The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has expanded dramatically in 2015, with the comic giant’s Netflix partnership producing two incredible new TV shows in the form of Daredevil earlier in the year and Jessica Jones, which just hit the streaming service on November 20. More than anything, Marvel’s Netflix offerings have shown that the company is serious about taking its properties in as many different directions as possible. That being said, it’s difficult to think that anyone, including Marvel, thought that these Netflix series would be as good as they are. In particular, Jessica Jones — a hard-edged gumshoe detective drama that just so happens to feature a superpowered protagonist — is not only better than Daredevil, but is so consistently brilliant, it puts everything else in the MCU to shame. While comparing Marvel’s film and TV businesses is a bit unfair considering how dissimilar they are from one another, there’s a strong case to be made for Jessica Jones being the best thing Marvel has ever put to screen.
10. Avoids The Origin Story Trap
Comic book films and TV need another origin story like we all need holes in the head, which makes it all the more refreshing that Jessica Jones doesn’t follow the traditional origin route followed by the Spider-Man or Batman films. Instead, much of Jessica’s past, including how she got her powers, remains a mystery for a good portion of the season, with intermitent flashbacks used to fill in some knowledge gaps. This leads to a far more interesting brand of storytelling than the traditional origin story model, as we are introduced to Jessica at a specific point in her life, long after she first received her powers. While Marvel has been deviating from origin stories a bit in the movies (Guardians of the Galaxy focused on the team’s origins rather than any one individual’s), it would be refreshing to see future films adopt the Jessica Jones model. After all, we really don’t need to see a third retelling of the Spider-Man story.