Jessica Jones Doesn’t Jones around

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Kate Murray, Copy Editor

With Daredevil as proof that Marvel, teamed up with Netflix, can tackle far more adult themes than they had previously no time was lost in jumping right into the heart of things with Jessica Jones.  Though Daredevil discussed some domestic abuse and human trafficking it was nothing in comparison to Jessica Jones, which is almost entirely about the aftermath of domestic abuse and rape, and the change in tone is highly evident.

Where in Daredevil Fisk was built up to be a villain meant to make us question our black and white views on morality, in Jones Kilgrave is portrayed as 100% an unrepentant arrogant rapist, yet is still a complex character, as with all of the characters in Jones.  He was a bad person, but a very interesting character, and given the nature of his powers his attitude towards things make perfect sense.  If people obey your every command it would be difficult to know whether or not they are doing it voluntarily.  However, he does not feel remorse for his manipulation and makes no apparent effort to control his power with anyone other than Jones, and even that is a new development, because his past abuse is the reason she became an alcoholic antihero in the first place.

Jones highlights this with its portrayal of “before Jess” and “after Jess;” the former a cocky, loyal, clever person trying to be a hero, the latter a bitter, scared noir style detective.  

However, beneath the effects that Kilgrave brought “before Jess” is still visible.  Jones refuses to give up on Hope Schlottman, another of Kilgrave’s victims who is in jail for the murder of her parents- something Kilgrave ordered her to do, and is dead set on getting her acquitted by bringing Kilgrave in alive to prove his powers, even though it would be far easier to simply use her super strength to snap him in half.

Oh, yes, she has superpowers.  What kind is never specified, other than the ability to jump “high” and being able to pick up a car.  How high is “high?” How much more weight can she carry? It remains a mystery, because the show just simply isn’t focused on much of anything other than Kilgrave’s powers and the characters’ interactions.  There are a few brawls, but on the whole this just is not a superhero show like Daredevil or The Flash.

Certainly, this does not make it bad, just very much not what you might expect going into it, and it is definitely not the kind of thing you will want to watch to unwind after a stressful day.  All together, though, it is a compelling story rife with complex characters and real life situations – by which I mean the “people interacting” part and not necessarily the “lifting up cars” part.