By Kelsey D’Auben
Last month Netflix premiered it’s latest collaboration project with Marvel Comics- Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
Starring Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, the show follows a troubled New York private investigator who doesn’t play by the rules and also happens to have super strength and the ability to (kind of) fly.
Jessica Jones is the first female lead in the Marvel cinematic universe with special abilities. But her super powers are not what makes her so special.
Jessica Jones isn’t a super hero. She doesn’t wear a cape, or fight evil villains who are trying to take over the world. The evil Jessica Jones faces is a very real one, one that many real women face everyday. Jessica Jones isn’t trying to save mankind from a super evil mastermind; she is fighting against her abuser.
Kilgrave is the notorious villain of the show played by David Tennant. He has the power of mind-control and throughout the show viewers are shown flashbacks of Kilgrave and Jessica’s past “relationship” when she was under his control.
Not only does he force her to commit violent and heinous crimes, including murder, he also forces her into an abusive relationship. Using his powers he forces her to stay by his side while he tells her what to wear, when to smile, and even forces her to have sex with him. He controls her every move, all the while she remains helpless and unable to fight back.
She is able to escape from him, but only to suffer from PTSD accompanied by severe alcoholism, isolation, and insomnia for months after. When Kilgrave makes his return he wants only one thing – Jessica back. And he’ll do anything or hurt anyone to get her. He justifies all his horrific actions because he is doing so out of “love” for her.
Now, if you eliminate the superpowers and car chases from the show, the relationship between Jessica Jones and Kilgrave is very much real. He abuses her, but not physically. He never lays a finger on her because he doesn’t have to.
Everything Kilgrave does to Jessica are things that happen to people in mentally and emotionally abusive relationships. The way he obsesses over her and stalks her, the way he isolates her from her friends, when she tries to go to the police they don’t believe her, how he honestly believes he loves her, and how after all of the terrible things he has done to her Jessica genuinely believe it’s her fault.
Mental and emotional abusive tend to be overlooked when discussing issues of abuse in relationship. But they are just as harmful and need to be talked about, and that is why Jessica Jones is so important. This show brings to light real terrors that face women every day and show a realistic woman fighting against them.
And that is why Jessica Jones is one of the most important characters that Marvel has ever had.
Cover Photo Credit: Facebook/ Marvel’s Jessica Jones