A Game of Cat and Mouse (Jessica Jones #15 Review)

Jessica has agreed to meet with The Purple Man in order to protect her family, but does she really have a plan?

JESSICA JONES #15
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Michael Gaydos
Cover Artist: David Mack
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Publisher: Marvel Comics

What You Need To Know:

Jessica Jones has abandoned her former superhero life as Jewel to find some normalcy. She has started her own Private Investigation firm, Alias Investigations, married former Avenger Luke Cage, and together they have a little girl, Danielle. However her tragic past as the victim of The Purple Man, Zebediah Kilgrave, a psychopath with the ability to compel people to do whatever he says, always haunts her. This trauma causes her to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and, for a while, alcoholism.

Jessica has spent the last few months destroying and reuniting her family, working undercover for SHIELD, losing her office to an explosion caused by Maria Hill, and dealing with a twisted murder perpetrated by a man claiming to be from another dimension. On top of it all, she has learned that Kilgrave has escaped from Ryker’s Island Prison and SHIELD custody. Jessica has enlisted the help of her best friend, Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. But after The Purple Man goes too far, using Jessica’s daughter to speak with her, Jessica decides she must meet with him. Sending anyone she cares about far away, she meets him at a small abandoned bakery to find out what he wants from her this time.

What You’ll Find Out:

Jessica has met up with The Purple Man awaits an explanation of what he wants. The Purple Man stammers on about Jessica wanting normalcy and psychoanalysis her desire to be a hero all while Jessica listens and says nothing. Upon finally babbling too much, Jessica bluntly asks what he could possibly want from her. He confesses he has done some soul searching and believes that Jessica knows him better than anyone else. Upon finally reaching the point where he is going to tell her what he wants, The Purple Man is shot and falls, bloodied, to the floor.

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On the adjacent rooftop, Carol, Kraven the Hunter, and Nick Fury stand overlooking as the situation unfolds. Kraven has just taken the shot and is curious if he has killed The Purple Man. Jessica checks his vitals and confirms he is dead but decides that death is not enough punishment for what he’s put her through and gets a few good shots in. Shortly after Jessica gets off him and radios Carol, The Purple Man wakes and gives the people outside the shop the order to get Jessica off of him. The people pile on Jessica, pulling her away from the villain. Jessica flies skyward, people still clinging to her coat, and tells Carol and the others to stay away, as The Purple Man has not died.

Upon returning to the bakery, she finds The Purple Man has vanished, leaving behind a puddle of purple blood. The crowd outside the building starts to speak for Kilgrave, telling Jessica he isn’t pleased with the stunt she just pulled. She apologizes and asks that he quit tormenting her, but he says in light of recent events, he can’t forgive her. And upon deciding that he can’t talk with Jessica under civil circumstances, he tells her she ruins everything and takes control of Carol.

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What Just Happened?

The Purple Man has always had a terrible fascination with Jessica. Coming out to say that she is the person who knows him best (or at least has a unique perspective on him) is probably very crushing to his ego. The Purple Man clearly needs something, or he wouldn’t be so desperate to reveal the information to someone who he has victimized for the better part of 17 years. While finding the words he wants, he shows too much of his hand to Jessica, and this may be something she can use against him.

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The revelation that his powers are affecting his death might come to haunt Jessica and maybe the very secret The Purple Man was trying to explain.  Obviously, this had an immediate effect on the issue, but to see how this revelation will affect Jessica’s life now and in the future will surely be massive.  

A strong stand out element in the issue is great panel design. Gaydos has always done some fantastic layouts but really shines during the sequence in which Jessica is attacked by passers-by compelled by The Purple Man. The faces and arms surrounding Jessica add to the anxiety of the action, and everything feels claustrophobic to terrifying effects.

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While a majority of the issue was made of The Purple Man’s rambling, something big is coming, and the build-up is about to explode. Jessica is in for her worst interaction with The Purple Man yet and there is no better creative team to make sure that it is executed flawlessly and leaves the reader feeling the psychological effects Jessica feels in her trauma.  

Rating: 8.3/10

Final Thought: Jessica gets put under the twisted Purple microscope for a majority of the issue, but the cat and mouse game is far from over. The balance of power changes hands several times and the dizzying effects bring the reader into the psychological torment. Combined with some beautiful layouts that escalate the action, this issue is anxiety-inducing, to say the least.

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