When Marvel & Netflix struck a deal to bring four new shows (Daredevil, A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, & Luke Cage) to the subscription service back in November of 2013, all of which would lead up to The Defenders, fans were beyond excited. The rights for Daredevil had returned to Marvel earlier that year, and fans were eager to see what Marvel would do with the character after the highly criticized 2003 movie. Fans were also excited to see both Iron Fist and Luke Cage being introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but when it came to Jessica Jones, there seemed to be mixed reactions. There were the fans of Alias that were thrilled that Jessica would be brought to life, but for the most part, everyone else was stumped as to who she was and why Marvel had chosen her to get her own show instead of a character like She-Hulk (merely an example). Those reactions were understandable as Jessica Jones isn’t a big-time Marvel character. With Daredevil finally on Netflix, and filming for A.K.A. Jessica Jones well underway, now is the perfect time to get to know Marvel’s latest heroine before the show premieres later this year.

Who is the heck is Jessica Jones?

Jessica Jones is the superheroine formely known as Jewel. Jess also did a brief stint as Knightress, and has also gone by Power Woman. (Her powers, for those interested, are strength, durability and flight — which she gained when the car that her family was in crashed into a military convoy carrying radioactive chemicals.) She is a character that was created by Brian Michael Bendis. She made her first appearance in Alias #1. (Alias was a Marvel Max ongoing series led by Jessica Jones.) Following up Alias, Bendis wrote The Pulse, Jessica’s second ongoing series.

The easiest way to sum up Jessica Jones would be to say that she’s an ex-superhero turned private investigator, but there’s a lot more to Jessica Jones than that. She can be reckless, she can be stubborn, she can be a mess, but she’s a strong female character that is more than worthy of being brought to life within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

You can read an even more in depth breakdown of who Jessica Jones is by heading over here.

What is A.K.A. Jessica Jones based on?

The show will be based on the comic series Alias by Brian Michael Bendis, which is Jessica’s story post-superhero life. She’s now a private investigator with a foul mouth and quite the appreciation for alcohol and cigarettes. Expect the show to be like Daredevil, in that it won’t be just a superhero show. Jessica will take on cases as part of Alias Investigations, while also exploring her history with The Purple Man. It’ll be dark and gritty, with bits of humor tossed in.

What kind of cases will Jessica Jones go on?

There are plenty of cases that Jess takes on in Alias. The first of which sees her hired to reveal the secret identity of Captain America. Given that the MCU currently has no secret identities – well, other than Daredevil currently — it is safe to say that storyline will not make it to the show. There are elements of that case that could, and more than likely will, make their way into the show, such as: Jessica being brought in for questioning by the cops after being set up by a client, which would lead to Matt Murdock making an appearance as her lawyer.

There’s also the Rick Jones case, which is possible to do, but as of right now, doesn’t seem to be happening. (For those not familiar with Rick Jones, here’s a wiki link.) The Rick Jones case doesn’t take long for Jessica to solve, and I wouldn’t exactly call it a vital one. In the end, Jess is informed that the man claiming to be Rick Jones in New York, the man she is hired to find after his wife comes to her for help finding him, is nothing more than an imposter. If they do go about adapting this case, they’ll have to change things up a bit as it’s Jarvis,the Avengers’ butler, that informs Jessica that the man is an imposter, as the real Rick Jones is safe, far away from New York.

A few of the more important cases Jessica is hired to take on in Alias:

1. Finding the true identity of Spider-Man: Now, I’d love to see J. Jonah Jameson appear on A.K.A. Jessica Jones, hiring Jess to help him reveal Spidey’s identity, but given that they are just now bringing Peter Parker into the MCU and there is going to be a pretty big age gap (in Alias, Jess and Peter went to high school together), I don’t see this story playing out. That doesn’t mean Jessica can’t be hired to reveal a different superhero’s identity.

2. Finding Rebecca Cross: This storyline looks as though it has made it to the show. Jessica is brought in to track down a runaway teen named Rebecca Cross, a young teen obsessed with the moral ambiguity of Daredevil. Hints that this case is being adapted are the casting of Wil Traval as a cop that is supposed to be incredibly serious about his job, as well as these set photos. While on the hunt for Rebecca, Jessica ends up hooking up with a cop assisting her with the case, everything about Traval’s casting indicates this is the role he’s assuming. As for the set photos, if they’ve aged up the characters and set the case within Hell’s Kitchen instead of moving it outside of the city, then these photos start to make sense, and it would actually give us a better sense of who Moss’ character may actually be.

3. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage serving as Matt Murdock’s bodyguards: Now, if they want to continue to build up the world of the Defenders, this would be the perfect way to do it. When the media outs Matt Murdock as Daredevil, he brings on Jessica and Luke to stay by his side, mainly for appearances as he fights back against the allegations. Would this be essential? No, but seeing that they were unable to write in a Jessica Jones cameo in Daredevil as Ritter was cast near the end of filming, bringing in Charlie Cox for a few scenes in A.K.A. Jessica Jones would help to establish the world of the Defenders.

