Where Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’ Could Go in Season 2
Netflix and Marvel delivered one hell of a perfect story with Jessica Jones’ debut season, exploring trauma, consent, rape culture and empowerment via a narrative in which Krysten Ritter’s eponymous hero faces her past demons in the form of David Tennant’s sleazy super-villain Kilgrave. As many fans have pointed out, Season 1 is such a contained, perfect story that many felt they’d be satisfied if Netflix didn’t renew the series. But with the company officially announcing Season 2, we can’t help but wonder where that might take our hero next. We have a few ideas.
As showrunner Melissa Rosenberg explained at the TCA ’16 panel, Jessica Jones Season 2 will continue to explore the character’s past while also giving some of the supporting characters a little additional spotlight. While Rosenberg isn’t entirely sure what the story will be for the coming season, who will (or won’t, in the case of Mike Colter’s Luke Cage) be back, or even when they’ll begin production, she did say that they’ll continue to seek inspiration from Jones’ comic book storylines — and while some of those stories aren’t feasible given the current state of the MCU and the division between Marvel’s film and television branches, we looked back through the comics to get an idea of where Jones may head next.
We only caught glimpses of Jessica’s mom and dad (played by Miriam Shor and James Colby) via flashbacks vaguely explaining the accident that gave the hero her super-powers. In the comics, Jessica’s dad works for Tony Stark, who gives his employee tickets to Disney World for the whole family — which is why they’re in the car when their vehicle collides with a military convoy carrying radioactive material, giving Jessica her powers. The series follows roughly the same origin story, with Jessica’s mother, father and brother dying in a car accident after colliding with a seemingly normal, non-military vehicle during their vacation road trip.
Season 2 could further explore the family dynamic and the specifics of that accident…
But as Trish Walker discovers, her best friend might have been the subject of some strange medical experiments in the hospital. That thread is never pulled in Season 1, but Season 2 could go back to explore exactly how Jessica got her powers before she went to live with Trish and her maniac mom. The file Trish receives from her mom shows that a mysterious company known as IGH paid for Jessica’s hospital bills — why would they do that? The same company employed Kozlov, the guy running the super soldier program with Will Simpson on its roster.
Some fans have speculated that IGH stands for “Inhuman Growth Hormone” — whatever it is, it could be the key to unlocking Jessica’s real origins, and it may further establish a connection to Kilgrave and his family, as the other subjects and results of their testing were never really explored.
The Stark Connection
As mentioned above, Jessica’s dad worked for Tony Stark, and if the Netflix series takes place about 10 or 15 years after her accident, that still lines up, given that Stark has to be pushing 50 in the MCU. Could Stark have something to do with Jessica’ powers, even inadvertently? And what exactly did her dad do for Stark’s company?
Jessica’s original superhero alter-ego is only alluded to in Season 1, with her classic comic book costume making an appearance as an outfit Trish suggests — and one that is quickly dismissed. Her brief tenure as Jewel ended when Kilgrave entered the picture, and although it is occasionally mentioned, we never see her in action as the more conventional superhero persona. Season 2 could give us a glimpse of this more optimistic, do-gooder side of Jessica. And it could let us see her in an honest-to-goodness superhero costume.
Which brings us to… Knightress. Given that the Jewel costume was so readily dismissed in Season 1, the other possibility is Jessica’s second superhero alter-ego, which she briefly assumes when she becomes disillusioned by an encounter with the Avengers. Knightress is a darker and grittier superhero identity, and one that did not last for long. In the comics, she interrupts a meeting between the Owl (aka Leland Owsley of Daredevil) and some mafia goons, and ultimately finds herself forced to reveal her real identity to the cops.
Jessica’s initial meeting with Kilgrave in Season 1 is vague enough to suggest that she could have been operating as a novice Knightress at the time.
In the comics, Jessica attends high school with Peter Parker and the two share a connection based on the deaths of their parents. Obviously, a Tom Holland cameo isn’t happening. Next!
Kilgrave sends Jessica to kill his foe, Daredevil, but she accidentally attacks Scarlet Witch at the Avengers Mansion. She’s injured by Iron Man and Vision before Captain Marvel can stop them, and is left in a coma for a few months under the watchful eye of S.H.I.E.L.D. During her recovery, Jean Grey of the X-Men helps Jessica sharpen her abilities.
While Jean Grey is never going to show up, an Avengers cameo is not entirely off the table — but Jessica Jones would probably have an easier time connecting to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She briefly had a relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Clay Quartermain, who conveniently does not appear on the ABC series. The Netflix series could either introduce Clay or a similar character, which would establish a connection to the MCU and Agents, or they could have a more direct crossover with Agents via an established character from the ABC series — the former seems more likely.
