November 20th, 2015. She will no longer be obscured by an alias or buried amongst the pile of forgotten superheroes on Marvel’s d-list. Jessica Jones is finally pushing her way to the head of the queue and earning some long overdue respect and acknowledgment. The world will know her name.
Originally conceived by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Graydos for their gritty 2001 Marvel MAX series, Alias, Jessica Jones was once a fledgling superhero with a less-than-exciting career until a chance encounter with Zebediah Killgrave (a.k.a. The Purple Man) left her traumatized enough to give up costumed heroics. She went on to open her own P.I. firm, Alias Investigations, and later assisted the Avengers on numerous occasions.
Jessica Jones, the second of four Netflix series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will see Krysten Ritter starring in the titular role of the surly, former superhero with a penchant for whiskey and cigarettes. Allegedly following the outline of Bendis’ Alias, the show will pick up after Jones has already thrown in the Jewel moniker and is living her life, under the radar, as a private detective. Ritter will not be the only actor portraying an established Marvel -616 character. Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, and David Tennant will be bringing Luke Cage, Patsy “Trish” Walker, and Killgrave to the screen, respectively.
While the upcoming series shares the MCU with its predecessor, Daredevil, Jessica Jones executive producer, Melissa Rosenberg, promises a “very, very different show than Daredevil.” Both shows will “exist in a cinematic universe [and] the mythology of the universe is connected, but they look very different. Tonally, they are different.” Showrunners have also described the series as a “psychological thriller” first and a superhero show second. Keeping faithful ties to the source material, Ritter’s Jones has been referred to as “incredibly flawed, damaged, and incredibly interesting.”
It may be true that Jessica Jones and Daredevil will share little in common aside from an overall setting. However, it can be argued… nay, assumed and assured… that the series will mimic its forerunner when it comes to the buried, little gems that the geek community loses its collective mind over. The Easter Egg.
According to cinematic urban legend, the term “Easter Egg” can be traced back to 1975’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show following an actual Easter egg hunt onset. Many of the eggs remained undiscovered by the cast and can be seen throughout the final version of the film. Since then, Easter Eggs have been cleverly hidden throughout films, video games, and television shows. Bereet in Guardians of the Galaxy. The Stepford Cuckoos in X-Men: The Last Stand. Billboards for Cale-Anderson Pharmaceuticals in Batman: Arkham Origins. The Al Milgrom Hotel in Daredevil. Superhero media and entertainment is unquestionably at the forefront of this wonderfully amusing phenomenon.
With that said, what kind of hidden treats can viewers hope for and expect to unearth throughout season one’s 13-episode run of Jessica Jones? Feel free to pour a bourbon and take a sip each time you add any of these potential Eggs to your Easter basket. Ms. Jones would want it that way.
Avengers Assemble: The most likely of Easter Eggs will be references to events that have transpired in The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. As seen on Daredevil and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the MCU’s go-to Easter Egg is “The Battle of New York.” In season two’s final episodes of AoS, the Inhuman, Raina, had precognitive visions of Ultron’s rampage through Eastern Europe. With the upcoming home release of Age of Ultron, it stands to reason that the film’s epic, final battle will be alluded to during the events of Jessica Jones, at some point.
The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen: By this point, it is common knowledge that Rosario Dawson will be bringing her Claire Temple role from Daredevil to Jessica Jones. The logic behind the character crossover is quite simple; the amalgamated Claire/Night Nurse has a 616 canonical history with both Daredevil and Luke Cage. Not only is it strategically brilliant because the character will bridge the two shows and bring necessary cohesion, it also opens the door to a bevy of allusions to Matt Murdock and the events that have transpired on Daredevil. Considering the heavy amount of property destruction, during the final climactic episodes, and the scope of New York’s criminal underbelly, it is unlikely that the vigilante’s actions will go unmentioned.
The Far, Far East: Savvy viewers of Daredevil most likely picked out a possible reference to the mystical city of K’un Lun. Madame Gao was introduced as an wizened, heroin manufacturing associate of Wilson Fisk. She claims Mandarin as her native tongue, but later states that she comes from a place “a considerable distance farther” than China. This, coupled with the fact that her product is stamped with the Steel Serpent insignia and that she was able to incapacitate Daredevil with a single blow, makes it likely that she is actually the Crane Mother, the ruler of K’un-Zi and a nemesis of Iron Fist. With Iron Fist slated as the third Marvel/Netflix venture, further tidbits related Danny Rand and his associates are more than probable.
Model Citizens: Patsy Walker, the Marvel superhero known as Hellcat, will finally make her presence known in the MCU. This new iteration of the character will be a former child star/model and current radio host/best friend to Jessica Jones. The modeling career is a direct nod to the character’s literary history which creates ample opportunity to namedrop some of Marvel’s lesser-known characters and chic acquaintances of Patsy. Viewers should keep eyes and ears peeled for any mention of Millicent “Millie the Model” Collins, Hedy Wolfe, and Chili Storm. The connections between these fashionistas can be traced all the way back to the Marvel line during the 1960s and, most recently, in 2001’s Models Inc.
Purple People: Those familiar with the Jessica Jones source material are more than familiar with the demoralizing history between Jessica and Zebediah Killgrave. While often difficult and unnerving to read, it is undeniably fantastic writing and provides wonderfully emotional character development for both the hero and villain. David Tennant’s casting as Killgrave sent fans into a frenzy… and with good reason. The actor still stands as one of the more beloved incarnations of Doctor Who. With the inclusion of the Purple Man comes the Purple Man’s sordid history. With his sordid history comes his daughter. Kara Killgrave, the mutant known as Purple Girl (a.k.a. Persuasion, a.k.a. Purple Woman) was introduced in 1986’s Alpha Flight #41. Originally obsessed with Northstar, Kara went on the be a recurring teammate/nemesis for the Canadian superhero team. While the character may exist in a cinematic trademark “gray area,” even a throwaway reference to a Killgrave child would be fantastic.
From Script to Screen: Creator cameos are nothing new in the world of entertainment. Alfred Hitchcock appeared in 39 of his 52 surviving films. Stan Lee has briefly popped up in the majority of Marvel’s catalog of films and homages to other creators have been spotted as well (the aforementioned Al Milgrom Hotel in Daredevil). Brian Michael Bendis has always spoken of Jessica Jones in a manner fitting of a creation that is held very close to his heart. For the writer and/or his creative team on Alias (Michael Graydos and David Mack) to not pull a Hitchcock or have their names emblazoned on a background billboard would be an utter shame.
With today's release of a moody teaser trailer set to an Of Monsters and Men soundtrack, fans of the character are chomping at the bit and ready to settle in for a 13-hour binge. Regardless of the number of Easter Eggs that end up discovered throughout the first season of Jessica Jones, the one thing that is certain is that geeks will have something extra special to be thankful for this November.
Follow Shaun N. on Twitter at @ThatShaun.