Jessica Jones‘ 13 episodes all debuted on Netflix this past Friday. It was very noir, very loyal to the character from Alias (the comic book) and The Pulse and absolutely set in the same world as Avengers and Daredevil. If you haven’t seen all the episodes, you probably want to avoid spoilers. So I’ve listed any easter eggs or subtle references in chronological order. So you can read the below list up until whichever episode you’ve seen if you want to duck out without ruining anything. But overall, I’m not going to be talking about the plot or character arcs. Just the background references to other Marvel movies or mentions of stuff from the comics that you could miss if you blink.
AKA Ladies Night (1)
- We kick the show off with a shot-for-shot match of Jessica Jones’ first appearance in Marvel Comics from Alias #1 (November, 2001) by writer Brian Michael Bendis (a producer on the show) and artist Michael Gaydos. The story of Jessica and Kilgrave throughout this season is primarily adapted from the final issues of Alias (it ran for 28 issues) and collected in a trade paperback: Alias, Vol. 4: The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones.
- The character played by actress Carrie Ann Moss is a lawyer called Jeri Hogarth. It’s a remix of a supporting character from Iron Fist (which will eventually be a Netflix show connected to Jessica Jones, the previous Daredevil and the upcoming Luke Cage) named Jeryn Hogarth. Hogarth first appeared in Iron Fist #6 (August, 1976). In the comics, the character was also a lawyer, although not one with Jeri’s sordid romance story. Jeryn was a friend to Danny “Iron Fist” Rand’s father and helped Iron Fist and his pal Luke Cage (who we meet on this show) set up their business – Heroes for Hire. There’s an excellent chance Hogarth will fulfill a similar role.
- Speaking of Luke Cage, we get to see him on screen for the first time in this episode, while Jessica tracks him. In one shot we see him in the window wearing a yellow shirt. This is his uniform from around 2002 when he and Jessica Jones met in the comics. Before that, Luke didn’t shave his head and wore either a spandex yellow shirt and a silver tiara or an open chest yellow shirt as he originally appeared in his first appearance: Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 (June 1972).
- The show’s villain is only hinted at initially, but his and Jessica’s past are directly from the comics. Kilgrave (in the comics he goes by Killgrave or the Purple Man as the event that gave him powers also gave him purple skin) was originally a Daredevil villain who appeared in Daredevil #4 (October, 1964).
- Patricia “Trish” Walker is a character from Marvel Comics. Actually, she predates Marvel Comics. Before it was Marvel, it was known as Timely Comics and there was an Archie-esque teen book called Patsy. She first appeared in Miss America Magazine #2 (November, 1944). She continued to pop up in Marvel’s superhero books in the 70s and was reintroduced in The Avengers #141 (November, 1975) as someone who tagged along with them. She adopted the superhero persona of Hellcat three issues later. In the comics, Jessica Jones’ best friend is superhero Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) but since that character has yet to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Jessica’s friend is now Trish. On the show, she’s studying Krav Maga, so maybe someday she could be Hellcat.
- Jessica doing her detective work on the toilet? That’s from the comics.
AKA Crush Syndrome (2)
- The police detective interrogating Jessica is Detective Ozzy Clemons from Punisher vol. 8 #1 (2011) by Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto. In those comics he was a veteran detective close to retirement, just like this character. He’s just wrapped up in Jessica’s drama instead of Punisher’s.
- The list of hospitals contains several that have been used in the comics. Columbia Presbyterian was a place Spider-Man admitted himself. St. Vincent has appeared in X-Men and Dr. Strange. Lenox Hill is where Tony Stark went to deal with a brain tumor in the “Ultimate” line of comics.
- The hospital that Jessica goes to, Metro Grace, was mentioned in Daredevil. It’s where Claire Temple worked. Jessica steals an ID. The name on it, Jessica Panuccio, is the show’s assistant property master.
- Reva Connors was an old girlfriend of Luke Cage in the comics as well as on the show. In the comics, she dated Cage before he got his powers, when he was known as Carl Lucas. A jealous rival planted drugs in Luke’s apartment but the Maggia (comics version of the Mafia) killed Reva instead. Luke was blamed and got sent to Seagate Prison (seen in the Ant-Man movie, FYI) where an experiment gave him his powers. Maybe we’ll see some of that story on his show one day.
AKA It’s Called Whiskey (3)
- We see some Patsy Walker comics, written by her mother probably because in the comics universe, once Patsy became Hellcat, it was retconned that her mother wrote a romance comic about her daughter!
- Luke mentions his powers come from an experiment. It was an attempt to duplicate Captain America’s super soldier serum in the comics. Maybe it will be in the MCU as well.
- Luke utters the phrase “Sweet Christmas” which is a completely ridiculous catch phrase that he did use in the 70s comics when he went by Power Man and was written by white writers who probably had no idea what actual slang was like those days.
- When Luke and Jessica hook up, she lets him perform anal to show that he can’t hurt her. It was also something they did in the comics.
