The Purple Man has broken out of prison once again, and all of Jessica Jones' worst nightmares have come home to roost once more. Seeking out her closest friend, Carol Danvers, the two women and Danielle Cage are hiding out underground until the situation is dealt with by the superhero community.
Brian Michael Bendis, with Alias and now Jessica Jones has mastered the art of the "not a superhero story" set in a world of superheroes. Though Jessica Jones has super powers and, by now, has been both an Avenger and a Defender, Bendis can still make Jones feel apart from that world and in her own little corner where things suck and the world is a lot grittier.
That being said, there is an air of shallowness to bringing back the Purple Man and effectively writing a sequel to Alias' "Purple" story. We've come to the end of the first round of Defenders series, and Jessica Jones has come out on top, generally considered among the best, if not the best, of the series thus far. That series was largely an adaptation and, frankly, an improvement upon the original "Purple" story from Alias. It makes just a bit too much sense to write a sequel, and it seems a tad cynical as a result.
In terms of the actual execution? It is solid in spite of the apparent cynicism. Bendis knows how to write Jessica Jones, and that is sarcastic, bitter, and, occasionally, sincere. Here repartee with Carol Danvers is really good, and her relationship with Luke Cage is the best superhero relationship of the Big Two.
The beginning of the issue is a text dump that's difficult to get through. There are six straight pages of thought captions and the same art of faces repeated across the six pages. I get the intent, but it gets exhausting very quickly.
I am worried about where this story may be going in terms of the arc for Purple Man himself. I won't spoil it, but it looks like something that will be unpopular and wrong-headed. I don't know for sure yet, though, so I'm willing to give Bendis the benefit of the doubt.
The ending is effectively shocking though. It caught me off guard, and I dug it.
What can I say about Michael Gaydos' artwork that hasn't already been said? It's great. It captures the gritty, noir atmosphere, It's very textured and expressive. I'm still glad they got him back for this Jessica Jones series.
The coloring is fantastic too, with atmospheric palette choices and an overall oppressive visual tone. It works perfectly for the story being told.
The preamble to this may have been picking apart the idea of bringing Killgrave back into Jessica Jones, but the story is promising, if flawed, so far. I can still recommend it, and it's still very engaging. Pick this one up.