A New Jessica Jones Comic? It’s Not Impossible, Says Tom Brevoort
At a Marvel panel at C2E2 this past weekend, editor Tom Brevoort was asked about the possibility of female-led books, specifically Kate Bishop or Jessica Jones. According to io9, this was his response:
Without saying anything, Brian Bendis in particular has been having an itch to get back to the character and he’s walked me through what the next storyline would be and it’s awesome. Once he’s got Civil War II off his back, it’s not impossible that we’d say lets do a Jessica book, whether it’s Jessica Jones or Alias or The Pulse of we come up with another name for it. Definitely something we want to do, that’s more certain than the Kate Bishop book.
A lot of people are reacting to this quote as though it practically confirms that Jessica is getting a series after Civil War II, and I hope she is, but Brevoort is deliberately being as noncommittal as he knows how (which as a Marvel spokesman is pretty darn noncommittal). "It's not impossible" is not a phrase one uses to imply that something is almost definitely happening. In fact, it's how you'd word it if you wanted to get people excited about a possibility but didn't want them to be able claim later that you'd actually promised anything.
And let's be clear: The ongoing lack of a Jessica Jones solo comic in the wake of her acclaimed Netflix series is beyond absurd. Daredevil of course has a comic. There's a new Power Man and Iron Fist comic in advance of their upcoming Netflix launches. There's also an Agents of SHIELD comic, and DC is even getting around to a Supergirl comic as part of Rebirth.
So why is nothing on the schedule for Jessica? Brevoort implies (and fans have long suspected) that it's because Marvel regards the character as belonging to writer Brian Michael Bendis, who created her with artist Michael Gaydos. Not "belonging to" in the sense that he owns the rights to her or gets the profits from her TV deal, of course; just in the sense that nobody else is allowed to write her solo comic. Which is a shame, because a fresh voice handling Jessica would be nice. Bendis is the one who quickly established her as one of Marvel's great characters in Alias, but he's also the one who started her on the road to being a supporting character and perpetual worried mom.
I enjoy Jessica's relationship with Luke Cage, and Danielle is kid with plenty of storytelling potential, but the treatment of Jessica as Luke's wife and Danielle's mother first and foremost has really come to a head in the current Power Man and Iron Fist series by David Walker and Sanford Greene, in which she only appears in panels like these:
For anyone who's read Alias, Jessica chastising anyone else for swearing seems like it has to be deliberately ironic, but it doesn't read that way with only the context of Power Man and Iron Fist. But more than that, it's sad to see a hero as strong as Jessica Jones, and especially one who has a successful ongoing TV project right now, depicted as a stay-at-home mom who only gets to nags her husband for a few panels of each issue of his book.
Maybe Bendis will come out of Civil War II full of Jessica Jones ideas and she'll get the relaunch she deserves. She is appearing in an upcoming arc of Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat, which should be fun --- but it's not the same as having her own series. And whether Bendis is up for it or not, that's what she needs, and sooner rather than later.
We all know Marvel hates to take a character away from their creator, but maybe just this once they might need to. And if they were to give her to a female creative team, I doubt many of us would object to that.