Jessica Jones – Purple Daughter No. 1 review: Killgrave still endures


Jessica Jones can never seem to escape from Killgrave, no matter how hard she tries, and now, he has seemingly infected her daughter leading Jessica on a search as to why.

Kelly Thompson’s first arc on Jessica Jones very much felt like a worthy successor to Brian Michael Bendis’ work on the character. She brought the tone that Bendis had given the character since the creation of Jessica all while bringing her own unique flair to the book. Not everything in that first arc was perfect, but what first arc for a writer on a character is? All that said, these first couple chapters in Thompson’s second arc on Jessica Jones showcase one thing, that she was the perfect choice to take over the title from Bendis.

Throughout these first few chapters of this arc (this being a digital-first comic), Thompson decided to bring back the approach that has worked so well for the character of Jessica Jones in the past, not treating it like a superhero comic. Thompson treats this new arc like a psychological thriller that just happens to include a couple people with powers, which is an extremely smart thing to do. This is an incredibly personal story being told and if there had been a lack of focus on character during the set-up, the reader wouldn’t care about the actual plot at all.

Image by Marvel Comics/Art by Mattia De Iluis

Thompson absolutely nails how broken Jessica is as well here. Thompson understands exactly what is going on in Jessica’s head and conveys it in a way that is heartbreaking and also builds tension because you feel scared for what’s going to happen. Most books create sympathy for the characters that are on the page, but here, Thompson manages to make you feel empathy for both Jessica and Luke by creating a subtext that is all too real for many people.

Thompson nails the tragedy of the situation by bringing in characters that have deep connections with Jessica as well as characters that don’t, highlighting exactly how far Jessica wants to fall into herself, but can’t. By doing this Thompson is also able to use her trademark humor in a way that is very befitting of the story and not the sarcastic quips that she usually does, which work in books like Hawkeye and West Coast Avengers, but not here.

As for the art by Mattia De Iluis, almost everything about it nails home the story being told and the emotional turmoil that the characters are going through. Luke and Jessica feel adrift from one another and are never shown to within arm’s reach of each other. Jessica looks sad or angry the entire issue, but her face never really looks the same. The little action that is present is brutal and non-stylized. This ties everything back to the story being told and it’s outstanding with how subtle it is with a lot of its techniques.

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Jessica Jones returns with a great first couple of chapters to a new storyline that is potentially one of the most compelling yet for the character.