Writer: Brian Michael Bendis / Artist: Michael Gaydos, Javier Pulido / Marvel Comics
Jessica Jones winds down a Maria Hill story arc that was a mild theme park ride – engaging enough, but hardly a roller coaster. We revisit the double-artist exposition for the second time now with Javier Pulido drawing Hill’s backstory and Michael Gaydos anchoring the present, and it still works within the story, despite the flashback reading overly convoluted for such a short few pages. The emotional pull is the best asset at this series’ disposal, based largely in Jessica trying to do right by the two people closest to her, Luke and their daughter.
The issue falters by cheapening scenes that are meant to manipulate readers into fear and a sense of sincere danger, only to have the following scene prove all is well. Jessica is shot in point-blank range at the end of Jessica Jones #11 and walks it off in the first page of Jessica Jones #12; Jessica sets off a bomb that explodes through the entire side of a building, Luke Cage running to the terrorizing scene, only for Jessica to crack wise at the artificially raised stakes and have an epiphany to crack her case. If you have had trouble staying invested with the low stakes in this series, these writing choices will not help.
Regardless, clever dialogue and a soft spot in your heart for Jess’ rough exterior encasing what must be a heart of gold keep us reading. And now that a familiar name is back in the mix, our interest is piqued now more than ever. Killgrave returns, next on Jessica Jones. Every time I think I’m out, they pull me right back in.
Reading Jessica Jones? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.