4. Mattie Franklin: This is the big case in Alias, one that I’d love to see play out on the show, but one that I’m still unsure we’ll get to see. Now that we know Marvel can use characters with the Spider monkier, we no longer have to question if Jessica Drew or Mattie Franklin are able to be used by Marvel, which leaves the door open. This isn’t a vital case, but it’s one that would easily allow for cameos from J. Jonah Jameson and Jessica Drew.

5. The case of the Purple Man: This is clearly going to happen, considering they’ve brought in David Tennant as the Purple Man, but it’ll be interesting to see how they go about telling this part of the story. Jessica Jones tries to keep this part of her life in the past, as she still struggles to deal with it, but after Carol Danvers (who looks to be replaced by Trish Walker in this series), gives Jess’ number to a support group for families of victims of the Purple Man, she finds herself reliving the past. All of this leads up to the big showdown between Jess and the Purple Man. What’ll be interesting to see is if they bring in any other characters to assist with the chaos Killgrave causes in the streets, since in Alias the Avengers sweep in to help. It’s a safe bet that Trish Walker will suit up as Hellcat,
but seeing as Trish Walker was never a part of Alias, it’s pretty hard to be sure who else they’ll bring in for the big finale.

Jessica Jones also takes on numerous smaller cases over the course of Alias, such as catching cheating spouses in the act. I’d like to think they’ll write some new cases for the show, as there aren’t too many big cases that they can actually use from Alias.

Who are the characters and which actors will be portraying them?

Krysten Ritter (best known for Breaking Bad & Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23) has been cast as Jessica Jones, the titular character. Ritter is best known for her comedic performances, so it’ll be interesting to see how she pulls off playing a tough as nails, ex-superhero.

David Tennant (best known for Doctor Who) has been cast as Zebediah Killgrave, a.k.a. The Purple Man. He is a part of Jessica’s past that she’d rather forget. It’s because of him, and what he did to her, that she gives up the superhero life. Killgrave is a incredibly sadistic character, and depending on how closely the show sticks to Alias, he could be the best worst villain within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Given how dark Daredevil is, I’m expecting them to stick closely to the source material, meaning A.K.A. Jessica Jones could be the darkest the MCU has yet to go.) You think Fisk is the best MCU villian so far? Just wait until Tennant takes on Killgrave.

Mike Colter (best known for The Good Wife) has been cast as Luke Cage. He will appear in 6-7 episodes of the first season of A.K.A. Jessica Jones before headlining the Luke Cage series sometime in 2016. In Alias, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage end up hooking up, which leads to Jessica getting pregnant. But they also work together on a few occasions, one of which involves them acting as bodyguards for Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil. (As of right now, there is no word on whether Charlie Cox will cameo as Matt Murdock in A.K.A. Jessica Jones, but the story does lend itself to him appearing if they choose to follow the comic closely.)

You can read an in depth breakdown of Luke Cage by going here.

Eka Darville (best known for Empire & Spartacus: War of the Damned) has been cast as Malcolm. In Alias, Malcolm came off as the comic relief. He makes himself at home at Alias Investigations, and for the most parts, annoys Jessica Jones, but in the end, he plays a small role in helping Jess solve a rather big case — locating Mattie Franklin. The official description given by Marvel for the character of Malcolm was, “a neighbor of Jessica’s whose own journey will intertwine with her quest in a surprising way.” This seems to be sticking close to his character in Alias, so I’m hoping he’ll retain his humor.

Erin Moriarty (best known for The Kings of Summer) has been cast as Hope. As of right now, there is really no information available about Hope other than the fact that she becomes a client of Alias Investigations. Off the top of my head, I can’t recall a character named Hope from “Alias”, but it has also been some time since I’ve read it. At this point, Moriarty’s Hope could be anyone. If these set photos end up not being related to the Rebecca Cross case, there’s a good chance that is the character she’s portraying.

Carrie-Anne Moss (best known for The Matrix Trilogy) has joined the show, but her character’s name has not been officially released, although The Wrap is claiming she has been cast as Harper. It is worth noting that Harper was the name of a character in a audition tape that was posted on Vimeo awhile back, so Harper could very well be her character’s name, but as of right now it hasn’t been confirmed by Marvel.

Here is the official description from Marvel for her character:

Moss plays a no-nonsense woman who could prove a powerful ally to Jessica…if Jessica doesn’t completely alienate her first.

Some are suspecting Moss’ character could be a replacement for J. Jonah Jameson, who ends up bringing Jessica Jones in to help him find Spider-Man (c’mon, why else would he bring her in?), only for Jess to end up assisting him on another [unexpected] case. Given that Steven S. DeKnight, the showrunner on Daredevil, has already stated on Twitter that The Daily Bugle will not appear in Daredevil, it’s possible that the newspaper more than likely won’t appear in A.K.A. Jessica Jones either. If this happens to be the case, Moss could very well play a verison of the Jameson character, but we more than likely won’t find out for a few months. (If you’ll recall, Marvel was secretive about Rosario Dawson‘s character in Daredevil for months, expect the same with Moss’s character.)

One other option could be that Moss is playing the girlfriend of Rebecca Cross, a character that Jessica is hired to find. The only issue with this theory is that the description for Moss’ character seems to indicate that Moss’ character is much more than that.

