Jessica Jones, Scarred Superhero

Essays on Gender, Trauma and Addiction in the Netflix Series


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About the Book

Jessica Jones barged onto our screens in November 2015, courtesy of Marvel and Netflix, presenting a hard-drinking protagonist who wrestles with her own inner (and outer) demons. Gaining enhanced abilities as a teenager, she eschews the “super costume” and is far more concerned with the problems of daily life. But when Jessica falls under the control of a villain, her life changes forever. Based on the comic book Alias, the show won a large following and critical acclaim for its unflinching look at subjects like abuse, trauma, PTSD, rape culture, alcoholism, drug addiction, victims’ plight and family conflicts. This collection of new essays offers insight into the show’s complex themes and story lines.

About the Author(s)

Tim Rayborn is a historian, medievalist, and musician, with a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds in England. He writes on history and on the arts, and lives in Berkeley, California.

Abigail Keyes is a writer and researcher with a background in performance studies and wellness. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Tim Rayborn and Abigail Keyes

Foreword by Robert G. Weiner
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 247
Bibliographic Info: 2 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6684-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3157-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Not Quite Super Jessica Jones (Robert G. Weiner) 1

Introduction (Tim Rayborn and Abigail Keyes) 5

“Even you can break”: Jessica Jones as Femme Fatale (Daniel Binns) 13

Elite and Famous: Subverting Gender in the Marvel Universe with Jessica Jones (Nicholas William Moll) 28

“AKA Occasionally I give a damn”: Mirrored Archetypes and Gender Power in Jessica Jones (Aleah Kiley and Zak Roman) 44

Jessica Jones: Gender and the Marvel Phenomenon (Lillian Céspedes González) 64

AKA Marvel Does Darkness: Jessica Jones, Rape Allegories and the Netflix Approach to Superheroes (CarrieLynn D. Reinhard and Christopher J. Olson) 83

Sobriety Blows: Whiskey, Trauma and Coping in Netflix’s

Jessica Jones (Janis Breckenridge) 105

Jessica Jones, Women and Alcohol Use Disorders (Sharon Packer) 121

Jessica Jones’s Feminism: AKA Alias Gets a ­Fixed-It (Melissa C. Johnson) 133

The Haunted Hero: The Performance of Trauma in Jessica Jones (Melissa Wehler) 145

Integrity, Family and Consent: The Ontological Angst of Jessica Jones (Brian Fuller and Emily D. Edwards) 161

From the Hellmouth to Hell’s Kitchen: Analyzing Aesthetics of Women Survivors and Spaces in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jessica Jones (Courtney Lee Weida) 189

Battling Bluebeard, Fighting for Hope: The Heroine’s Journey (Valerie Estelle Frankel) 203

“Is that real or is it just in my head?” “Both”: Chronotopal Representations of Patriarchal Villainy and the Feminist Antihero in Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Justin Wigard) 221

About the Contributors 235

Index 237

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited Book in Feminist Studies—Popular Culture Association