This is a tiny, tiny update for Jessica Jones, but given how excited I am to see the next Netflix-Marvel project, I couldn’t resist posting about it.
Earlier today, the Netflix placeholder page for the show was updated, showing off a very distinctive splash of color. We’ve seen the logo evolve a few times now, but this latest change is especially interesting.
What does the color purple have to do with Jessica Jones?
That color is particularly relevant to the show because of this strange looking fellow:
That’s Dr. Zebediah Killgrave, aka “The Purple Man.” In the comics, Killgrave was introduced as a Daredevil villain in the 60s, before returning as an essential piece of Jessica Jones’ backstory in 2001.
Killgrave started out as a doctor/international spy (the 60s were a weird time) who was sent to infiltrate a chemical refinery. There he was inadvertently exposed to a strange substance that turned his skin purple. Following this incident, he found he was able to control people’s minds, and leveraged this into a criminal career.
While he mostly popped up as a Daredevil foe for most of his early run, in Alias (the comic book series that introduced Jones to the Marvel universe), it was revealed that Killgrave was the reason Jones retired from being a superhero.
*Potential spoilers for Jessica Jones follow*
While Jones was operating under her superhero alter-ego Jewel, she had a run in with the Purple Man, who mind controlled her and took her prisoner. She spent the next eight months being psychologically tortured, and forced to help the Purple Man commit crimes.
The Purple Man eventually sent her to the Avengers Mansion to kill Daredevil, where she broke in and attacked the Scarlet Witch. During the battle, Purple Man’s mind control began to wear off, and Jones attempted to flee, only to be badly injured by the Vision and Iron Man. She managed to escape though with the help of Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel), who recognized her as the missing superhero Jewel.
Jones survived, but fell into a coma for months, recuperating under the care of SHIELD and the X-Men’s Jean Grey. She eventually recovered, but after experiencing such traumatic events (and realizing that no one cared enough to notice that she had been missing for nearly a year), Jones hung up her cape and retired from the superhero lifestyle, later opening her own private detective agency.
Will the Netflix show adapt this material?
The Jessica Jones TV series will definitely feature its own version of Killgrave/Purple Man (played by the iconic David Tennant no less!), although it remains to be seen how much of the original comics story they’ll leave intact. I kind of doubt that we’ll be seeing Scarlet Witch or the Vision show up (although it’s not impossible).
In any case, like the original comic, Jessica Jones will mainly focus on the character’s post-superhero life as a private investigator, one with a deeply troubled past.
Expect to see it sometime before the end of the year, although no firm release date has been set yet.