Together, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones form a power couple in Marvel comics — literally. The two heroes built a life together, had a child, and kept up their superhero antics like it’s the easiest thing in the world. How has this reflected so far in the Netflix shows surrounding these two heroes? Well, here’s the thing — it’s… complicated. JESSICA JONES seemed to shoot down the idea of Jessica and Luke having a relationship. Then, DEFENDERS seemed to tentatively revive it.

So, will Jessica and Luke end up together? I think, considering the adherence to comic book canon so far, they probably will. There’s a lot of reason to believe it might be in the far-off future for these shows, though.

Luke Cage and Jessica Jones in the Comics

Based on the show alone, people likely wouldn’t peg Jessica and Luke as the perfect couple. In fact, they’re not even currently together as of the most recent series that featured them. This has a lot to do with the fact that JESSICA JONES started with Jessica’s origin story. The comics have had a much longer time to develop and test Jessica and Luke, as well as their relationship.

Jessica’s relationship with Luke in the comics started somewhat similarly to how it starts in JESSICA JONES. Jessica becomes friends with Luke while she’s attempting to rebuild her life as a superhero, as she develops an on-again-off-again relationship with Luke.

Things veer into a different direction from the Netflix show after Jessica kills Killgrave in the comics. In the comics, Jessica and Luke confess to each other shortly after Jessica defeats Killgrave. Jessica becomes pregnant, and she and Luke enter a committed relationship.

Jessice Jones and Luke Cage Relationship
Luke, Jessica and Dani make an appearance in Patsy Walker a.k.a. Hellcat!

In the comics, Luke and Jessica have been through a lot together. They’ve been through multiple different jobs and iterations of the Avengers — and they’ve been through one break-up. If you don’t know much about comics, I can tell you right now that only one breakup is nothing short of a miracle. It’s definitely a miracle that Jessica and Luke got back together without the usual levels of comic book drama.

Jessica’s and Luke’s daughter, Danielle, is also worth noting. Not only because she’s adorable, but because she’s a bit of a big-name superhero baby. After all, Danielle’s mother is Jessica Jones, her father is Luke Cage, and her godfather (and the person she’s named after) is Danny Rand.

How will this all reflect in the Netflix shows, though?

Complications

There are a few matters that come up in JESSICA JONES that seem to imply Luke and Jessica won’t be as fast friends as they were in the comics. Namely, Jessica has invaded Luke’s privacy, stalked him, kept secrets from him, shot him in the face… and, oh yeah, she killed his wife.

Altogether, Jessica’s treatment of Luke in JESSICA JONES was pretty abysmal. It’s unsurprising that people voiced their discomfort about the relationship. Especially considering that Jessica is a white woman who essentially took advantage of and emotionally manipulated a black man.

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage Relationship
Jessica sleeps with Luke in JESSICA JONES despite the many secrets she’s keeping from him.

These aren’t things to take lightly. If Netflix is to build up a relationship between these two characters, there’s a lot of wrongs to be righted. Most of the wrongs are on Jessica’s side of things, as well. Jessica and Luke had a rough start in comics, but not quite as rough as what Netflix has given us.

Rebuilding

The upside is that judging from DEFENDERS, Netflix is perfectly aware that it seems like this relationship has shot itself in the foot. It seems like Netflix has plans for letting Jessica and Luke rebuild their trust and friendship, coming out stronger for it.

What Jessica Jones has done hasn’t been fixed, but it’s clear Luke is willing to give her a second chance. Jessica doesn’t say sorry — that would be pretty out of character for the Jessica we currently know — but it’s clear she wants to do better by Luke. There’s not a lot of time in DEFENDERS for the two to talk about relationships, what with NYC being in danger. However, the few times that Luke and Jessica do have a bit of a heart-to-heart are stunningly well-written.

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage Relationship
Luke and Jessica are both still willing to help each other and work together, which is a pretty good start.

The writers have worked an interesting sort of chemistry between Luke and Jessica. It only took one conversation between them in DEFENDERS for me to find myself hoping they become close again. Of course, I have the added motivation of loving their relationship in the comics, but still. The fact that the writing is not excusing Jessica’s actions, and instead offering a chance to work through them, is exciting.

Reva’s Reveal

There’s also the fact that Reva’s death has, in a way, been “solved,” although I’m not exactly on board with the way that was handled in LUKE CAGE. It turns out that Reva was, for lack of a better word, evil. I have a lot of squabbles with this choice, honestly. Firstly, making a black woman cooperate with a violent racist and sell out prisoners (especially black men) to a fighting ring doesn’t seem very well thought out.

It also feels a bit like LUKE CAGE revealed Reva’s manipulation just so that Luke could move on. It also feels like a cop-out on punishing Jessica — it can be said that it doesn’t matter as much that Jessica Jones killed Reva if Reva was working against Luke. Season 2 of LUKE CAGE might give us more information on Reva, though. I hope that we can learn more about Reva and her motivations for working with Seagate’s unsavory methods.

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage Relationship
LUKE CAGE reveals that Reva was purposefully manipulating Luke through the entirety of their relationship.

For now, though, it seems like Reva’s death has been swept under the rug. While a lot of the emotional baggage between Luke and Jessica rides on the fact that Jessica killed Reva and then hid this fact from Luke, Reva turning out to be evil removes a lot of the impact. There still needs to be a discussion in the upcoming seasons about Jessica refusing to tell Luke, though.

The Future of This Relationship

For now, I’ll be satisfied with Luke and Jessica starting to rebuild a friendship. It feels like a great start. I know a lot of fans—myself included, of course—are invested in Jessica and Luke and their marriage in the comics. There’s a lot of good to be done in the representation of loving and thought-out interracial relationships… especially those with children.

Netflix has a lot of work to do to smooth out the bumpy start given to this relationship. The fact that the relationship needs a lot of work presents an opportunity to do a lot of good, though. I’d love to see Jessica Jones check her privilege a bit as a white woman, as well as allow herself to open up and care about others more genuinely.

I’m excited to see where Netflix will take this relationship. In fact, I almost like that they’ve made things more complicated. The changes to the narrative allow for more emotional vulnerability, more in-depth development, and more realism. I still have my fingers crossed for Marvel to write Luke Cage and Jessica Jones getting together in the Netflix shows. Maybe, if we’re fortunate, the shows will even include Dani eventually. (She’s just so adorable.)

4 Comments

  1. Denise

    June 22, 2018 at 12:04 am

    I think this article was great! I am not butt hurt about any of the references to race at all. It answered the questions I had about the shows vs comics. As a side note, black and white are colors, not races. So the lady, if she can be considered one, who “hates interracial relationships” should get a proper DNA genetic test to make sure she doesn’t breed with other races. Even though it’s been proven to make genes stronger when they are not replicated by parents who copy the same recessive genes. The fictional Dani would most likely have stronger, healthier genes than any children she(racist lady named Katherine)may ever have.

    Reply

  2. Katherine Gushchina

    April 24, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    I hate interracial relationships and miscegenation, so I will not be watching Jessica Jones ever.

    Reply

  3. Little Dave Batista

    March 15, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    I agree with Tay , no need to make this article about Race and the part about Jessica’s “white privilege” was disgusting and unneeded. Otherwise some good points were had and I do hope Luke and Jess end up together sometime in the Netflix universe .. preferably before i hit 30.

    Reply

  4. Tay

    March 15, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Stop making it seem like it is a race thing please, only people with there head stuck up their ass thinks everything is racist. It makes us look dumb when ignorant posts like this are made, not all BLACK people buy this race card crap. What would you say if Luke was swapped out for a WHITE dude?

    Reply

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