The Watchers: Issue #1 - "Jessica Jones" Review
Welcome to our brand new series "The Watchers"! This series will be where we talk about all things film in the comic book world. Be they TV shows, movies, or animation, we will talk about them and share our thoughts on them.
I have the pleasure of kicking this off with my review of the newest addition to the Marvel/Netflix line up, Jessica Jones.
This review will contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.
The series follows Private Investigator, Jessica Jones, as she confronts her former abuser, the mind controlling Kilgrave, in an attempt to bring him to justice. It deals with VERY mature content, including torture, rape, murder, and suicide. Just as its predecessor, Daredevil, the character development pushes the story forward in a compelling and interesting way, HOWEVER, it is not without flaws.
The season is full of side characters with their own arcs and compelling stories. Hogarth and her wife go through a messy divorce, ending in attempted murder. Malcolm goes through a redeeming character arc that has you rooting for him the whole time. You hate Trish's mother as soon as you meet her, and continue to hate her more and more, almsot more than you hate Kilgrave. But then, you have the ones that fall short. The twins that live in the same building as Jessica have a weird dynamic, that leaves the viewer wondering if there is something else being implied. Its strange and jarring fromt the rest of the world created.
Will Simpson is a police officer/special forces soldier that joins the main party, and is baffling as a character. Sometimes, he is caring and compassionate. Other times, he is cold and murderous. Sometimes he is dumber that a sack of potatoes. Others he is calculating and intelligent. Then, part way through the series, it is revealed that he is the comic book character Nuke. This was a huge revolation of anyone that knew the character... until he was defeated and never seen again after about 20min of Nuke-screentime. He really had no impact on the story, other than making things more difficult than they had to be.
My final issue with the show was the final confrontation between Kilgrave and Jessica Jones. Kilgrave has a group of people fighting each other, and Jessica comes to confront him. The people pay no attention to Jessica, and Kilgrave takes control of Trish (Jones' best friend), and seems to regain control of Jessica's mind... until we find out he didn't and she kills him. It was anti-climactic, and left no forseeable chance for this incredible villain to return.
As much as I have complain about things, I have to praise the show where it shines. The character of Jessica is fantastic. She is driven, abrasive, and independent. She is clearly dealing with PTSD and alcoholism, which make the character relateable. She is fallable and that makes her interesting. The casting is spot on. Mike Colter made me interested in the Luke Cage series. Erin Moriarty makes you care so much about Hope, even with her limited screen time. David Tennant is amazing as Kilgrave. The series nails casting on the same level as Daredevil.
There is so much meat for fans of the comics to sink their teeth into. Night Nurse returns. The Jewel costume and name make an appearence. Nuke and Hellcat are prominent members of the cast. The changes they make (I'm looking at you "KEVIN"!) are noticable, but really don't change much in the way of the characters personalities and personas. The largest change I noticed was an adjustment to the origin of Kilgrave's powers.
Probably the best aspect of the series is the way it treats content that some people could find taboo. Interracial and same-sex relationships are handled tastefully, without any extra attention given to them by the story or the characters. Violence towards women isn't avoided or romanticized, but is merely a reality in the series. This large, difficult topics are handled with such care and "matter-of-factness" that it is difficult to imagine the show without them.
All things considered, this series is hugely entertaining. While I personally still put it below Daredevil, it was fun, and thought provoking, and compelling. It broadened the Marvel/Netflix universe, introduced new characters, and set the stage for even more shows going forward. It was not without flaws, but it is definitely worth viewing.
What do you think? Did you enjoy Jessica Jones? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!