Rachael Taylor (best known for Transformers) has been cast as Trish Walker a.k.a. Hellcat. As of right now, there has been no official confirmation that Taylor will sport the Hellcat suit, but seeing as she’s essentially taking over for Carol Danvers (a.k.a Captain Marvel, who’ll be getting her own film in a few years), I wouldn’t doubt it as Carol did suit up in Alias. The official description for Taylor’s character from Marvel is as follows:

“Trish is a syndicated radio talk show host, former model and child TV star known to her adoring fans as “Patsy” Walker. As Jessica Jones’ closest friend, Trish helps her embark on the most dangerous case of Jessica’s career.

Now, my knowledge of Patsy Walker/Hellcat is pretty slim. I’ve read multiple comics with her in them and I’ve loved her in those (especially in Soule’s She-Hulk run), but I don’t know the character too well. What I do know is that she was originally a character in a rom-com comic series from Timely Comics (Marvel’s precursor) before being introduced into the Marvel universe with Fantastic Four Annual #3. Her backtory is a strange one, but it does seem as though they’ll be briefly touching on it as they’ve referred to the character as a former model and child TV star.

As for the “closest friend” bit, Carol Danvers (at the time still using the moniker Ms. Marvel) portrayed this role. Patsy Walker was never a part of Alias. Given that Carol will be starring in her own movie soon, and more than likely will be making a cameo in an upcoming Marvel film, it’s understandable why they decided not to include Carol in the show and brought in Patsy. It’s also worth noting that the way Carol is portrayed in Alias is completely different from the way we’ve come to know her character thanks to Kelly Sue DeConnick‘s work on Captain Marvel, so this is really a welcome change-up.

Wil Traval has been cast as a NYPD cop. At this time, there is not much known about Traval’s character, other than the fact that he’s a cop “who takes ‘protect and serve’ very seriously.” In Alias, there was a cop that Jess ended up hooking up with while working the Rebecca Cross case. This could end up being that cop. Or it could end up being one of the cops that gives Jess a hard time after she embarks on a case that ends up with her in custody. (Assuming they rework the Captain America secret identity storyline into something else.)

What cameos are possible?

“Alias” featured a decent amount of cameos from other Marvel characters. The Avengers. Some X-Men. Jarvis. And while it’s safe to say most of those cameos will not happen on A.K.A. Jessica Jones, there are still are a bit more feasible.

1. Jessica Drew — Given that Jessica Drew plays such a small part near the end of “Alias”, and that we no longer have to question if Marvel has the rights to use her, I’m hopeful she’ll make an appearance. It would be the perfect way to introduce Jessica Drew into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and let’s face it, the new Spider-Woman costume is begging to be adapted.

2. Scott Lang — Now, given that Ant-Man is a part of the movies, I know it seems a bit ridiculous to include him on this list. But Paul Rudd has always worked between movies and television, so I’d like to think it isn’t completely impossible. Plus, I think Rudd’s Lang and Ritter’s Jones could bounce off of one another wonderfully.

The truth of the matter is that Scott Lang wouldn’t be a necessary character, but one that would allow a welcome connection between the films and the Netflix shows. And seeing as we don’t know when Marvel would be able to slate Ant-Man 2, as I’m sure the first film will do just fine, incorporating Lang into other stories would be a smart move.

3. Matt Murdock — Matt makes a few appearances in Alias. He acts as Jess’ lawyer after a case she took on for a client ends up getting her in trouble with the law. He also brings both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage in as his bodyguards when his identity as Daredevil is threatened. Bringing Charlie Cox in to do a few scenes on the show would also help to establish the team before Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage come together in The Defenders. Plus, after seeing Charlie Cox in Daredevil? He needs to be in more MCU projects.

When will A.K.A. Jessica Jones hit Netflix?

As of right now, the only thing Netflix and Marvel have stated regarding the release of A.K.A. Jessica Jones is sometime in 2015. They haven’t set an actual date or even hinted at a month. If we follow the timeline used for Daredevil, which filmed from July-December of last year and was released on April 10th, I’d say we could expect A.K.A. Jessica Jones to be released around November/December. (It is worth noting that IMDB has it listed as a December releae, but IMDB isn’t exactly a reliable source.) If this proves to be true, I’d go on to say we’d probably see the official logo for the show by May, before they wrap production around July. Again, this is all speculation. We won’t know an official date for some time now.

Where should I start reading if I want to read about Jessica Jones?

You can either pick-up a copy of the Alias omnibus, which will run you around $65, or you can pre-order the paperback volumes Marvel will be releasing prior to the show’s launch: volume one, volume two, and volume three. (It’s worth noting that the paperback editions coming out later this year have undergone a title update to tie-in with the show.) After you’ve read Alias, then I’d go ahead and check out The Pulse. That should get you up to speed on Jessica Jones and more than ready for A.K.A. Jessica Jones.

If you’re not already, be sure to follow the official Twitter account for the show (@JessicaJones) and like the official Facebook page.

And don’t forget to check out Daredevil, the first of Marvel’s Netflix shows, which are currently available to stream on Netflix!