The ever-growing tapestry of the Marvel universe has made way for some interesting and unexpected evolutions of characters we know and love, especially once the multiverse entered the picture. The storytelling device has been used in a pretty compelling way within The Variants, a miniseries that has reexamined the hardboiled adventures of one of Marvel's street-level heroes through the lens of multiversal doppelgangers. That included introducing a new, genderbent version of that hero — one who played a pivotal role in the issue's events. Spoilers for The Variants #3 from Gail Simone, Phil Noto, and Cory Petit below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue sees Jessica dealing with the arrivals of more and more of her doppelganders from other Earths — a Jessica who was married to Daredevil, a Jessica who is Captain America, and a Jessica who remained as Jewel and was never manipulated by Kilgrave. As the four of them break down their pasts and how they're unintentionally crossing paths with each other, Earth-616 Jessica realizes that she's gotten a migraine for the arrival of every alternate version of herself — and that there's still one unaccounted for.
At the same time, Luke Cage is hiding out in a hotel with his and Jessica's daughter, Dani, after Jessica was worried that she'd unintentionally cause her family harm. As Luke gets on the hotel's elevator, he is met by a man named Jesse, who we discover is a male version of Jessica that is hoping to fight Luke. The two of them do fight, and Jesse ultimately ends up badly injured on the street below, warning that something is coming for Dani before he bursts into flames.
While Jesse's role in The Variants #3 is brief, it definitely leaves an impact in the narrative, all while showing us what a genderbent (or possibly transgender or gender nonbinary, depending on how you want to interpret the issue) version of Jessica would be like.
"You can expect several versions of Jessica that have been shown or hinted at, but even more excitingly, I think, we have several WHAT IF versions that are really going to stretch the concept of what a Marvel character can be," Simone told ComicBook.com when the series was first announced. "I'm going to leave it to your imaginations to figure out what THAT might mean. Or maybe they aren't Marvel characters at all…?"
The Variants #3 is now available wherever comics are sold.