Monday, March 7, 2016

Book Review: Jessica Jones Alias Vol. 4 by Brian Michael Bendis et al.

Jessica Jones Alias Volume 4 written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Michael Gados, and coloring by Matt Hollingsworth

In this final volume in the Alias series (see reviews of One, Two, and Three), Jessica Jones's origin story is detailed along with a story involving Killgrave, the villain from the TV show.

Jessica's origin story is fun though sad, as are most superhero origin stories. The art is a throwback to the vintage comic book styles from different eras, so it gives a nice old-timey flavor. The language is still the Jessica Jones language, so f-bombs drop all over the place. Jessica goes to the same high school as Peter Parker, whom she has a crush on but he's also clueless about her. When they do meet, he doesn't appreciate her language! Her story arc follows mostly what is seen in the TV show, though her adopted family isn't as prominent here as on TV (they fill in a bit for Peter Parker who isn't in the show). She has more interactions with the Avengers and becomes pals with Captain Marvel.

The second story explains why she's no longer a costumed superhero. She has a dark past when she was under mind control by Killgrave, who is popularly know as the Purple Man (the accident that gave him his powers also gave him a purple skin tone). He did some unspeakable things to her (though different from what's seen in the TV version) and she is very afraid to confront him again. The psychological torment is detailed and harrowing reading. Through a plot contrivance she is forced to confront him in a special maximum security jail. After she leaves, there's a jailbreak and Killgrave is back on the street, a daunting prospect for Jessica Jones. She has to help hunt him down even though her fear is debilitating.

The book has very interesting (though very adult) stories. I found it very satisfying and fascinating as a companion piece to the television show. I'm not sure I will continue reading Jessica Jones stories but I am glad for what I have read.

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