Is TV ready for tough-but-damaged female hero Jessica Jones?

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Twilight screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg adapting a TV series called AKA Jessica Jones, based on the gritty, sarcastic comic book detective. But is prime time ready for a darker, female version of Castle? Marvel and ABC are gambling that they are.

According to Variety Marvel's next big move is television. First there's Guillermo del Toro's Hulk project for ABC. Now Marvel is building a series drama around the "edgy" comic book character Jessica Jones, also for ABC. And behind this series is the impressive Melissa Rosenberg, author of the Twilight movies and a former executive producer on the series Dexter.


Jessica, under the superhero name is Jewel, had a short-lived superhero career that ended in horror. She was kidnapped via mind control by one Zebediah Killgrave for 8 months. During this time she was forced to strip and watch him rape other women (also under his mind control). Jessica eventually escapes and is promptly beaten into a coma by the Avengers she was ordered to attack while mind-controlled. Once she's safe from Killgrave, Jessica quits the superhero lifestyle and decides to fight crime by opening up her own detective agency.

This is where Brian Michael Bendis' Alias comic book series about Jessica Jones begins, and where the TV show will probably start too. Suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, Jessica tries to leave the superhero world behind, but finds that impossible when all of her cases are constantly tangled up in the lives of Captain America and mutants. Plus, her personal life is still strongly connected to that world as she dates many a super, finding a favorite in Luke Cage.

This new series comes out of Rosenberg's new "Tall Girls Production" company, which will focus on creating and producing projects that feature "large, complex female roles." Something we could desperately use right now. And while we're excited about these new projects, we have to ask is the public ready for a dark and "realistic" female lead like Jessica?


Both Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Dollhouse had complicated leading ladies, and both were canceled after only two seasons. We'd love to see another Buffy Summers or Sydney Bristow on air. Fringe's Olivia Dunham can't carry the weight of the strong-but-damaged female lead on television all by herself people: It's time for stronger, darker, and funnier female front runners. Let's hope AKA Jessica Jones gives us what we want.