decisions when it comes to the storyline and character developments.
For example, there is an abrupt introduction of Simpson and his past history with Dr. Kozlov, a doctor who ran a secret program responsible for giving out performance enhancement pills and for Simpson’s sudden addiction.
There is an obvious wink at the infamous Marvel villain, Nuke aka Frank Simpson, with this plot, but it seems to be very sudden and forced compared to the rest of the series, which does a careful and even subliminal job of other introductions.
Marvel has done a fantastic job keeping the Marvel Universe intertwined seamlessly and subtly through its different series and Jessica Jones does not falter.
Jones is based off of the original comic book character who made her first appearance in Alias in 2001. She actually is married to Luke Cage, who is a part of the Defenders.
Now, Kilgrave has a little more history within the Marvel Universe.
He makes his first appearance in Marvel’s Daredevil comic book in October 1964. His name is originally Zebediah Killgrave and his alter ego is Purple Man due to his purple skin.
The small changes Marvel makes to Kilgrave’s appearance in the series is minor due to the overshadowing accuracy of the character’s powerful and terrifying demeanor.
Another interesting add-in of Marvel’s is the introduction of Trish Walker.
Trish Walker is known as Patricia Walker or Patsy within the comic books. She happens to be one of Marvel’s oldest characters and has been with Marvel before it was even called Marvel.
Her history is a little bit more complex due to the extent of character building through various comics such as “Miss America” and “The Avengers.”
In the series, Walker has an obsession with wanting to be a super hero just as the comic book character does but in the comic book, she then becomes Hellcat.
It will be interesting to see Walker’s development in the series since she is trained in martial arts and has the need to fight alongside Jones.
Marvel seems to be immersing itself into unfamiliar territory by creating a complex series with not only a relatable female lead but also shows realistic problems that heroes endure.
The series dips into themes humans endure everyday such as fatigue due to the need of trying to do the right thing. It even ties in themes of addiction and PTSD from abuse and rape.
Superheroes aren’t real but in this fantasy world Marvel has immersed us in, we sometimes forget those little details and when they do make an appearance, that is what makes a hero much more humanistic.