. . . . is probably a knee-jerk reaction from general audiences when they hear she’s getting a Netflix series alongside her more popular co-Defenders Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Daredevil. She is one of the newer few successes Marvel comics has had with a new character. Her first appearance in a comic book was in Alias which was then followed by The Pulse. Beyond her critically acclaimed solo titles, her role has slowly decreased from a lead heroine into more of a supporting character. Her book has also the distinction of being the first Marvel comic to actually include the word FUCK thanks to Marvel’s mature comics imprint MAX.
Now a lot of you might be wondering just why in the hell is she getting a show of her own when her presence in the books isn’t that at all huge. Even I only knew Jessica Jones as a side-character before, in fact the first time I saw her was in Secret Invasion as Luke Cage’s wife. But after reading her in Alias, holy shit was I hyped for the character. That book sparked a new-found appreciation and love for the character and it has also officially made excited for her Netflix show.
For starters, Jessica Jones is a private investigator who once donned the superhero codename JEWEL and KNIGHTRESS (powers include a bit of superstrength and flight). Due to unforseen tragic events which I prefer to not spoil, she decides to leave the costumed life and continue as a private investigator.
So she’s an ex-superhero turned detective; that aspect alone makes for interesting storytelling. While all the MCU heroes we love are suiting up, we actually have one who is suiting down. Someone who’s actually tired of it and is looking for a new start.
Her story is already a unique genre in itself and for the MCU. With the comic inspired by pulp detective fiction, the show could be treated as a crime-noir-thriller piece akin to something like True Detective which has never really been seen in the MCU. Agent Carter I heard is going with a pulp-noir period piece as well but you can tell in tone that Agent Carter is going to be different. While Agent Carter deals with problems that are potentially big-scale dangerous ie. the state of national security, Jessica Jones deals with very grounded and personal problems.
She’s not off to fight the Kree, Deathlok, or any of those villains the Avengers or AoS encounter. Jessica Jones as a character is as grounded as an MCU character can get. She isn’t some wide-eyed believer who curiously stares at the sky, waiting for her big break to destroy an alien fleet. No in fact she is a very cynical opposite of that. This is someone who literally refuses to get into over-the-top heroics unlike her MCU colleagues. Who wouldn’t want to see that for a change?
She doesn’t even have that much of a rogues gallery, save for Daredevil’s villain Purple Man. Wouldn’t that make her show less interesting to see? Absolutely not. Like with that True Detective comparison I just made, you know stories like these are built to last beautifully without the need for explosive spectacle. All you need are brilliantly written characters and dialogue and plain old good story telling which by the way, her books are full of.
We all know that crossovers between the 4 Netflix series will be inevitable. I mean don’t they all? But what’s very appealing about this one is that they don’t necessarily need the Defenders series to get all together. These are I assuming, shows with leeway that allow the actors/character to crossover without any legal burdens. Not to mention that even in their own personal arcs, these characters are known to show up regularly. In the books, Matt Murdock becomes Jessica Jones’ attorney and she becomes Murdock’s personal bodyguard and good friend along with Luke Cage and you know how best buds Iron Fist and Luke Cage are. Ben Urich, whom we know is going to appear in Daredevil has appeared as a supporting character in The Pulse. It’s all connected folks!
And YES Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ relationship is definitely one for the MCU books.
Did I mention that she’s bestfriends with Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and used to date Scott Lang/Ant-Man/Paul Rudd in the comics? Granted that a Paul Rudd cameo on a Netflix show is highly unlikely but maybe Carol Danvers could make her debut here. Point is, her books have so much interesting cross-pollination with other characters, that aspect alone is – I think – worth watching and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Now if you’re looking in to get in the hype or you need proof of everything I’ve said, you have check these books out:
Alias – this pretty much makes up for the whole character. Read this and you’re set for the show. This noir mystery series is about 28 issues long so you don’t need to worry about it being too convoluted and confusing. It’s self-contained/standalone, brilliantly written by Brian Michael Bendis and beautifully drawn by Michael Gaydos.
The Pulse – this takes place right after Alias. The Pulse isn’t purely a Jessica Jones story since there are several supporting characters that are become the focus of the story and it focuses on the journalistic side of things in the Marvel Universe. Daredevil’s Ben Urich makes an appearance or two. Its something totally different from Alias.
New Avengers Vol. 1 & Mighty Avengers Vol. 2 – Again, Jessica Jones is more of a supporting character here this time with her occasional appearances. This is worth a read since you get a good glimpse on how her dynamic changes in a team setting. Plus it has all those lovely Luke Cage and Jessica Jones charm.
Also just for the heck of it, I think Linda Cardellini would make an awesome Jessica Jones.
So there you have it. There is definitely a lot to look forward to with Jessica Jones’ Netflix debut. So far with what they’re doing with Daredevil, they seem to be firing on all fours and hitting all the right notes and strokes and I hope they manage to do the same for this show. This underdog of a character deserves your full attention. Jessica Jones is the MCU property that will prove that you don’t need spies, space epics, high tech gadgetry, and world saving to make an interesting comic book live-action adaptation.
Krysten Ritter has been cast as Jessica Jones after this article was published.