Alias #26

Issue Date: 
November 2003
Story Title: 
Purple, Part 3

Brian Michael Bendis (story), Michael Gaydos, Mark Bagley/Art Thibert (pages 2-4), Rick Mays (pages 6-10) (art), Matt Hollingsworth, Dean White (pages 2-4, 6-10) (colors), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (letters), David Mack (cover), Marc Sumerak/Andy Schmidt (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

In Luke Cage’s apartment, Jessica Jones relates to him her darkest secret: the ordeal she once endured at the hands of the Purple Man. After spending eight months under his mind control, she was dispatched by the villain to find and attack his greatest nemesis, Daredevil. A confused Jessica ends up in the Avengers mansion, where she attacks the first person she sees in red, namely Scarlet Witch. In response, the Avengers lash at her and retaliate with brutal force, beating her to a pulp. Ms. Marvel recognizes Jessica and intervenes, rescuing her from certain death, but not before Jessica’s mind shuts down and she plunges into a coma. Hoping to restore Jessica’s mind, Nick Fury employs Jean Grey as a psychic therapist. Phoenix enters Jessica’s mind and helps her overcome her sense of guilt, enabling her to wake up from her coma. A few months later, Fury offers Jessica a job as the S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison to the Avengers. Disillusioned after her experience, Jessica turns down the offer and retires from superheroics altogether. In the present, Jessica goes to The Raft, where the Purple Man is incarcerated, finally finding the strength to confront her tormentor after all these years.

Full Summary: 

Luke Cage’s apartment

Sitting on a couch with Luke, Jessica Jones continues narrating to him the ordeal she once suffered, spending eight months as Purple Man’s mindless slave, before she was sent by him to find and attack his enemy, Daredevil. “Don’t,” she suddenly tells him. “What?” Luke asks her. Jessica clarifies it’s the pity: she doesn’t want it. She swears, she doesn’t want it. “Okay,” Luke simply says. Jessica insists she is being serious. Luke tells her he knows. Jessica snaps that he doesn’t know how hard it is for her to tell him these things. She never… she haven’t said most of this out loud; it’s hard to hear the words.

Luke admires her. He had no idea she was strong enough to take Thor’s hammer in the face and walk away with it; that’s goddamn impressive. Jessica retorts she is not. “But you just said…” Luke interjects. Jessica clarifies that she said that Thor swung at her. She reiterates she’s not strong enough. But for that second, she was fast enough.


In mid-air, Thor struck at her, but a crying, confused, disoriented Jessica, who is just beginning to break free from Purple Man’s mind control, avoided the terrible strike of his hammer at the last instant, maneuvering herself around him. Jessica explains to Luke that she was fast enough to dodge this, but then she was suddenly blasted by Iron Man. The Avengers, the goddamn Defenders, all of them appeared, menacingly flying at her direction. They were all ready to beat her ass – as well as they should have – except Carol Danvers. Carol and Jessica knew each other. They weren’t yet friends as they are now, but they knew each other. She presumes that Iron Man couldn’t hear Carol over his motors and the wind and whatever, pleading him to stop.

Jessica notes that the time she’s spent telling Luke all this has taken longer than the entire thing took. This entire thing lasted a second – a half of a second. Whoom! Thor! Whoosh! Iron Man! And before she could even focus on the fact that the Vision, the Scarlet Witch’s husband, was coming right at her… SMACK. A berserk Vision punched her brutally across the face. Before the Vision had the chance of a second strike, Ms. Marvel intervened and flew away with a bleeding Jessica.


Jessica’s neck was messed up. Her nose was broken. She lost some teeth. She did some damage to her spine. Her retina detached, and on top of that, her mind kind of gave up on her. Luke asks her what that means. Jessica explains she popped. She went into a coma. Luke is surprised: a coma? Jessica mumbles that she just checked out. Second time in her life, it just kind of shut down. They say it was more mental than physical. She got the Purple Man mindf*ck, the Avengers assbeating, the physical stress of the whole thing… She just kind of checked out. She popped.

