Jessica Jones Pilot Is Groundbreaking Direction For Marvel In Darker, Sexual Reality

Attendees of the 2015 New York Comic Con got a wonderful surprise courtesy of Netflix and Marvel this past weekend. The treat came in the form of a screening of the pilot episode of Marvel’s much talked about new female superhero: Jessica Jones. The lucky viewers have been raving about the series and the new approach to superheroes that the Marvel show has taken, one grounded in the dark and harsh reality of a woman’s life in today’s society.

Teaser trailers abounded about the highly anticipated Jessica Jones and the pilot gave a more in-depth look at the darkness that overshadowed the scenes of the trailers. The introduction to Jessica Jones reveals her to be a former superhero, turned private investigator (Alias Investigations) who attempts to escape the demons of her past in alcohol, sex and the aid of a therapist, though those hardly seem to be working for her in the opening episode.

Despite her internal struggles, Jones marches onward and accepts cases from anyone who can foot her bill and those cases usually involve other superhumans. Krysten Ritter plays the part of Jessica Jones and creates a fully-developed and fleshed out character that gives as good as she gets. The life that Netflix and Marvel have breathed into the comic hero and supporting cast is being called both “shocking” and “refreshing.”

In a groundbreaking move on Marvel’s part they have given an open depiction of sexuality and sex in the series. A client of Jones’ and major player in the original ‘Alias’ comic, attorney Jeryn Hogarth, gets a gender flip and will be played by Carrie Ann Moss. Her character will also be gay. One of the biggest surprises for Marvel fans may be the raw and real depiction of sex that Ritter’s Jessica Jones engages in, as it is one of the many methods she uses to quiet the sound of her personal demons. Vulture‘s piece on the video released at Comic Con said this is an ‘eyebrow raising’ and fascinating choice for the series.

“The entire episode was shockingly and refreshingly honest in its depiction of sex and sexuality — especially compared to the rest of Marvel’s cinematic and televised output, which tends to be heterosexual and vanilla on the rare occasions when it dares to be sexual at all.”

The character Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter, is introduced during a period of depression for Jessica and she wanders into his bar. It does not take long for a flirtation to strike up between the two but Cage initially tries to play it off and directly accuses her of flirting. Her response is that she does not flirt, but simply gets what she wants and what she wants is explicitly shown in a direct diversion from the usual, clean-cut scenes Marvel’s superheroes typically engage in.

It should be noted Luke Cage will be getting his own Netflix series soon, as well.

Vulture also speculates that Jessica Jones may be the first queer lead in the Marvel Universe. The article goes on to describe a scene between Jones and another female character that smacked of the encounters between former lovers who still care for each other. Whether or not this is true, there is irrefutable evidence that this is a female lead who knows how to take charge of her sexuality.

The main villain of Zebediah Killgrave, a.k.a. the Purple Man, will be brought to life in a gloriously despicable performance by David Tennant. It was her disastrous and entangled relationship with Killgrave that actually forced Jessica Jones to retire her cape. Collider hails Tenannt’s portrayal of the “Marvel Universe’s Freddy Krueger,” calling the performance on par with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Killgrave will surely ascend to being another cornerstone of villainy for Marvel.

With the reviews and high praise for this dark, twisted and somehow still very relatable universe of this fallen superhero, Jessica Jones, viewers can look forward to show that will have them hooked until the end. Netflix is scheduled to release all 13 episodes of Jessica Jones on November 20.

[Photo Courtesy of Steve Sands/Getty Images]