Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe represents perhaps the greatest money-making movie franchise in the history of cinema, pumping out one high-budget, high-grossing action spectacular after another, all set in a single cinematic universe replete with crossovers, cameos, and team-ups. It came to the small screen with Marvel’s Agents of Shield and Marvel’s Agent Carter, and the debut of Daredevil on Netflix earlier this year saw them break through into Internet-only entraining. The concept of an interconnected cinematic and TV universe offers viewers an analog of the traditional comic book experience. Everyone can have their favorite characters and follow them in their various appearances, appreciate the work of various artist each offering their own interpretation of the iconic characters in discrete stories that, together, help create an overarching fictional history filled with action and delightful melodrama.
A few weeks ago Netflix released the second of its four superhero shows: Jessica Jones (while under development, the show was titled “AKA Jessica Jones and the episodes all begin with the “Also Known As” abbreviation). Who is Jessica Jones you may be wondering? Well, until I saw the show I didn’t really know much about her. She isn’t one of the famous Marvel characters, not even one of the famous B-list characters like Luke Cage or Iron Fist (who will each get their own Netflix show in the coming years). But, her obscurity works for the show brilliantly. Knowing who Daredevil was, who his villains were, and what to expect plot-wise, I watched his series with anticipation for a fidelity to the comics. Jessica Jones was a blank slate to me, so there was nothing to anticipate, only a story to experience. And what a story.
Netflix’s Daredevil clearly establishes a gritty, almost Noir-like felling for the world of Hell’s Kitchen following the events of the first Avengers movie. That tone that is carried on — and expanded in — Jessica Jones, who like all good Noir characters, is a private investigator. Her jobs mostly consist of following cheating men around and getting pictures of them in the act. She lives in her office, and seems to subsist on a diet of booze and cigarettes.
She has powers of course — mostly super strength with some limited flying (or rather jumping) ability — but she doesn’t have a supper shield, or mystical martial arts training: she is just a woman trying to make her way in a world were things are far more crazy than anyone realizes, and who happens to be able to lift the back of a car off the ground without straining herself. She’s seen what kind of things are out there in the world, and all she wants to do is keep her head down and have a normal life as a hard drinking, antisocial, private investigator. But, things are never that easy, and she soon realizes that she can’t run from the reality and evil that is out there.
Jessica Jones offers a dark and twisted tale with a terrifying villain played brilliantly by David Tennant. Its story is far more engaging and realistic than that of Daredevil though still offering fans plenty of supper powers and comic book fantasy. If anything, its more subdued nature enhances the impact of both Jessica’s powers and that of her arch-nemesis. If you have Netflix and you enjoy either Noir, comics, suspense, or gritty action I highly recommend seeing Jessica Jones.
What did you think, Ricochet? Remember to keep you comments spoiler free or offer fair warning.
[Editors’ Note: For another take on the series, see Titus Techera’s post “Jessica Jones: Feminist” on the member feed.]