The second season of Jessica Jones is upon us. Dropping one day early last week to align with International Women’s Day, it’s possible (actually, probable) that many readers have already finished the new series featuring everyone’s favorite Netflix heroine. The new season of the series had a tough bar to meet following the incredible dynamic between Jessica and The Purple Man in its debut season. It worked to meet those high expectations by adding a variety of new characters to the cast and not focusing all of its story on a single villain. In this way, Jessica Jones has transformed its second installment into a transitional phase. Jessica has a clearer idea of who she is and has overcome her greatest adversary. The question now becomes: what is next?
Season two lays the groundwork for future seasons of Jessica Jones, because there’s little doubt we will see more. The best way to see where the series may go based on the choices and changes of these new 13 episodes is to examine the related comics. In both Marvel movies and television, the comics have always been the most active source material used to craft sequels and new storylines. It’s rare to see any direct adaptations, but the characters, themes, and ideas contained in Marvel Comics is the richest source for figuring out what’s next. That’s why we’re taking a look at six comics to read that may impact the future of Jessica Jones on Netflix.
The Pulse #1-14
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Brent Anderson, Michael Lark, and Michael Gaydos
The Pulse is essentially Alias part two in Marvel Comics lore. It’s a slightly shorter follow-up to Bendis’ premiere of the character focusing on Jones and her extended family in a more stable arrangement. The series includes many current Defenders from the Netflix series, including both Luke Cage and Iron Fist, working together to keep the streets of New York City safe and uncover big stories. This turn in the character’s direction is suggested at the end of the new season as Jessica is pushed to embrace becoming a hero. She has come a long way from the hard-drinking, barely coping person we met in the premiere. The Pulse offers a lot of stories for Jessica as she becomes a leader and accepts the title of superhero.
“Return of the Purple Man”
Jessica Jones #13-18
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Michael Gaydos
Bendis’ final Jessica Jones story is wrapping up this month, and it is a truly spectacular conclusion for one of his best creations. While it’s clear in the show that David Tennant’s incarnation of The Purple Man is dead, he’s far from forgotten. “Return of the Purple Man” has emphasized how the villain impacted Jessica, and how far she has grown from the trauma experienced at his hands. Even as a spectre-like memory, this would make for a great source of drama in a future season. Tennant’s return in Jessica’s mind would provide another great turn for the actor and contrast the Jessica of Season One with the Jessica of Season Three (or beyond).
“Come Into My Parlor… Said The Fly!”
Spider-Woman (vol. 1) #30
Written by Michael Fleisher
Art by Steve Leialoha
This is the first appearance of Doctor Karl Malus in Marvel Comics, and a good look at the campy, Silver Age source material the second season of Jessica Jones is pulling from to create haunting new villains. Malus is a very different character in the comics, but all of the key elements in the show can be found in this issue of Spider-Woman. Mad science and unethical experimentation are all of the rage. Just like in Alias, Jessica Jones is reimagining silly characters in a much darker light, and this single issue helps reveal that contrast -- in addition to being a lot of fun.
The Superior Foes of Spider-Man
The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1-17
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Steve Lieber
For a further look into what C-list Marvel supervillains may soon appear in Jessica Jones, there’s no better place to look than The Superior Foes of Spider-Man. This series features a version of The Whizzer (who just appeared in Jessica Jones) renamed Speed Demon. It also offers a wide array of villains who would be a perfect match for the show. With mad science on the rise, it’s possible for any number of semi-talented criminals to land on Jessica’s path. The series also does a great job of mashing up themes of failure with the superpowered lifestyle, a key element of any Jessica Jones story.
“Hooked On A Feline”
Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat! #1-6
Written by Kate Leth
Art by Brittney Williams
Trish Walker remained a big part of Jessica Jones in its second season, and there are ample reasons to expect her role to grow in the future. In addition to a few scenes where she showed off lightning-fast reflexes, Walker also played a big role in the finale, one that may push her into the role of anti-hero in the future. If Walker does take on the role of Hellcat, there’s no better place to start in comics than the recent series from writer Kate Leth and artist Brittney Williams. This series is a lot more fun than Jessica Jones, providing plenty of romcom-style gags. However, it also shows off what makes up the core personality and skills of Hellcat as a Marvel hero. Odds are good that the name “Hellcat” will be used in Jessica Jones Season Three, and this is a great place to find out what that means.
“Who Killed Retro Girl”
Powers (vol. 1) #1-6
Written by Brian Michael Bendis2comments
Art by Michael Avon Oeming
Powers isn’t related to Marvel Comics at all, beyond a temporary association with the publisher in their Icon imprint. However, the former Image and now DC Comics-related series strikes a very similar tone to Alias and Jessica Jones. This is Brian Michael Bendis telling his best superhero-related mysteries. This comic is all about the real lives of heroes and how gritty and dark things can get where no attention is paid. If there’s a tonal or thematic source for future seasons of Jessica Jones, it’s just as likely to be Powers as any Marvel Comics series.