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Jessica Jones is coming soon to the small screen and being portrayed by Kristen Ritter. While not widely known to the non-comic readers, Jessica has a long history within the Marvel Universe. Here are some things to know about her before her Netflix debut.
1. Jessica Jones was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos
2. The inspiration behind Jessica Jones was due to Bendis being unable to use current Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew in a comic.
3. The Alias book started under the Marvel Max line, a comic line intended for R-rated audiences. It may even be the reason for Marvel launching the Max line to begin with.
4. Printing under Max allowed Bendis the freedom to use more mature story-telling (the book is notable for use of an explicit word to typically start issues). It did mean he was unable to use the more mainstream heroes, like Spider-Man, in stories. Bendis would later use this as the reason to end the Alias comic and continue Jessica’s tale in The Pulse as part of the Marvel mainstream.
5. Jessica Jones starts the Alias book as a former superhero turned private eye. She is incredibly cynical and world-weary and is a chain-smoker and heavy-drinker.
6. Luke Cage plays an important role in the continuing story of Jessica Jones. He is introduced in the first issue as someone who Jessica has constant affairs with.
7. Jessica Jones was actually part of the Marvel universe for decades. She was retconned in as having gone to Peter Parker’s highschool and had a crush on him before he was bitten by a radioactive spider.
8. Jessica gained her powers due to a car accident. A military convoy with radioactive materials collided with her family’s car, leaving Jessica in a coma and her family killed.
9. The radiation granted her superpowers (as it tends to do in comics) and she found she had super strength and the ability to now fly.
10. She was spurred to become a superhero when she witnessed Spider-Man battling Sandman in her school. This inspired her to put on tights, call herself Jewel, and start a career in being a hero.
11. The comic Alias begins with Jessica no longer being a superhero, having given it up a long time ago due to an old trauma. She now uses her powers as a private investigator and tends to wind up always being involved in superhero affairs, such as accidentally discovering Captain America’s secret identity.
12. She is best friends with Carol Danvers, who would later hook up Jessica with Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man (being played by Paul Rudd in the upcoming film).
13. It is later discovered that Jessica quit being a hero because of a supervillain named The Purple Man (Zebediah Killgrave). Killgrave’s powers are the ability to control people’s minds and he used that to enslave Jessica for months. She finally broke free when Killgrave sent her to kill Daredevil but accidentally attacked Scarlet Witch and battled the Avengers before his mind control wore off. When she was treated and recovered, she stopped being a hero.
14. She did try putting on tights one last time, becoming the Knightress, a darker take on her Jewel persona. Her first night out ended with a run-in with the Heroes for Hire, Luke Cage and Iron-Fist. Due to the outcome of that encounter, she no longer wished to be a hero anymore.
15. Her days as a private investigator ended when she found out she was pregnant with Luke Cage’s baby. She briefly went to work for the Daily Bugle with reporter Ben Ulrich for The Pulse, a section of the paper focusing on superhero news.
16. Jessica soon married Luke Cage and gave birth to their baby girl, Danielle. Since then, she donned the Jewel tights one more time as an Avenger to fight along side her husband.
17. Like many other comic characters, Jessica Jones has alternate world versions of her. She has shown up in Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man as a senior at Peter’s school. She was the head of the school newspaper and made it her goal to figure out the identity of Spider-Man.