Marvel‘s Jessica Jones is one of the pieces of the very large Marvel Cinematic Universe puzzle, and one of six MCU shows on Netflix. She may not be the most recognizable superhero, but she’s quickly stolen our hearts on her hit series. The show focuses primarily on Jessica (Krysten Ritter), her PTSD, and her private investigation career, there is so much more to the reluctant hero.
The show is full of easter eggs and hidden references to the comics the show is based on, as well as the surrounding universe. There are even some callbacks to The Avengers for observant fans! And if you think Stan Lee doesn’t show up at all, you’re crazy. Keep reading for all the stuff you may have missed during your first viewing of Jessica Jones!
16. There’s a Reference to the “Alias” comics
In the “Alias” comics of the Jessica Jones saga, Jess’s front door window is broken when she throws one of her PI clients right through it. In the show, the scene plays out almost exactly as it does in the comics when Jess uses her super strength hurl a guy through the window when he declares that “Alias Investigations” is stationed here. It’s an apt beginning to the show as it’s pretty much how Jessica’s comic book story began as well. Plus, it’s a pretty revealing moment for Jessica Jones. From that moment forward, you know not to mess with her when it comes to settling a bill and how she cannot be bothered to fix that dang window with everything else going on!
15. There’s a Stan Lee cameo
In one of the tensest scenes of the show, Kilgrave (David Tennant) commands a police station to hold each other at gunpoint, threatening to have them kill each other if Jessica doesn’t oblige his demands. Amidst all that, you can see a slight cameo of the man who created so many of our beloved characters. Lee is framed on the wall as, presumably, a police captain of some sort. If you blink, you’ll miss it – but, as in all MCU shows and movies, Lee has to pop up somewhere!
14. Luke Cage saying “Sweet Christmas”
Jessica’s comic book love Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is, of course, a part of this universe. But he does more than just exist. Cage is a superhero in his own right, and every superhero needs a catchphrase. Luke’s just happens to be “Sweet Christmas” in the comics, and it’s a phrase that Cage says not once but twice in the show! Little moments like this ensure that showrunners are staying faithful to the idiosyncrasies of the characters.
13. Another MCU private investigator is mentioned: Angela Del Toro
Jessica mentions another PI she knows when turning down a case, casually dropping the name Angela Del Toro. While we don’t see her on screen or hear her mentioned again, she’s a real Marvel comic character. Del Toro has roots in the “Iron Fist” and “Daredevil” comics. She also becomes a superhero herself in the Daredevil universe: White Tiger.
12. A newspaper references “Costa Verde”
One of the few fully fictional countries in the MCU is referenced on the front page of a newspaper: Costa Verde. This location pops up only sparingly in the comics, like when the Living Lazer tried to take the country over and the Avengers stepped in and saved the day. So, all in all, not a huge part of the MCU lore. This, it’s a really deep cut in the Marvel universe to include the reference in Jessica Jones, and definitely a nod to obsessive fans!
11. The Old bartender says to Jessica “you’re going to have his baby” about Luke Cage
This one could be a bit of foreshadowing for the show, but in the comics, it’s already happened: Luke Cage and Jessica Jones have a baby! The two lovers even got married in the comics. And while it didn’t play out on-screen in Captain America: Civil War, the comics version of “Civil War” had the pair split over their differing stances during the superhero divide. The two seem to be back together more recently though!
10. Will Simpson is Nuke?
Simpson (Wil Traval) has a bit of a name change, but his story is the same of a famed comic character: Nuke. Nuke’s name in the comics was Frank, but we have a feeling the name change is to differentiate him from another famous MCU Frank: Frank Castle a.k.a the Punisher. Simpson takes some super powerful red, white, and blue pills in the show that brings him up, down, and all around. The “combat enhancers” are integral to Nuke’s identity, and we’re guessing season two is going to dive farther into Simpson’s relationship with these pills.
9. The Reference to the “big green guy” and “the flag waver”
Hmm…who could they be? As a smaller-scale representation of the MCU, it’s easy to forget that the Avenger’s live inside the same world as Jessica does. But when the characters mention some of the more well-known heroes, you’re reminded. Jessica and Luke both mention “the big green dude” and “the flag-waver” – aka the Hulk and Captain America – at some point in the series while discussing others like them.
