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Review: Jessica Jones #6

I could hear the “theories” that filled my earlier reviews of the new Jessica Jones series laughing at me as the foe that Jessica Jones and Carol Danvers team up to fight up in Jessica Jones #6’s only redeeming moment is just another no-name HYDRA leader, who happens to hate superheroes and hire visually interesting henchmen like The Spot. Instead of being like Dennis Hopeless in Spider-Woman, writer Brian Michael Bendis decides to walk back over a decade of character development and wreck Luke and Jessica’s marriage in a single arc complete with a messy custody battle over Dani and some shaming from Jessica’s mother. Now, she’s single just like in the Netflix show, and there’s not even time for them to talk it over at the end of the issue or tell Luke that she was on a top secret mission. It’s just over.

After that highly negative paragraph, I would like to discuss the one positive of Jessica Jones #6: Carol and Jessica are officially friends again. Of course, Carol has to get punched around by The Spot in some gut wrenching art from Michael Gaydos to sell the subterfuge that Jessica Jones is selling out the superheroes. However, Bendis foreshadows that everything is going to be dandy early on when Carol works around Sharon Carter to keep the SHIELD safe house where they fight Allison and Spot away from SHIELD eyes. The issue also has a pretty fun opener where Jessica Jones (in her old superhero identity as Jewel) kicks Dr. Octopus’ ass, makes dick jokes about him, and the instantly befriends Carol Danvers, who is wearing her original 1970s costume. It’s easily the best part of this story arc complete with a nauseating color palette from Matt Hollingsworth and made me long for a Bronze Age superhero version of Broad City that this Jewel/Ms. Marvel team up comic would probably read like.

After assassinating Carol Danvers’ character in Civil War II and putting James Rhodes six feet under, Bendis turns his sights on a couple of his “babies” in Jessica Jones #6, namely Jessica and Luke Cage. Unlike his humorous, yet still nuanced portrayal by David Walker in Power Man and Iron Fist, Luke is just loud, angry, and not the brightest bulb in the box in Jessica Jones #6. He spent an entire arc looking for Dani before finally having the bright idea to check Jessica mom’s house after telling his “bro” Iron Fist that he didn’t sleep with his ex, Misty Knight after a tabloid pictures pops up of them close together. Yes, this is the guy that Bendis previously had leading the Avengers and then making an adult decision and stepping back from the team to be there for his family. And now he won’t even have a conversation with his estranged wife, who finally came back to him.

In retrospect, Jessica Jones‘ overarching plot where Jessica Jones goes to jail, sells herself out to HYDRA agent after pretending to hate all the superheroes, and sends baby Dani to live with her mother seems like one huge contrivance to break her and Luke’s marriage up. At least, it wasn’t dissolved by Mephisto. Allison Greene doesn’t even seem like that great of a villain and even worth the sacrifice to take out. Sure, she has some crazy, if derivative ideas about killing teen superheroes, but never really shows that she has what it takes.

Basically, after a whole arc of pain and teases not coming to fruition, Bendis and Gaydos put Jessica Jones back on square one as the colossal screw-up that she was towards the beginning of Alias. They also put the actual interesting mystery of the multiverse being destroyed on the backburner for the time being. Jessica almost tells Carol about this “case,” but is shushed and pretty much told to sleep it off. At least with no husband or kid to worry about, she’ll have plenty of free time to ponder the mysteries of the missing Earth-1610.

The story that he is drawing is mediocre, but Michael Gaydos continues to be a solid artist of body language and showing the flaws of superheroes beneath their bright costumes. If there’s any artist who can tell a story in a rhythmic grid about someone completely ruining their life with all the messy emotions in between, it’s him. He deserves better than Jessica Jones #6, which is a conclusion to an arc that had the clear purpose of breaking up Jessica and Luke in way that doesn’t feel earned and is buried underneath a cacophony of subplots and countless panels of The Spot punching people.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Michael Gaydos Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review