For those who have been waiting — and waiting and waiting and waiting — for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to give us a queer female character, the wait is finally over.
Over the weekend, Netflix screened the pilot episode of its upcoming series “Jessica Jones” during a panel at New York Comic-Con. Reports from those in attendance indicate the show will give us the first on-screen lesbian character in all of Marvel’s film and television franchises, and also quite possibly the first queer leading female character in Jessica herself. Can I get a huzzah?
The show stars Krysten Ritter (most recently of “Don’t Trust the B—- In Apartment 23” fame) as the titular Jessica Jones, an ex-superhero who now works as a private investigator in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. Netflix has been tight-lipped about details of the show, other than it will also star “The Matrix” trilogy alum Carrie-Anne Moss, the Tenth Doctor from the revered “Doctor Who” series David Tennant and Australian actress Rachael Taylor. Mike Colter also stars as Luke Cage, a character who will be spun-off into his own Marvel superhero series for Netflix next year.
Now, thanks to reports from New York Comic-Con, more information has emerged about many of the characters and their sexualities. On-set production shots of Moss’ character kissing another woman emerged earlier this spring, hinting at the show’s LGBT leanings.
According to Vulture, Moss does play a lesbian lawyer who happens to be cheating on her female partner with another woman. Her character is also gender-bent from the Marvel origins. She plays Jeri Hogarth, but in the comics the character was a male attorney named Jeryn Hogarth who worked closely with another Marvel superhero named Iron Fist.
Moss and Ritter told Entertainment Weekly that their characters’ relationship isn’t exactly a friendship, but that they need each other and work together. As Moss told Entertainment Weekly, “They come to each other in these scenes, and there’s a lot of back and forth and bad flirtation at times, in life. They’re funny together and can’t stand each other. It’s interesting.”
Yes, you heard that right: flirtation. Which brings us back to Ritter’s Jones. According to Vulture’s reports, the pilot hints at Jones having had possible past relationships with women. The woman in question in the first episode is her wealthy best friend Trish Walker (played by Taylor). Vulture writer Abraham Riesman reports, “Neither character says it outright, but the brief interaction heavily implies that they used to be a romantic item.”
With its queer and potentially queer (or at the very least sexually fluid) characters, “Jessica Jones” is poised to offer something no other Marvel film or TV show has yet. And, to add to the good news, women aren’t only making waves in front of the camera.
The series was created by Melissa Rosenberg, who serves as executive producer and showrunner. Her previous credits include working as head writer and executive producer on “Dexter” and penning all five movies in the “Twilight” saga. With “Jessica Jones,” she becomes the first solo female creator and showrunner on a Marvel series. (“Agent Carter” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” have female co-showrunners/creators/executive producers.)
“Jessica Jones” also has at least two female directors slated for its first season: S. J. Clarkson and Uta Briesewitz. In fact, Clarkson directs the first two episodes in the series.
Those lucky enough to see the pilot have already been raving about the show. And it is particularly refreshing that, for a series centered on a female character that plans to deal with issues like sex, rape and PTSD, so many women are both in front of and behind the camera for a change.