Jessica Jones Month: AKA ABC vs Netflix

Posted: October 28, 2015 in Comic Book Study
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Welcome to Day 7 of Jessica Jones Month everyone! Jessica Jones has been on a long and difficult road on its roughly five year way to the current November 20th release date. Some of the biggest changes, however, stem from its network switch of ABC to Netflix. Based on what information was revealed during announcements while the show was being considered by ABC, as well as we’ve heard after the fact, it seems that the ABC version of Jessica Jones (titled A.K.A. Jessica Jones) would have been far different than what it seems we’re getting with the Netflix version.

To start with, the show’s timeline would have been changed significantly. Rather than starting sometime after Jessica started Alias Investigations (roughly around the second time Purple Man escaped from prison), like Netflix’s version, A.K.A. Jessica Jones would have seen the former superhero “rebuilding her life as a private detective in New York City,” while also interacting with Marvel heroes Luke Cage and Carol Danvers (Ms./Captain Marvel). We know now that Danvers will have her own movie in the future, but it’s still cool to think that she was almost introduced to us on television first.

Image taken from

Speaking of the Purple Man, it doesn’t even seem like he would have been a major part of the show. Variety reported in 2010 that the premise of A.K.A. Jessica Jones was that she wanted to help other superheroes, and while their article did say the character would be “flawed”, it seemed very likely that the focus would not be centered on Jessica’s past. In a separate interview, showrunner Melissa Rosenburg also stated that the character had PTSD, describing her as “an incredibly damaged, dark, complex female character that kicks ass.”

While Netflix’s Jessica Jones may bring a number of MCU references/crossovers (there’s a possibility that the show will feature some of the MCU film characters or characters from other Netflix shows, like Daredevil), ABC’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones was guaranteed to have Tony Stark and Stark Industries referenced in the pilot episode. However, Hellcat’s involvement might have been at risk, since Rosenburg also stated that, “Everyone else we can be digging into lesser known characters or taking known characters and renaming them.”

All of this is ignoring the fact that, had the show been picked up by ABC, A.K.A. Jessica Jones would have been far less dark and gritty than Netflix’s version seems like it’s going to be. Aside from the obvious (the show would have been on ABC, and therefore wouldn’t be able to cover as much material as Alias was able to get away with), even Rosenberg acknowledged that the show wouldn’t have been as dark if it had been on ABC.

…you know, I don’t know if it’s an ABC show. It might be a cable show, really. The graphic novel is the first one that Marvel did that was meant to serve an adult audience. I toned it down a little bit for network, but it’s very, very easy to translate that into cable.

-Melissa Rosenburg, IGN

What do you think about Jessica’s (almost) network home? Let me know, either in the comments below or with a tweet through that widget on the left. Better yet, like the Comic Books vs The World Facebook page, and subscribe to the official Youtube channel to keep up with all the latest on Comic Books vs The World. Keep coming back for more of Jessica Jones Month!


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