REVIEW: Jessica Jones #13 – “The Color Purple”

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JESSICA JONES #13
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Michael Gaydos
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 10/04/17
Rating: Parental Advisory

Jessica Jones

Plot: Last issue, Maria Hill told Jessica Jones that S.H.I.E.L.D. lost track of Zebediah Killgrave (a.k.a. the Purple Man). Now Jessica seeks help from Carol Danvers, who provides a safe house. Unlike her first encounter, Jessica is prepared for the Purple Man but will it be enough?

Story: Since this issue is the story arc’s first part, there isn’t much action. Fortunately, Brian Michael Bendis’s dialogue keeps the plot moving. Bendis’s dialogue feels natural for the character’s nature. Plus I enjoyed the exchange between Jessica and Carol. During their conversation, Carol notes how much Jessica has grown as a character. Also the way they talk to each other tells new readers immediately that Carol and Jessica are close friends.

Speaking of new readers, this is the perfect jumping on point for fans of the Jessica Jones Netflix series.  The series did an excellent job portraying Jessica’s history with the Purple Man that fans could easily understand why his return into Jessica’s life is a big deal for her. Plus this issue features a clever easter egg when Jessica calls Luke for their code word. At first Luke assumes it’s “I love you” which is the phrase Jessica used with Trish Walker in the Netflix series.

The last page of this issue is chilling. It sets up the idea that this time the Purple Man is using Jessica’s daughter to get to her. I don’t want go into too much details because that would lessen it’s shock value. However it’s an impressive ending that sets up the tone for the remainder of the arc.

Art: This issue had a great opening artwise. It features three groups of faces, that increase as Jessica monologues about the Purple Man’s powers. When the sequence reaches its end Jessica gets to the part about who some people could be under Purple Man’s control and unaware about it. This sequence helps the reader understand Jessica’s fear and why she is not willing to trust anyone in this situation.

While the Purple Man is only in a few scenes, they have some excellent color choices. I like how the majority of the scene uses lighter colors for everyone else but Killgrave is this sharp and bold purple. It really focuses the reader’s attention on this character.

Also there are some great transitions in this issue. When the Purple Man talks to a woman off-panel and the woman starts asking about his skin color, that’s when we move to the Purple Man’s full appearance. Then when everyone starts noticing the Purple Man, he orders everyone to leave which cuts to an empty stadium. My favorite transition is when Purple Man puts his hands on his face in frustration then we cut to Danielle pulling her hands off her face. This helps set up the idea that Purple Man’s primary target isn’t going to be Jessica but her daughter. Plus during my second read of this issue, I realized this is a great set up for the final page.

Verdict: Jessica Jones #13 is a great read. This arc is bringing back Jessica’s most well-known enemy which feels in line with Marvel’s Legacy banner. Plus using Killgrave/Purple Man is a great way to get Neflix fans to read this arc. This issue also features excellent dialogue and spectacular artwork. Overall, Return of the Purple Man is not something Jessica Jones fans should miss.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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