REVIEW: Jessica Jones #16 – “Purple Rain”

Jessica Jones #16
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Michael Gaydos
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 01/31/18
Rating: Parental Advisory

Jessica Jones

Plot: Picking up from the last issue, the Purple Man (a.k.a. Killgrave) has control of Jessica’s best friend, Captain Marvel (a.k.a. Carol Danvers). After failing to stop the situation herself, Jessica decides to listen to Killgrave. He explains to Jessica that his powers could fix the world. Unfortunately he doesn’t know how to be good so he asks for Jessica’s help.

Story: While this issue doesn’t show much plot development, it does show some amazing character portrayals. Even though Jessica overcame what Killgrave did to her, Brian Michael Bendis shows that she’s still a broken character. Although this is why she’s a popular character, Jessica still has flaws despite her powers and development. A great example is when she attempts and fails at flying. Even though most people would love to fly, Jessica doesn’t utilize this power. Also this is one of the best recurring themes in Jessica Jones stories.

Killgrave also has an interesting character development. Killgrave reveals to Jessica that he returned so she could help him use his powers to fix the world. The build-up to this reveal is extremely well written. Killgrave’s monologue does give him some humanity when he reveals his appearance and powers make him a truly unique being. Plus he relates his feelings to something of a mid-life crisis. However these feelings have also created the delusion of him being a god. Overall, this was very good and shows Bendis can deliver superb dialogue.

The only problem with Killgrave using his powers on a global scale is it’s already been done. In Emperor Doom Doctor Doom uses Killgrave to power a machine (against his will) to control the world. Also the plot of that story was used in an episode of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes where Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek: the Next Generation) voiced Killgrave. However the main difference is Killgrave genuinely wants to use his powers for good in this issue. Nevertheless, this is the only flaw in an otherwise great issue.

Art: This issue’s artwork is spectacular. The layouts of the panels create a steady flow of dialogue which helps move the story. Also the double page grids work well with Bendis’s style of dialogue. Plus the facial expressions match the characters lines. The best example is when Killgrave speaks through Captain Marvel. The way Carol’s face changes to match the emotion in Killgrave’s words show how much control he has over just one person, and shows that his victims are not emotionless drones. Also I enjoy how Michael Gaydos and Matt Hollingsworth drew Captain Marvel’s civilian clothes similar to her uniform.

Verdict: This was an entertaining issue. It showed great character examinations. Bendis did an excellent job building up to the reveal of Killgrave’s motivation. While this isn’t an action packed issue, the artwork worked well moving the dialogue with the story. Overall, if you like character heavy stories then Jessica Jones is something you should read.

Rating: 4 out of 5