The superpowers of heroes and villains have often been used as metaphors for wider cultural attitudes and issues. From symbolising alienation and the struggles of puberty, to finding strength and dealing with oppression, superpowers have been a trope used for exploring sensitive issues with a broad, mainstream audience. Netflix’s superhero 13-episode season of Jessica Jones is a prime example of exploring rape culture, an issue that has traditionally been ignored or suppressed, with a mainstream audience with renown success. Many of the intricacies of this exploration can be found where the Netflix series diverges from the original comic book strip in which Kilgrave is known as the Purple Man. This chapter examines Jessica Jones’ supervillain Kilgrave and compares his representation to that of the Purple Man in the original Marvel Comics to help outline the ways in which the Netflix adaptation constructs a narrative critical of rape culture for a contemporary audience.
|Title of host publication||Superhero Bodies|
|Subtitle of host publication||Identity, Materiality, Transformation|
|Editors||Wendy Haslem, Elizabeth MacFarlane, Sarah Richardson|
|Place of Publication||New York NY USA|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
|Name||Advances in Comic Studies|
Trott, V. A. (2019). “Let’s start with a smile”: Rape Culture in Marvel’s Jessica Jones. In W. Haslem, E. MacFarlane, & S. Richardson (Eds.), Superhero Bodies: Identity, Materiality, Transformation (pp. 47-58). (Advances in Comic Studies). Routledge.