Jessica Jones: 20 Weirdest Things About Kilgrave’s Body

One of the most impressive thing about Netflix's Jessica Jones is its casting. Not only does Krysten Ritter absolutely nail it as the titular character, but she's backed up by Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, and Eka Darville. Then you have heavy-hitters such as Carrie-Anne Moss from The Matrix adding in a level of remarkable pathos as well as the legendary David Tennant playing one of the best baddies out there.

That baddie would be Zebediah Kilgrave, otherwise known as  "Killgrave, "The Purple Man", and "Kevin Thompson" in Jessica Jones; a villain with such remarkably powerful gifts that he doesn't need to raise a fist to anyone in order to get what he wants.

Some villains just don't need to use brute force to accomplish their goals. They use their intellect matched with their ability to manipulate. In Kilgrave's case, his manipulation skill is actually a superhuman ability that's pretty much unmatched by any other character in the Marvel or DC universes.

Though the Kilgrave in the show differs slightly from the one in the comics, one thing remains the same; he is truly the ultimate tormentor to Jessica Jones. In fact, in many ways, he's actually an allegory for the kind of physical and psychological abuse many women experience from the men in their lives.

Though he's quickly become one of the MCU's most iconic villains, even the most hardcore fans are bound to be surprised by some of the most unique and downright strange qualities that Kilgrave has.

Without further ado, here are the 20 Weirdest Things About Kilgrave’s Body.

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20 He Gained His Powers In An Accident


Killgrave's original comic book origin story differs from the one seen in Netflix's Jessica Jones. In the comics, Kilgrave was originally a spy on a mission to infiltrate the US army. He was soon discovered by a guard who shot at him but missed and hit a container of chemicals.

The container shattered and covered Killgrave in a liquid that not only changed the color of his hair and skin but also gave him the unique manipulation power. To be more specific, the chemical he was exposed to caused him to secrete a pheromone that, when smelt, allowed him to have complete control over the victim.

In Jessica Jones, however, Kilgrave (spelled with one "L") explained that he was born with a rare life-threatening disease. He was then experimented upon, which ended up giving him his gift.

19 He Had Purple Skin

The Purple Man from Jessica Jones comics

There's a reason why Kilgrave is often referred to as The Purple Man. It's because he's almost always portrayed as having purple skin in the comics, due to the origins of his powers.

In the accident that gifted Kilgrave his supernatural abilities, his skin and hair were turned purple due to the chemical that he was exposed to. This gave him a look that pretty much makes him unmissable, a quality that the creators of Netflix's Jessica Jones clearly didn't want to go for.

Part of what makes Kilgrave so dangerous in Jessica Jones is the fact that he can infiltrate any place he chooses.

If he were bright purple, he'd be pretty easy to spot coming.

Instead, the filmmakers gave him a mostly purple wardrobe as well as using violet lighting cues and motifs.

18 He Was Originally A Daredevil Villian

Although The Purple Man is primarily portrayed as Jessica Jones' arch-nemesis, as well as having multiple run-ins with Captain Marvel, he was first seen in 1964 as Matt Murdoch's opponent in Daredevil #4.

In his first outing as a supervillain, Kilgrave (originally Killgrave) walks up to a bank teller and asks him for the money from the vault. It takes a while for the teller to realize that he's just been robbed due to The Purple Man's unique ability to manipulate people into doing exactly what he wants.

Daredevil soon tracks him down and captures him, although Purple Man quickly uses his powers to walk-out of the jail free. He then orders civilians to attack Daredevil but is bested by the blind lawyer from Hell's Kitchen.

17 He Was Abducted by Doctor Doom

In 1987's graphic novel Emperor Doom, The Fantastic Four villain captured Killgrave and encased him in a device that amplified his powers against his will.

Doctor Doom used Killgrave's remarkable manipulation powers to enslave the entire planet, which he decided to rule.

Though Doctor Doom thought he had created world peace, it was slowly revealed that his utopia wasn't nearly a positive as he thought. In fact, Doctor Doom pretty much ruled the world with an iron fist, making him equivalent to the worst dictators in history. This was something that angered the Avengers.

Eventually, the Avengers managed to thwart Doctor Doom's plan which allowed Killgrave to escape.

16 He's A Weak Fighter

Certain villains rely on their brute strength to intimidate and subdue their opponents. Characters such as Killer Croc or Solomon Grundy don't have much in the way of intellect, but they certainly have the ability to cause some damage. Then there are the brilliant antagonists who also have the physical prowess to be able to outsmart and overpower. These characters would be ones like Thanos, Bane, or Catwoman. Kilgrave is another thing entirely.

Kilgrave, AKA The Purple Man, has practically no fighting ability whatsoever. Whether it's the version of him from the comics, animated shows, or Netflix's Jessica Jones, he's pretty much exclusively portrayed as physically weak.

That's because he can be. His intellect, charm, and most of all his superhuman ability to manipulate make him one of the most dangerous villains of all time.

