Fans of Alias, the comic that Marvel’s Jessica Jones is heavily based on, will recall that Carol Danvers – more commonly known as Ms Marvel, now Captain Marvel – was originally a prominent character in the first volume, a friend and confidant of Jessica.
For the Netflix series, however, she appears to have been replaced, with chat-show host Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) essentially performing Danvers’ role. But as showrunner Melissa Rosenberg tells us, it wasn’t through lack of trying.
“It was interesting, because when we were forming the ensemble we were told we couldn’t use Carol Danvers, which is a character I loved in the comic book,” says Rosenberg. “But what I realised was that the role of Carol Danvers is actually much more interesting if she has no powers. Then that relationship becomes so much more complex because you have a character in Trish Walker that has everything. And that’s something that we’re drafting off of what was in the books with Carol Danvers.
“She’s beautiful, she’s famous, she’s rich, she has taste and grace and she has absolutely everything Jessica does not, except powers. And it’s a really interesting dynamic between the two, and they have a very interesting history together. But I just love the relationship.”
In addition to these logistical matters, there’s the fact that Carol Danvers will eventually be the subject of her own big-budget solo movie, Captain Marvel, currently due out in 2019, which renders her inclusion in any other medium slightly problematic. Despite these restrictions, Rosenberg is adamant that the show is ultimately better off for it.
“Gosh. I can’t think of anything. I mean, after the loss of Carol Danvers we ended up with something that was so much better for the show,” recalls Rosenberg. “You kind of forget back when they said you can’t use Carol Danvers, I got all upset, but you forget, because what we ended up with was just so great.
“I remember initially we had much more story for Luke Cage. He was going to be in many more episodes, and then Jeph Loeb reminded us that he has his own series, and we were like, ‘Oh my God, what story are we going to tell with him?’ Then we realised that it’s so much more interesting to have his story be so much more slowly rolled out and more of a mystery, and this relationship with him and Jessica is so tentative, so it ended up being absolutely perfect. I kicked and screamed at the time. I usually do that, I throw a tantrum and then I get over it 10 minutes later, I’m all like, ‘Well, actually that’s better’.”
Jessica Jones is available to watch on Netflix now. You can find out more about the characters and the comics that inspired them by picking up the latest edition of 100 All-Time Greatest Comics.