Plenty of Room for Luke Cage in AKA Jessica Jones
Among the numerous television projects that Marvel has in some stage of the “getting done” process, there is AKA Jessica Jones, a series about the eponymous superheroine-turned-private detective from the comics series Alias. (No relation to the television show of the same name, in case you were confused.) Melissa Rosenberg has been tapped to adapt the concept, and she’s no stranger to either adaptation or genre work. Her writing credits include Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, The O.C., Dexter, a few Twilight movies and even the infamous Birds of Prey television adaptation.
Jessica Jones is an awesome character in and of herself, but her role in the Marvel Universe also includes a feisty relationship with Luke Cage, AKA Power Man, that eventually leads to love, parenthood, and marriage, in that order. As supporters of greater diversity in the comics world and in the parts of the comics world that get translated into other media, we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell everybody excitedly that Rosenberg has confirmed that Luke Cage is definitely included in her vision for the series.
“Luke Cage is in there. Absolutely, I love that character,” she said, adding that Jessica and Luke’s eventual child is a “way down the road” addition to the cast. “When you give your superheroes babies it gets very complicated. I went through that on ‘Dexter,’ although it gives you some new interesting storytelling.”
Isaiah Mustafa, are you hearing this?
Rosenberg says her favorite thing about Jessica Jones is her complexity:
I read [Alias] and I completely saw it on screen. There are things I took directly from the comic book and just put in the script. That was so much fun to do… I love this character. That is an incredibly damaged, dark, complex female character that kicks ass. That’s my favorite thing about it.
Jones gave up the superhero life after, essentially, finding herself abandoned by the superhero community. At the end of her short-lived vigilante career, she was enslaved by the mind-control powers of Daredevil villain the Purple Man, who forced her to watch him rape other mind controlled women and to humiliate herself by begging him for sex (which he would then deny her). Eventually, he ordered her to attack the Avengers, and she was nearly killed before someone finally recognized her and realized that she was acting against her will. After a stint in a coma and some anti-mind-control mental blocks from Jean Grey, Jones still decided that she didn’t want to belong to a community that hadn’t even noticed she’d been missing for eight months.
Instead of giving up on her desire to help others, however, she went open about her identity and started a private detective agency, which, despite her efforts to the contrary, tended to put her back on the fringes of the superhero community, simply due to her wealth of superhero contacts. Rosenberg says she won’t be ignoring this aspect of Jessica Jones:
Jessica Jones is actually a former superhero with PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My psychologist father-in-law said, ‘I don’t know why all superheroes aren’t PTSD.’ It’s a trip. So she is wrestling with having this damaged past and still trying to contribute something to the world.
Chalk this one up as something we’re definitely looking forward to.