Fans of the Netflix original series Jessica Jones might like to go back and read, or reread the comic where this tough but damaged character first appeared back in 2001. Jessica Jones is a former superhero who fought crime in a fancy costume under the name Jewel. Now retired from the spotlight she runs a detective agency called Alias Investigations, specialising in cases involving subjects with superhuman abilities. In the first case in this volume, Jessica accidentally discovers a secret about one of the most famous superheroes in the world. She then has to decide what to do with the evidence of this secret- sell it? Destroy it? Knowing what she knows puts her life in danger and she may have to call on allies from her past for help.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis (writer of Ultimate Spiderman, Sam and Twitch and Age of Ultron among other things) and illustrated by Michael Gaydos (of Daredevil Redemption and Manhunter), Jessica Jones: Alias ran for 28 issues from 2001 to 2004, and has been collected in four volumes. Volume one contains issues 1-9.
Alias is very much a comic for adults only, in part because of the strong language used. The very first word spoken in the first issue is "f***!" (said to Jessica by a disappointed client shortly before she has to throw him through a window). It also contains violence, sex and a lot of pondering about responsibility and finding one's purpose in life.
I love the cover art, some of which reminds me of the work of Dave McKean (the artist behind the film Mirrormask). I also enjoyed the story, especially the partial explanation of why Jessica gave up being a superhero. It's a little reminiscent of the Powers comics, with some people having lesser "superpowers" and facing discrimination and jealousy from those who don't have them.
The story is fairly different from the TV show, but the character of Jessica is essentially the same. She's strong, both physically and mentally, but has some issues around sex and her self-esteem. She is a little rough around the edges, but is also brave, loyal and isn't afraid to put her life on the line to do the right thing. Jessica Jones: Alias is a great series that has not dated much in the years since it was first published. I will continue to devour this series one volume at a time.