How Does the Jessica Jones Netflix Release Fit in the MCU
Ever since the superhero subculture became a major part of the mainstream, companies have been trying to cash in on the phenomenon. Whereas once we had only the Tobey Maguire Spiderman movies and an occasional Cartoon Network series, now superhero movies, TV shows, video games, toys, and all other kinds of merchandise are everywhere around us. One of the most popular sources of these is Marvel Comics. A multi-phased cinematic universe comprising 20+ movies, almost 10 TV shows, cartoons, comic books, Disney collaboration… there is no end in sight.
That being said, Marvel’s creative geniuses do a great job at separating the highly impacting and a bit less impacting characters. On one hand, we are given all the major players such as Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and others in the blockbuster high-grossing movies, and on the other hand, more devoted fans can also be satisfied with the spinoff TV shows. Their most recent successful endeavor gave us a new TV show “Jessica Jones”. But who is Jessica Jones, and why is she so important?
In the TV show, we see our protagonist Jessica, a “failed” superhero who has decided to open a private eye agency. The tragic events that occurred in her career caused her to suffer from PTSD, which is one of the occurring themes some other Marvel franchise releases (remember Tony after New York?). In addition, many other dark and brooding topics such as rape and assault are also explored in the show. All of these topics are analyzed using Noir narrative techniques, which is a more appropriate way of narrating considering they aim for achieving the popular dark and brooding tone. In addition, Jessica is a loveable rogue, an archetype which has risen tremendously in popularity recently. She might be a bit rough around the edges, explosive, impatient, but she is ultimately good, and means well.
But why is the Jessica Jones Netflix release important? Well, it is in the same Netflix sub-universe as Daredevil who has already been extremely successful and well received by fans and critics alike. What Marvel and Netflix are actually doing with their characters is very similar to what Marvel did to their movie characters. Daredevil being the first show, Jessica the second, and an incoming stand-alone series with Luke Cage and Iron Fist, are all leading us to the Defenders. A team similar to Avengers, but a bit less known, even though it consisted of some famous heroes such as Doctor Strange, the Hulk, Namor, etc.
Although the shows are independent, we shouldn’t dismiss the option of having Jessica be a guest star in Daredevil, or vice versa, which is something we have already experienced seeing Luke Cage in Jessica’s series. Similarly to Daredevil, the rest of the universe is also referenced, and a part of the everyday life, even though the other shows like Agents of Shield and Peggy Carter belong to ABC, and Netflix has nothing to do with the movies.
What is interesting, is the fact that even though these characters are all physically and temporally located in their own respective sub-universe, the option of including them in the feature films still exists, which means that one day we might actually see Jessica Jones as a member of the avengers during the Infinity War. This might however, prove to be a double edged sword. Imagine a movie with all of the members of the pre-Ultron avengers, and the new post-Ultron avengers, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Defenders, and all the characters who have already appeared and are yet to appear such as the Black Panther and Ant-man. Even though it might seem like an interesting concept, it would be a wonderful feat if Marvel managed to give everyone an appropriate amount of screen time, but more importantly, if they managed to create situations in which they would all actually be useful. Of course, it is easy to see that Thor or Hulk are useful in almost any earth-defending situation, but some characters have been known to struggle with their usefulness, such as Hawkeye who even said
“The city is flying and we’re fighting an army of robots. And I have a bow and arrow. Nothing makes sense.”
25 days after the Jessica Jones Netflix release, many would agree that adding Jessica to the movie lineup would be a great thing for Marvel, who has been on more than one occasion accused of aiming at younger audiences. Jessica most certainly brings the adult element to the universe as opposed to other characters like Captain America who has been even called a boy-scout many times throughout his career. She doesn’t hide her nature, she gets drunk, she jumps on people and she punches them in the face.
Even though Jessica is an amazing character who brings a lot of new elements into the universe, she has one tragic flaw, which is relative anonymity outside of the comic book subculture. It is important however to keep believing that Marvel knows what they are doing with their characters. Similarly to Jessica Jones, many people were also wondering who Guardians of the Galaxy were before the movie, but Marvel took their chance and it was more than successful, as they created a movie that many consider to be one of the best ones up to now. however Jessica Jones as a series does still fit in the overall continuity of the universe and should anyone watch it they would undoubtedly instantly understand that it is a Marvel show. More so, critics have said that if you compare The Winter Soldier and the Guardians of the Galaxy, you will see no similarities whatsoever, but you will feel the Marvel spirit, and this is what we feel with the Jessica Jones Netflix release, leaving us to hope for the best for the characters and for the franchise.