Out of all the MCU shows on Netflix Jessica Jones is the most-watched. That might come as a bit of a surprise since she seems to like acting surly and getting her drink on most of the time but it’s true according to Netflix’s numbers. It’s not too surprising since she’s a more down to earth character unlike the others such as Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist. Without any real need to explain Iron Fist is the last to be selected when people pick something to watch. His story isn’t horrible, but in comparison to the others it’s a bit contrived. Jessica Jones is a hero that doesn’t want to be labeled as a hero, and is just fine being ignored or otherwise forgotten by anyone.
She wasn’t like this initially. When her family was killed and she was orphaned she was eventually adopted by a family whom she grew close to. At that point she realized she had superpowers that had been granted to her by the same incident that had taken her parents. She decided to become a superhero to do goo, but was derailed in her attempts by Kilgrave. When he decided to mess with her Jessica’s superhero career came to a screeching halt. She turned in her career after a while and went back to the PI business as she began to slip into her own self-destructive behavior and self-loathing.
As we’ve seen on Netflix she’s not the nicest person and is constantly in search of her next drink but somehow she is still one of the favorites. It could be that she’s more realistic in her mannerisms and isn’t trying to be some do-gooder out to save the world. She’s a PI that gets paid by getting the dirt on others in any way she can, which is far more real than most of the characters that have ever been filmed for the MCU. She doesn’t possess any martial skill, she’s not a stealthy ninja or a bulletproof mountain of a person that can tear apart stone and steel with her bare hands. She doesn’t possess some mystical force within her that can allow her to become an unstoppable weapon. She’s just Jessica. Sure she has superhuman strength, above average durability, and the possibility of flight that we haven’t seen much of, but she still acts like another New Yorker trying to get by.
It’s not often that she’ll stick her neck out for anyone that she deems is less than worth the trouble, and her people skills keep her paid but don’t keep her well-stocked in friends. The relationship she’s got going with Luke Cage at the moment and her friend Trish are the closest things she has to companionship and this seems to be the way she likes it. She’s kind of a surly character that likes her own space and doesn’t bother with getting to know anyone unless she has to.
I’m not sure how it can be said that she was put on the sidelines for the Defenders since she was in there for much of the first season and was even showcased more often than the guys at times. She made her mark but since she doesn’t possess Luke Cage’s toughness or the martial skills of Iron Fist and Daredevil she kind of had to play the role of the supporting character in order to round out the team.