JESSICA JONES #10
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Michael Gaydos
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 7/5/17
Plot: In Jessica Jones #10, our little private investigator has sleuthed her way into the sharper end of Maria Hill’s cloak and dagger game. Maria hired her to find out who’s trying to kill her after she was ejected from S.H.I.E.L.D. at the recommendation of current Hydra Supreme Leader, Steve Rogers, the ex-Captain America. Unfortunately SHIELD – who always seems to be surveying everyone, and more closely at this moment, Jessica. – caught her talking to Maria, who they are also after. When Jessica comes to the conclusion that it was Maria Hill herself who put the hit out on her, Maria releases that she’s being “put down.”
Story: Brian Michael Bendis is a great writer. When he’s writing his favorite characters he’s a spectacular writer. His fun really shows itself in titles like Jessica Jones, a character he cultivated years ago with the Alias series. Jessica has the kind of personality that readers can both love and loathe, depending on what’s going on in the story. She’s a patchwork of complexity that most people can relate to on some level, even if they aren’t of the same mind as her. Her solo series dives into that, and that’s what makes it so good.
The interaction between Jessica and Maria in this comic highlight everything that’s wrong with S.H.I.E.L.D. as an organization. They are spies. Spies are excellent liars. So much, that it’s likely best to assume that everything they say is going to be a lie. This doesn’t refer only to Maria, as Jessica points out multiple times, but also to the rest of the organization. They infringe on people’s privacy when they find it acceptable. They tell people what they can or cannot do, and given enough power, they will play God, because they think that they are worthy to be one. I love how much Jessica recognizes this and hates them for it.
Maria uses Life Model Decoys to do her business, which I have always found somewhat problematic when used as a story element because it always seems like an easy out. With Life Model Decoys, you can almost always “kill” a character off without killing them. In Jessica Jones #10 this happens in a few epic pages, but the shock is stunted because you know the “real” her is just going to walk out… and then she does. As much as I don’t like Life Model Decoys, the fact that Maria was one (forcing it to cry and everything) caused Jessica to flip out again. The issue was packed full of thick conflict and made for an enjoyable read.
Art: I love Gaydos on Jessica Jones’ art. I love the way he draws her. She has a very distinctive look, and perhaps this is due to the fact that I’m used to the Alias series, but to me this is what Jessica looks like. As much as I enjoyed the Netflix series, it bothers me that she’s drawn in some other books to look like Kristen Ritter when she already had a definitive look beforehand. I understand the push to create a resemblance to the character for familiarity to the show, especially for new readers but the look is so different that it’s frustrating. Still, in this book she’s drawn perfectly, and her expressions are to die for. When it comes to the colors the dark shades and shadowing fits the theme of the book like a glove. I wouldn’t change a thing about it
The cover art also summons a tinge of nostalgia given how it looks like the older series. David Mack is a monster on the water colors, and every one of them looks like a poem in picture form. This one features the hydra symbol, and even though there’s no heavy mentions of Secret Empire or Hydra’s control of S.H.I.E.L.D., the implications behind the cover are clear nonetheless. I hope that he remains the cover artist for the duration of the series.
Verdict: Jessica Jones #10 was an issue chocked full of tension and questions, but it did feel like it was on the short end. I noticed more than the average use of double splash pages. I’m not particularly upset at this, but I did feel like more could have happened here. This, however, doesn’t take away from the quality of the book. Jessica Jones #11 is on my radar.
Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5