When you think of Marvel superheroes on the big or small screen, certain names come to mind: Spider-Man, Iron Man, Rocket Raccoon. If you're a Netflix viewer, you've heard one more name: Jessica Jones. Who is she? What does she do? Is she an Avenger? Why should you care about this Jessica Jones person? She's one of the most bada** superheroes in the business, and the most in-demand P.I. in all of Marvel.
Jessica is a relatively new character, but she's done a lot in her limited time. She's been an Avenger, a private eye, a solo hero, a wife, and a mother. She's strong, intelligent, snarky, tough, and won't take crap from anybody - even her husband, Luke Cage. Jessica is an innovative character who is unusual in a lot of ways, and this list will give you the primer you need.
Marvel Comics broke the outdated Comics Code Authority in 2001, establishing Marvel MAX, an R-rated, adult-themed line where pretty much anything was fair game. This is where the Punisher could be seeing actually punishing wrongdoers, where Deadpool could get away with any language he wanted, where mature behavior was welcomed. Alias, Jessica's book, was one of the first Marvel Max titles, running for 28 issues from 2001-2004.
Not only did Marvel intermingle Jessica into the fabric of the Marvel Universe years after the fact with a few lines of clever dialogue, they also put her in front and center at one of the biggest moments in comic history. Not only did Jessica go to high school with Peter Parker, she also had a thing for him, and she was on the field trip that turned him into Spider-Man.
The title Jessica debuted in, Alias, was originally going to be about Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman. Marvel was uncomfortable having an established character in a more grown-up, darker book, however, so creator Brian Michael Bendis invented a totally new hero, changing Jessica Drew to Jessica Jones. This allowed him to up the ante, making Alias even grittier and more mature. Plus, now Jessica Drew and Jessica Jones are pals.
Jessica has been an honorary Avenger for awhile. Living at Avengers Tower with Luke Cage and their baby Danielle, she was involved in everything except the actual punching.
After realizing that she was really the only person who could protect her husband and child, though, Jessica formally joined the New Avengers. Rather than dusting off her old sueprhero persona, Jewel, she instead called herself Power Woman. For a time, she actually led the New Avengers.