Let’s talk about Jessica Jones. Her first official trailer peeked its face on Youtube yesterday and it is a beauty. If you’re coming to this review to see me bash the trailer and say it’s not good enough, move along. We all know that trailer was good. Not only did it confirm a lot of vital elements from the comics for fans that love “Alias”, but it opened a new world for the vast majority of people who don’t know a God damn thing about Jessica Jones.
So, let’s say you don’t read comics. Everything you know about Marvel came from a screen. That’s not so bad, we’ve had a recent renaissance of amazing material on the screen—Age of Ultron notwithstanding. But here’s the thing, you know jack shit about Jessica Jones. It’s not like before with Daredevil where someone had come along first and put a bad taste in your mouth. There is literally zero brain space in your head with Jessica Jones. And this trailer takes that into consideration. What do you need to know about her? Where does she live? New York. What is she? Super powered private eye. What’s she like? Caustic and drunk. What’s her problem? Kilgrave—and what a problem he is.
Kilgrave then, who is he? Or more importantly, who does the casual fan think he is? As a fan of the comic I can tell you they captured his creepiness. He would always insinuate himself into the book, materializing out of nowhere and once he was there it was too late. The trailer depicts a good deal of that. While Jessica Jones is riding the subway and his voice prods her from the darkness encapsulates his omnipresence—and her autonomic response of punching the window is totally in character for Jessica Jones. The reason these two pair so well in the trailer is they show the dichotomy really well. By that I mean everything from their methods to their goals and their motivations are completely opposite to each other; completely unlike the setup of Wilson Fisk and Matthew Murdock.
When talking about Jessica Jones comparisons to Daredevil will be inevitable. It was the first and it was more popular than that kid that brought a bottle of Jack to prom. But Daredevil had a different challenge; it had to prove it was taking this universe serious. Jessica Jones benefits from an already established tone and universe so her challenge is to not be too dower, like an Emily Dickenson poem with a frowny face drawn over it. She achieves this but noting the trailer; the trailer is actually super dark and depressing like a big wave made of Joy Division songs. But that’s why it really helps that all the bite sized teasers were released first. Her sarcastic demeanor comes through much better in those little vignettes than in the actual trailer. Because most of the trailer is dedicated to showing how imposing Kilgrave is, a formidable task. Daredevil is just one guy arrayed against an entire criminal empire headed by Fisk. Remember the hallway scene from Daredevil? Epic right? Play it again but this time picture Jessica Jones, a semi-invulnerable, super strong, flying private detective. It could still play out as epic but only because of its one sidedness. That’s what Kilgrave has to overcome, he has to be a viable threat to a super hero which I think he pulls off in spades.
Speaking from the fan perspective, there are a lot of things that won’t be in Jessica Jones simply because the universe isn’t in the right shape. For one, she can’t have a business relation with Ben Urich—seeing as he’s super dead. Also, there’s no way she can have a relationship with Scott Lang because Paul Rudd just got here and he’d be a super expensive cameo. All of that would be fine except there was one story in “Alias” that there’s no way to finagle the universe to fit. Jessica Jones is actually one of the people responsible for outing Norman Osborn as Green Goblin. Even if Jessica Jones gets a second season, the shape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not congruent with where Marvel comics were back in the day.
So was the trailer successful? Yeah. All it needed to do was get people to learn one thing about Jessica Jones. They’ve already proven people are hungry for more from this universe so simply telling people there’s more guarantees consumers. So I guess what I’m saying is November 20th is going to be a busy day for Netflix.