Review: Jessica Jones #3

jessicajones3Some of the best scenes in the original Alias series were interrogations either with Jessica Jones doing the asking, or someone else. They put writer Brian Michael Bendis’ ear for dialogue on display and allowed artist Michael Gaydos and colorist Matt Hollingsworth to create conflict in a way that didn’t involve your run of the mill superhero punchfest. And Jessica Jones #3 is another memorable interrogation sequence, and Bendis continues to shroud the plot in mystery with the introduction of Alison, who bailed Jessica out of jail and wants to get all the dirt on superhumans. She’s also a bit of a Jessica Jones fangirl, which is a change from people not knowing who she is and fits in with Jessica’s increased popularity in pop culture landscape thanks to her Netflix show.

An interrogation is just two (or three in this case) people in a room talking so setting is important.With Hollingsworth’s greens and browns, I could smell how dank and disgusting the dungeon-like room was where Jessica was being held.  There’s a little bit of a street level HYDRA vibe to the palette, but Alison doesn’t tell Jessica whose payroll she’s on or really anything personal about her. (I hope that she isn’t Dazzler with a new look, but that would be super out of left field.) As far as villains go, she isn’t that bad spending most of her time poking fun at her henchman Spot along with his creepiness and bad hygiene. She also lets Jessica go across the street to her office without laying a hand on her. Alison is brimming in confidence, and Gaydos makes her facial expressions open with big smiles and an in-charge kind of spirit compared to Jessica’s furrowed brows and smirks. She thinks that Jessica’s disaffection with the superhero community, especially after getting imprisoned, being estranged from her husband Luke Cage, and the fact that she runs and hides from anyone in a costume will make her give up all the dirt on them.

In fact, Alison gives a perfect surface level reading on who Jessica Jones is. She’s sarcastic, has a hate/hate relationship with her superpowers, and isn’t the biggest fan of the superhero community. Alison thinks she can use these traits so that Jessica will give her what she wants. But what she doesn’t know is that she has nice (If currently strained.) friendships with Carol Danvers and Spider-Man, and that Captain America vouched for jj3interiorher as a heroic person twice in Alias after he kept his identity a secret and triumphed over Killgrave once and for all. And even if she hates every superhero currently, Jessica Jones is no one’s puppet, and Gaydos shows this with little side panels of her busting out of her interrogation chair. Luckily, he and Bendis don’t go the cliché route of her fighting Alison and go the eerier way and have Jessica go free and immediately see her office across the street.

To pad out the issue, Bendis and Gaydos lead off the issue with a crazy cold open with Jessica on the run and getting saved by her daughter Dani, who is now Captain America and says “death” when she meant “dad”. Alternate universes have been mentioned quite a bit in Jessica Jones, and this is our first glimpse of one even if it might just be a dream. Hollingsworth’s almost bleached out palette, and Gaydos’ more active panels of Jessica jumping and dodging shows that this isn’t your usual scene from Jessica Jones comic before returning the shadows and sarcasm. There is also a Luke Cage subplot where he meets up with Detective Costello, who is investigating the murder of Jessica’s client. Their scenes are mostly connecting dots for yet another showdown between Luke and Jessica, but it’s refreshing to see Costello assume Jessica’s innocence in the situation unlike a lot of the clueless cops in Alias.

Jessica Jones #3 plays to the strengths of Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, and Matt Hollingsworth in dialogue, expressions, and color palette while continuing to dig readers deeper into a multiversal mystery hole. I enjoyed how laidback, yet slightly overconfident a villain Alison was even though most of her appeal comes from her status as a human mystery.

(I may have an outlandish theory that she is an aged up, embittered version of Layla Miller, who is from another timeline or the Ultimate Universe because, like Alison, she “knows stuff”, was a mutant P.I. with X-Factor once upon a time, and is also a Brian Michael Bendis co-creation.)

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Michael Gaydos Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review