Alias—Volume 4: The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

Jessica's origin is revealed

Alias ends...unfortunately

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Alias

Publisher:  Marvel Comics/MAX

Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis

Artist:  Michael Gaydos/Rick Mays/Mark Bagley/Art Thirbert

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  2004


Alias #23

Reprints Alias #22-28 (July 2003-January 2004).  Jessica Jones is about to face her past.  From gaining her powers in the crash that killed her family to the tragic events that caused her to stop being a hero, Jessica’s problems are finally being exposed.  As she deals with her complicated relationship with the men in her life Scott Lang and Luke Cage, Jessica learns that the man who ruined her is free from his prison in the Raft.  Now Jessica is going to have to face Killgrave the Purple Man and bring him to justice…plus, Jessica discovers something that will change her life forever.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Michael Gaydos (with help from Rick Mays, Mark Bagley, and Art Thirbert), Alias—Volume 4:  The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones is the final part of the Alias story.  Following Alias—Volume 3:  The Underneath, this collection wraps up the storylines started in the first volume of Alias.  It was also collected as part of the Alias:  Ultimate Collection Volume 2 and the Alias Omnibus collection.

With Alias, Bendis created a unique character with a unique voice (which usually had the F-word as some part of the sentence she uttered).  Here, we learn how Jessica Jones came to be.  It is a rather fun origin and a little overdue.  We learn that Jessica attended Midtown High School with Peter Parker and Flash Thompson.  The accident that killed her family and gave her powers is shown and led to some awkward writing since Jessica’s mother had already been introduced (I don’t see a kid that age calling her new family “Mom” and “Dad” especially after the tragic death of her family).


Alias #25

The next section of “Origins” is the story Purple and how Jessica got out of the superhero business.  It is revealed that the Purple Man took control of Jessica for several months and used her against the Avengers and Defenders.  Smartly, this tied in with Bendis’ New Avengers relaunch which involved a big breakout on the Raft (but which didn’t make much sense with the Thunderbolts relaunch which also had the Purple Man).  This is a fun, fitting story to end the series in that it explains why Jessica is so messed up…I just wish the series didn’t have to end.

It is a bit of a weird choice in the “Purple” storyline to take the story into a strange meta post-modern style.  The Purple Man speaks as if he knows he’s in a comic book and that is why Jessica is underdeveloped and now feels like everything revolves around her.  It is thrown out there out of nowhere and doesn’t seem to fit the style of the comic…it is more like Jenkins’ The Sentry series.

The art in this collection is also some of my favorite art of the series, mostly due to the flashback art for the story.  The art progresses from the ’60s style for Jessica’s “birth” as a superhero, to the slightly more modern look of her post accident days, and finally to ’70s and ’80s style of art for Jewel’s battle with the Avengers.  It is a fun little ride especially when it is mixed with David Mack’s covers and the standard art “dark” art of Gaydos.

Here ends the fun of Alias…R.I.P.  Bendis provided a fun series with a great character, but after Alias ended and The Pulse began, the series just never was up to the same level.  I wish that the “real” Jessica Jones would come back and that Bendis had made the whole “nice” Jessica a Skrull during his awful Secret Invasion storyline.  Alias Volume 4:  The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones was followed by The Pulse Volume 1:  Thin Air.

Related Links:

Alias—Volume 1

Alias—Volume 2:  Come Home

Alias—Volume 3:  The Underneath

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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