Review: Jessica Jones #7

STL039933.jpgBrian Michael Bendis gives us another issue of Jessica Jones that reminds us why there should be more female writers, exploring female characters in the Marvel universe.

This issue has us on the hook for a solid five pages before we even get a glimpse of the title character. We are treated to five pages of set up involving Maria Hill because, all brunette, bad ass females are interchangeable. Bendis then goes into his character introduction of Jessica Jones by having two full panels of a fuzzy faced Jessica perusing the aisles of a liquor store.

The liquor store scenes could have been character building except when they’re coupled with the five pages of her saving a woman from her abusive date with the use of violence and then receiving a hug and immediate “friendship” for doing the right thing, you’re reminded that you’ve seen this all before. The next story arc for Jessica Jones spends the almost half of the comic book dealing with other people’s problems not on the one thing that we know is most important to Jessica, her family. Not only, is she relegated to a secondary story line in her own comic book, for the second time, the writer couldn’t even be original. We’ve seen this all before, the heroine looking for an escape, using liquor who saves a girl from abuse is the exact same start for the Elektra solo comic down to having someone else get multiple pages in the opening of the story.

If the unoriginal storytelling of the first half of the comic isn’t bad enough, Jessica is then forced to be subject herself to essentially begging Danny Rand to tell her where Luke and her daughter are and she gets not only mansplained to but, Rand proceeds to take care of her by telling her what she needs. Oh, you’ve lost your child? You should eat! If that cliched and condescending enough to all womankind, Jessica then briefly reunites with Luke and her daughter, which would be awesome if it was in any way rooted in reality. The reunion is all sweet and cheerful which makes little to no sense, because if Luke knew Jessica had no choice, then his BFF Danny would have known and told her but, if he didn’t this sweet reunion without any kind of talk before hand makes no sense. They have a brief conversation that takes up less than three pages and then Jessica, who has her family back and, possibly her good name is back off to the office, getting some rest and a drink, where she encounters a bloody and presumed dead Maria Hill.

Michael Gaydos gives Jessica’s world a dark, hopeless feeling. The panels are filled with harsh lines, deep shadows and the fallen Jessica Jones spots a gruff, hardened almost masculine face, like all of the women in this issue who are strong. There’s a sense of despair in the lines that show the sad state of disrepair that Jessica’s life has fallen into, she looks haggard, zombielike, and lost. In the earlier pages, Gaydos gives her the look of a junkie, her lost child and the return of her family seem to be the only fix that can save her soul.  That would be story accurate except he gives Maria Hill the same masculine and haggard look. It appears that’s just how he draws women. I suppose in a way it’s a step up from sexualizing and filling the pages with a male gaze but, there was so little attention to detail and so much clinging to the monotony that Maria and Jessica are indistinguishable except for their hair color and hairstyle.

The issue uses dark, shadowy tones, which ironically enough complement the downward spiral and aftermath showcased in the story being told. Matt Hollingsworth‘s color choices do their job of making the reader feel just as lost, disorientated and saddened as Jessica. The style isn’t the most sophisticated, it doesn’t feel like a throwback to older comics nor, does it feel new and stylized. The art is simplistic, like the by the numbers cliched storytelling. It’s kind of like the artists gave up the second that they saw the story they would be conveying in pictures.

The story is convoluted, unrealistic, and hackneyed. It is the epitome of what men think women want and are like. Bendis portrays Jones as a one-dimensional, agencyless, manic pixie detective for hire in her own story. There are so many character cameos, Cage, Rand, and Hill, that it feels like Bendis really wanted to write these other comics but, didn’t get hired so he’s cramming them all into the Jessica Jones’ solo outing and forgetting to tell her story in an authentic way.  He actually seems to take more care in the scenes that Rand and Cage are in making sure they’re featured than he does making sure that we know that it’s a Jessica Jones’ comic. Even the artwork is steadier and more detailed for the male characters than it is for Jessica. It’s insulting & derivative and trite and, both the readers and Jessica deserve more.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Michael Gaydos and Matt Hollingsworth
Story: 5.6 Art: 6.5 Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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2 comments

  • Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Recommendation: Read.
    Fail.
    Either it’s not that bad and you just want a soapbox, or it is that bad and the recommendation should be “Don’t read.”
    Make up your mind.


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    • Hi there, AJ.
      Thanks for taking the time to “read ” my review. If the only problem that you had with it was that I said people should read it, then I would like to address your concerns.

      1. It’s wasn’t so much “Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. ” as it was, ” Do better. Care about your characters. Don’t write what you think women are like. Your writing is legit showing your sexism.” If your only take away from my post was that I only bitched then you didn’t read it. There were some compliments about the art and, a decent mix of criticism and, questioning.

      2.As a rule, I don’t recommend that people don’t read something unless it’s incoherent babble, Islamophobic, homophobic, racist, or so misogynistic that it reads like a MRA handbook.

      People can read whatever they want to read and quite frankly, it’s not my job to be the reading police. I believe that there is a comic book out there for everyone, if after reading my review, you decide that you’re into that sort of thing then you should read it.

      3. What exactly do I “Fail” at?

      4. I don’t need to use this as a soapbox, I’m on twitter. But, if I read something that needs calling out, I will call it out. The whole purpose of this website is to mix politics, issues and comic books. If you don’t want that kind of criticism in your comic reviews then, mayhaps my reviews might not be for you.

      5.You don’t get to tell me what my recommendation should be. No one does. I’m an autonomous adult, with my own mind and , I do what I want. If I thought this comic was worth it, I would say BUY not read. I don’t think it’s worth wasting your money on but, what bothers me, might not bother you (or another reader) . My reviews are just my opinion, so unless a title fits into the criteria listed in point # 2 , I encourage people to read it themselves . Form your own opinions.

      6. I have made up my mind. I don’t like the story line. If you read my review and want to check it out then read it but, don’t buy it. These two feelings do not have to be mutually exclusive.

      Examples:

      I love unicorn fraps and paintball, I think everyone should try them both once in their lives. You don’t want to? Ok cool. But, if you don’t try them then how do you know you don’t like them? Don’t want to? OK. Do you.

      I do not like swimming with dolphins, it’s bad for the dolphins. But, if you want to try it and see for yourself… have at it. I won’t judge you.

      I think for myself and, think everyone else should too.

      But, if you’re the type that needs someone to tell you what you should or should not buy or read when you head down to your local comic book shop or, any nuanced bit of criticism escapes you or, your capacity for articulating any criticism boils down to the use of the phrase ” bitch, bitch, bitch , bitch,” and , the idea that I would suggest you decide for yourself makes your head explode to the point that you feel the need to comment on the fact that I suggested , reading something for yourself, forming your own opinion & (GASP) thinking for yourself, then I don’t know what to tell you other than, you might be part of the problem.

      It’s your life AJ, do you. I hope you enjoyed having a soapbox to express yourself at 1:15 in the morning.

      Have a lovely day now that, you’ve had time to recover from the set back that my review caused in your life.

      Shay

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