In the comics, Matt Murdock is Jessica’s lawyer and occasionally pops in to help her out. One famous storyline involved Jessica investigating a client’s missing sister, only to find that the woman was in a relationship with Captain America — and had been strangled to death. Murdock served as Jessica’s lawyer and helped her out with the N.Y.P.D., and was also friendly with Luke Cage, eventually asking the couple to serve as his bodyguards when his secret identity was revealed to the public.
With Netflix and Marvel gearing up for the big Defenders crossover, it’s about time that we see Murdock begin to interact with his fellow New York heroes. Since Jessica works as a private eye, it would make sense for their paths to cross at some point in Jessica Jones Season 2.
Speaking of Luke, the comic books see the pair getting married and having a baby, and while I’m sure no one — Marvel, Netflix, Rosenberg, fans, et al. — is in any rush to have Jessica getting all domestic on us, Season 1 did plant the seeds for the Jessica / Luke romance. Could we see more Luke in Season 2? Rosenberg and Mike Colter aren’t entirely sure, but it’s still quite possible.
Jeri and Iron Fist
Netflix’s series famously changed male lawyer Jeryn Hogarth to ruthless female lawyer Jeri Hogarth, portrayed by Carrie-Anne Moss. Her comic book counterpart is actually friends with Iron Fist’s father, Wendell, which gives Season 2 of Jessica Jones an opportunity to begin paving the way for the Iron Fist series. In the comics, Jeri / Jeryn also becomes a lawyer for the “Heroes for Hire,” which could be subbed out with The Defenders — and it seems unlikely that Matt Murdock would be the lawyer for that group, anyway.
This is probably the most interesting avenue Season 2 could explore. Patricia Walker, aka Patsy Walker, aka Trish Walker, began life as a teen rom-com comic in the vein of Archie. The ’60s established her as a resident of the Marvel universe, and she was rebranded in the ’70s as Hellcat, a martial arts-centric superhero who eventually joins — surprise — The Defenders.
The Netflix series smartly incorporates the meta-qualities of Trish’s comic book origins by giving her a past as a childhood TV star who appeared in a Hannah Montana-esque series and knows a thing or two about secret identities. Trish spends her spare time secretly training in martial arts to become her own superhero, and has a tattoo on the inside of one wrist that many fans have speculated reads “Hellcat.” You can just barely see it in the screencap below (click to enlarge):
Allowing Trish to get in on the superhero game could create an interesting character dynamic between her and Jessica, with the latter concerned for her friend’s well-being, and the former’s vigilante pursuits meant to exemplify the very empowerment Jessica was seeking to reclaim in Season 1.
In the Civil War comic book storyline, Jessica and Luke are approached by Iron Man, who tries to convince them to register with authorities under the Superhero Registration Act. Given that superhero identities have never really been a secret in the MCU, Captain America: Civil War will instead introduce the Sokovia Accords, developed after yet another tragic incident involving the Avengers. These accords give the federal government authority over superheroes, which causes a rift between Iron Man and Cap that ultimately divides the Avengers.
Daredevil has leaned into the MCU more than Jessica Jones has, but with the contained story of Season 1 out of the way, Season 2 has more freedom to acknowledge a larger Marvel world — one in which the government views their actions as vigilante justice, a theme healthily explored in Daredevil Season 1.
While Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock are operating a little more under the radar, acknowledging these major events in the MCU feels necessary to maintain connectivity and cohesiveness. Even something as simple as having the Netflix characters crossover with one another and hold conversations about these events, or a brief MCU cameo in which someone asks Jessica to submit to the government, feels appropriate.
Adventures in Journalism
Jessica’s comic book counterpart spent some time working for J. Jonah Jameson at The Daily Bugle, helping him uncover Spider-Man’s true identity. She also shadowed Ben Urich, the reported played by Vondie Curtis-Hall in Daredevil’s first season. Although the Spider-Man stuff is off-limits, a similar story could provide potential fodder for a future flashback, which would also help explain why Urich was so fond of the headstrong Karen Page.
In the Marvel comics universe, Rick Jones helped inadvertently create the Hulk, served as a sidekick for Cap and fought in the Krull-Skree war. Most of this wouldn’t fit in the Jessica Jones universe, but there is a storyline where a woman named Jane Jones asks Jessica to investigate the disappearance of her husband, Rick, claiming that he’s Jessica’s cousin. Eventually, the real Rick Jones is discovered in California, and the weird impostor in New York just kind of vanishes. Rick hasn’t been introduced in the MCU, so it’s possible for the Netflix series to adapt him in a new and interesting way. He doesn’t even need to connect Jessica Jones to the MCU, since name recognition alone would be a fun easter egg for fans.