AKA 99 Friends (4)
- Not much from the comics in this one, although the fear some people have for “gifted” individuals is something Marvel Comics can often play up based on the public’s fear of mutants. But the MCU doesn’t have the rights to X-Men so we get weirdos like Jessica’s neighbor Audrey who is afraid of the “gifted.” Audrey’s reason for hating the gifted is that her mother was killed during the “Incident”, aka the Avengers battling Loki’s army in Avengers.
- Jessica refers to “the big green guy” and “the flag waver.” Hulk and Captain America.
AKA The Sandwich Saved Me (5)
- When Trish tries to convince Jessica to be a superhero, she pitches a costume and the name Jewel. In the comics, that is the name and outfit she tried in her brief superhero career. In the comics, Purple Man took control of her and sent her up against the Avengers. Not knowing who she was or that she was mind-controlled, they beat her into a coma.
- While staking out Kilgrave, Will Simpson is reading a newspaper that says Costa Verde is under siege. Costa Verde is a fictional South American country in Marvel Comics that’s had to deal with the Living Lazer among other villains.
AKA You’re a Winner! (6)
- The name that Jessica recommends to Luke of another private investigator is Angela Del Toro. In the comics, Del Toro is also known as the superhero White Tiger. There have been several people that had the White Tiger mantle. They get their powers from a jade amulet that comes from the mystical city of K’un Lun, which is where Iron Fist got his powers.
- Jessica mentions she read Carl Icahn’s book. In real life, Icahn once tried to buy Marvel Comics. You can read about it in Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.
- When Jessica and Luke rough up the pot den in the warehouse, it may look familiar if you’ve seen Daredevil. It’s not just the same set that they used for the Russians, it’s the same set. See the scorched brick? It’s the same place that Daredevil barely escaped a firebomb.
AKA Top Shelf Perverts (7)
- In this episode, Jessica finds neighbor Rueben dead in her bed. In the comics, she was once dating Scott Lang/Ant-Man and found him being eaten by ants in her bed. But it was just mind games courtesy of Killgrave.
- We’re never told where Jessica Jones grew up but it’s apparently pretty close to Manhattan. In the comics, she grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. She went to school with Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and had a crush on him. Even though Spidey’s about to show up in the MCU, I don’t think that would line up now because Peter will be a teenager and Jessica’s too old for that.
- When Jessica goes to Luke’s bar, the older bartender there says: “You love him, you want him back, you’re gonna have his baby.” In the comics, they do have a baby: Danielle, named after Luke’s best friend Danny “Iron Fist” Rand.
- We see Sgt. Mahoney. He appeared in four episodes of Daredevil as well, played by the same actor, Royce Johnson.
- In the background of the police station is a paper with one of Ben Urich’s headlines that we saw from Daredevil.
- When the police are under control by Kilgrave, look on the wall for a shot of Stan Lee as a police captain. Cameo? Check.
AKA WWJD? (8)
- We learn about Jessica’s family in this episode and it’s similar to Alias #22. His father is a mechanic. In the comics he worked for Tony Stark’s company. Who knows, maybe he does on the show, too. He’s named Brian, probably after writer Brian Michael Bendis. Her mother is named Alisa, which is an anagram for Alias.
- Jessica makes it pretty explicit that Kilgrave raped her. She admitted that to Luke Cage in Alias #25. Scary stuff.
- On the show, Kilgrave’s origin is that he was a sick kid named Kevin Thompson and his scientist parents, trying to cure him, changed his DNA and made him emit a virus that makes everyone near him feel compelled to do whatever he says. In the comics, he was a spy named Zebediah Killgrave who fell into some chemicals to get his powers.
AKA Sin Bin (9)
- In this episode we learn that Sgt. Will Simpson used to be a military guy and was experimented on. This episode makes it clear that he’s the MCU version of comics villain Frank Simpson, better known as Nuke. Nuke was a soldier given cybernetic enhancements and a second heart. Red pills made him think he was amped up (he always is) and white keep him even. Blues bring him down. He first appeared in Daredevil #232 (1986) in the storyline “Born Again” by writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazuchelli. His dialog about losing his boys as well as his constant desire for a red are straight from the comics.
AKA 1,000 Cuts (10)
- The Kilgrave/Hope fetus is sent to Hammond Labs. In the comics, Robbie Baldwin interned there and became the superhero Speedball.
AKA I’ve Got the Blues (11)
Nothing I could find.
AKA Take a Bloody Number (12)
Nothing I could find.
AKA Smile (13)
- Luke’s skin being unbreakable was an issue when he got sick in the pages of The Pulse, once.
- Claire Temple pops up. Same character from Daredevil.
- As Kilgrave gets powered up, he briefly turns purple as he is in the comics.
- The name of Kilgrave’s yacht is Goldfish. That was the name of a self-published crime comic by Brian Michael Bendis before he wrote for Marvel.