JESSICA JONES #9
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Michael Gaydos
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: 6/7/17
Jessica learns that staying out of prison is easier said than done. She also repairs her relationship with husband Luke while investigating Maria Hill in Jessica Jones #9.
Plot: After a Maria Hill Life Model Decoy almost kills her, Jessica once again finds herself at odds with S.H.I.E.L.D., this time with current director Sharon Carter. Unfortunately, Sharon doesn’t exactly trust Jessica and she ends up in jail until friendly neighborhood lawyer Matt Murdock gets her out.
After a reunion with husband Luke Cage, Jessica finally gets a lead in the Maria Hill case.
Story: After the tense pace of the last issue including Jessica’s near death, this issue takes a much slower approach to the story. In fact, the whole issue feels more like a series of scenes than a cohesive issue. This, however, is not necessarily a bad thing.
After the confrontation with Sharon Carter, Brian Michael Bendis goes back to focusing in on Jessica’s inner monologue along with some absurd interactions that have come to characterize Jessica’s off-kilter world in this book. The introduction of Typhoid Mary seems both random and perfectly in place and adds to the strange sense of humor.
Matt Murdock bailing her out adds a nice touch since it reminds you that Jessica isn’t just a loner, she’s a part of this world whether she wants to be or not. It’s this constant push and pull, of being dragged into the mess of superheroes and trying to drag herself out, that characterizes Jessica’s relationship to her role.
The scenes where Jessica reunites with Luke offer a much sweeter tone, showing that despite all her sass and anger, she does what she does to protect her family. Jessica will never be a model hero, but by painting her as a multidimensional mother, wife and superhuman Bendis creates an understanding between the reader and the character. Jessica’s actions and life might not make a lot of sense, but you empathize with her anyway.
Art: Michael Gaydos draws the emotions of Jessica Jones with a great subtlety that provides an emotional punch that isn’t always obvious in the sharp, witty dialogue. Any time Gaydos draws Jessica with her daughter, I can feel my heart melting just a little. Jessica doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve, but through her eyes and smiles (or frowns) you get a deeper look. Like her love for Luke or her disdain for people like Sharon Carter.
As much as I love these heart-warming moments, Gaydos also has a knack for drawing the creepy characters without making them seem too cartoonish. Typhoid Mary’s most evil feature is her disconcerting smirk.
The arrangement of the panels are also striking like when the scenes are presented as pop outs from the apartment or the full shower scene
Other great details in this issue come from the colors by Matt Hollingsworth. Seeing the red pop of Matt Murdock’s glasses before the details of his face is a nice touch for fans.
Verdict: So far the new arc around Maria Hill has been a slow burn. Jessica Jones is a detective, but she still needs an interesting mystery to make the book work. That said, I enjoyed seeing her reunite with Luke and the special cameo from Matt Murdock. Hopefully as Jessica digs further into the mystery, we’ll get more action in the book and more intrigue.