Last week, Marvel Television’s Senior VP of Original Programming Karim Zreik revealed to a panel at the Edinburgh TV Festival that the studio has a “Jessica Jones-esque” series in development for ABC. Beyond noting that the series would be female-focused, however, Zreik provided no major details, including what character (or characters) would be featured.
While Marvel has many female heroes more than deserving of their own TV series, if the studio is truly looking for something “Jessica Jones-esque,” the choice is clear: Kate Bishop.
You might know Kate Bishop better as the bow-wielding second (and better) Hawkeye. While she started her superheroing career in New York City alongside the Young Avengers and later Clint Barton (the original Hawkeye), for the past few years Kate has spent more of her time in Southern California, doing the detective thing to pay the bills while she investigates her publishing magnate father’s criminal connections.
On the surface, Kate and Jessica have a lot in common. They are both snarky, dark-haired detectives with a penchant for superheroics when the situation calls for it. It’s hard to get more “Jessica Jones-esque” than that.
And yet, Kate is hardly a Jessica Jones clone. While both have suffered from significant trauma, Jessica’s experiences losing her family and being abused by Kilgrave/The Purple Man have given her PTSD that manifests in an unwillingness to get close to anyone, a general sense of bitterness, and some pretty heavy drinking. Kate, on the other hand, is more sassy than antisocial. Sure, she’ll make jokes at the expense of those around her, but she still surrounds herself with family surrogates, including the Young Avengers, Clint Barton and, of course, Lucky, aka Pizza Dog. In generational terms, where Jessica is quintessentially Gen-X, Kate is most definitely a Millennial. The result is a character — and a comic — that is fun, rather than grimdark, and that is more suitable for a teen audience.
There’s also the matter of geography. Where Jessica feels at home in the gritty streets of Hell’s Kitchen, Kate has much more of a Southern California feel to her, even if she originally hails from the Upper East Side. A Kate Bishop show based on the current comic by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero and Jordie Bellaire could fit well into the SoCal detective tradition of Veronica Mars and Terriers. Kate solves serious mysteries, but she does it with a panache and humor that makes her more Psych than True Detective.
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