8. All the references to the Battle of New York from The Avengers
…Speaking of the Avengers. This is an MCU show set in New York City post-The Avengers, so obviously there are some allusions to the Battle of New York from the film. Jessica’s almost killed by a woman who resents her existence after “the incident,” as they call it. She blames Jessica’s “people” for causing the mayhem and destruction. While the battle of necessary evils vs. preventable tragedies plays out on the big screen in Captain America: Civil War, it plays out on a smaller, more intimate scale on the Jessica Jones. You can see how the Battle of New York really affected the lives of those in NYC at the time, and how it turned the tables on how those with abilities are perceived.
7. The Reference to Hammond Labs, where Marvel character Speedball was created
There are a few passing mentions of Hammond Labs in the show, and the facility choice wasn’t chosen at random. In the comics, Hammond Labs specialized in studying those with superhuman abilities, and it’s the place where Marvel’s Robbie Baldwin received his powers in an accident and became Speedball. Maybe we’ll get a Speedball cameo in a future season?!
6. Jeri Hogarth is presented as the female version of “Jeryn Hogarth”
Jeri Hogarth (Carrie Anne-Moss) is professional counsel for Jessica in the show, but she has roots in many comics. “She” is actually “he” in the comic books. The male Jeryn Hogarth becomes the official lawyer for the Defenders when the story is playing out on a page (Because sometimes you need a lawyer when you’re knee-deep in defeating evil, obvi). The character has actually appeared in Daredevil, Iron Fist, and The Defenders, foreshadowing her eventual essential role in the group.
5. Kilgrave’s penchant for purple suits and the purple veins that form under his skin
Kilgrave has an affinity for purple on Jessica Jones. He wears purple suits, is usually presented with purple-tinged back-lighting, and even has purple veins. This isn’t because he’s a big Prince fan – nope. It’s actually because he’s literally purple in the comics; dubbed The Purple Man, fittingly enough. The chemicals that gave him his mind control powers also turned his skin purple, whoops! Guess you can’t have any super villain powers without some drawback. Since Netflix budgets aren’t unlimited, a purple suit was probably cheaper than purple skin!
4. The Night Nurse
This is a reference spread across all of the Netflix-MCU shows: the allusions to the “Night Nurse.” Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) is a nurse who’s given aid to those with superhuman powers starting in the show Daredevil. She hasn’t been explicitly called the “Night Nurse” in the MCU yet, but the implication is clear. She’s a nurse. At night. Who aids our heroes. I think we know where this is going. In the comic books, Night Nurse first appears in Daredevil #58 and eventually got a few comics herself.
3. Claire references a “friend like you and Luke”
When Jessica and Luke lament their troubles, Claire offers a helping hand and mentions “a friend like you and Luke.” She’s clearly talking about Daredevil (Charlie Cox), her only other super-powered friend up until this point. Jessica and Luke do meet Daredevil later on when they form The Defenders, along with Iron Fist, and take on crime like a rougher-around-the-edges Avengers.
2. Trish suggesting a gaudy costume and the name “Jewel”
In a flashback to happier days for Jessica, her BFF Trish (Rachael Taylor) encourages Jess to use her powers for good. They even come up with a superhero moniker and costume! It’s short-lived, but it’s a nod to something that actually happened in Jessica’s comic past. She went by Jewel for a while, until she realized being a masked hero wasn’t for her. Comic Jess has gone by a few other names over the years, but in the MCU she’s just plain old Jessica Jones.
1. An allusion to Trish’s “Hellcat” alter ego from the comic books
Trish is eager to encourage Jess to be a superhero and seems to express a desire to do it herself. That’s no mistake — in the comics, Patsy “Trish” Walker is a superhero. And she’s been around longer than Jessica Jones! Patsy Walker has quite the comic book history. Her Hellcat alter-ego is referenced a lot on the show, i.e., Trish having previously been a redhead and Jessica telling her to “put on a cape” herself. Trish has begun training and working to protect herself better in the show, so is another superhero on the horizon?!