Synopsis: Jessica Jones’ life has never been easy, but things seemed to have finally turned around for her. She had a loving husband, Luke Cage, a darling little girl, and her own detective agency. However, there has been a reversal of fortune. Jessica Jones has recently been released from the super villain max prison called “The Raft.” What could Jessica have done to wind up behind bars? Why is she at odds with certain members of the superhero community including her husband? And what really happened to the world 8 months ago?
Review: Jessica Jones #1 heralds the triumphant return of Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos (both of which worked on the first Jessica series Alias) back to their old stomping grounds. Jessica Jones has just been released from prison, and we find our titular heroine with a few dollars in her pockets and little else. It is here that we get an inkling that something terrible has occurred. Once surrounded by friends and loved ones, Jessica returns to her offices to a string of messages from friends worried about her. Messages from people outraged as to what has occurred. After a run in with Misty Knight (aka the competition), it is discovered that Jessica and Luke’s daughter has gone missing, and all signs point to Jessica knowing either the whereabouts or the fate of the missing child.
What is so refreshing about Jessica Jones is that it takes the Marvel universe at large and shrinks it. The reader gets a snapshot of what living in this world is like from day-to-day. The human element takes center stage. This world, even though it has superheroes flying, leaping, and swinging everywhere, seems almost realistic. The scene with Jessica and a future client is a wonderful example of the ordinary and extraordinary coinciding with each other seamlessly. A group of super powered teens race to an unknown destination in the background; they are only a part of the backdrop because the real story centers around what Jessica has become.
SPOILER ALERT: Jessica Jones is the Casey Anthony of the Marvel universe. If you don’t know who Casey Anthony is, think missing child + dubious alibi for the mother + murder trial = NATIONAL SPECTACLE. The comparison is easy to make if you lived in the country, state, and city where all of this happened (I can check all of those boxes). Jones’ world has already deemed her guilty, or at least complacent, in the disappearance of her child. With this direction in story, Jessica Jones becomes both the protagonist and antagonist of the series. Michael Gaydos does a wonderful job conveying the acerbic nature of Jessica while showcasing an immense level of sadness at her current situation. Every panel with a close up brings out a bevy of emotions binding the reader to these characters in subtle ways.
Jessica Jones is balancing act. The book is smart, funny, edgy, and incredibly poignant. Issue #1 condenses the macro elements of the larger world, and it elegantly distills them into an already solid plot about people and relationships. It doesn’t just simply works; it works incredibly well. Fans of the original series have nothing to worry about because the caliber of the original has been matched and succeeded in this first issue.