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Alias, Vol. 4: The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones (Alias #4)

4.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,769 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
Jessica's origins, including her source of powers, how she became a superhero, and why she quit are revealed.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published June 4th 2008 by Marvel (first published 2005)
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And so comes the end of Jessica Jones: Alias graphic journey, although her story continues with Pulse. And as you can see, Bendis finally made me give him the four shiny stars, which I had kept from him for reasons of taste.

First, to me the ending was not that much of a praise because I simply do not enjoy me superheroes. It just is not a subject that gets me all worked up unless it is Garth Ennis and HIS take on superheroes... because... you know. Well, you know HIS take on them, and if you do
May 03, 2016 Brad rated it it was amazing
Killgrave! The Purple Man! Woo Woo!

Okay, so the story isn't *quite* the same as the tv, all the fundamentals are pretty much spot on.

I *do* rather wish I'd been able to see Jessica try to slap the Scarlet Witch or avoid Thor's hammer, though. :) The artwork turning Jessica (as Jewel) into a bright comic character was absolutely freaky, knowing her as we've been getting to know her. I love the contrast and it works so well here, from bright-eyed innocence into abject despair for 8 months. *shiver
Rachel Reads Ravenously (AKA The Wildcard Reader)
4.5 stars!

Origin story, FINALLY! Killgrave, finally! Plus cameos from so many other superheroes, what more could you want?
This. The retroactive origin story, right in the middle of Midtown High, this is the genius of Bendis. Cause of *course* Jessica would fit right into this world of fucked-up accidents and experiments - and of *course* she would end up going another way entirely from the guilt-ridden fools of the red-tinged-costume brigade. (Wait, did I just start channeling my inner Doom?)

Through Alias' lens, hearing Ka-Zar tell his origin story in Matt Murdock's office is just hilarious. Like, if you were to he
Oct 01, 2014 Sesana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: superhumans, comics
This is what the other volumes of Alias have been building towards. Full disclosure of Jessica's past as a hero. And Bendis absolutely does not disappoint.

Let's face it, the mind-controlling villain plot has been done many, many times. Even the hero as victim of mind control is old hat. Bendis takes the tried and true past the standard by making the Purple Man not just a credible threat, but a deeply frightening character. And he makes the aftermath on Jessica's side wrenchingly believable. It'
Ok so, first things first. I genuinely like the whole Alias series. It's got to be one of my favorite Marvel series ever. The feel of the whole thing is unlike anything else I've read from Marvel to this point.

I did have some exposure to this character before reading Alias because I read the Pulse collection first. I have also watched a few episodes of the Netflix series.

This volume does a fairly good job of tying up some loose ends and questions I had from previous volumes as well as bringing
Anna (Yoda Is My Spirit Animal)
Apparently I never marked this one as read more. Sufficiently shitty origins for a superhero, Jessica deals in unconventional ways.
Apr 24, 2016 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This volume has backstory on Jessica's origins and decision to opt-out of the whole costume gig. Great stuff.
Anna  (Bananas!)
Jul 11, 2016 Anna (Bananas!) rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, superheros
Much as I want to, I cannot get into this character or comic. I get the impression the Max imprint was edgy for the time but nowadays with all the oddball, interesting, and explicit comics out there, specifically non-DC and Marvel, this falls a little flat for me. So she curses and drinks. Who cares??

