'Jessica Jones' Could Be Marvel's First Queer Lead

A surprise screening of the entire first episode of Netflix's "Jessica Jones" reveals what may possibly be Marvel's first queer leading character.

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Complex Original

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Marvel and Netflix dropped a bomb on New York Comic Con on Sunday when they offered up a surprise screening of the entire first episode of their highly anticipated Jessica Jones series starring Krysten Ritter

That wasn't where the surprises stopped, however, because that first episode, which IGN called the "most mature Marvel cinematic universe project yet," and "darker than Daredevil," revealed the MCU's first gay major character (Carrie-Anne Moss's Jeri Hogarth), along with clues that Ritter's lead character will also have a "nuanced" sexuality.

It's a big deal, considering that every Marvel movie thus far has featured a white straight male lead in an era when gay rights have seen massive advances. A Netflix series, of course, is a far leap away from a blockbuster film, but still, progress.

Moss, who probably remains best known for her work in The Matrix films, is playing a gender-swapped version of the male character Jeryn Hogarth from the Marvel comic books. On Jessica Jones, Moss' character's first scene shows her having an affair with a woman while cheating on her female partner, according to a review from Vulture.

While Vulture points out that the episode didn't outright show the Jones character in a relationship with another woman, a brief interaction between her and a female character named Trish "heavily implies that they used to be a romantic item."

The episode was also raising eyebrows over its frank portrayal of sex in general, especially noting that Marvel TV and and movies are generally pretty sexless. 

As writer Abraham Riesman put it, the crowd "collectively gasped" during a fairly explicit sex scene between Jones and Luke Cage (played by Mike Colter) that takes place after Jones hits on Cage in the bar he runs. 

Jessica Jones hits Netflix on Nov. 20. The Luke Cage standalone series is expected to debut in 2016.


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