Let’s explore the comic and character the television series is based on.
With the imminent debut of Marvel’s second Netflix show, Jessica Jones, we’re sure there’s a few people left wondering who this titular character is based off of. After all, Daredevil had a long running comic series and a (much maligned) film to place him in the public consciousness. Jessica Jones, on the other hand, had a 28 issue run in the early 2000s that the show will take inspiration from.
We’re here to delve into the story of that run to get a better understanding of who Jessica Jones is and what the MCU could do with her character.
So, what’s the deal with Jessica Jones in the comics?
A classmate of Peter Parker’s, Jessica was actually present on that faithful day when he was bitten by a radioactive spider. Shortly after, Jessica had a radioactive situation herself when her family died in a car accident with a military convoy carrying radioactive chemicals. Jessica was exposed to extreme radiation and spent months in a coma.
When she awoke, she discovered she had super strength, limited invulnerability, and the ability to fly… though she never truly mastered that last one. Jessica was taken into by a foster family, the Joneses, and re-enrolled at Midtown High. Though she was the subject of much bullying, she decided to use her abilities to help people after witnessing a fight between Spider-Man and Sandman.
Jessica became the superhero Jewel and had had a fairly uneventful tenure as a costumed heroin. One day, she came across Zebediah Killgrave (aka the Purple Man), who used his power of mind control to take hold of Jessica. For months, he tortured her and forced her to commit crimes to further his own nefarious goals. It was when Killgrave sent Jones after the Avengers that she was finally stopped by Vision and Iron Man.
Jones remained under the care of S.H.I.E.L.D. and went through psychic therapy with Jean Grey. Afterwards, she gave up her superhero life and became a private detective. Because of her former superhero connections, she often had cases connected with her old life. As she tried to pick herself back up, she ended up having a troubled romantic relationship with hero Luke Cage.
Killgrave eventually broke out of prison and tried to psychologically torture Jessica, but Jean Grey’s therapy allowed her to withstand his manipulations. She recaptured him and then committed to Luke Cage after becoming pregnant with his child.
Cage and Jones started a family and she left the private eye business to become a superhero correspondent for the Daily Bugle.
What does this tell us about the MCU television series?
Well, it’s pretty obvious that Peter Parker won’t be factoring into the series. However, we’re wondering if the MCU will stay consistent with the comics regarding how Jones got her powers. The Daredevil show portrayed his radioactive childhood accident, though it kept some of the more otherworldly effects as subtle as possible. We’re guessing the Jessica Jones show will handle it the same way.
As for the first season’s plot, they’re definitely taking inspiration from the storyline where Killgrave escapes prison and comes after Jessica. The difference here is that there’s no X-Men to give her a psychic boost. She’s going to have to find the inner strength to take on Killgrave herself.
We wonder if they’ll go with the pregnancy plotline in later seasons, as many TV shows tend to include one as they go one in order to increase the personal drama. One character transition we’d be curious to see on screen her going from a private eye to a correspondent for the Daily Bugle, which might make for an interesting paradigm shift.