Everything you need to know about Jessica Jones and how she fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Henry Northmore
- 8 October 2015
As the third teaser trailer drops a quick guide to one of Marvel's most enigmatic heroes
After the high water mark set by Daredevil, we expect big things from Marvel's latest collaboration with Netflix. However, Jessica Jones is probably one of the House of Ideas' lesser-known characters, so here's a handy guide to the retired superhero turned private detective.
Krysten Ritter takes the title role
Best known for comedy (including Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars and Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23) Ritter's proved her dramatic chops in Breaking Bad and Tim Burton's Big Eyes. Melissa Rosenberg is developing the series. After writing/producing credits on Party of Five, The OC, Dexter and Twilight, Rosenberg should offer the perfect mix of comedy, drama and action and it gives some indication of the direction Marvel / Netflix are taking with Jessica Jones.
She's not actually a superhero
After a car crash as a teenager with a truck carrying radioactive chemicals, Jessica Jones was a genuine bona-fide superhero going by the name of Jewel, but after a traumatic encounter with the Purple Man she quit the business. She's still got super-strength and can fly, though. Jones now runs a private detective agency in Hell's Kitchen, New York. She tries to avoid the super community and, in the comics, turned down a chance to join The Avengers. But she can't seem to fully turn her back on the capes and tights brigade, going on a string of dates with Scott Lang (aka Ant-Man), though unfortunately that'll probably contradict what was set up in the Ant-Man movie with Paul Rudd – but fingers crossed he'll make a cameo.
David Tennant plays Kilgrave (Warning: spoiler alert!)
If you want to go into Jessica Jones fresh and unadulterated you might want to stop reading here. Tennant will be the series's big bad. His character Kilgrave is better known to comic fans as the aforementioned Purple Man, a nefarious criminal with mind control powers. Whether they'll mirror the comics and actually make him purple is yet to be seen (all production shots so far show Tennant in an indigo suit but with a normal skin tone). Daredevil went with a more realistic take on supervillains so don't expect them to slavishly follow every detail of the print editions.
Mike Colter plays Luke Cage
In the comics, the bullet-proof super-strong Luke Cage (aka Power Man) and Jessica Jones are a dysfunctional couple (mild spoiler: they even get married and have a baby daughter). Looks like they are going to have a close relationship on Netflix, with Mike Colter making his debut as Cage in Jessica Jones before getting his own series in 2016.
She's a Defender
Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist (a mystical martial arts master) will each get their own series before they team up to take down an even larger foe in the Defenders crossover miniseries. Daredevil was so well received a second series has already been commissioned, expect the same for JJ if it goes down well with fans and critics.
Jessica Jones is a major player in the Marvel Universe
In the comics at least. After initially turning down the Avengers, years later she reconsidered and joined the super team, with key roles in some of Marvel's biggest ever stories including Civil War, Secret Invasion and Dark Reign. Daredevil proved that the Netflix series are directly linked to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we're guessing the TV characters will cameo in at least one big screen adventure. The forthcoming Capitan America: Civil War (May, 2016) would be the perfect fit, but might be too soon. We predict the threat to earth in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War will be so huge that every hero on the planet will be involved to some degree. Whether Jones and Cage will officially join the Avengers roster is yet to be seen. Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel) is also Jones' best friend in the comics, and we're hoping that Ritter crops up in the Captain Marvel movie (which has just been pushed back to 2019) in some form.
If you want to front-load before Jessica Jones premieres in November, there are plenty of great graphic novels worth checking out. Writer Brian Michael Bendis toyed with using Jessica Drew (aka Spider-Woman) for his new series but he was worried about her complex back story interfering with his plans, so created Jessica Jones (with artist Michael Gaydos) for 28 issues of Alias. Bendis' tired, shambolic ex-superhero is brilliantly written, with Jones a complex, flawed character bumbling her way though life. She drinks too much, makes terrible choices and is much more human for it. Next, The Pulse finds Jones working for The Daily Bugle (where famously Spider-Man also works as a photographer) alongside Ben Urich (played by Vondie Curtis-Hall in the Daredevil series). Jones has cameoed across the Marvel Universe but her next major role was in Bendis' New Avengers run (he really does love the character) from 2010–2013, where she's a key member of the world's premiere superteam.
Jessica Jones premières on Netflix, Fri 20 Nov.