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Friday, October 07, 2016 

So Marvel doesn't want to capitalize on the Jessica Jones TV show

In the new series Brian Bendis is writing starring Jessica Jones, following up on the one he wrote in the early 2000s (Alias), the heroine has become a pariah:
Jessica Jones is back, with her own solo series from the team that created her 15 years ago. Yay! But it turns out that her closest friends and family now suddenly hate her, and it might be for some very good reasons. Less yay. A lot less yay.

Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, and Matthew Hollingsworth’s Jessica Jones #1 is a peculiar opening number for a series many will have their eyes on thanks to the Netflix series. Not really because the show’s version of Jessica is different to the comics version (although there’ll be a little bit of that), because even if you’re aware of what Jessica’s been up to in the comics, it feels completely out of nowhere.

To start, the series opens with Jessica Jones getting out of prison, for reasons unknown. If that wasn’t alarming enough, no one—not even her husband, Luke Cage—is there to greet her when she’s freed.
Oh, but the reasons are known, and it's not good at all. It has what to do with Jessica and Luke's daughter in this book's world. And here's what really makes this irritating:
Where the hell is Danielle Cage, Jessica’s daughter? The implication from these is clearly Jess has done something to her. She’s estranged from her husband. Her friends think she might have killed her child. Whatever Jessica did, her daughter is missing, she went to prison for it, and now all the people close to her can’t stand her.

It’s a surprising turn, considering not only does it make Jessica look extremely unlikable, which is a strange pick for your first issue of a new series starring her, but it’s also so alien. [...]
And it's not how you draw in audience from the TV program whom you'd assume the Marvel publishers wanted to appeal to. But that's modern Marvel for you, not interested in appealing even to veteran readers.
If that ends up not being the case, and this an elaborate deception being played on Jessica and her friends (there’s a petrifying voice at the back of my head screaming that this will be revealed as some sort of mass suggestion by a returned Purple Man somehow, which please god no don’t do that) then even that feels a little contrived. Either way, this inauspicious start to Jessica’s first starring series in a long time—and having to wait and see how it’ll play out is leaving us a bit wary about the chances of Jessica Jones sticking the landing.
That's exactly the problem with a lot of modern examples of such serial fiction. You shouldn't have to wait the way they make you do, or read an additional book/miniseries to make a determination how good or bad this is. This is why mainstream superhero comics and such have become so bad, because they don't know how to - or have no interest in - appealing to a larger audience. And Bendis doesn't even have any idea what really makes "noir" storytelling work either. I don't know how long this'll last, but it's already apparent that sales won't be measuring in millions.

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A: The TV show isn't all that good anyway.

B: Have you heard about PAD's little tirade at ComicCon?
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/10/08/peter-david-talks-to-bleeding-cool-about-that-new-york-comic-con-panel/

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