Catherine Gagulashvili culture editor
Comic books have been known to be relished by young children. It was not too long ago when the arguments of who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman overtook the elementary school playground. But as children mature, they learn that life’s problems tend not to be fixed by a flying superhero. Instead, problems can be dark, dreadful and difficult, often with little to no closure or solutions. Netflix’s adaptation of Marvel’s “Jessica Jones,” which explores dark themes such as death, rape and post-traumatic stress disorder, appeals to an older audience and brings a level of maturity to the comic book world.
Jessica Jones, played by Krysten Ritter, has a classic superhero background. Jones was in a car crash with her whole family at a young age; it was this event that resulted in her becoming a superhero with superhuman strength. She was patched up and fixed by IGH, a secret research laboratory and genetic technology clinic involved in covert and illegal human experimentation, and was sent off to be haunted by her post traumatic stress disorder. As she grew older, Jones became determined to help people, just as much as she was determined to get through her day without being reminded of her past. In order to fulfill this goal, she opened up her own private investigator firm, Alias Investigations.
Season one of “Jessica Jones,” which debuted in November of 2015, was a captivating beginning of the series. Jones’ arch rival, Kilgrave, portrayed by the incredibly talented David Tennant, was the classic villain. He was an ostracized child who was able to control people’s actions through the power of speech. Using this power, he essentially raped Jones of her free will, using her as his play toy. The season one finale ended with Jones breaking free of his control, finally killing him.
Then came season two. Without a proper villain to go up against, Jones is left with nothing but her routine of running Alias Investigations and drinking her problems away at random bars. Jones becomes curious about her past and begins to dig into her life after her childhood car crash. Her best friend and sister through adoption, Trish, uncovers that Jones has 20 days missing from her medical record. The season focuses on uncovering who Jones really is and how the accident changed the course of her life. While the idea of dedicating a whole season to a superhero’s self discovery may seem boring, uncovering her dark past and finding out just how complex her life is ties together the many unanswered questions of season one.
Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” is undoubtedly one of the most intense shows based off a comic book. It is not meant for the light-hearted, considering the intensity and goriness of the show. Jones is a superhero meant to relate to an older and more mature audience; she is moody, aggressive and just plain rude, but her character is the quintessential representative of someone dealing with PTSD and the idea of being a murderer. All in all, this show is one of the best pieces of work that Marvel has produced. Seasons one and two of “Jessica Jones” are available on Netflix.