By Barb Young —
One of my favorite things about comic books is how gritty they can be. Well-written superhero stories show the traumatic struggles of those who make saving people’s lives their business. Netflix has breached this material once again in their adaptation of Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
Be aware, I have not finished this series yet. I am at episode six, so the ending of this series is not included in the review. (It just came out , and I don’t have that much binge-time people.)
Jessica Jones (played by Krysten Ritter) is the story of a retired superhero coping with PTSD from a long-term, mind-control-induced abduction by Killgrave (David Tennant). Now, months after his assumed death, Killgrave is making another appearance in Hell’s Kitchen.
This show is the satisfying result of a plea for a female hero, and PRAISE THE LORD it wasn’t some fluffy sexy version of a superhero. Jones is broken badass and for good reason. The show tells the story of a woman who’s gone through trauma, come out the other side and copes with it. Perhaps not well, but her coping methods and daily struggles are realistic and a refreshingly accurate portrayal of the effects rape, abduction and loss of control can have on a person’s life.
Aside from the characters, all of which are coping with their own form of trauma, the episode to episode script is also well written.
The reveals of the show are well executed and never come across as forced. Jones’ powers are revealed in subtle and well executed ways, the build of a secondary villain is gradual, and the growth of relationships is natural. There is not a single cliche reveal, throughout the show I’ve seen so far. In fact, the show as a whole leans heavily away from the cliche, even the villain.
The actions of Kilgrave, while intense, are not your classic bad guy moves. They’re more manic and twisted. Kilgrave has no pity for anyone including the sweet old lady or the young children; all fall victim to his powers. While other villains are dangerous because of their violence or their passion for their own cause, Killgrave is different. His obsession with Jones fuels his every move in the series and the perverseness of his actions will make your skin crawl as you’re watching.
If you want a super hero themed show with lots of punching and cool ass kicking footage, this isn’t the show for you. While these shots exist, they aren’t the purpose of the show. The story is jarring and eye opening in a way you wouldn’t expect a simple superhero series to be, but it is an amazing journey to watch. I would definitely suggest checking it out, though I wouldn’t suggest it as a binge unless you like crippling depression.