Sigh... I really did want to like it more. There was just nothing emotionally investing for me. Luke and Jessica, maybe a little. (And ok, I did skip the middle two volumes but whatever.) Also, they
3-stars for this volume, 4-stars for the overall set of 4. There was waaaay too much Marvel crossover crap - so much so that it almost seemed to be making fun of itself when Kilgrave made a comment about it.
Personally I think the trauma was handled more realistically in the TV show but it was still pretty good here.
Feb 21, 2016 Heatherblakely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the jumping off point for the Netflix series, and even though I've watched the show and knew most of the content in this, I really enjoyed it. There's Jessica backstory as well as explorations into Jessica's relationships with other super people, plus the Killgrave story. I like this series because the progression is similar to that of a tv show--the first volume was like a pilot episode, with a brief introduction of the characters and settings, and the subsequent volumes were the more ...more
Jun 11, 2016 erika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
only a few episodes in did i realize Netflix/Marvel's Jessica Jones is based on the character created by Brian Michael Bendis and not on the actual comics themselves. too late because i had already had the displeasure of reading them all. because nothing worth noting happens. the tone is dull and boring. though jessica is great, your usual ''unlikeable female character'' which is an expression to define any female character that doesn't meet every --very misogynistic-- expectation of a female su ...more
Oct 16, 2015 Lila rated it it was amazing's not that previous volumes were not good- they are excellent- but I reserved highest rating for last one because it had such a huge emotional impact on me it defined my experience of entire run. Despite not being blown away by first three, this one makes up for in a big way.
So, being first MAX imprint, featuring foul-mouthed character, being gritty and mature...this all stands, but for me Alias will always be about Jessica coming to grips with her past and her fears to come on top at th
Jul 18, 2016 Miri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marvel, comics
Damn. Pretty epic storylines in volume four. I really enjoyed the different styles used for the flashbacks, particularly the origin story. And I just love Jessica Jones. I was about to despair because this is the last volume in the series, but she continues in The Pulse, so I guess I have three more volumes of that before I have to mourn.
Jan 26, 2016 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit that I began to read this series out of order. Mostly because when the others came in I didn't have time to read them but having been cooped up in the house because of Winter Storm Jonas I sat down and read this in one go. Now I've never been the most informed when it came to Jessica Jones. I remember when I first started reading comics and eventually anything Avengers related and she was just sort of there. I never knew any of her history or how she became super powered that in depth so ...more
Alan Chen
Jan 16, 2016 Alan Chen rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Origin story time: Jessica's father crashes into a military supply truck with a radioactive haul while being distracted by Jessuca arguing with her little brother. She was the only survivor and develops her powers months later after being adopted by the joneses. She becomes Jewel because she wants to help people until one day she runs into Kilgrave, the purple man. Kilgrave has pheromones exuding from his skin which makes people do whatever he suggests. Jessica was under his spell for 8 months u ...more
Apr 29, 2016 Nevillegirl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
May change it to 4 stars later... this was so good, especially the parts about trauma and how it is never your fault.

...on an unrelated note, was the show adapted from pretty much only this volume?! That's soooo weird. This is the only book in the whole series with the Purple Man. I mean, Hope was in the first book, but the majority of stuff I associate with this character is from this volume. Interesting. I mean, there's certainly a lot of material to work with here...
May 26, 2016 Fran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid end to a solid series.

I am somewhat surprised that I'd never read this sooner. I was aware of it when it was coming out, might even have a few issues somewhere, but never actually got around to reading it until, y'know, it became an amazing Netflix series. The two are different, of course, but they also have some similarities. As you'd expect. It's actually worked out well I think, my not reading these until now, because I think I got so much more from them now I know the characters and
David Schaafsma
Dec 26, 2014 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
A great finish to this series, where Bendis and artist Gaydos (with help from other artists) pulls out all the stops to help you explain why it is Jessica got out of being a superhero (and in Bendis's conception, out of being an Avenger, which helps explain her appearance in Bendis's relaunch of The New Avengers…). So she went to high school with Peter Parker, and her great nemesis became The Purple Cape (the once foil of Daredevil), a pretty effectively scary guy whose power is to control your ...more
Apr 20, 2016 Joe rated it it was amazing
The thrilling (and unexpected) conclusion to the "Alias" title! As the title would suggest, we finally get the origin story of Jessica Jones and boy is it a doozy. I especially like all of the different art styles in this book, ranging from the usual "ugly" style, to manga, to traditional comic book. It's even commented on by several of the characters in very meta ways.

The villain Purple Man does not disappoint. He is buried in Jessica's mind like a tick and that's what messed her up so many yea
I loved this book. I knew I was going to, so I saved it for a few days after it arrived to let the anticipation build. When I first started reading graphic novels beyond the world of The Walking Dead, I spent a good while browsing the recommended section of my local comic book store, Page 45. Alias was one of the titles that came with a glowing recommendation, and after binge-watching the glorious Netflix series, I knew I wanted to delve deeper into the gritty world of former superhero Jessica J ...more
Althea J.
Oct 22, 2015 Althea J. rated it it was amazing
How have I not reviewed this yet?!
I just did a re-read of the series to gear up for the upcoming Netflix show, Jessica Jones.

