Tag: jessica jones

Heroes, Violence, and the Devil’s Tempation


marvels-daredevilnEditors’ Note: This post contains spoilers regarding the first seasons of “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones”, as well as references to other superhero movies and shows.

Given its dependence on violence, the superhero genre struggles under a childish reluctance to explore its implications. As a general rule, superheroes — exemplified by Batman and Superman — are not allowed to kill their antagonists, but are expected to bring them to justice and (hopefully) repentance. Villains don’t always live to commit another crime or threaten another city, but they are far more likely to meet their end through suicide or their own hubris, rather than at the end of a hero’s fists, blade, or — God forbid — gun. And even when this hero’s rule is broken (even Superman and Batman have killed), it’s rarely give the weight it deserves, and is often undone by the genre’s reliance on resurrection and reboots.


Small Screen Review: “Jessica Jones”


jjIn a comparison between the two giants of comic book entertainment, I’ve seen it stated that DC presents stories of gods and demigods – myths for modern time – while Marvel presents stories of human beings who happen to have powers. If any recent storyline presents that latter concept well it has to be the Netflix series, “Jessica Jones.”

In fact, “Jessica Jones” is a very human story. Super-powered beings are integral to the tale, but initially the powers seem to be incidental to the characters. It takes some time for any powers to be used in earnest and in all honesty I think it does the series well. By using a slow burn, we get time to learn about the players in this tale. The powers don’t distract us from who these people are and what’s going on at the first.

Krysten Ritter plays the title character. She is a private investigator working in Hell’s Kitchen (a familiar location for those who saw “Daredevil”) in a dingy little office that is also her apartment. Ritter is a waif of a person, which contrasts well with her character’s super strength and attitude. Occasionally she does a job or two for attorney Jeri Hogarth (played by Carrie-Anne Moss). A nice, wholesome Midwestern couple approaches Jones in the first episode. She was recommended to them and they need Jones to help them find their missing daughter, Hope.

AKA: A Review


Jessica_Jones_NetflixThe 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.