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Trott, Verity. "“Let’s start with a smile”: Rape culture in marvel’s jessica jones." Superhero Bodies. Identity, Materiality, Transformation. Eds. Wendy Haslem, Elizabeth MacFarlane and Sarah Richardson. Routledge Advances in Comics Studies. London, New York: Routledge, 2019. 47–58. 
Added by: joachim (2/7/21, 1:14 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (2/7/21, 1:24 PM)
Resource type: Book Chapter
Language: en: English
BibTeX citation key: Trott2019
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Alias", Adaptation, Bendis. Brian Michael, Gaydos. Michael, Gender, Intermediality, Superhero, TV, USA
Creators: Haslem, MacFarlane, Richardson, Trott
Publisher: Routledge (London, New York)
Collection: Superhero Bodies. Identity, Materiality, Transformation
Views: 123/1620
Attachments   URLs   https://www.academ ... vels_Jessica_Jones
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. While Jessica Jones and Kilgrave both have superpowers which help illustrate aspects of their identity, the crux of their conflict stems from everyday issues surrounding relationships, connection, vulnerability, power, and entitlement. This chapter investigates how Jessica Jones’ supervillain Kilgrave and his mind control power represent both physical and mental rape and prompts discussion into the surrounding issues of rape culture in Western society. The chapter draws on a close analysis of the show and its production to highlight the ways in which Kilgrave is represented as an everyday man, respectfully dressed and well spoken, and provides a comparison with the original comics in which Kilgrave was illustrated with purple skin. This analysis contends Jessica Jones moves beyond a survivor’s story by foregrounding the villain and perpetrator Kilgrave in its interrogation of his privilege and entitlement and provokes a discussion of the pervasiveness of rape culture.
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