The words super strong, street level, wise cracking superhero could apply just as well to Jessica Jones as Spider-Man. Well…maybe not. Jessica drinks a lot more, is way more harsh and cynical, wouldn’t be caught dead in a costume of any kind, and…I could go on, but you get the picture. But believe it or not, there are a number of similarities between the two characters, and a few direct references to Spidey on Jessica Jones Season 2, as well.
We’ll start with the comic book connections, though. For one thing, Jessica was co-created by Brian Michael Bendis, the writer who had one of the longest creative runs on Spidey ever with the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. He’s known for rapid-fire dialogue and wit, and you can see how the guy who puts words in Jessica’s mouth was right for Peter Parker, too. But he added a story connection to Spidey and Jessica, although one that isn’t explored on the show (and won’t be).
In the comics, Jessica grew up in Queens, probably Forest Hills. She even went to the same high school as Peter Parker. The pair were actually classmates (and she had a crush on him). Of course, TV’s Jessica Jones is older than the teenaged Peter Parker we have in the Marvel Cinematic Universe these days, so that will never be a thing. But it’s a pretty solid connection in the comics. Jessica eventually went to work for The Daily Bugle (a paper we have yet to see pop up on Marvel’s Netflix shows OR in the new Spider-Man movies), and had to catch all kinds of crap from nobody’s favorite newspaperman, J. Jonah Jameson. Jessica and Spidey spent some time together when he was on the New Avengers roster with Luke Cage, too.
Jessica Jones Season 2 features some direct Spider-Man references, although they aren’t exactly directed at Spidey himself. In season 2 episode 2, “AKA Freak Accident” Jessica makes a crack about someone’s “scrotey sense,” since his “balls tingling” is how the gentleman in question senses that something isn’t quite right. While we didn’t get much “Spidey sense” in Spider-Man: Homecoming, it looks like it plays a role in Avengers: Infinity War, if the trailer is anything to go by.
In that same episode, the poor, doomed Whizzer is seen on an old recording saying “with great power comes great mental illness. This is, of course, a play on the old Spidey motto (courtest of poor, dead Uncle Ben) that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Jessica actually speaks those words in a later episode, although she isn’t really thrilled about saying them. Where anyone would have heard this in the MCU is beyond me, but hey.
In season 2 episode 6 “AKA Face Time” there’s a moment that isn’t an explicit Spider-Man reference, but it sure does feel right out of “the old Parker luck” playbook. Jessica’s phone sustains some water damage at the aquarium. A PI is useless without their contacts, but her resources are limited…so she pops into a bodega to buy a bag of rice to fix her phone. I feel like this is the Jessica Jones equivalent of Spidey needing to wear a paper bag over his head because he lost his mask, or hitching a ride him on a garbage truck because he’s hurt and out of web fluid, or any number of ridiculous, low-rent superhero scenarios.
There’s one other thing that Jessica has in common with Peter Parker. Neither has a driver’s license.
There are two perfectly valid reasons for this. On the one hand, both characters spent their entire lives in New York City, where nobody needs a car, and very few residents bother owning one. Peter learned he could climb walls and swing on webs when he was 15. You need to be 16 in New York State to get a learner’s permit. Why drive when you can do that, right? Jessica, of course, has other, exceedingly valid reasons for not wanting to get behind the wheel of a car. Also she is drunk all the time, so that would be extra bad.
Know of any other Jessica Jones and Spider-Man connections that we missed? Let us know in the comments!