Comic Review: Jessica Jones #1

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Jessica Jones #1 (Marvel Comics)jessica-jones-1-cover

It’s safe to say that Jessica Jones has a much larger profile now than ever before. After the huge award-winning Netflix show last year, you’d expect Marvel to put out a series in time for that show, or at least soon afterwards. However, we’re now a year out, and we’re just now getting a new Jessica Jones series. While original creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos are back for this new series, Jessica Jones’ current life is a far cry from what was on TV last year. Can this new series serve as the bridge between the Netflix fans and comics?

Perhaps, though I won’t be surprised if new readers are confused. As I said before, the Jessica Jones in this series is VERY different from the one we saw on the TV screen. Hell, she’s different from the last time Bendis and Gaydos teamed up to tell her story in Alias and The Pulse. When we meet Jessica in this opening issue, she’s just released from jail, and everyone, from Jessica Drew to her husband Luke Cage, is looking for her, and more importantly, her daughter. Do we find out the mystery by issue’s end?

Nope. But luckily Brian Michael Bendis has a proven track record of paying off mysteries before on the original Jessica Jones series Alias. While nothing in this series quite matches up with what we know of the current Marvel universe (especially in Luke Cage’s Power Man & Iron Fist), the mystery is still intriguing. What could cause Jessica to all of the sudden ditch her responsibilities?

Brian Michael Bendis gets right back into the groove with Jessica Jones, and even though there’s a few less swear words this time around, it’s nice to see Bendis getting back to his strengths again. Jessica is arguably the best character that he writes, and there’s no better person to handle her than Bendis. The second that old Jones dialogue started up, I was hooked.

I haven’t seen much of Michael Gaydos’ work recently, but it’s refreshing to see that like Bendis, he also has no trouble jumping back into Jessica’s world. You could easily put a page from this issue next to any issue of Alias and not be able to tell the difference. Gaydos’ style remains unchanged by the passage of time, and that’s something that I’m very happy about, as I was expecting Marvel to pressure Gaydos into making Jessica look more like Kristen Ritter.

While it’s jarring seeing so much of the current Marvel Universe in Jessica Jones, it’s nice to have the character back and fronting her own series again. While I was late to the party on Alias, I can honestly say that it’s one of my favorite comic books of all time, so having a monthly dose of Jones is going to be pretty cool. Sure, there’s some weird work arounds for trying to explain why Jessica is now starting to get back to her old ways, but much of Jessica Jones #1 feels a lot like the old Alias series, and anything that reminds me of that is worth a shot.
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