By now, you’ve probably binge-watched Jessica Jones, the second Marvel series from Netflix. But did you know the show was originally set up at ABC under a totally different title? The series began life as A.K.A. Jessica Jones? The comic it was based on, Alias, wouldn’t have worked as the title of the TV series because of the Jessica Garner spy show; eventually producers decided the “A.K.A.” part of the title was unnecessary and shortened the name to just Jessica Jones. There’s a nod to the original title in every episode, however; each episode title begins with “A.K.A.” – Episode 3 of Season 1, for example, is called “A.K.A. It’s Called Whiskey.” That’s just one of the facts packed into the latest episode of the ScreenCrush series You Think You Know TV?
Since her debut in Alias, the 2001 Marvel Max series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, Jessica Jones has become emblematic of a kind of deeply flawed female protagonist that there are far too few of in popular culture. Living with PTSD, a drinking problem, and a self-destructive streak a mile wide, she’s always created as many problems for herself as she solves for others in her job as a super-powered private detective. In recent years, her marriage to Luke Cage and the birth of their daughter has brought more stability into her life, but the current Jessica Jones series, also by Bendis and Gaydos, brings all of that stability into doubt.
In assembling this mix tape, I looked for songs that embody the conflicts and contradictions within Jessica Jones and her stories. Songs about flawed and troubled people searching for something to keep them going.
Jessica Jones, star of her own Netflix TV series and one of the most groundbreaking female Marvel characters of all time, is back in her own title after more than a decade! Not only that, but Jessica Jones #1 reunites her original Alias creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist Michael Gaydos, colorist Matt Hollingsworth, and cover artist David Mack.
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. His response was to say, "Once [Brian Michael Bendis has] got Civil War II off his back, it’s not impossible that we’d say lets do a Jessica book. ... Definitely something we want to do, that’s more certain than the Kate Bishop book."
Marvel’s upcoming AKA Jessica Jones has opened up casting floodgates in advance of its Daredevil predecessor even premiering a trailer for its April 10 Netflix debut, and now another name has joined the ranks. Transformers and Crisis star Rachael Taylor has been cast in the ‘AKA Jessica Jones’ role of Patsy “Trish” Walker, alternately known as Marvel superhero Hellcat.
Marvel made the announcement, clarifying the character’s 1944 origins in the pages of publishing precursor Timely Comics’ Miss America Magazine, before ascending to superhero status in 1976 as Hellcat. Netflix’s AKA Jessica Jones will introduce the character as Jessica’s closest friend, Trish Walker, a syndicated radio talk show host, former model and child TV star, known to fans as “Patsy.”
Netflix's Marvel TV show AKA Jessica Jones may have found its lead villain in former Doctor Who actor David Tennant. Marvel has announced that Tennant will play Kilgrave, "an enigmatic figure from Jessica's past", and fans familiar with the show's inspiration, the Brian Michael Bendis/Michael Gaydos comic Alias, will know that Zebediah Killgrave is the name of Jessica's most dangerous nemesis, The Purple Man.
Created by Stan Lee and Joe Orlando as a Daredevil villain in Daredevil #4 in 1964, The Purple Man is a former spy who gained mind control powers following a mad science accident that also turned his skin and hair purple. A minor but notably sinister villain, he appears in Alias as the cause of the trauma that led Jessica Jones to quit her superhero career, and will likely serve as the lead antagonist in AKA Jessica Jones. Based on the evidence of Marvel's announcement, the TV version does not go by the name The Purple Man, nor even Killgrave, but the more prosaic 'Kilgrave', with one L. He may not even be called Zebediah, which would be a terrible shame. Come to think of it, he may not even be purple.
The recent run of casting for Marvel’s ‘AKA Jessica Jones’ Netflix series brought with it news that ‘Luke Cage’ would first appear in a majorly supporting role, before graduating to his own ‘Defenders’ lead-in series. Now, Marvel has officially confirmed actor Mike Colter will don the yellow shirt and gauntlets as street-level hero-for-hire ‘Luke Cage.’
Though Marvel’s Netflix ‘Daredevil’ has yet to reveal an image of its titular hero in costume, we’d recently learned the second of the ‘Defenders’ series, ‘Jessica Jones’ had begun its casting search. We were split between ‘True Detective’'s Alexandra Daddario and ‘Breaking Bad’'s Krysten Ritter, but the latter seems to have won the role, with ‘The Following’'s Mike Coulter potentially acting as our ‘Luke Cage.’
With a new hardcover omnibus of Alias by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, Marvel re-releases one of the most critically successful comics of the early 2000s. Apart from its various awards nominations and wins, it was one of just a few comics that everybody seemed to love, during an era when Marvel was equal parts creatively daring and ridiculously misguided. The first comic published under the mature readers MAX imprint, Alias officially broke ground on Marvel's R-rated label with an emphatic F-word, which immediately strikes one as both obvious and necessary. Unlike many other titles that sprung from the MAX imprint, though, Alias went far beyond than the gimmick of sex and cuss words in the Marvel Universe, and was easily one of the most readable comics on the stands for its entire twenty-eight-issue run.
That's just my memory, though, and I wouldn't exactly describe it as sharp. So how good is it on a re-read? Particularly as Marvel prepares a new live-action Netflix series based on the book, and has hinted as recently as last week that Jessica might be "getting back to work".
You probably haven't heard since they haven't really been making a big deal of it, but this year marks the official 75th Anniversary of Marvel Comics. Sort of. It actually marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of Marvel Comics #1, which introduced the world to the Human Torch and paved the way for the company that would eventually become the modern Marvel Comics which really came about in 1961, but you know what? That's a good enough reason for a party.
To that end, this week saw the release of the Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration, an anthology that caught my eye mostly because it features legendary and still hugely popular Batman: The Animated Series co-creator Bruce Timm adapting a Captain America story written by Stan Lee in 1941, and that is definitely something that I want to read. But with 55 pages in the anthology, there's a heck of a lot more in there besides, including the return of Alias by the original creative team of Bendis, Gaydos and Hollingsworth, and essays by comics journalists including our own Andrew Wheeler, making this one of those rare anthologies where it's all pretty good stuff.