Jessica Jones: Alias Vol.3

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Jessica Jones: Alias, Vol.3 pulls together Alias #10 and #16-#21 from the Max Comic Line of Marvel books. With the popularity of the Netflix series, I realized that I knew very little about the character Jessica Jones so I picked up the only graphic novel of her I could find at my local library. What I found is one of the most original stories I have ever encountered in a comic book. The bigger surprise is that it was actually published by Marvel.

As a costumed super hero, Jessica Jones was a pathetic failure. She started off as Jewel and then became the Knightress, but after battling the villian Kilgrave, she fell under his control and his power destroyed any sense of self esteem she had. It took the combined powers of SHIELD and Jean Grey to sever the control had over Jessica. Afterwards she left the costumed life behind and opened up ALIAS Investigations.

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“…And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am never leaving the house again. Maybe, it’s good that things like that happen. Every once in a while I get the little tingle to a super hero again…and then something like that happens and reminds me why I damn well shouldn’t. It’s the same thing with dancing. Once a year I end up at a dance club…and all it does is remind me why I never go dancing. Charged me for the cigarettes..what a dick…”

Returning home Jessica finds an intruder in her home. A young girl dressed in a Spider-man outfit. Before she can stop her the girl leaps through the window and flies away and Jessica knows she is going to have to find out who the girl is and why she was there. Here investigation leads her to a vengeful and angry J Jonah Jameson, reporter Ben Ulrich, Matt Murdock and a very pissed off Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman.

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The young girl in Jessica’s apartment was Mattie Franklin, a teenage version of Spider-Woman who has a very personal connection to the Daily Bugle publisher Jameson. Mattie has been missing and now Jessica is the last person to have seen her alive. Her investigation takes her to a seedy nightclub where the new drug of choice is MGH. Mutant Growth Hormone. A drug that temporarily gives normal humans a boost, changing them, giving them strength and powers. The only way to farm this drug is by taking it from the source, cutting pieces off of mutants little by little.

Mattie is in serious danger and Jessica has to find her before it too late.

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The Max line of comics was created in 2001 by Marvel as a way to present R rated comics to their fans. This is neither innovative or new. They’ve tried it twice before at least and each time it failed. Alias was the first series produced and it lasted for a while, Jessica striking a cord with readers. Here was a female super hero who didn’t follow type. She drank. She cussed. She had sex and she didn’t wear spandex. Her obvious dislike for her prior super hero incarnation is a driving force behind her new dysfunctional life. Being a super hero did nothing to protect her from the likes of Kilgrave and the inability to ever master her powers has left Jessica bitter.

Appearances by J Jonah and the Daily Bugle team as well as Matt Murdock, Jessica Drew and a pathetic boyfriend in Scott Lang the Ant-Man make the Alias series a really good read.


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