The first trailer for Jessica Jones appears almost as mysterious as our title heroine. While Daredevil drew on decades of comic book mythology, and thus was able to pack a ton of fairly recognizable Marvel moments into its first real trailer, Jessica Jones is based on a relatively small handful of stories featuring some of the more obscure characters in Marvel’s catalogue.
That being said, if you’ve read Marvel’s Alias comics by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos which are the basis for the Jessica Jones Netflix series (and if you haven’t, do yourself a favor and do so immediately) there’s lots of familiar moments that get touched on here.
Just in case you haven’t seen the trailer, or just want to watch it again, here it is, then we’ll start digging deep.
Now, let’s get into this. Beware, though, this article is going to contain a ton of potential spoilers from here on out. Most of this isn’t chronological within the trailer, I’m just grouping stuff together wherever it makes sense to make connections.
Here’s Jessica’s office door, for Alias Investigations. Alias is, of course, a play on the traditional superhero secret identity trope. But it was also the name of the comic that this series is based on. When plans were first being put in place to bring Jessica Jones to TV about ten years ago, the plan was for an ABC series, but because of another female-fronted TV show known as Alias, the comic book name wasn’t available. It became AKA Jessica Jones before stalling, and that was the title of this Netflix series until very recently when it was shortened to the current title.
Also, there was an “Atlas Investments” door visible on the same floor as Nelson and Murdock in Daredevil. Whether Jessica painted over that sign with her own remains to be seen. It might be a little too convenient if they’re in the same building, though.
This bit of defenestration comes to you courtesy of the very first Jessica Jones comic ever. This guy probably found out his wife was cheating on him thanks to Ms. Jones’ investigation and decided to take it out on her.
That’s Mike Colter as future Netflix headliner Luke Cage. You already knew that, though.
What’s more telling here is that this is likely another scene from Alias #1, detailing the first real conversation between Jessica and Luke. This leads to a romance that will play out throughout this series and likely into his, as well.
They aren’t shying away from Jessica’s vices, that’s for sure. Although it’s unlikely we’ll see her smoke. Comic book Jessica Jones smoked like a chimney and swears like a sailor. Maybe this will be the first Marvel Studios project to drop the f-bomb. I can dream, right?
This is Rachel Taylor as Patsy “Trish” Walker. In the comics, Patsy Walker is the superhero known as Hellcat, but that doesn’t appear to be part of this character’s background who is described as “a syndicated radio talk show host, former model, and child TV star known to her adoring fans as “Patsy” Walker. As Jessica Jones’ closest friend, Trish helps her embark on the most dangerous case of Jessica’s career.”
Patsy never appeared in the Alias comics, either, but her best pal there was Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers, who is obviously otherwise occupied (and still uncast) on the Marvel movies end of things.
Here’s Carrie-Anne Moss. Her character had previously been identified as “Harper” but it now appears that she’s a version of Jeryn Hogarth, a lawyer who works for Danny Rand aka Iron Fist aka another character due for his own Netflix series down the road.
The only other thing we know about her is that she’s “a no-nonsense woman who could prove a powerful ally to Jessica…if Jessica doesn’t completely alienate her first.”
And that seems to be it for supporting characters. But most of this trailer’s focus seems to be on David Tennant’s Killgrave, aka “The Purple Man,” and with good reason. This creep is the reason Jessica is such a mess. So let’s dig into this a little…
This would appear to be a young Killgrave, probably being studied as his powers manifest for the first time. I could be wrong, but I bet I’m not. The Cold War centric origin story of the Purple Man isn’t going to fly on a show like this, so expect some welcome liberties to be taken.
Here’s a glimpse of the grown-up Zebediah Killgrave (David Tennant) creeping on Jessica. By the way, if anyone was worried about whether Krysten Ritter was too conventionally attractive to pull of the more “everywoman” look of the comic book Jessica Jones, this trailer in general (and this shot in particular) would seem to put that to rest.
Ms. Ritter’s voice and mannerisms throughout this seem to capture Jessica’s jaded, tough exterior. It’s going to be fun hearing some of this show’s dialogue. Despite how relentlessly dark this trailer is (and with good reason, Killgrave will give you the skeeves), there should be some really hilarious, biting stuff on the way.
This might be a metaphorical representation of Killgrave’s mind control powers or a flashback to when he had Jessica under his control. Oh, yes, I should backtrack.
A good chunk of the reason Jessica is such a mess is that she spent eight months as a pawn of Killgrave, where she had no will of her own. The implications of that are as disgusting as you might expect.
Jessica with literal blood on her hands only scratches the surface of her trauma from the Purple Man…
…while this might be more of a metaphorical “prison of the mind” thing. Then again, it could actually be where Killgrave was keeping Jessica for awhile. Regardless, none of it is pleasant, and this show is probably going to some very uncomfortable places.
Part of Killgrave’s obsession with Jessica is the fact that she’s a metahuman. Why wouldn’t you want someone who is super strong, nigh invulnerable, and with limited flight under your control, right?
Also, isn’t it a relief that David Tennant isn’t attempting an American accent. Holy moley, he’s brilliant, but he’s not good at that.
The trauma that we see in one of Killgrave’s earlier victims seems to come out when Jessica has a chat with her in custody, too.
The purple lighting here seems to indicate that this is a Killgrave-centric flashback. But note the earrings. Jessica had a failed superhero career as “Jewel” and she wore ridiculous dangly earings as part of her superhero costume. Even though she looks like she’s wearing some kind of evening wear here, the “off the shoulder” look of it is faintly reminiscent of her awful Jewel costume.
The show has said they would touch on her costumed exploits in subtle ways, and this might just be one of them.
These final shots are just some indications of the disturbing shit that Killgrave is capable of. None of it comes from the comics, but that’s just fine…
Not sure if one of the above individuals is supposed to be Patsy Walker. As we know from Daredevil, Marvel’s Netflix arm isn’t shy about killing off friendly supporting characters.
One little note. It’s not clear if this is the bar Luke Cage works in, or if that bar is supposed to be Josie’s from Daredevil. I also don’t know if this has anything to do with Killgrave, but it probably does. Regardless, like the other Killgrave havoc above, this doesn’t seem to have any comic book parallel.
And if I had to guess, this is Jessica’s current equivalent of a superhero outfit. When it’s time to face the man who utterly ruined you, pour yourself a stiff drink, put on some practical work clothes, and beat the living crap out of the scumbag.
Jessica Jones hits Netflix on November 20th.