Saturday, December 27, 2014

5 Characters We Might See in Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones

With Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter officially cast as Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, it's time to think about what other characters we might meet when A.K.A. Jessica Jones hits Netflix in 2015.

Of the four solo Marvel series headed to Netflix, the one that intrigues me the most is A.K.A. Jessica Jones. Most of the general populous has heard of Daredevil and Iron Fist and Luke Cage have had some recent exposure on Disney XD's Ultimate Spider-Man and actually have a pretty good-sized comic book backgrounds, but Jessica Jones is a relatively new character (first appeared in 2001) that many people don't even know exists.

Her stories are mostly limited to the MAX (mature) series, Alias, The Pulse with some appearances mixed in throughout various titles (Young Avengers, Mighty Avengers, New Avengers and Avengers making up the majority) and she appeared in some major Marvel events such as Civil War, Secret Invasion and Seige, so in some ways showrunner Melissa Rosenberg has some room to grow the character before our eyes. The show's official synopsis via certainly sounds like the first season will fit in with the events of the Alias series, however, many of the story lines may not be exactly the same given the live-action character rights issues that will come up.
After a tragic ending to her short-lived Super Hero stint, Jones is rebuilding her personal life and career as a detective who gets pulled into cases involving people with extraordinary abilities in New York City.
So what cases will we see Ritter working as Jones and what characters might she run into when A.K.A. Jessica Jones hits Netflix next year?

1. Zebediah Killgrave, The Purple Man

A longtime foe of Daredevil, Zebediah Killgrave is a Yugoslavian spy who, through exposure to a nerve gas, was turned purple and gained the ability to manipulate people with verbal commands when they've been exposed to his pheremones. Killgrave is one of the most morally bankrupt villains in Marvel's stable and is a viscious, violent and depraved bastard.

Killgrave is as tied to the comic book origins of Jessica Jones as anyone and it's hard to imagine he won't be involved in the show's first season. While Jones was living the double-life as the costumed super-hero Jewel, she came into contact with Killgrave who used his control over her to mentally abuse her for months before sending her out to eliminate Daredevil. While flying through Manhattan looking for Daredevil, Jones, under partial control of Killgrave, attacked the Avenger Wanda Maximoff. Following the attack, Jones was pursued by the Avengers and was beaten into a coma.

After awakening from the coma, Jones, with the help of Jean Grey (someone we definitely WON'T see), defeats Killgrave's control of her, beating him silly which leads to his incarceration at the super-villain prison known as The Raft.

Killgrave would make for a great villain for the series and using him could set up any number of other story lines, most notably ones including the Thunderbolts or The Hood. Interestingly, despite not being well-known, Killgrave could easily become the most hated villian in the MCU after this series.

2. Carol Danvers

Yep, Captain Marvel could end up appearing on A.K.A. Jessica Jones. In my mind, this boils down to when Marvel introduces her, but this could very well happen. If, as has been rumored, Carol Danvers first appears in Avengers: Age of Ultron, then it's very possible that the character cameos a few times during the series.

In Brian Michael Bendis' Alias, Carol and Jessica Jones' friendship is a frequent plot device that helps ground the series within the mainstream Marvel universe. While it's no certainty that Danvers will show up during the first season of A.K.A. Jessica Jones, it remains a possibility, especially with Melissa Rosenberg, who has been developing the show for a number of years, as the showrunner. When the show was first being prepped for release on ABC Family, Rosenberg told HitFix that Danvers would definitely appear in the pilot.

While I know Marvel intends to let the Defenders series be their own thing, they most certainly will take a few opportunities to connect them to the existing cinematic universe, helping to expand it along the way. If they cast an actress in time for the Avengers: Age of Ultron pick-ups, they'd have her in time to fill in a few scenes, maybe even one in which she introduces Jessica to a super-hero love interest...Scott Lang.

3. Scott Lang

We know that A.K.A. Jessica Jones will feature Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Jessica's future husband and father to her child; however, is it possible that Ant-Man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) will pop in for a small part, too?

While you'll see a lot of folks tell you it's improbable, I'm not going to rule it out. I'm of the opinion that A.K.A. Jessica Jones is going to hit Netflix sometime around Ant-Man's U.S. release date as a part of Marvel's movement towards year round programming. It seems that Daredevil will be released the same day as Avengers: Age of Ultron hits U.S. theaters and I won't be surprised to have this become a common thing with Marvel's Netflix series. If that's the case, I would also not be surprised to see some sort of Jessica Jones cross-promotion (whether that be a Krysten Ritter cameo or post-credit scene or simply a trailer) attached to Ant-Man, setting up Lang's appearance in the show.

Jones and Lang dated for a while during Bendis' Alias and were actually still dating when Jones found out she was pregnant with Cage's baby. Rudd is a big star, but these Netflix series are not low-budget direct-to-VHS sequels. These are the real deal and Marvel is certainly not going to shy away from continuing its "It's All Connected" business...remember, they just introduced the Inhuman mythology on ABC. I'm not saying Rudd's Lang WILL be on the show, I'm just saying a lot of the reasons people are throwing out there are NOT legitimate reasons in my eyes.

4. Clay Quartermain

This one seems like a given to me, though it seems like it's been increasingly hard to predict the moves that Marvel will make.

Clay Quartermain is a long-time Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and one-time love interest of Jessica Jones who remains a good friend and helpful asset. I like the idea of Quartermain being on the show as the connective tissue to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., in fact, I can't say I'd be shocked to see him appear in the second half of the season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Quartermain is a smooth talker who has appeared all across the Marvel Universe and his inclusion could point to a number of other connections with existing and new characters. It's worth noting that Quartermain was working at The Raft when The Purple Man engineered his escape detailed above, just one more reason to think we may get to see Clay Quartermain in the MCU.

5. Peter Parker/J. Jonah Jameson/Norman Osborn

I know, I'm cheating here and that this part is wildly speculative, however, this group above makes as much sense as anyone other than Luke Cage to be in this series.

With the intense speculation around Marvel being able to use characters from the Spider-Man corner of the universe in their properties, much focus has been on getting Spidey into a film and making solo-Spidey flicks, and rightly so; he is one of Marvel's greatest characters and deserves to be a part of a cinematic universe that can properly portray him. However, there are other great characters being under used as well and, if Marvel and Sony reach an agreement in time, A.K.A. Jessica Jones could be their coming out party.

To be brief, Jessica Jones was a high school mate of Peter Parker and had a huge crush on him. They later worked together as heroes. Jessica Jones has a very complicated relationship for J. Jonah Jameson. She worked a case for him as a P.I. and was employed by him at the Daily Bugle where she wrote the super-hero column, The Pulse (my pick for the title of Season 2). While working for the Bugle, she and writer Ben Urich (who we will see in Daredevil) become a part of the breaking it to the public that Norman Osborn was the Green Goblin, leading to one memorable confrontation between Osborn and Luke Cage after Osborn tried to kill a pregnant Jones.

While all of those characters remain a long shot, the discussions about Sony relinquishing some rights gives me hope. Those characters could really add some depth to the series and you don't want to get me started on how big of an impact a character like Norman Osborn could have on the future of the MCU.

Casting for Marvel's A.K.A. Jessica Jones shouldn't be too far off so let's keep our eyes peeled and see if any of these predictions above come true.