By James Hancock October 10th, 2015
When a writer-producer like Jeph Loeb kindly asks an audience not to spoil Marvel’s much-anticipated new show for Netflix, Jessica Jones, I’m not about to be the first to break that sacred trust. But I will say right off the bat that the show kicks ass and I don’t believe Loeb would mind my saying that one bit. Jeph Loeb has been entertaining me my entire life with his work in film and comics and he has my full support for the shows he is producing with Marvel and Netflix, a lineup that includes the aforementioned Jessica Jones, as well as Daredevil Season 2, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and eventually The Defenders, a show that will bring all these characters together into one story. Tonight at New York Comic Con, Jeph Loeb played master of ceremonies in back to back panels, the first for Season 2 of Daredevil and the second for Jessica Jones which will premiere on Netflix November 20th. In that this shared universe of stories all takes place in Manhattan, Marvel wisely chose to unveil nothing at San Diego Comic Con, saving their exclusives and clips for some very fired up New Yorkers, and rightfully so. New York has always been the heart of Marvel both in publishing as well as in the epic tales they tell. The highlight of the evening was when Jeph Loeb stopped in the middle of his introduction to drag Charlie Cox (Daredevil), Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) and Mike Colter (Luke Cage) on stage at the same time. Amidst the total pandemonium of the crowd, Loeb shouted that this moment was the first group shot of the Defenders in public at least until Danny Rand aka Iron Fist has been cast. We were then treated to a brief teaser for Daredevil Season 2 where the majority of the crowd shrieked orgasmically when they saw Elodie Young (Elektra) and Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) in action. After a quick Q&A, the Daredevil cast and crew were ushered off the stage giving the cast of Jessica Jones a chance to steal the spotlight. Loeb introduced all the newcomers, asked a few questions and broke the news that Carrie-Anne Moss is playing Jeryn Hogarth, a lawyer in Marvel Comics who plays a crucial role in Iron Fist’s origin. Jeph Loeb nearly broke everyone’s heart in the auditorium when he announced that they had no clips to share. As the audience groaned predictably, Loeb then announced that they were simply going to show us the season premiere instead and immediately the lights went down as the crowd erupted in a deafening roar.
True to my word, I am not going to spoil any plot details but I will be speaking in general terms about the first episode of Jessica Jones, so if you consider that a spoiler then stop reading now. If you’ve read Brian Michael Bendis’s now legendary comic Alias (see my recap of the series in my review of the Jessica Jones teaser) a lot of the first episode will feel instantly familiar. Jessica Jones is a hard-drinking private investigator whose personal life is in total disarray whenever she is not busy helping her clients, usually by taking pictures of people fucking in alleys as she so eloquently states. She suffers from a recent trauma that is causing her PTSD which she handles by keeping everyone in her life at arm’s length to avoid showing any vulnerability of any kind. The irony is that Jessica is hell on wheels when it comes to physical confrontations. She has superhuman strength, not on the level of a character like the Hulk, but enough to lift the back of a car with one arm if need be. Krysten Ritter instantly won me over with her interpretation of the character, a performance that calls to mind so many world-weary, laconic private dicks from classic film noir of the 1940s and 1950s. But unlike Bogie in his roles as Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones just oozes sex appeal in particular when she encounters Luke Cage, a character that comic readers know is one of the only men who can handle her in the sack. The show is refreshingly uncensored, a fact that in the years to come might lead to my being more excited for Marvel’s Netflix content than their feature films. It is already public knowledge that David Tennant plays the villain of this season in the form of Kilgrave a character comic readers know as Purple Man, a fiend who has the simple but devastating power to verbally control anyone he encounters. Jessica Jones’s life is turned upside down when she accepts a new case in which Kilgrave is involved. This is not the squeaky clean world of a PG-13 Marvel feature film and already Kilgrave has exhibited the extent of his power in horrifying ways that Marvel could never display in their movies. Jessica Jones is clearly going to be a show that embraces the roughest content we’ve seen from Marvel to date. So I’m officially on board. It is safe to say that I will be binge watching the hell out of this show when it premieres on Netflix and I urge anyone who enjoyed the first season of Daredevil to do the same. Make mine Marvel.
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