So the next Nextflix show after Daredevil will be Jessica Jones. And there's a very good probability that Krysten Ritter will play her (I'm hedging my bets, since there's no official announcement yet, but it looks really good for Ritter). But who, you ask, is Jessica Jones? She hasn't been around as long as, say, Daredevil or Luke Cage or Iron Fist. In fact, she was only created 13 years ago for a Marvel MAX series called Alias.


In 2001, Marvel had just decided to discard the Comics Code Authority and go with their own ratings system. The Comics Code really hadn't had that much authority in a long time, but still: kind of a big deal. So Marvel launched their "MAX" line, R-rated comics intended for adults only. And the first MAX series was Alias written by up-and-comer Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Gaydos. (Bendis had written a bunch of crime comics and had only recently launched Powers over at Image, which had won a bunch of awards. He was still primarily known for his crime/noir comics and wouldn't really get big with Marvel until he started writing New Avengers in 2004.)

And the very first word in the first issue of Alias was, of course, "FUCK!" A client was cursing at the information Jessica Jones, former superhero, now private detective, had found. Of course, since this was the first appearance of Jones, her former superhero persona "Jewel" never actually appeared in older comics β€” it was explained that while she had a brief run as a superhero, she was never an A-lister and only really knew one of the Avengers (Carol Danvers).

(The original idea for Alias was to use Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman, but as the idea evolved, Bendis created a completely new character.)


After a traumatic incident, Jones left superheroing and become a PI. Being a PI is not without it's problems however β€” not all of whom are angry clients. The first case she works in the series involves finding a missing woman...and somehow winding up with a video tape that exposes Captain America's secret identity. The series is infused with a film noir sentiment, mixed with Bendis's usual flair for dialogue β€” Jones is sarcastic and funny, even as she goes through life threatening situations, even as she has no idea what's going on. She has an on-and-off relationship with Luke Cage and even tries dating Scott Lang (Ant-Man), all the while dealing with her own trauma.


Still, it's an unusual series to adapt because Jessica Jones's story doesn't really start until after she's quit being a superhero β€” but perhaps that is for the best. No need to show a secret origin (until later β€” the "Secret Origin of Jessica Jones" is one of the last arcs of the series and it is terrific, mixing different art styles to show different eras), no need for supervillains or big epic fight scenes. Just take a dash of Veronica Mars and mix in superpowers and there you go. One Jessica Jones.

(The entire Alias series now available in one big omnibus, by the way.)