This is the final volume of Bendis' Marvel Max series (aka adults only!!) Alias, which follows Jessica Jones, a former B-list superhero, now trying to pull her life together as a private investigator. In this story we learn about the origin of her superpowers and we find out the trauma that ended her days as a hero, and sent her on the path of becoming the totally flawed,
***Dave Hill
Nov 09, 2011 ***Dave Hill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: illustrated

In many ways, "Alias" was the series that made Bendis the superstar writer he is today -- demonstrating his talent at dialog, at characters, and at making use of (while twisting to his own advantage) the Marvel Universe. This fourth volume, collecting #22-28 (the finale) of the series, details "The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones," the protagonist of the book. Once a super-hero -- heck, once an Avenger -- how did she turn into an unpowered (or at least non-power-using)
Jan 02, 2013 Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
The fourth & final volume of this "mature" series is just as strong as the previous three. It shows us how Jessica got her powers, how she was in a coma (twice!) and how she was under the Purple Man's spell for eight months. Bendis took this ostensibly lame super-villain and made him into something really terrifying. What he accomplished over the course of this series (literally inventing this character and then having her evolve & grow, and also making us care [a lot] about her) is rema ...more
Sam M.
Feb 15, 2016 Sam M. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite, comics, 2015
All'inizio avevo un po' di dubbi su questo albo, "Alias", perché non seguo molto la Marvel e temevo che mi sarei sentita spaesata. Invece no, non è successo, anzi.
l'ambientazione noir/poliziesca fa sí che chiunque, anche chi non ha seguito la Marvel, possa apprezzare questo piccolo gioiello del fumetto.
Nell'albo, seguiamo le avventure di Jessica Jones, ex supereroina fallita, investigatrice privata squattrinata, alcolizzata e nevrotica, che tenta non solo di risolvere i casi a lei assegnati, m
Jan 06, 2016 Conner rated it it was amazing
YES. This is exactly what I and many others I think really wanted from this series: what the series is even about. This volume was packed so full of everything about Jessica's origins, where she got to be how she is, an explanation for her dynamic with the rest of the Marvel heroes, and a deeper look into her perspective. I got everything out of this volume, and the build up to it was just spectacular.
Ryland Lee
Dec 27, 2015 Ryland Lee rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, detective
Hmm. A 3 or 4. It's still a must-read, but I think my opinion on the final issues of Alias is affected by having seen the Netflix version before reading the comic. Issues #1 - #21 are a lot better than the TV show. They get diverse social issues and the investigations are interesting and full of great dialogue that we don't get in the TV show at all. But the whole self-hatred and guilt that Jessica Jones tries to overcome, and the handling of the villain Killgrave, is way better in the TV show. ...more
Tobin Elliott
And finally, the storyline I've been waiting for. Kilgrave, The Purple Man. The inspiration for the Netflix series.

Again, as usual, I'm blown away with what Bendis and Gaydos do, running with the powers of, at best, a C-list villain, and taking them to their logical extreme.

It's chilling.

In some ways, the Netflix series was better, because we got to see Jessica struggle a lot more with her feelings about Kilgrave, but in some ways this GN is better, because, in the span of a few delicious pages
Oct 26, 2015 Elgalla rated it really liked it
Though I did enjoy learning about Jessica's past, I also got the feeling that everything in this volume was executed way too fast.I liked her origin story, but it seemed like the condensed version of a much larger story.
Dec 15, 2015 Josh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Fantastic finale to the series. Volume 4 details Jessica's past and adds a terrifying villain in the purple man. Art is on par with the rest of the series and the writing is still loaded with plenty of Bendis's repetition (Bendisisms?). Highly recommended. 4.5/5
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A comic book writer and erstwhile artist. He has won critical acclaim (including five Eisner Awards) and is one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics. For over eight years Bendis’s books have consistently sat in the top five best sellers on the nationwide comic and graphic novel sales charts.

Though he started as a writer and artist of independent noir fiction series, he shot
More about Brian Michael Bendis...

Other Books in the Series

Alias (4 books)
  • Alias, Vol. 1
  • Alias, Vol. 2: Come Home
  • Alias, Vol. 3: The Underneath

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