Yesterday, us fans finally got to see the official Jessica Jones trailer after weeks of waiting. Fan reaction towards the trailer was off the charts. It goes without saying that all were pretty much satisfied and impressed with what was teased. We got a great look at the psychological thriller tone that was often talked about and some already terrifying glimpses at the damage David Tennant‘s Purple Man leaves at his wake. And as it should be, the trailer has us asking more and more questions on what to truly expect from this series. With that in mind, I present to you an intricate breakdown of the Jessica Jones trailer.
“A big part of the job is looking for the worst in people. Turns out I excel in that.”
We are first treated to an image straight out of the first issue of Alias where Jessica hurls a foul-mouthed misogynistic man through her door. It’s an amazing callback to one of the greatest character introductions in comics.
Alias Investigations, for those who aren’t in the know, is Jessica’s investigative firm which she runs by herself. It is also the namesake of the comic book series Alias. Not to be mistaken with the spy TV series of the same name.
“You’re a P.I?
“I’m just trying to make a living. Booze costs money….usually.”
And we finally get to hear and see the mighty fine Mike Colter as the very iconic Luke Cage. It’s a scene that not only pays homage to Jessica and Luke’s first meeting at a bar in the comics, but also establishes the well known flirtatious dynamic between the two and Jessica’s affinity for well… booze. She is after all the foremost alcoholic private investigator in the Marvel Universe.
“Jessica Jones, I saw you.”
Within the context of this trailer, we have what seems to be Luke Cage discovering who Jessica Jones truly is – a superpowered human. Now outside of this context, this quote could pertain to an incident involving one of her investigations that Luke witnesses. She maybe was snooping in a place she shouldn’t have been in.
“Can you punch through a wall? Stop a moving car?”
“A slow moving car.”
One of the great things about the trailer is how it downplay’s the abilities of Jessica Jones. It’s secondary or maybe even tertiary to the character. They do a great job of depicting this superhuman side of her without making it the defining element of what to expect from this show. We get good glimpses of her feats of strength and pseudo-flight and that is more than enough. It’s less of a display of powers and more of a character study just as the comic book was.
“The way I see it, being a hero puts a target on your back.”
One of the more interesting lines in the trailer since it also pertains to Luke Cage as a character. As confirmed by Mike Colter himself, it is at this point in the real time narrative that an already powered Luke Cage is laying low in Harlem and straying from all superheroic deeds. He’s a man simply trying to make ends meet and live a quiet life. A reluctant hero, if you will, with zero plans of calling attention to him. It is a sentiment he hopes to pass on to Jessica – a person with a shit-storm of a life and someone who likes to learn things the hard way. Given the closeness of their neighborhoods, you’d think that the events involving the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen would convince Jessica to decide otherwise.
“Been there. Done that.”
Jessica gives a hint to her former life of a superhero/vigilante. As of now, we have no idea the extent of Jessica’s former superheroics. In the comics, she used to be a costumed hero named Jewel/Knightress complete with the spandex and all. Given the groundedness of the Netflix series, I’d be very surprised if they went all the way with a spandex costume. Expect something close to Daredevil’s black makeshift costume.
“What if there was someone else out there? But his ability was to make people do whatever he wanted?.”
As with everyone that goes through a traumatic experience, Jessica Jones suffers from PTSD. She is haunted by the sins and suffering of the past. The damage brought upon by Kilgrave continues to follow her in every day of her life. We get a first look at what seems to be the depiction of Purple Man’s abilities and it looks pretty good.
“You have no idea what I’ve done. What he made me do.”
It’s a bit ambiguous but we have what appears to be Jessica with an ax. Either she’s smashing concrete to bury someone underneath it or she’s actually chopping somebody up. The shot of bloodstains on her hand seem to indicate the latter. Regardless of what that was all about, the following shots confirm Purple Man’s involvement in that scene.
“He isn’t here now.”
Another look at a supporting character we haven’t seen yet, Patsy Walker also known as Hellcat in the comics. Patsy is the series analogue for the best friend role, a role that Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel had in the comics. We know her to be a former model and child star who now works as a radio host. In this shot alone
you get a sense of Patsy’s relationship with Jessica which series producer Jeph Loeb describes as something akin to sisterhood; “That question of, what is it to be a hero and the responsibilities that you have when you have abilities, is something that brings them together, but also continually pushes them apart.”
“You’d like to invite me in.”
One of the many chilling moments in the trailer, here we get our first real look of Kilgrave in diabolical action. Similar to what they did with Wilson Fisk in the Daredevil trailers, we do not get a deliberate look at Tennant’s face. Instead we feel a great sense of dread to come once he enters that room.
“Kilgrave leaves a broken trailer of people behind him.”
