After the release of Daredevil earlier this year, Marvel and Netflix set the bar pretty high for superhero shows. So high in fact, that I thought it would be impossible for anything to come close. Luckily their next outing, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, comes close enough with more of the same dark but awesome superhero drama. While it might not be as action packed or fast paced as the guardian devil’s series, the thirteen episodes here have plenty of cool stuff in all the right places to keep viewers cheering for this superpowered private eye.
I never knew that the Marvel character Jessica Jones existed until learning that this series would be made. Originally appearing in one of the 1963 Spider-Man comics, but never getting her own series until 2001, Jones is relatively new character for writers to play around with. So that’s exactly what they do here, keeping her origins close to her comic series (stop me if you’ve heard the one about special chemicals spilling on someone…) while taking a few liberties here and there (she doesn’t fly, but can jump really high and use “controlled falling” as she puts it)
The story follows a down-on-her-luck superhero turned private investigator Jessica Jones (played to a stoic tee by Krysten Ritter) who gave up being a hero after leaving the terrifying psychic/psychopath Kilgrave (fantastically played by David Tennant) left for dead after using his mind-controlling abilities to make her kill someone.
Still trying to get over the traumatic stress of that event some time later, she now uses her powers in a low-key way being a P.I. where she gets most of her work from a powerful lawyer named Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss). When she gets a case involving a missing girl, she soon learns that Kilgrave is back and is stalking her at every turn. She has a few friends to help her out, notably her foster sister Patricia “Trish” Walker (Rachael Taylor) who hosts a popular radio show, and especially fellow superhero Luke Cage (Mike Colter) who tries to keep a low profile with his powers and becomes a love interest for Jessica. As you might imagine, she’s going to need their help and more if she ever wants to stop Kilgrave from taking over people’s minds and making them kill themselves or others, and to win back her sanity.
Much like the Daredevil series, I had a great time watching Jessica Jones’ larger story unfold. It’s a bit of a slow burn, honestly, but once things begin to heat up halfway through the show things take off and don’t stop until it’s over. The cast play their characters to perfection, and you never quite know who’s doing what most of the time, which serves to pull you deeper into the mystery. This is where the power of Netflix really shines, as all thirteen episodes are here to enjoy with no commercials – and no waiting. The show looks great in high-definition as the dark, gritty look of New York comes through perfectly.
If you loved Daredevil, or just enjoy a good mystery-drama show with some superpowered action on the side, you’ll probably like Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Netflix. It certainly drags a little at the start, but once the characters and story are in place, it takes you on a dark, fantastic ride that’ll leave you wanting more of Marvel’s on-demand lineup. Now bring on Luke Cage!