Jessica Jones: The Underbelly of Marvel Noir

Jessica Jones is the dark side of Marvel, it is noire to the very core with a heroine that drinks too much and has been to the dark side and back, but only just. Played by the impressive Krysten Ritter (who will be remembered principally for playing Jesse Pinkman’s druggie girlfriend that Walter lets OD) this series is darker than dark and full of bad attitude.


Kristen Ritter as Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones is the dark side of Marvel, it is noire to the very core with a heroine that drinks too much and has been to the dark side and back, but only just.  Played by the impressive Krysten Ritter (who will be remembered principally for playing Jesse Pinkman’s druggie girlfriend that Walter lets OD) this series is darker than dark and full of bad attitude. 

It is also addictive to watch and great fun.  Jessica Jones is enjoyable in a way that the regular Marvel “good guys” cannot be. Sure there are superheroes, and just plain old heroes, who have dark pasts and some pretty messy backstories, but Jones, who will also turn up in The Defenders (which will also be aired on Netflix) in 2016 beats those hands down.

If one is interested enough there is at least one “wiki” page entry for Jones’ character in the Marvel verse.  Apparently the dark haired super-strong gal with limited invulnerability powers was a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. at one time until her dark nature got her the boot.

The magic of Jessica Jones is that Krysten makes the hero so watchable that it is difficult not to binge all 13 episodes on offer over at Netflix.  Another point in this dark Marvel heroine’s favour is that we don’t need to know an awful lot about the superhero.  The pacing and story telling is such that we find out all that is needed to know.

Certainly there are characters in the show that come from the verse and are all part of the lore of Jones’ world. Luke Cage (played with an impressive depth and bearing by actor Mike Colter who is working currently on TNT’s Agent X and will, apparently have his own TV show titled, appropriately enough, Luke Cage) has ties with Jessica in both the comic world and on the series.

Whether there are any “Easter Eggs” in the show or not remains to be seen. Admittedly it is hard to take one’s eyes off of Ritter, just as it was in Breaking Bad.  The actress oozes a sense of dangerous reality in Jessica Jones and merely walking across her cluttered apartment floor takes on special meaning.

The flashbacks and her mantra of street names, to help get over “the Purple Man” aka, KIlgrave go a long way toward telling us that this is one flawed superhero.  Thus far the viewer has yet to see more than a silhouette or an arm of Kilgrave and we have only heard his voice. The part will be played by David Tennant (former Dr Who fan favorite and star of the US version of Broadchurch, which he also starred in, Gracepoint.)

Once again the Purple Man is part of the verse and a major nemesis of Jones in the comics.  In the pilot episode, AKA Ladies Night, Jones is serving papers to douche client when she picks up the vibe of Kilgrave. Later a girl’s parents show up asking Jessica to find and save their daughter Hope (Erin Moriarty). 

Jones accepts, reluctantly and in the process of tracking down the girl learns that Kilgrave is still alive, despite what Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), Jones’ adopted sister believes. The pilot episode is tight and entertaining. It ends with the viewer wanting more and as it is on Netflix, this is definitely possible. 

Perfectly timed to fill that holiday gap left by midseason and fall finales, Jessica Jones is a really dark gem. Tune in to Netflix and get hooked on that bad girl superhero vibe.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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