Jessica Jones: Flawed and Fighting

Not all superheroes wear capes and actively choose to save the world—some drink heavily and hope to be safe themselves

If you are looking for a new show to binge-watch over winter break, follow the scent of leather and bourbon to the new Netflix original series, Marvel’s “Jessica Jones.”

Presenting itself more like a psychological thriller than a traditional superhero narrative, “Jessica Jones” tells its story like a gritty, dark, and heroic cousin of “Veronica Mars.” The series incorporates stunning cinematography, often borrowing various elements from film noir. Jones is played by Krysten Ritter, best known from “Breaking Bad” and “Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23,” who approaches the role with such care and honesty that audiences are able to understand every hard decision, self-destructive choice, and well-intentioned mistake Jones makes.

Illustrator: Helen Teague

Illustrator: Helen Teague

Jessica Jones is a superhumanly strong former superhero-turned private investigator who drinks bourbon, sleeps with strangers, and isn’t preoccupied with playing nice and making friends. What makes Jones so relatable is that, despite her powers, she is still hurting and scared. Jones struggles with PTSD due to events in her past with an enemy that she simply wasn’t able to beat—yet. This enemy, known as Kilgrave, is brilliant played by David Tennant of “Doctor Who” fame, who is able to portray a character that will makes audiences feel both compassion in tandem with pure and utter burning hatred.

Released about six months after Netflix and Marvel’s successful and critically acclaimed “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” is based off of the comic “Alias,” created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos. The comic was released with 28 issues between 2001 and 2004, published under Marvel Comic’s Max imprint, which promised to deliver comics containing language, sex, and violence for adult audiences. In fact, “Alias” was the first adult, “R-rated” comic book Marvel released, which came with a new freedom to explore the lives of superheroes who are not all neat edges and square corners.

Featuring a female protagonist who wears street-clothes rather than a cape, drinks heavily, and struggles with her own mental health, “Jessica Jones” is a superhero story that is singular, relatable, and subversive. We might not see another quite like Jessica Jones again, which just happens to be a perfect reason to temporarily neglect your studying and let “Jessica Jones” into your life.