Another first look at a character, we have a cuffed Hope – played by Erin Moriarty – in a scene strikingly similar to Karen Page’s cuffed moment in the Daredevil series. Both Page and Hope have roles that set the entire series in motion. due to incidents involving the antagonists of the series. Both Jessica and Hope have been victimized by the Purple Man and this shared experience is what brings them together. She is described as someone who is innocent, earnest and from the Midwest which in many ways is reminiscent of the Rebecca Cross and Mattie Franklin characters from the Alias comic, both of whom are centers of Jessica’s cases.
“He made me jump for hours as high as I could. He said I was never as good as you.”
Of all the people Purple Man has victimized in the comics, Jessica Jones to him was his crowning jewel (pun intended). It’s a sentiment that is likely to be brought up in the series based off this quote. It’s also a subtle nod to her powers. Perhaps Kilgrave admired Jessica for her extraordinary abilities; a superhuman that had fallen to his control could be something he prized.
“He’s back. He’s coming for me.”
This is the part in the trailer where everything escalates. For whatever reason, it seems that Kilgrave has indeed returned for Jessica Jones. It’s interesting to think where Kilgrave is before all of this because in the comics, Kilgrave is incarcerated for a long period of time until he escapes. Could he be locked up as well prior to his appearance here? Or could he have been the one buried by Jessica in the earlier shot? I could certainly see him controlling Jessica into thinking that he’s dead.
“Jessica, I’m the only one who matches you. We’re inevitable.”
In a series of more terrifying scenes, we get a glimpse of the damage and evil Kilgrave is truly capable of: a room full of innocents held at gunpoint by each other. We even see a shot of Patsy Walker holding a gun up to herself. High stakes of this kind – grim, consequential and full of weight – is what has been sorely lacking in the MCU.
“God didn’t do this. The Devil did. And I’m going to find him.”
In the context of the trailer, it’s apparent that it’s a reference to the actions of Kilgrave. Outside of it though, what came to mind was a reference to Daredevil. It’s far from the case but it’s interesting how thematic parallels such as this can be found in the Netflix shows.
Oh, and the guy in the picture is likely Will Traval‘s Simpson. What was initially thought to be a simple police character, Traval was later revealed to be a re-imagined take on the classic Daredevil villain, Nuke. It’s all up in the air on how exactly they retooled an OTT super-soldier character such as Nuke to fit such a grounded street level show and the aforementioned police role so it’s exciting to see.
Probably the most disturbing shot of all. It’s crazy to think that moments like this are actually happening in the jolly colorful MCU. A great contrast to what we’re used to in the movies.
The beautiful Carrie-Anne Moss as the gender-swapped Iron Fist character Jeri Hogarth/Jeryn Hogarth. She is described as an attorney/ally to Jessica Jones, who hires her for cases. She is written as one of the first LGBT characters in the MCU. Jeryn Hogarth in the comics was also the liaison/boss of Luke Cage’s Heroes for Hire company. Fingers crossed that Moss takes up that role in the Defenders.
The Jessica Jones comic book was a book filled with vulgarity and sexuality. It’s only fitting that at least one of those makes into the series. We won’t hear any “fucks” but we will get to see some of it. Another new thing for the MCU; not since the first Iron Man did we see two people blatantly going at it like a pair of rabbits.
A very interesting tidbit. The date and age of the boy seem to indicate that this could be a young Kilgrave. We do not know the extent of his origins as a villain. In the comics, he’s a man that gets doused with chemicals that turn his skin purple. Clearly, they could take a different route with his origin in the show but those contraptions on his head suggest some experimentation involving brain stimulations and the like. Could he have been a naturally gifted child whose abilities were amplified?
Malcolm is the only supporting character from the comics – so far – to be included in the show. They tooled him a little bit from an annoying teenage Jessica Jones fan to a drug addled neighbor of hers. Despite corporate mandates on proper depiction of drug use in these Marvel shows, they still aren’t shying away from it just like in Daredevil.
Luke Cage: Man on Fire. It’s clear that Luke Cage has his abilities by the time this show happens. Exciting to see that invulnerable skin of his do its job. Look at him walk out there with no fucks given.
“Come on Jessica. Don’t play the hero with me.”
The final money shot of the trailer: a voyeuristic depiction of Kilgrave’s obsession with Jessica. This shot in particular oddly reminds me of this moment in Alias, where Purple Man gets a visit from Jessica and starts breaking the fourth wall.
What an incredible trailer. It’s a roller coaster look into the disastrous train-wreck of a life Jessica Jones has. The trailer does a phenomenal job in teasing David Tennant‘s performance as Kilgrave. Worry no more as this trailer is perfectly indicative of what to expect from the series. If this doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what else will.