The complexity of Marvel´s female characters in Jessica Jones


Jessica Jones is considered the most feminist heroine from the Marvel´s series Alias, which is filled with strong female characters who, though not all leading characters, always play important roles. Upon joining up with Luke Cage, a superhero from Harlem – which has only happened in the comic books for now, not the Netflix series – she also represents intersectionality. Jessica Jones is an unparalleled lead – a woman far from politically correct, a profile exceptionally bold for the mainstream comic book universe, usually filled with bombshells and pinups. 

In the Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015-2019) streaming adaptation, however, the villains shine brightly, incorporating scenes of rapture more common to soap operas, passing from sweet young girls to delinquents, as with Trish Walker, who has a dubious personality in the comic books, but evolving from being Jones’ best friend in the series into a hysterical murderer. And any super heroine loses to attorney Jeri Hoggarth (Carrie Ann-Moss), characterized by her diabolical personality blended in with sensitive nuances – the character suffers from Her, she falls in love. In the comic books, Hoggarth is a man, and in the Netflix show the character is converted into an intriguing lesbian woman with a love for power, which permits a deeper exploration into the conflicts of modern women.

In the specific case of the Jessica Jones streaming series, part of this fascination is related to the script of the streaming adaptation, penned by Melissa Rosemberg, who made a name for herself with the Twilight series. The potential of the comic book character, created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos is also a significant starting point. Bendis, the current writer for one of the Spider-Man comic book, has long been famed for his noir inclinations.

The world of comic book superheroes has always relied heavily on misogyny. The Alias series of comic books as a whole looks to discuss these issues, but Jessica Jones does this exceptionally well, bringing these characters and their conflicts into modern conversation. The concept of the femme fatale with noir criminal narratives, as approached by Sylvia Harvey (in Kaplan, 1998) in her weekly essay has contributed to understanding the protagonism of female characters and, above all, villains. Far from being a model of good conduct, even heroines experience conflict between good and bad. The noir concept is well suited to Jessica Jones, who despite living in the 1980s, reminds us of an existentialist muse on her stubborn and self-destructive journey fueled by whiskey, toxic romantic relationships, characteristics so typical of the noir genre and reappropriated by the neonoir.