There's a certain amount of inherent risk whenever a comic book property is adapted for the big or small screen. After all, most titles have decades of stories, dozens of characters and existing fanbases that are ready to share their wrath if their beloved pages aren't captured accurately and effectively.
However, even with that - and the stigma of the tepidly received 2003 film - Marvel Studios scored a victory with its Daredevil Netflix series, winning over both critics and fans alike. The streaming service seems tailor-made for delivering darker takes on some of Marvel's more grounded heroes, but the format's real test may come later this year when Jessica Jones is released.
The series - which stars Krysten Ritter as the eponymous superhero-turned-private-investigator and Mike Colter as Power Man a.k.a. Luke Cage - will be faced with introducing these relatively more obscure characters to viewers. As co-creator of the comics' Jessica Jones, Brian Michael Bendis recently took to Tumblr to voice his support of the show in response to a fan's question about his involvement. Here's what he had to say:
"I know I've been very low-key on talking about the Jessica Jones TV show but I think I have to stop doing that because I can't hold it any longer. I'm going to burst. The show is so good. I have seen the first couple of episodes, and because I didn't work on it directly, I can say this with full no-ego fanfare: I loved it! And believe me, I was going to be the hardest on it. Harder than any of you. Jessica is a part of my DNA. A bad Jessica Jones show would have hurt me deeply."
Though Bendis is "proud to have [his] name on [the show]," he indicated that he was unavailable to work on it directly due to his commitment to the Playstation Network series Powers. Still, he had access to the initial drafts of the Jessica Jones pilot script and met with the series' writers to answer any questions they had about the story beforehand. Such high praise from Bendis should help Jessica Jones fans rest easy, especially considering how closely the Netflix incarnation (featuring Melissa Rosenberg (Twilight, Dexter)) hews to its source material:
"BUT it is faithful and lively and everything that I could personally have wanted from the show. The mean streets of Marvel Netflix from a different perspective than [Matt Murdock]'s, but at the same time, it all fits. Just like the comics on their best day. And just like Netflix [Daredevil], the look of the show is cracklin' noir but with its own palette."
The crime-drama tone of Daredevil was perhaps one of its most lauded attributes, and it's wise of Marvel to continue that approach throughout its Netflix shows, especially since they will all connect by the time The Defenders comes around. Moreover, it lines up perfectly with what we've heard (from other people involved) about Jessica Jones thus far.
Bendis also weighed in on the casting of Ritter and Colter. Aside from some vague promotional images, not much has been officially released yet with them in-character. That's made it hard for fans to ascertain just how well the actors will fit their comic book counterparts. but Bendis says there's no need to worry:
"Krysten Ritter is soooo good. And Michael Colter. Wait until you see Michael Colter. The casting of Luke Cage, in my opinion, and I have said this to everyone behind the scenes, is as strong and spot-on as the casting of Tony Stark. It's probably the hardest to cast, and they got it. Perfect."
Colter has said how Luke Cage will present a "more tangible" hero than those included in Marvel Studios film releases. Considering that the character will headline his own subsequent Netflix series after Jessica Jones, it's certainly in Marvel's best interest to get him just right for his first onscreen appearance.
Daredevil season one is currently available on Netflix. Jessica Jones releases in Fall 2015, followed by Luke Cage season one and Daredevil season two in 2016. Iron Fist and The Defenders will arrive sometime thereafter.
Source: Brian Michael Bendis