Why I'm excited for 'Jessica Jones'

Commentary: Who is this wild-eyed woman staking out the same city as Matt Murdock in the popular "Daredevil"? CNET's Bonnie Burton explains why Netflix's upcoming superpowered P.I. show should pack a punch.

Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
4 min read
Enlarge Image

Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) isn't the kind of superhero who plays by the rules.


Jessica Jones is the kind of anti-hero Marvel is famous for. She has a tragic backstory. She doesn't play well with others. She has a short fuse. And she drowns any sorrows she might have in whiskey.

In a world where there seems to be a new superhero series cropping up on every channel, why make time for a character most people haven't even heard of?

As a Marvel fan, I'm so excited to see Jessica Jones get her time in the spotlight. It's not just because she's an interesting character complete with flaws I can relate to (like sleeping late and drinking too many quality cocktails). It's also because it's nice to see a female comic book character get her own series.

Most female Marvel characters are usually included in ensemble series and movies like "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." or "Avengers," or in spin-offs like "Agent Carter." This time, Jessica Jones is leading the series. This is her story and her struggle. And she's not just there to introduce other characters like Luke Cage, or to play off Daredevil.

And because the show is on Netflix, that means I get a hard-hitting, adult series like audiences got with "Daredevil." She fights, drinks and has sex. From the trailers alone, I have a good sense Marvel did right by Jones and her fans. Here are more reasons why I'm looking forward to checking out Marvel's latest show on Netflix, debuting on November 20.

The casting

Krysten Ritter is known for portraying crazy characters in "Breaking Bad" to "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23," and she'll be putting that fire into chasing down and fighting bad guys twice her size as Jessica Jones, the former superhero turned detective.

Jones' love interest Luke Cage is played by Mike Colter, who also happens to be the new face of the Halo gaming series. "I wouldn't say he's the strong and silent type -- he does talk when he has something to say, it's just that he plays things close to his chest and he's not one to reveal too much right away," Colter explained about Cage.

Jones' no-nonsense ally Harper is played by Carrie-Anne Moss ("The Matrix" trilogy), who finally gets a few words of dialogue in the newest trailer released by Netflix on November 10. Fan-favorite David Tennant ("Doctor Who") steps into the role of Kilgrave, who torments Jones with mind control and a killer smile.

Action heats up in new images from Netflix's Marvel series 'Jessica Jones' (pictures)

See all photos

Rich comic book history

According to her Marvel origin story, Jones was exposed to an experimental radioactive material in a tragic car accident. The material gave her superhuman strength and the ability to fly. When readers first meet her, Jones' career as costumed superhero Jewel is already a thing of the past. She was friendly with more famous heroes like Captain Marvel, but something went wrong and now she's living the life of a seedy private eye.

In the upcoming Netflix show, we also meet Jones after she has abandoned her superhero side and opened up her own detective firm called Alias Investigations. However, it seems as though her demons have followed her to New York's Hell's Kitchen, and she must once again face off against the villain who ruined her life.

Speaking of Kilgrave, as the Purple Man in the comics he was the kind of villain that gave superheroes nightmares, since he could turn anyone -- even a strong-willed person like Jessica Jones -- into his own personal puppet. Psychologically torturing and manipulating Jones, he forced her into violent conflict with the Avengers. In the comics, X-Men telepath Jean Grey helped her recover and resist his powers. In the Netflix show, it looks like she's still vulnerable.

Netflix original shows of 2015 and beyond (pictures)

See all photos

Jones' best friend Trish Walker, played by Rachael Taylor of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Crisis," is also known in the Marvel comics as Hellcat -- a character who in addition to joining the Defenders has gotten mixed up with the X-Men, the Avengers, cosmic adventurer Moondragon and Doctor Strange.

Jones' love interest Luke Cage is quite the heavy hitter in Marvel comics. Imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and subjected to a scientific experiment that goes awry, he gains superhuman strength and toughness, becoming a "Hero for Hire" in New York. Throughout the comics, he befriends the Fantastic Four, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Daredevil and, of course, Jessica Jones. Cage will be getting his own Netflix series.

Jones' ally Harper is also listed as Jeryn Hogarth on IMDB, which means she could be Netflix's version of the (male) lawyer who helps both Luke Cage and Iron Fist in the Marvel comics.

Jessica Jones will tie in with other Marvel shows

As Netflix announced two years ago, "Jessica Jones" is the second of five Marvel-based Netflix original series. The ""="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="15af9584-e25d-4615-abdd-298314c567e1" slug="brooding-brutal-daredevil-shows-you-the-shadows-of-the-marvel-universe-spoiler-free-review" link-text=" dark, violent " section="news" title="Brooding, brutal 'Daredevil' shows the shadows of the Marvel universe (spoiler-free review)" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"15af9584-e25d-4615-abdd-298314c567e1","slug":"brooding-brutal-daredevil-shows-you-the-shadows-of-the-marvel-universe-spoiler-free-review","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"culture"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":null,"hubTopicPathString":"Culture","reviewType":null},"section":"news"}"> has earned itself a second season, and "Jessica Jones" will be set in that same world. In fact, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist will eventually all team up for the ensemble series "The Defenders." This means that if you love watching "Daredevil," you'll probably want to tune into "Jessica Jones."

Knowing how Marvel loves to keep its Cinematic Universe connected, as it did with the Avengers movies and the ""="" shortcode="link" asset-type="article" uuid="86c821fe-ae06-455b-b352-91ea3f616b80" slug="how-agents-of-shield-came-back-from-the-dead" link-text="TV show " section="news" title="How 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' came back from the dead" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"86c821fe-ae06-455b-b352-91ea3f616b80","slug":"how-agents-of-shield-came-back-from-the-dead","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"culture"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":null,"hubTopicPathString":"Culture","reviewType":null},"section":"news"}"> , the characters in "Jessica Jones" could show up not only in Netflix's planned five shows but also in other Marvel properties like the "Doctor Strange" movie!

All 13 episodes of Netflix's "Jessica Jones" series will be available to watch on November 20 internationally. In the meantime, check out our latest gallery of "Jessica Jones" promo shots above and the new trailer below for more clues.