The Secret Empire reigns. What does this mean for private investigator and retired superhero Jessica Jones? Your Major Spoilers review of Jessica Jones #9 awaits!
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Michael Gaydos
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Jessica Jones: “Jessica recently faked a fall from grace to help Captain Marvel lure an anti-super hero group out of hiding — a fall so convincing, it alienated her from the super hero community and her husband, Luke Cage. Maria Hill was the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., before she had a fall from grace of her own and was ousted by Captain America. Now, she’s on the run and wants Jessica to find out who’s trying to kill her…”
SHARON CARTER, AGENT OF DYSTOPIA
We open with Jessica at the end of several gun barrels, metaphorically speaking, as Sharon Carter questions her on the whereabouts of Maria Hill. Both women seem to have Maria’s best interests at heart (though I haven’t been reading Nick Spencer’s books, so I’m not sure how complicit she is in Steve’s new army of jack-booted thugs), but Jessica, as always pushes things a bit too far. Cut to S.H.I.L.D.’s brig, where Jessica has to listen to a terrible conversation between two guards before she ends up with a new roommate, Typhoid Mary. Mary plays the crazy card, and threatens to bit of parts of Jessica’s anatomy, all very scary-pants crazy-town…
…until she gets elbowed in the face by the super-strong Ms. Jones. Bailed out of the slam by Matt Murdock, Jessica returns home to a reunion with Luke Cage and their daughter, Danielle, with some lovely interactions and dialogue, as well as a shower sequence for some reason. As the issue ends, Jessica is given some information by a friend known as Raindrop, a lead that might lead her to Maria Hill…
OH SO VERY BENDISY
There are some lovely parts to this issue: The Typhoid Mary elbow is a laugh out loud moment for me, and seeing the Jones/Cage family reunited and talking again made me very happy. Unfortunately, the issue has two big problem moments: A truly disturbing conversation wherein two guard discuss the fact that their off-duty time is all getting high and self-gratification, which feels both intentionally gross and designed to remind us all that this is a book for adult readers, y’all! This is the same creative team from Alias, even if they can’t say the f-word anymore! The other comes at the moment where Mary is thrown in Jessica’s cell, referencing a plot point in Infamous Iron Man, with the guard actually saying out loud, “Funny how one story can affect another in surprising but logical ways.” It’s the worst kind of Bendis moment, one that not only pulls me out of the story but undermines the goodwill of the positive bits with too much “Nudge-nudge, know what I mean, squire?” nonsense. Michael Gaydos has excellent layouts and his use of blacks is first-rate, but the usual issues with stiffness in facial expressions make the complex conversations of the issue less enjoyable and less understandable.
THE BOTTOM LINE: GLAD TO SEE THE REUNION
In short, the issue feels like it’s really trying too hard, straining against the constraints of the main Marvel line, even with the cover warning that it’s not for general audiences, and a little too much unrestrained Bendis. Still, Jessica Jones #9 does provide a long-awaited reunion between Jessica and her family, a quick cameo by a very angry and very impressive Matt Murdock and some interesting plot iterations, earning 2.5 out of 5 stars overall. I know that the “real people” conversations are part of the draw in a BMB title, but this issue took it a step too far for my tastes, which hurt the overall product…