I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Friday, February 3, 2017

Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos

First off this comic is what is known as a MAX comic which means it is meant for those seventeen and older since it contains explicit content.  That being said it is an amazing introduction to Jessica Jones a former superhero who is now living the life of a lowly private eye whose cases are not ideal and when she tries to help someone things sometimes backfire on her.

The comic opens like a scene in Chinatown with Jessica explaining to a man that his wife wasn't cheating on him, but is a mutant. When he comes after her she tosses him through the glass partition of her door.  She calls the cops to take care of the guy and has to deal with crap from them.  She's feeling pretty low so she goes to Luke Cage's bar to drink and winds up going to bed with him, which she's not sure how she feels about that.

The next day she is hired by a woman to find her sister who is missing. The woman sounds positively desperate. Jones does a background check on the woman and her sister, but computers are not her thing and her checks are left to doing simple paid searches. She finds nothing to raise any red flags and goes in search of the woman and quickly finds her at home with a man coming to visit her. A man that turns out to be Captain America. And she has a video of him changing into his costume on the roof on tape.

When she gets home she calls the woman to let her know she has found her sister but gets an invalid number message.  Her first instinct is to destroy the tape but she realizes that someone has set her up and wants her to have this tape for a reason so she holds onto it for now.  She gets into her car and drives to the woman's address and it's a department store.  She has really screwed up this investigation.  Then she drives back to the sister's house and she has been murdered. She quickly leaves the scene but not before the police have noticed her presence.

She goes to Cage for help but he's pissed off at her for coming to his place which is apparently a no-no since he has another woman there.  She goes to the Avengers mansion but no one is there. Then she is scooped up by the police for questioning and is now on the hot seat by a cop who wants to pin this on her.  After grilling her for a while, Matt Murdock shows up.  Luke Cage had heard through the grapevine that she was being held and he sent him. Matt got her out of there and told her to contact him if they bothered her again.

She decides to turn to Carol Danvers or Ms. Marvel to help her figure out where the phone number came from.  The phone number leads to a surprising person and web of intrigue whose plans involve Captain America and the Avengers.  It's up to Jessica Jones to stop them without ending up in jail.

There are other cases in this comic that are equally good and show how Jones has a soft spot and why she is barely getting by financially.  Also making an appearance is the seventeen-year-old fan who keeps stopping by her office to answer the phone and deal with clients when she is sleeping at her desk and can't stop him.  She runs him off every time but he keeps coming back.

This comic can be said to be in the film noir style of story.  She's like Bogey in the Big Sleep only much more tortured. The paneling is blow-your-mind-away amazing.  It follows no set rules and explores the different ways to tell a story visually. At one point when she is talking to the woman with the sister the dialogue just pours down in a wave across the page one after the other and you sense the urgency of the situation.  The colors are so vivid and glorious they can only add to the story and give it the atmosphere it needs.  This truly was an incredible read, both visually and dialogue-wise.        

Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Jones-Alias-Vol-2001-2003-ebook/dp/B013TXA1N0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486135216&sr=8-1&keywords=jessica+jones+alias

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