JESSICA JONES #13 brings back the terror of Jessica's greatest enemy. The issue sets the scene with a powerful discussion between Jessica and Carol Danvers. Despite one misstep, Bendis, Gaydos, and Hollingsworth craft a strong tale that gives us a lot of questions for what's coming next.
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JESSICA JONES #13 opens with the potential return of Jessica’s greatest foe. The series has finally addressed the question of Kilgrave and now we’re seeing the result. The issue goes through the trauma of a mother and child heading from a dangerous man. It ends with a sucker punch and a lot of questions.

Moving Underground

The story begins with Jessica going over her now infamous encounters with Kilgrave (who is no longer in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody). She highlights how anyone could be a Kilgrave ‘sleeper’ and not know it. Writer Brian Michael Bendis demonstrates real skill showing the psychology behind arguably his greatest created rivalry. Artists Michael Gaydos and Matt Hollingsworth follow suit with a purple shaded grid of faces that Kilgrave could affect. It’s an effective trick that includes some faces that resemble Krystin Ritter and Mike Colter. However, it goes on for nearly seven pages. The most general readers know Kilgrave as THE Jessica Jones story. Having so much art and dialogue to reassure how evil he is feels like filler. We know the threat Kilgrave poses and we don’t need a reminder.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

That’s the only real misstep though, as Jessica turns up on Carol Danvers’ doorstep, baby in tow. It’s exactly what we expect from Jessica at this point, and shows Bendis still knows how to craft his characters, even his villains. As Jessica shows up, the Purple Man, the supervillain that became her greatest evil… watches Shamu. A melancholic Kilgrave just wants to be left alone to watch the show. Even the use of his powers seems subdued (he makes a crowd leave the arena and that’s it).

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This wouldn’t matter to Jessica, of course. She hides in an old bunker with Carol and Danielle. Jessica is so panicked about Kilgrave, Carol convinces her to call Luke Cage. Gaydos and Hollingsworth allow their art and colors to tell the whole story without dialogue. They show no big artistically creative moments here like the purple faces, but their solid work always fits the story.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Heart to Heart

The real heart of the issue emerges as Jessica and Carol talk. Jessica wants to leave Danielle with Carol. Carol argues back that Jessica is an adult now, and needs to think like a mother. Bendis easily has the two heroes switch from Kilgrave to Carol’s feelings on babies. This leads into her never-to-be-mentioned pregnancy in AVENGERS #200 as the two friends lovingly crack on each other. Bendis impressively shows the friendship between the two characters without forgetting the major threat.

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Carol’s talk works, and Jessica remains with Danielle. However, after Carol leaves, the issue ends with a scene so disturbing, I needed to walk after reading it. This potentially adds a whole new level to the story. There’s also a horrible truth to Jessica’s words — that as a parent, she has even more to lose.

Final Thoughts on JESSICA JONES #13

JESSICA JONES #13 works as a great setup for Kilgrave’s return. The stakes seem higher, but also different. There are many questions about Kilgrave’s motivation. The ending adds real tension and eagerness for the next chapter. Bendis, Gaydos, and Hollingsworth need to answer a lot of questions, but this issue reaffirms how capable they are at answering.

One Comment

  1. someone

    October 6, 2017 at 2:01 am

    I wish that Bendis would leave Carol Danvers alone, the the friendship between Danvers and jones isn’t believeable at all. Carol would be better off with out it.


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