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Netflix’s Defenders: The Characters

Earlier last week it was announced that Disney’s Marvel have plans to collaborate with Netflix to produce a collection of Marvel based superhero programming. Each series is said to focus on a specific character: Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. This will supposedly lead to a Defenders miniseries featuring all of the characters.

With the majority of Marvel’s staple names being established on the silver screen already, it seems only natural that Marvel would venture into some of the lesser known characters of their universe. Although well known to us comic book fans, the characters included have not seen much exposure to general media, with only Daredevil having a live-action appearance amongst the cast.

As such, I thought it might be necessary to take a look at the characters included, for people unfamiliar or those wishing to have their minds refreshed.

Let us start with perhaps the least known:


Jessica Jones


Jessica and her family were on their way to Disneyland when her father accidentally drove into an army truck. The radioactive contents of the truck released and spilled itself onto Jessica. Jessica was the only survivor of the crash, but was left in a coma. Despite a bad prognosis, Jessica woke up during a power surge in the hospital after being comatose for six months. She soon discovered that the exposure to the radiation from the truck had granted her superhuman strength. After various stints as a super-heroine and developing distaste for generic superhero aesthetics like the costume, Jessica becomes a private investigator opening up her own agency named Alias.

Jessica Jones debuted in Alias #1. Alias was the first comic series to be published under Marvel’s MAX imprint. The MAX imprint was unique in the fact that it could produce explicit content within its comics. This resulted in a darker, more mature collection of comics, involving violence, foul language, and sexual material. Alias ran for three years producing 28 issues, winning multiple awards and resulted in a follow up series named The Pulse.

Jessica Jones is a highly relatable character. Due to Marvel’s MAX imprint, a more tangible approach was given in Alias to Jessica. The car accident left her with subsequent trauma, which reveals itself throughout Jessica’s image and personality. Themes of depression regularly surface in Jessica’s demeanor, causing her to doubt herself even with her supernatural abilities. It has almost become trivial, that some form of trauma includes itself within the origins of a superhero, yet the longevity and ongoing influence of these themes in some instances are lacking and unbelievable.

Jessica is a most salient exception. Her attributes do not overshadow her past in any sense. Her response to the supernatural is a lot more human. Despite Jessica’s inner demons, she is still eager to make something of herself and is drawn to the world of heroism, opening up her own private investigation agency. Jessica Jones’ extensive and gritty personality is much better suited to television as opposed to film in my opinion. Her perspective can be explored to a much further degree of detail with over 13 hours of screen time as opposed to around 2 in cinema, regardless of whether or not she is a feature character.

Netflix’s current programming and cinematic style is somewhat reminiscent of Alias to begin with. I think Jessica Jones’ will be highly compatible with her transition to television.

About the author

Callum Baker