Early last month, Netflix announced that it will develop five miniseries based on Marvel comics: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist will each get their own miniseries, then they will all come together in The Defenders. Last week, the news broke that Twilight writer Melissa Rosenberg will be the writer and executive producer of the Jessica Jones miniseries; she had previously developed a series for ABC based on the character, but that project never came to fruition.
Jessica Jones is an intriguing character. She went to high school with Peter Parker and was there when he was bitten by the radioactive spider that turned him into Spider-Man. Shortly after that, she was in a car accident in which her family was killed and she was exposed to radioactive chemicals, which gave her her powers. In her first comic series, Alias, which is not available digitally, she took the name Jewel and became a costumed superhero, but things did not work out well, and she left to become a private investigator.
Jessica takes a prominent role in the series The Pulse, which is available as part of the Marvel Unlimited subscription service but not on comiXology (except for issue #10, which is a tie-in to the House of M event). As the series begins, she is the girlfriend of superhero Luke Cage and is expecting his child. Looking for a steady income and health insurance, she takes a job with the Daily Bugle (the same paper where Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s alter ego, is a photographer) as a sort of consultant, working with reporters Ben Urich and Kat Farrell. There are three story arcs that are a good read on their own: issues 1-5, in which the staff investigates the disappearance of another reporter and ends up unmasking the Green Goblin; issues 11-13, in which Jessica has her baby during rather tumultuous circumstances; and issue 14, the final issue in the series, in which she tells her baby about one other time she tried to be a superhero, but set it aside to protect two children who were left at a crime scene. At the end of this issue, she decides she will marry Luke Cage, who proposed in issue 13. These three story arcs are a great introduction to Jessica and Luke and won’t get you bogged down with other storylines, as the rest of the series crosses over with other Marvel stories.
If you want to see more of Jessica—and Luke—check out The New Avengers, vol. 2, which ran from 2010-2012. In this series, Luke and his superhero compatriots move to the Avengers Mansion, splitting off from the main group, but they are soon drawn into a battle with supernatural forces. In Settle in for a good read, because this series lasts for 34 issues (also available on Marvel Unlimited).
While news is out about the creative team behind the show, nobody has yet said where Jessica will be in her life journey—the series could focus on her Alias days, before she met Luke and had her baby, or it could pick up the storyline later. The course of true love doesn’t always run smooth for Luke and Jessica, so there are a lot of possibilities. Add that to the fact that Jessica is a strong woman who is fiercely devoted to her child, but at the same time has a realistic view of her abilities and the constraints of life as a superhero, and you have the opportunity for a show that really breaks the standard superhero mold. With Rosenberg helming the project, it will be interesting to see what lies in store for Jessica Jones.
A former book editor and newspaper reporter, Brigid Alverson started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters¹ reading habits and now covers comics and graphic novels for Comic Book Resources , School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Robot 6, and MTV Geek. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Brigid was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards. Send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org