Neo-noir nirvana

“New York may be the city that never sleeps…but it sure loves to sleep around”

 

With Daredevil setting Netflix on fire this past spring. There’s been a lot of questions surrounding Jessica Jones. She’s a relatively newer character and she doesn’t have a long history or is a household name like Black Widow, She-Hulk and Jean Grey.

Well, just like Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel took an obscure character and easily made her a big deal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Jessica Jones, private investigator

Jessica Jones, based on Alias by Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers, Daredevil) features a knockout performance from Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt.23) who traded in her tights for bottles of Jack Daniels as a private investigator with a scathing wit that masks a dark past.

Tonally, it’s similar to Daredevil, but Jessica Jones goes into territories that any MCU property wouldn’t even dare to go such as rape, abuse and trauma. Jessica’s struggle is more internal than the likes of Iron Man or Captain America.

Rape is quite a touchy subject and Jessica Jones handles it with such maturity without resorting to shock value (shame on you, Game of Thrones!). Also, the effects it can have a person’s psyche is heavy. Krysten does an excellent job capturing the vulnerabilities and traumas of a victim of rape and the viewers can relate to her turmoil of being in a toxic relationship where you lose all control and it’s manifested in the Jessica/Kilgrave feud. It’s like watching an episode of Breaking Bad and you feel uncomfortable for a bit but you can’t help be drawn to it.

It’s another dimension to her already fantastic character development. She’s a hero, a detective and above all…a survivor!

The supporting cast is on point as well. Doctor Who’s David Tennant (everyone’s favorite Doctor) plays the mind-controlling puppet master Kilgrave, better known as the Purple Man (sidebar: I know it’s a silly name for a villain, but keep reading). David is simply spellbinding as Kilgrave, he can make anyone do anything he wants and he captures your attention the moment he appears on screen.

MARVEL'S JESSICA JONES

He can make the Joker consider a new color scheme

Mike Colter (The Good Wife) plays the future hero for hire and star of the next Marvel/Netflix series, Luke Cage, who’s more than capable of carrying his own show (look for it next year). He and Jessica have amazing chemistry and, in a Marvel first, leads to plenty of steamy sex scenes. It’s not as graphic as anything you’ve seen on HBO but you’ll be thinking “This is in the same universe as the Avengers?!”

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Rachael Taylor also impresses as Trish Walker, the bond between her and Jessica is more than just a hero and a sidekick, they are equals. Carrie-Anne Moss plays lawyer Jeri Hogarth in a bit of gender-bending from the comics.

A female-driven cast propels Jessica Jones as a standout in the ever-increasing catalog of MCU. It’s unrelenting, tense and engaging. We may not see Jessica until the eventual Defenders miniseries but she’s here to stay.

 

 

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