Jessica Jones Marvel Digital Original #1
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Mattia De Iulis
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Martin Simmonds
Review by Cory Webber
Jessica Jones Marvel Digital Original #1, heretofore mentioned simply as Jessica Jones #1, is a digital-only comic that was surprise dropped this morning. It’s not like I didn’t have enough to keep me happy today: it is NCBD and the first day of San Diego Comic-Con, but then Marvel goes ahead and drops a brand-new Jessica Jones story from Kelly freaking Thompson. It is, as they say, Christmas in July. This all-new digital-only series is a direct sequel to Brian Michael Bendis’ Jessica Jones series, which concluded earlier this year.
Jessica Jones #1, which actually contains two issues — that’s right! you get 40 pages for the price of a regular comic — picks up soon after the events of Brian Michael Bendis’ recently concluded Jessica Jones series. It’s important to note how this book will be released. Each issue will contain two chapters, and Marvel will release three issues digitally before collecting them all in a trade paperback. However, this is not the end, as each trade is basically a season. As a bonus to this sweet surprise, Thompson is already at work on the second season, as it were.
Now, on to the review. Is this any good? Have I already shown my hand by gushing too much already? Yes! And, I don’t even care.
Jessica Jones #1 opens with Jessica, Luke, and their daughter strolling through the park. In this moment, we get a feel as to how well Thompson understands these characters. Her dialogue is crisp, funny as hell, and feels like actual conversations that real people would have, superhero or not. One conversation that particularly had me LOLing, for real, was an exchange between Jessica and Matt Murdock. Also, her pacing is perfect, as her story moves from past, to present, to future, and back again.
Additionally, it’s important to note, that she knows when not to say too much; some pages had very minimal words, which allowed the art to speak louder and more clearly. She did this most effectively during a particularly tense sequence near the end of the first chapter.
And, speaking of the ending, I won’t spoil anything, but the first chapter ends on a real doozy of a cliffhanger. Thank goodness chapter two was just one swipe right away. I mean that in a physical “I had to swipe right on my tablet to get to the next page” kind of way, as well as in a “I swiped right all over this book in a, hopefully not-too-creepy, I’m so incredibly interested in this book” kind of way. So, Jessica Jones #1, if you get a buttload of notifications from me, just go ahead and ignore them.
The art. Oh, yes, the art. Mattia De Iulis is a fairly new up-and-coming artist. In fact, his profile page on ComiXology shows only this comic in his portfolio. Well, that is going to change pretty soon. Right off the bat, the first page, a four-panel affair, shows Jessica’s face expressing a different emotion in each one. You could look at only her face and get a pretty good gist of the kind of conversation that was taking place with some off-page character. Also, his line work is smooth and well-defined. His character’s poses always seem natural and never stiff.
Not only did he do the pencils, but he did the inks and colors, as well (show off!). First, his inks are great. Dark and deep when they need to be, like during the nighttime or inside buildings. However, during the outside daytime shots, his work with light and shadows is fantastic. A good example of this is on page 6, which shows Luke approaching some kids on a basketball court while people in the forefront look on. The way the light and shadows fall on each character is just beautiful. Also, his color work throughout was just solid. He uses different palettes for different scenes in the story that help add to the appropriate energy and mood based on what was happening.
Last, but not least, one of my favorite parts was what I will call P.I. vision, where they use black-and-white Polaroids to highlight details she saw. It was very reminiscent of the Hawkeye vision she employed in her Hawkeye series. I’m not sure whom to give credit to, but I will say that it was such a nice added touch that really provided a unique way for the reader to get inside Jessica’s head to see what she sees. So good!
Verdict: Umm, buy it! Like, now!
Jessica Jones #1 is a fantastic surprise. I couldn’t imagine anyone else other than Thompson taking over for one of Bendis’ most-prized creations. Also, I hope Mattia De Iulis enjoyed his life as he knew it, because I have a feeling it is going to change for him soon. We will definitely be seeing more from him in the years to come.