THE VARIANTS #1/ Script by GAIL SIMONE/ Art by PHIL NOTO/ Letters by VC’s CORY PETIT/ Published by MARVEL COMICS
Jessica Jones has been many things in her life. A superhero. A private investigator. A mother. And, most recently, engaged to the love of her life. But as she begins preparing for her wedding, her worst enemy threatens to take away everything Jessica has worked for.
That’s when other versions of Jessica begin showing up – variants from other worlds where Jessica Jones was someone else entirely. Why this is happening now is anyone’s guess, for they’re as confused as she is. The only certainty is that Jessica’s already complicated life is about to become even more complicated!
Had I not read that Gail Simone had not seen any of the Netflix Jessica Jones series, I wouldn’t have believed it. Simone’s script for The Variants #1 plays out like the pilot episode for a spin-off series bringing Krysten Ritter’s character into the MCU, just in time for all the multiversal nonsense born of Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home. As it stands, this series has all the wit and humor one would expect from one of Simone’s stories, but it also makes Jessica Jones feel more like a real person than any comic I’ve ever seen her in before. And I read all of Alias.
The artwork by Phil Noto perfectly matches Simone’s scripting. Noto is rightly praised as a fight choreographer, and the action scenes of this issue are fantastic. Yet Noto manages to instill that same sense of dynamic tension into potentially static scenes, such as in the opening where Jessica is testing cosmetics for her wedding.
It is a rare thing for a creative team to pick up a character synonymous with another creative team and not only match the work that introduced that character but surpass it. With The Variants, Simone and Noto have managed that feat, producing the most interesting and accessible Jessica Jones story ever told in the comics.