JESSICA JONES: ALIAS VOL. 1, originally released back in September of 2015 is a series that took Marvel fans by storm. We all knew the potential Jessica’s character had to go dark and gritty…but many were not expecting this level of intensity.
When looking back on Jessica Jones’ history, most fans will be quick to state that Jessica Jones: Alias provided some of the best work towards her character. More than that, it is some of the best examples of storytelling available.
It is a series that was unafraid to take risks, to beat up characters, both physically and emotionally, and to take it further. And it all began with this first volume. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, this whole series had some serious talent on the team. Working alongside Bendis were David W. Mack, Michael Gaydos, and Bill Sienkiewicz.
Not A Hero
Jessica Jones is one of those heroes that seems to always get kicked when she is down. Her history alone is proof enough of that. Once upon a time, she made a go at being a legit superhero. It didn’t go well for her. So now she’s a P.I., and she’s totally not at all bitter about that.
Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 brings that whole history to the forefront, forcing us to acknowledge all of the pain that this perceived failure has put on her. More than that, we’re confronted with all of the bridges burned and contacts lost when she walked away from that life.
There is something so incredibly humbling about seeing this side of Jessica Jones’ life. It’s a poignant reminder that everyone has drams. But not all dreams work out. That is a fact that must be doubly true in a world were superpowers and metahumans are considered commonplace.
The first volume of this series contains issues 1-9, and that is a whole lot of ground to cover. During this time, we see multiple instances of Jessica getting stuck in uncomfortable positions. She’s looked down upon by the heroes for dropping out of that life. Yet she’s also treated poorly by those without powers, because of her abilities (and that tends to intimidate people). She’s got the worst from both worlds, in many ways. Bendis and the team did a brilliant job of showing this side of her life, all while portraying a version of Jessica who will just keep moving forward. Granted, she won’t be quiet either. She’ll complain and swear to her life’s content. That’s just who she is.
This series also pulls in many iconic heroes, though perhaps not in the way one might expect. It adds context to Jessica’s life, while also furthering the points that these particular arcs have been working so hard to make.
To think that this volume had so much intensity and impact, all without having to pull in the most iconic antagonist from Jessica Jones’ life. That is an impressive feat by any means.
Another reason why Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 has become so iconic for this character is the artwork that supported the plot. The covers alone are simply striking, going with a heavy watercolor style. The hints of blue and purple add a touch of foreshadowing, especially for the fans that know what it means.
Inside the covers, you’ll find a completely different story. Jessica Jones lives in a corner of the Marvel universe. She does not tend to live or fight in flashy ways, and the color palette tends to support that. Everything about her backdrops feels darker and muted, intentionally leaning in that direction.
This series makes clever use of repetition to tell a story, especially in regards to the images used. It adds weight to certain scenes, while presumably saving the artists time in other areas. When everything is combined, there is this real set of grit that goes perfectly alongside the tone of Jessica’s struggles.
Jessica Jones: Alias Vol. 1 is an iconic series by any means. It blew away fans of the character and/or franchise, and brought many more new fans on board. It is no surprise that the television adaptation leaned strongly on this particular line for much of its influence, a decision that paid off.
This volume is the first of several, and while we’re only talking about the first, we do strongly encourage readers to read the entire run. It’s a worthwhile read, one that will only increase in intensity and impact as it gets further along. And that right there is the reason why so many fans fell in love with this series and everything it has to offer.