Real talk: the Marvel Netflix series have been a mixed bag, with Daredevil generally being worth your time, Defenders, Iron Fist and The Punisher generally not, and Luke Cage pretty much a coin flip (the first seven episodes are amazing, the back six less than great). The high water mark, however, has been Jessica Jones, wherein Krysten Ritter essays the role of the eponymous alcoholic, acerbic, super-strong private eye, a former superhero wrestling with PTSD after being abused by the mind-controlling sociopath, Kilgrave (David Tenant). In the hands of showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, the first series transcended its genre roots, becoming a powerful meditation on misogyny and rape culture that also happened to have a smart-mouthed heroine capable of kicking the tar out of any dozen or so mooks without so much as spilling her drink.
Of course, that means that a certain vocal subset of superhero fans (overwhelmingly straight white dudes) weren’t interested in picking up what JJ was putting down, but screw those guys.
Ahem. Anyhoo, good news: we’re getting a second season: Jessica Jones returns to Netflix on March 8, 2018. As the presser reveals, “New York City private investigator Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is beginning to put her life back together after murdering her tormenter, Kilgrave. Now known throughout the city as a super-powered killer, a new case makes her reluctantly confront who she really is while digging deeper into her past to explore the reasons why. Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) is joined by an incredible returning cast that includes Rachael Taylor (Trish Walker), Carrie-Anne Moss (Jeri Hogarth), Eka Darville (Malcolm Ducasse) and new cast members Janet McTeer and J.R. Ramirez, among others. Season 2 will premiere with thirteen (13) one-hour episodes.”
That’s all very vague, but the trailer promises the requisite amount of sass and violence. The question is whether lightning will strike twice in the writing department. Along with Daredevil Season 1, Jessica Jones is one of the rare examples of a Marvel series that doesn’t tie itself in knots trying to stretch its narrative out to cover 13 hours of running time, but that’s down to having a thematically coherent overarching story centered on a truly terrifying villain – with Kilgrave now dead, the challenge is giving Jessica an opponent of equal calibre who inhabits the thematic territory the show is exploring. That’s a big ask – hopefully Rosenberg and co. are up to it.