Worried about getting your superhero serial fix once Smallville is finally put out to pasture? Don’t be. Between NBC’s The Cape, ABC’s No Ordinary Family, a possible Raven adaptation on CW and the forthcoming Hulk on ABC, comic book fans won’t be short of new shows to choose from.
ABC is currently preparing AKA Jessica Jones, a series based on Marvel super-heroine Jewel. Melissa Rosenberg, screenwriter of all five Twilight films, is set to write and executive produce.
Jessica Jones is a minor character in the Marvel universe, first appearing in her own comic series Alias (no relation to the TV show) from 2001-2004. She’s appeared alongside more mainstream Marvel properties ever since. A contemporary of Peter Parker, the comic version Jessica/Jewel possesses super-strength and flight abilities. The ABC project may differ greatly from its source material, however.
According to sources close to the creators, the TV version of Jessica Jones will operate her own detective agency after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Her new gumshoe gig will allow her to serve the public good and will bring her in contact with other Marvel superheroes.
If you’re disheartened by the idea of a superhero project in the hands of someone best known for teenage vampires, hold your judgment for now. Rosenberg also has writing and production credits on shows like Dexter and the failed Batman spin-off Birds of Prey. Other names attached to the project include executive producers Jeph Loeb (Heroes, Smallville), Alan Fine (Iron Man 2) and Joe Quesada, who’s worked on all of Marvel’s recent animated shows. The character’s comic creator Brian Michael Bendis is a creative consultant.
ABC’s parent company Disney is clearly ready to make good on its acquisition of Marvel Comics late last year. With ABC laying claim to Marvel properties and The CW (Warner Bros.) providing DC Comics adaptations, the television landscape is starting to mirror that of the rival comic book publishers.
Assuming that Raven is greenlit for production on The CW, the two shows will be competing for a slice of viewership that’s grown surprisingly lucrative: female sci-fi fantasy fans. Both characters are self-reliant and deeply flawed, traits that might resonate with fans of the Twilight series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Combined with the Guillermo del Toro reboot of the Hulk television series, the combination could provide a one-two punch for ABC to grab both male and female viewership.
ABC isn’t wasting any time in bringing Jewel to the small screen. Though no cast information is available at present and the network has not yet pulled the trigger on a full order, AKA Jessica Jones is tentatively planned for a fall 2011 debut.