Jessica Jones encounters a multitude of variants of herself in The Variants #1, extending the concept as a metaphor for the complexities of being a survivor.

Warning: spoilers for The Variants #1 are ahead. Content Warning: This article contains descriptions of psychological and emotional abuse.

Variants are more popular than ever in Marvel Comics, but they just reached a new level of significance with the character Jessica Jones. While variants have been around for a long time in Marvel Comics, they entered mainstream pop culture consciousness with the Disney+ show, Loki, which showed the myriad forms of the God of Mischief across the Multiverse. Now, Jessica Jones herself is no stranger to dealing with variants, as the first issue of her new series gives it multiplicity like never before.


Like many female Marvel Comics characters, Jessica Jones has changed over her publishing history, a fact that her new series, Variants, will probably explore. It was created in 2001 by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos with his original series, A.k.a. While fans today know her best as a sardonic, reluctant private investigator in a leather jacket, she also sported a more conventional superhero look as the pink-haired crime-fighter Jewel. , and as the masked vigilante, Knightress. Jessica’s nemesis is Zebediah Killgrave, also known as the Purple Man, who abused her with her ability to psychologically control others through her speech.

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While Killgrave is thankfully no longer in Jessica Jones’ life, that doesn’t mean the effects of his abuse haven’t yet been felt by her, a fact that Variants #1 by Gail Simone, Phil Noto and Cory Petit of VC explores. After meeting another Killgrave abuse survivor, Jessica learns he may have planted a psychological ‘landmine’ in her brain, after the woman she met reveals she suddenly started hearing his voice in his head after a decade away from him. After returning home, Jessica finds two different variations of herself in her daughter’s room. For Jessica, the concept of Marvel’s Variants takes on new meaning as it represents how Killgrave’s abuse fractured her life, making Variants not just a creative conceit, but an emotionally moving portrayal of how trauma can change. the course of his life.

Part of what’s so damaging about Killgrave’s abuse is how his powers are an attack on someone’s personality, directly negating their free will. And while Jessica’s variants can be seen as an expression of how her self-concept was shattered as a result of Killgrave’s actions, they can also represent the multiplicity of who she is. box become. Considering that one of these variants includes a Jessica Jones Captain America, the issue makes it clear that the variants can both symbolize a sense of loss for Jessica as a survivor, as well as a brighter future, defined by her own. terms.

Jessica Jones is an important character because she not only represents a break from traditional female superhero roles, but also the complexity of being a survivor. Simone and Noto’s story beautifully captures both of these elements of her character and takes the concept of variants to new heights with the added emotional weight of Jessica’s story. While many Marvel Comics variants are fun and creative looks at fan-favorite characters, Jessica Jones proves that they can also have immense emotional and psychological significance.

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Variants #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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