15 How he controls people like puppets

David Tennant playing Purple Man on Jessica Jones Netflix series

Kilgrave has a superpower that's barely rivaled by any other character in the Marvel Universe. He has the ability to control people's minds and therefore their actions. Most of the time, he uses this ability to make a boatload of money.

An example of how he'd commonly use this power is the poker scene from the first season of Jessica Jones. By simply telling the other players to fold, he's able to win hundreds of thousands of dollars with a terrible pair of cards.

Kilgrave can also use his powers to manipulate others into doing far more terrible things, such as end or hurt themselves, as well as encourage their addictions. He has left long-lasting mental scars on many characters, especially Jessica Jones.

14 He Has Purple Kids

There comes a time where nearly all major comic characters are given a kid-- or three.<

These kids, who inherited their father's unique skin tone and power, are the product of his manipulation of random women.

Killgrave often uses his powers to immorally brainwash women into spending the night with him. He then leaves these women to pick up the pieces once he's done with them-- which may include unwanted babies.Killgrave's purple children debuted in 2014 when Killgrave tracked them down in order to win their love and create a personal army. However, this backfires on him as these children turn on him. Ultimately, Daredevil is the one who has to bring them down.

13 Certain Characters Can Resist His Powers

A character like Killgrave, who seemingly can control everyone, may appear to be one of those outlandishly strong characters that audiences just can't relate to. But even Killgrave has his weaknesses.

These weaknesses mostly surround the fact that he cannot control everyone. Some character's mindsets are just too strong to manipulate. In other words, they have the will to resist his pheromones. Such characters include Kingpin and Doctor Doom as well as Jessica Jones in the Netflix series.

Daredevil is also harder for Killgrave to manipulate due to the fact that his senses are heightened.

Telepaths such as Jean Grey and Emma Frost are almost impossible for him to control.

Then there are characters that are made with a different fabric, so to speak. His powers don't work on aliens and those who have a different biology to humans.

12 His Powers Are Useless On Robots

In addition to those with incredibly strong wills and beings with a different biological make-up to humans, Killgrave is unable to effectively use his powers on robots.

This means that when up against characters like Ultron, he's pretty much useless unless he's in the vicinity of someone who he can use to fight for him.

In the episode "Emperor Stark" from Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Killgrave manipulated Iron Man into building a satellite that enhanced his powers and projects it across the globe.

This made it virtually impossible for any of the Avengers to stop his nefarious plot. The only one who could was Vision, who was, of course, is an android and therefore impervious to Killgrave's powers.

11 He Has Similar Regenerative Powers To Wolverine

Although both the comics and Netflix's Jessica Jones spend a great deal of time on Killgrave's unique manipulation powers, they often skip over the fact that he has similar regenerative powers to Wolverine.

Sure, Killgrave can't heal himself to the extent that Logan can, nor is he hundreds of years old because of it.

The mutation that occurred in his body during the accident allows him to rapidly recover from injury.

In one storyline in the comics, Killgrave entered a coma state so his body could heal from being nearly destroyed.

This power added to his ability to manipulate, make Killgrave one of the most powerful and frightening villains in Marvel history.

10 He's Powerful Enough To Control Captain Marvel

Though Killgrave may not appear to be one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel comics, he almost certainly is. He's so talented, in fact, that he was able to control one of Marvel's mightiest heroes, Captain Marvel.

As mainstream audience members will soon discover, when Captain Marvel hits the big screen in March 2019, Carol Danvers is able to absorb and project various forms of energy, fly, and has superhuman strength. This makes her an insanely powerful member of the Avengers. She will very likely help defeat Thanos on the big screen.

But in the comics, Killgrave escaped custody and controls Captain Marvel with his ability in order to help lure her best friend, Jessica Jones, into his grasp.

9 He Was Voiced By Data

In 2012's The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Killgrave as voiced by Brent Spiner who, of course, famously played Lieutenant Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Spiner has had quite the voice-acting career outside of his iconic turn as Data.

In addition to Killgrave, Brent Spiner voiced two of DC's most famous Rogues, The Joker and The Riddler, in Young Justice and Justice League Action respectively.

Clearly, Spiner has an affinity for playing highly intelligent, dastardly villains who enjoy nothing more than tormenting our favorite heroes. He allows himself the freedom to bring something new and different to each one of these monsters.

8 Captain Marvel Threw Him Into The Sun

Jessica Jones - David Tennant as Kilgrave

In one of the most recent comic threads, Jessica Jones #17, Killgrave met his untimely end at the hands of Captain Marvel, a character who he's tormented before. After decades of evil deeds and tormenting Jessica Jones, it seems like the writers have finally found a way to end his story.

However, it should be noted that Killgrave has perished before and therefore could very well return. Although, it should be harder to explain how he could have survived being tossed into the sun, which is exactly how Captain Marvel disposes of him.

She does this after Killgrave tries to get to her mother and her best friend, Jessica.

