Alias Investigations is back in business, but what does that mean for the relationships and family of chief/only investigator, Jessica Jones? Your Major Spoilers review of Jessica Jones #1 awaits!
Previously in Jessica Jones: “Jessica Jones, former costumes super hero, is now the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations, a small private investigative firm. But dark secrets from her super hero past haunt her, affecting her relationships and happiness.”
THINGS HAVE GONE SOUTH
As we open this issue, Jessica Jones is being released from jail for unknown reasons. After a lovely sequence that reminds me of Jake Blues’ release from prison in ‘The Blues Brothers’, she attempts to leap her way back to the island of Manhattan, only to end up in the river. Returning to the offices of Alias Investigations, we begin to see bits of what led to this situation, thanks to the arrival of Misty Knight who has one pointed question: Where’s the baby? Their confrontation turns physical quickly, and Jessica overpowers Misty, throwing her out of the office bodily. We get more information from her answering machine, including a new case from a woman who says that her husband woke up a few months ago claiming that he had a different life. Given that this would be roughly the same time as the Secret Wars, our realization is that he might be right. It’s a pretty clever bit of story, but the conversation between Jessica and Mrs. Brownlee takes up nearly a third of the book, which feels like a poor use of space. That’s followed by a quick confrontation by Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman (who hilariously, looks like TV Jessica Jones in these pages) and a cliffhanger wherein Luke Cage arrives to ask the question of the day: “Where’s our daughter?”
On the one hand, I really like bits and pieces of this issue. Gaydos art is strong throughout, and it’s really good to see the Jessica Jones from ‘Alias’ back on the page, but I really dislike the use of little Danielle Cage as a metaphorical bargaining chip to underline what a mess Jessica is. Jessica as a single, messed-up person was one thing, having her baby in the middle of all of this bothers me greatly. In addition to that, the pacing of this issue is troublesome, dedicating far too much time to a back and forth conversation and not enough to making me want to know the hows and whys of how Jessica got to this point. I’m not sure that turning her into a “bad mother” trope (assuming that is where the story is going, which to be fair, I am not certain yet) is the way to return Jessica to the state she was in circa Alias. If the intent is to make the Marvel Universe more like the Netflix show, I’m worried that this will be destructive to Jessica Jones in the long run.
THE BOTTOM LINE: I AM NOT HAPPY
In short, while this issue gives me many things to like artistically and in certain character interactions, the central plot point is disturbing enough to really damage both the character and this series to the point where I’m quite leery of continuing. Jessica Jones #1 is a mixed bag issue that presses a reset button for Jessica and her story, reversing some character development and making it uncomfortable to think about Danielle Cage for a very mixed 3 out of 5 stars overall. Here’s hoping that next issue’s confrontation between Luke and Jessica gives us some closure…
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