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Marvel Netflix A.K.A. Jessica Jones Explained

Lars HindsleyBy Lars Hindsley Mon 18 May 2015 12:45 PM EST | 3949 Views
(DL) – May 18, 2015 The Marvel Netflix aka Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) will be a huge superhero for Women. For some time female comic book enthusiasts have been demanding a female super hero in cinematic form. What is Jessica Jones’ super hero power? It should be super human strength, but her story of recovery is what will make her a major hit. Adapted from the Marvel MAX 28 part series Alias, Jessica's story unfolds during her post super hero career. Now retired, she works as a private investigator.

Marvel Netflix aka Jessica Jones

To understand why Marvel Netflix A.K.A. Jessica Jones will be a hit for women, it is best to explain the changed climate in super hero needs spawned by the recent past super hero films and current shows that have set the table for A.K.A. Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones as Jewel

Hollywood is reticent to deliver a major super hero film with a female lead as decision makers consider them high risk films. Sure Catwoman (2004) and Elektra (2005) bombed, but so had Green Lantern (2011), and many other male oriented super hero films. The secret to any franchise character’s success is simple, follow canon. Iron Man (2008) was the first to latch on to this concept. Batman Begins (2005) added the layer of realism and super hero films became blockbusters. In the past ten years a new market segment of comic book reader has emerged as a force to be respected – females. Females have been loud in their demands, “Give us females in the lead”

Jessica Jones with the New Avengers

The “Big Two” (DC and Marvel) have responded poorly at times by re-appropriating male characters in their print universes. That in turn set off unnecessary battles between the sexes where feminist hijacked the conversations and became social justice warriors derailing the original and legitimate call for female super heroes. A few movies are on the horizon with female super heroes that women can call their own. DC’s Justice League will have Wonder Woman, and Marvel will feature Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel in 2018. But these movies are years away. 

Captain Marvel Carol Danvers

Enter Netflix and Daredevil released May of 2015. It’s been a giant success with both viewers and critics.

Marvel's Defenders

Netflix’s Daredevil has set the path for The Defenders team up and  A.K.A. Jessica Jones is next in line for a series. With it, women will get a break from the full on girl in the refrigerator trope. Female fans will also get more than just a strong female character. Jones comes with a story of a super hero in recovery from an not so cliché tortured past.

Jessica Jones confronts the Purple Man

Women will find Jessica Jones a complex character. Jessica has suffered at the hands of an evil man and is fighting a complex past while she champions causes of common people. 

The villain of the story is the Purple Man who will be played by David Tennant (10th Doctor - Dr. Who). The Purple Man story is one that could come off as a trope to feminist but as Batgirl came through the Killing Joke as Oracle, Jessica Jones is a survior that tells an honest story.

                                                       - SPOILER ALERT -

The Crux of Jessica Jones and the Purple Man storyline

What is most important about Jessica Jones is that she is more than a super heroin, she has super internal fortitude as she battles demons. Jessica's journey of recovery is what women will identify with most in the series. Hope is a powerful weapon and Jessica’s journey of recovery over her past pain should strike a nerve with all viewers but women in particular will appreciate the complexity of Jessica's internal battle.

Krysten Ritter is even up on her character's history, “I am now reading the Jessica Jones comics and devouring them. And hooked. I don't think I've been so hooked on something since Serial. So now I feel that way about the Jessica Jones series. I can't wait. I mean, as soon as we're done today, that's what I am going to be doing. I'm really excited about Jessica Jones. It's so fucking cool. It's so cool. I can't wait to watch it.”

Marvel Netflix A.K.A. Jessica Jones set photos image gallery

The reason behind this theory is if the producers of the Netflix Daredevil series depict Jessica’s story with as much raw truth as they had in Matt Murdoch’s, then A.K.A. Jessica Jones will make a huge impact with the female audience. If her journey of recovery in cinema walks in step with her print character’s experience then Jessica Jones status as a Marvel super hero will ultimately make Jessica Jones a huge hit for women. Calls for a feature film would surely follow. 

What is fair to all is Marvel won’t need to re-appropriate a male character to give women what they want in a female super hero. Jessica Jones has always been there in print waiting for a spotlight. Sadly don't expect her to fly like her print counterpart or be surrounded by the Marvel A list super heroes like Captain America or Iron Man.

Jessica Jones with child and Marvel super heroes

Jessica Jones has enjoyed both a lighter escapism portrayal for readers of all ages in traditional Marvel comic books and a more mature treatment in Marvel MAX an adult content comic book.

It’s in MAX where mainstream characters like Spider-Man and Captain America could make cameos but never be in scenes that depicted sex or other adult oriented situations.

Marvel MAX Alias hardcover bookIf you want a deeper understanding of Jessica's background, search out the 28 issue Marvel MAX series Alias which can be purchased as a full graphic novel. The ‘MAX’ indicates this a mature readers title, not for children.

Jessica Jones will air on Netflix in the fall of 2015. What is known of the plot seems to follow the experience Jessica Jones endured in Alias. The graphic novel Alias is written by Michael Bendis which stands on it’s own and not dependent on traditional Marvel Universe of characters. This plays well for the Netflix show A.K.A. Jessica Jones as it acknowledges the Marvel Universe’s super heroes but doesn’t require them to be in the show.

It would be nice to see if the show stays true to a few incidents in Alias where Jessica visits the Avengers which is held great importance in her story.  

Amazon is releasing a book based on the show in the fall of 2015 before the show airs. It seems to be a traditional non-illustrated telling Alias, but does not yet list an author.  

Here’s the synopsis:

Ever since her short-lived stint as a Super Hero ended in tragedy, Jessica Jones has been rebuilding her personal life and career as a hot-tempered, sardonic, badass private detective in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. Plagued by self-loathing, and a wicked case of PTSD, Jessica battles demons from within and without, using her extraordinary abilities as an unlikely champion for those in need… especially if they’re willing to cut her a check.

Even if A.K.A. Jessica Jones doesn’t become a huge super hero women identify with and get behind, her story of the Purple Man’s evil subjugation while moving on with her life as a private investigator in the MCU will be a great series to experience. It is great to see Marvel allowing great stories and great under-utilized characters a chance to take center stage.

David Tennant at Marvel corporate getting to know his character Purple Man

David Tennant will portray her nemisis Zebediah Killgrave – The Purple Man. Marvel Netflix A.K.A.  Jessica Jones stars Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), David Tennant (Kilgrave), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Rachael Taylor (Patricia “Trish” Walker), and Carrie-Anne Moss also star in the Netflix original series. “Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones” was developed by Executive Producer/Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg. Eka Darville, Erin Moriarty, and Wil Traval have also joined “Marvel Netflix aka Jessica Jones,” an all-new 13-episode series premiering on Netflix in 2015.

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