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With Bendis Moving to DC Comics, Who Should Write JESSICA JONES?

On Tuesday, DC Comics announced it had signed an exclusive contract with writer Brian Michael Bendis, who has been practically synonymous with Marvel Comics for nearly two decades.

As soon as I saw the news, I had one question in my mind: with Bendis gone, who would take over writing for Jessica Jones?

Bendis, along with artist Michael Gaydos, co-created Jessica Jones in 2001, and has until now been the only person to write the character’s solo comic adventures (though a short Jessica Jones story by Chelsea Cain, Allison Sampson, and Jordie Bellaire appeared in the anthology Civil War II: Choosing Sides, and she has also appeared in supporting roles in a number of other books). Of course, since gaining prominence by way of her Netflix series, there there has been a growing push for the next writer on Jessica Jones to be a woman.

But who should it be? Three names come immediately to mind—Chelsea Cain, Kate Leth, and Kelly Thompson—all of whom have already shown they have what it takes to capture Jessica’s tone perfectly.

Chelsea Cain

Jessica Jones sits in her dark office reading a newspaper with a headline about Civil War II

If I had my choice of anyone to write Jessica Jones, it would be Chelsea Cain. The New York Times bestselling author might only have a few comics credits to her name—most notably Marvel’s 2016 Mockingbird series—but what she has done has been astounding. In Mockingbird, Cain crafted a series of stories that took full advantage of the comics medium, working well both as single issues and as part of a larger arc. The series was also hilarious, unrepentantly feminist, and sometimes downright sexy. Even if Cain had never worked on Jessica Jones before, I would want to see her take on the character.

The bonus: she has written Jessica Jones already. In an eight-page story in Civil War II: Choosing Sides #6, Cain captured Jessica’s essence perfectly. She is snarky without being ridiculous, observant without being detached, and dedicated to solving her case without being emotionally involved. And to top it all off, Cain’s Jessica is hilarious.

The only problem? Cain hasn’t done any comics work since Mockingbird ended, in large part because of a dedicated campaign of harassment that led to her temporarily leaving Twitter. It’s not clear whether Cain would be willing to come back, especially given her successful novel-writing career. But if she does, there’s no more perfect fit for Jessica Jones.

Kate Leth

With Bendis leaving, now might be a good time for a different sort of take on Jessica Jones—something that emphasizes the humor more than the PTSD and alcoholism. In that case, Kate Leth, best known for her work on Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat!, could bring a sense of fun to the character that has been largely lacking, especially if teamed up with someone like Hellcat artist Brittney Williams. In fact, the two already told a ridiculously fun Jessica Jones story in the pages of Hellcat, in which Patsy and Jessica team up to try to get back the rights to a comic book based on Patsy’s life story. The brief arc was one of the highlights of Hellcat, and it would be a pure delight to see what Leth could do on a dedicated Jessica Jones book.

Kelly Thompson

Jessica Jones looking through a magnifying glass, with Kate Bishop seated. Text reads Cant keep up with the Jones!

“Hmmm,” you’re thinking, “both of those sound pretty interesting. Is there a maybe someone who could bring together Cain’s hard-as-nails-but-still-hilarious Jessica Jones with Leth’s ridiculously fun version of the character?” Well, you’re in luck, because there is: comics wunderkind Kelly Thompson.

Though probably best known for her work on IDW’s Jem and the Holograms comic, Thompson has worked on an astounding number of books since breaking into comics in 2015, including A-ForceCaptain Marvel and the Carol Corps, and currently the Star Wars: Captain Phasma mini-series (and that’s just what she’s done for Marvel).

Perhaps the best of the lot, though, is her Hawkeye series starring that other dark-haired detective everyone knows and loves, Kate Bishop. In a two-issue arc, Thompson and artist Michael Walsh brought Kate and Jessica Jones together to solve a case, with Jessica serving as the older, more experienced, and much snarkier part of the duo. Like so much of Thompson’s Hawkeye, it was ridiculous fun, while still being deathly serious. With Thompson having already mastered Jessica’s tone, I would love to see what else Thompson could do with her given a chance.

Do you have a different idea for who should write a Jessica Jones book post-Bendis? Let us know in the comments!

Images: Marvel Comics

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