Jessica Jones, the latest Marvel television series, is based on the comic book ‘Alias’ by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. The comic series is about Jessica Jones, a former superhero turned private eye after she undergoes a horrifying traumatic event in her past. For the television series, however, I’m unsure at the moment if she is indeed a former ‘superhero’ because the TV series ties into the Marvel Cinematic universe. As you know, there’s only a handful of superheroes that are known to the public and as seen on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D anybody else with powers is referred to as an Inhuman. So how they’re going to cover this material is yet to be seen as of the first episode.
She definitely does have superpowers in this show and she uses them though not in full view of the cameras as I guess they don’t want to overtly show them just quite yet. Perhaps in later episodes they’ll show them more. Luke Cage, not named in this episode but very definitely Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter (Locke in Halo: Nightfall) isn’t shown to use his powers but in one scene is worried that he used them on Jessica. There is another member of this cast who has powers and that is our villain, Zebediah Kilgrave, aka The Purple Man. Played by David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), he’s only shown in silhouette or from behind in this first episode.
The show’s title character, Jessica Jones, is played by Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad, Veronica Mars) as a foul-mouthed, alcoholic private eye who apparently has some traumatic baggage from her past. The first episode is clearly meant to set up who this person is, the people in her life, and hints of her traumatic past. I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoilers, but by the end of the episode all of those bullet points are covered and we get a very good idea of where her motivations lie for future episodes.
All in all, the first episode was a very good setup for the series with hints to where it’s going to go by introducing a lot of side characters that will more than likely play a larger role as the series goes on. They balanced the humor and the drama pretty well and so far it seems like a fairly faithful adaptation of the comic book with some minor changes to the characters forced on them by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The show ended on a tonal high note with a very intense climax that really hammers home how terrifying and formidable a foe Zebediah Kilgrave really is. I’m very much looking forward to seeing where the story goes next. I am reviewing these episodes as I watch them so that future episodes don’t color my judgment of past episodes. I definitely recommend watching the series based on what I’ve seen so far. It’s not as strong a start as Daredevil had, but still very good.