Hopefully, this will bring some peace to a character that's been plagued by him since the beginning.

7 David Tennant Wasn't Sure About Playing Him

Krysten Ritter and David Tennant in Jessica Jones Season 2

In an interview with Indiewire, Doctor Who and Broadchurch actor David Tennant claimed that taking the role of Kilgrave in Netflix's Jessica Jones was "a gamble worth taking."

The talented thespian claims that he was totally unsure about the role due to the fact that he was hardly in the first couple episodes of the first season, even though his presence loomed largely. This type of slow build-up to his character's reveal was a little frightening to him as he didn't know exactly where the show would go.

However, Tennant was convinced after taking meetings with the show-runner of the first season, Melissa Rosenberg, as well as Jeph Loeb, who is in charge of these Marvel properties on Netflix.

6 He Lost His Powers In The House of M

David Tennant as The Purple Man in Jessica Jones

The House of M storyline changed everything for practically every single character in the Marvel universe, making it one of the most memorable and impactful superhero series to have ever been written.

In the story, The Avengers and X-Men are forced to attempt to bring down a common foe, Scarlet Witch, who had been slowly losing her mind for many years. Knowing that losing her mind meant losing control over her unparalleled powers, the two teams plan an assassination attempt.

However, Quicksilver rushes to his sister's aide and informs her of the plot before the teams can strike. Scarlet Witch completely loses it and uses her powers to completely change reality for every single character in the Marvel Universe.

In this new reality, Killgrave is without any of his superhuman powers and works as a lobbyist for the government, with secret affiliations with the Human Resistance.

5 He Was Tormented By Baron Zemo

Daniel Bruhl as Zemo in Captain America Civil War

In the comics, Baron Zemo, the villain from the movie Captain America: Civil War, viciously manipulated Killgrave in order to test The Thunderbolts, a team of reformed supervillains.

At the time, Zemo was in possession of the moonstones which allowed him to manipulate the master of manipulation himself. They also allowed him to enhance Killgrave's powers so that he could enslave all of New York City.

This plan was thwarted by a member of the Thunderbolts, Genis-Vell. In response to this, Zemo tormented Killgrave.  After he had his way with him, Zemo sent Killgrave back to prison where he found him in the first place.

4 His Daughter Inherited His Powers

Purple Woman

Although Killgrave fathered a bunch of purple children with an assortment of women, his most famous offspring is Kara.

She inherited her father's powers but decided to use them for good; the ultimate form of rebellion against her father.

Kara's mother, Melanie, was a woman Killgrave manipulated for years and eventually married. Killgrave shows a glimmer of humanity when he decides to remove his influence over Melanie when she became pregnant with their child. Horrified at what he had done to her, Melanie left him to raise Kara on her own.

Kara developed her father's powers and purple skin tone when she went through puberty. This change made her decide to become a superhero in order to sway from her father's villainous path.

3 He Was Portrayed As A Mutant In X-Men: The Animated Series

Aside from Batman: The Animated Series, one of the most iconic superhero shows of the 1990's was X-Men: The Animated Series. The show introduced the X-Men audience to characters they may not have heard of, including Zebediah Killgrave. In the episode "No Mutant is an Island", Killgrave wasn't portrayed as a man who got his powers by accident, as in the Daredevil and Jessica Jones comics.

The writers decided to change Killgrave into a telepathic mutant along the lines of a Charles Xavier.

This is how they explained his ability to manipulate others. He did, however, retain his trademark purple skin and even used cosmetics to hide it in order to pose as a philanthropist who wanted to take over the government.

2 Jean Grey Stops Him From Controlling Jessica Jones

Few characters have been able to go toe-to-toe with Jean Grey before, after, and obviously during her Dark Phoenix transformation. This is due to her unbelievably powerful telepathic and telekinetic powers that just set her above and beyond what other characters can handle.

As mentioned earlier, Killgrave is unable to manipulate a few characters in the Marvel Universe and Jean, undoubtedly, is one of them.

Although the two have rarely been pitted against one another in the comics, Jean actually used her telepathic powers to enter Jessica Jones' mind. The goal and the result were to make Jessica impervious to the sick and terrible hold that Killgrave had over her.

1 He's Immoral

Marvel's Jessica Jones and Kilgrave (David Tennant)

One trait that Killgrave almost certainly lacks is the ability to be moral. Although he very well could have been a good human being before he gained his powers, he was easily corrupted.

His manipulation power made him a greedy and unbelievably materialistic person who feels like he is entitled to everything and everyone. The latter makes him particularly immoral, as he uses his powers to strip individuals, especially women, of their free will. Essentially, he has a "God Complex."

In other words, Killgrave is utterly unethical, immoral, and is a downright sociopath. He is without empathy for others, which makes him a particularly dangerous foe since it's hard to get to him emotionally. This is, however, with one major exception; his unhealthy obsession with Jessica Jones.


What do you think is the weirdest thing about Kilgrave's body? Let us know in the comments below!

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