Release: December 12th 2017
Issues: Jessica Jones 7-12
Jessica Jones: The Secrets of Maria Hill ties a couple of different plots (and therefore series) together. While reading you’ll see a lot of the fallout for Maria Hill (obviously you can guess this much, based on the title). Without reading any of the series focusing on the greater Marvel world (or Captain America), you may not know exactly what happened to Maria Hill, but in all honestly you don’t really need to know the backstory to understand or appreciate the plot for this volume.
Having taken a peek at some other reviews for this volume, it seems like people are pretty split down the middle for whether or not they enjoyed it. I can see this, and I’ll try to cover both sides in my review here.
As per usual I sincerely can’t get over the cover art for this series; David Mack is some sort of genius I think. Part of me wishes it would be the same inside the covers, but I feel like they’ve hit the right balance and I’d rather they not mess with it. Gaydos does a fantastic job of being a bit more down to earth with his art style – showing the more dreary colors and tone that is more typical for Jessica Jones’ world.
Maria Hill isn’t the world’s most likable character even on her good days, so seeing her at the worst isn’t exactly endearing. This goes double for Jessica Jones, since this woman tried to arrest her husband (which, at least Hill sort of apologized for?) Combine this with the fact that Maria Hill’s plots tend to get convoluted very quickly (an attempt to conceal actions and obfuscate the truth, basically a big spy game) and I can see why people might not appreciate her appearance here.
Essentially what is occurring is this: Maria Hill has been fired and disgraced. Somebody’s using that to their advantage and is trying to kill her, and since Maria has burned too many bridges (though she’d never say it like that) she hasn’t been able to figure out who’s doing it. That’s where Jessica Jones comes in – she’s been hired to figure out who put the contract out, and if possible, why.
Obviously since this is Maria Hill we’re talking about, it isn’t exactly a straightforward case. Jessica gets stuck in the middle of the whole mess, and frankly I don’t blame her for not appreciating that. Each lead she turns up brings about more confusion and more threats. Until suddenly she figures it all out. I won’t say who put the hit out on Maria, but I will say that I can see why people would be disappointed in the turn of events that took place.
One other thing about the Maria focused-plot worth mentioning – there’s a couple of sudden art work changes throughout. They’re supposed to portray a report that Jessica is reading (though I doubt the report is actually drawn out as we see it), but it’s still a bit jarring and off-putting.
Luke Cage fans will be happy to hear that he appears in this volume, which is probably a relief for many. I know I was worried he’d do exactly what Jessica had done; take their baby and run off. Thankfully since he didn’t do that, I feel safe in assuming he’s willing to try and work things out with Jessica (despite the threats he made in the last volume).
I’ll be curious to see what happens in volume three (Return of the Purple Man). Based on the title I have a few (obvious) theories, but frankly those theories have me more concerned than anything. I think my anxiety around the Purple Man has increased ever since seeing David Tenant’s interpretation of him (man was that terrifying, or what?). It’ll be interesting to see how they choose to re-introduce him, since it’s been so long since he appeared in the comics (as anything other than a memory, that is).