Jessica Jones and Daredevil are both brilliant shows in their own right. Both explore darker, more sensitive issues than the family-friendly Marvel Cinematic Universe movies showcase, with intricate character examinations and impressive action spectacles adapted for the small screen.
Both shows excel in different areas, but ultimately which show from the now doomed Marvel-Netflix alliance is better? Whilst Jessica Jones includes a brilliantly told exploration of trauma and abuse, Daredevil shines with its outstanding martial arts scenes. Here are five reasons why Jessica Jones is the best Marvel show, and five reasons why Daredevil should take the title.
10 Jessica Jones: Portrayal Of Gender
Jessica Jones is currently Marvel's only female-led television show, with this being rectified by Disney Plus' WandaVision announced for 2021. Because of this, Jessica Jones is in a position to explore issues relating to gender more intricately as shown throughout the series.
The first season is a harrowing examination of equality and abuse with a villain who personifies taking away the choices of other people. In addition to this, Krysten Ritter's titular character is accompanied by a supporting cast of well-written female and male characters who bring a dynamic of their own to the show.
9 Daredevil: Fight Scenes
The choreography in Daredevil is extraordinary. The fight scenes involving Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) are incredibly realistic, with Daredevil moving with clear exhaustion as he progresses in an accurate depiction of human limitations.
The scene in which Murdock fights a gang of traffickers in a hallway whilst rescuing a child during the first episode is infamous, depicting the show at its best.
8 Jessica Jones: Kilgrave
Kilgrave (played by Doctor Who's actor David Tennant) is a chilling villain. He is an appropriate antagonist for a show that explores issues related to gender, consent, and abuse, and his death at the hands of Jessica during the season one finale "AKA Smile" is a satisfying conclusion.
Kilgrave's powers are terrifying, as demonstrated several times throughout the series. During one particularly tense scene, he uses his powers of compulsion to hold a police station hostage, forcing them to hold their guns to their heads in a bid to finally talk with Jessica.
7 Daredevil: Wilson Fisk
Jessica Jones is not the only Marvel-Netflix show that can boast an incredible villain, however. Daredevil's Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio) is a formidable antagonist and the first villain to truly make an impact in the Marvel-Netflix universe.
One horrifying scene depicting the danger Fisk poses contains an enraged Kingpin beating a Russian mobster to a pulp after being interrupted on a date before decapitating his victim with a car door. It is a chilling example of the petulance and murderous fury of Fisk, framing him as a necessary villain for Daredevil to defeat.
6 Jessica Jones: Jessica And Trish's Relationship
In a show that excels with its depiction of gender, Jessica Jones portrays a tumultuous relationship of sisterhood between these two friends that takes a tragic turn in season two. After undergoing a dangerous operation in a bid to gain superpowers, Trish (Rachael Taylor) tracks down Jessica and her murderous mother (Janet McTeer) and shoots Alisa in front of her daughter.
Trish and Jessica's relationship is further explored in season three. After successfully gaining cat-like abilities, Trish spirals unknowingly which leads to a final confrontation with Jessica. In a heartbreaking moment, the former pop sensation attempts to stab her super-strong best friend and Jessica has to stop her by sending her to The Raft for good.
5 Daredevil: Elektra
There were a few characters who featured in Jessica Jones that were adapted from Marvel Comics, including Trish Walker aka Hellcat and Luke Cage. Despite being strong additions to the cast, none affected the narrative of the storyline in the same way as Elektra (Elodie Yung), who presented Matt Murdock with a love interest and a moral dilemma.
The relationship between Daredevil and Elektra is famous from the comics and fans were expecting to see her character show up eventually. Elektra's inclusion also helped set up The Defenders as well as introduce evil organization The Hand.
4 Jessica Jones: The Noir Style
The noir style of Jessica Jones is fitting for a show centered around a private investigator. The purple color scheme is a clever call-back to the original Alias comic book which first featured Jessica, and the voiceover narration is akin to that of a detective show.
This artistic decision sets the show apart from its counterparts in the Marvel-Netflix universe, as well as developing the darker vibe and issues that Jessica Jones explores.
3 Daredevil: Cinematography
On the other hand, whilst Jessica Jones does boast a particularly engaging noir vibe, Daredevil excels with its use of cinematography. It is a visually stunning show that still manages to showcase intricate martial arts choreography even with a lower budget than its Marvel Cinematic Universe movie peers.
Daredevil is well-known for its use of one-shots, which document an action sequence in one consistent take. It works well to keep the suspense imminent and the feeling of danger prolonged.
2 Jessica Jones: Jessica's Humor
Jessica Jones is depicted as a flawed, traumatized, but ultimately well-intentioned individual with a dry, sardonic sense of humor. Her sarcasm is valuable for breaking up heavier emotional scenes as an almost darker alternative to Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr) style of comedy.
This ultimately contributes to what makes Jessica such an engaging character. She is never portrayed as a Mary Sue and is instead a deeply realistic examination of human nature.
1 Daredevil: Connection To The Marvel Mythos
Jessica Jones is a more stand-alone show, whereas Daredevil has much deeper connections to the Marvel mythos as a whole. Matt Murdock's connection to Elektra and The Hand establish the broader scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it is through Daredevil and Iron Fist's characters that the antagonists of The Defenders are introduced into the narrative.
Daredevil has the advantage of being an older character from the comics, originally debuting in 1964, with further ties to other Marvel characters. Given his long-standing history as one of Marvel's most popular characters, it is natural that his show provides an exploration into the world he inhabits.