A speechless Luke just stares at her. Tears forming in her eyes, Jessica angrily realizes that he’s f*cking pitying her, and she told him not to. Luke asks her how long she was gone and how she came out of it. Jessica asks him if he knows the X-Men. Some of them, Luke replies. Jessica wonders if he knows who Jean Grey is.


Picnic at a beautiful, tranquil park. Jean Grey watches Jessica from afar. Jessica herself is lying on the grass with a bottle of wine, enjoying life, studying a freckled, blond boy who’s playing on the sand nearby. Sitting on a bench right beside Jessica, a pensive Jean says “hi” to her. Jessica greets back. Jean asks Jessica who that boy is. Jessica admits that she doesn’t know – just some kid. Cute, though, she notices with a mischievous smile. “Interesting,” Jean keenly notes.

Suddenly, Jean hears a repetitive thumping sound. Turning around, she sees Galactus walking right past the park and crossing the city. Jean keeps watching him intently before he recedes in the horizon. Turning back to Jessica, she asks her if she’s a big fan of manga. Not really, Jessica replies. However, she saw Akira for the first time recently. She loved that movie; it really kicked her ass. “Fascinating,” Jean remarks.

“So, Jessica, how are you?” she asks her. “Dunno,” Jessica admits. Jean reveals they caught the Purple Man. They put him away for good. “Really?” a doubtful Jessica exclaims. Jean explains that Daredevil got him and asks Jessica if she knows who that is. Jessica recalls it’s the guy who dresses as a devil. Jean affirms that. Daredevil beat the crap out of the Purple Man real good, from what she heard. Purple Man’s in jail. He’s locked away forever.

Jessica’s face remains impenetrable and stoic. Jean wonders how that makes her feel; the news that the Purple Man is in prison. Jessica’s face hardens; she grimaces, still refusing to verbally communicate a reaction. Jean asks her if she harbors any feelings of resentment towards him. “Resentment?” a startled Jessica exclaims. Of course not – he loved her. Jean stresses that no he didn’t. In his own way he did, insists Jessica.

Jean finally introduces herself to her. She’s Jean Grey. She’s one of the X-Men. “Oh, yeah? Hey, good for you,” a mildly disinterested Jessica mutters. Now shifting to her Phoenix costume, Jean explains that she is here as a favor to a friend. She’s going to help Jessica into the next stage of her life. The good news is it won’t be too hard on her. But she needs Jessica to trust her. She asks Jessica if she trusts her. Will she let her help? Jessica wonders if she needs help. “Yes,” Phoenix calmly replies and extends her hand to her.

Closing her eyes, Jessica broods that she really f*cked things up. Phoenix retorts that she did nothing wrong. Jessica confesses that it feels like she did. Jean assures her that’s what she’s going to help her with; if Jessica wants her to. Jessica hesitantly accepts her help. Jean is willing to help but first, she needs Jessica to wake up. Sipping some wine, an uncertain, preoccupied Jessica stares at the blond boy. The boy turns to face her and their eyes lock for the first time.

(real life)

Ooooh…” Jessica moans as she wakes back to reality, finding herself on a hospital bed, bruised and battered, a number of people standing all around her and examining her. One of them is the redhead she saw in her dreams. She introduces herself as Jean Grey. She assuages Jessica that she’s alive and she’s going to be okay. She’s in a S.H.I.E.L.D. military hospital outside of Washington, D.C. Nick Fury also introduces himself. He announces to Jessica that she will be cared for by the best medical minds in the country, and she’s going to be as good as new. Phoenix apologizes for getting in Jessica’s head like that without asking, but it was for the best.

Jessica groans she’s nauseous. Jean explains it’s a hard transition. Rubbing her bruised face, Jessica murmurs that she is so sick… Nick Fury thanks Phoenix for coming down and tells her to thank the Professor. “Oh no… Oh God,” Jessica mutters, finally recalling what happened, and covers her face.

Cut to a few months of rehabilitation and psycho-sh*t later

S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Clay Quatermain walks in her room. He finds Jessica smoking and announces they’re here. “How many?” Jessica asks him. Big roomful, Clay replies – she doesn’t have to do this. Jessica thought she did. F*ck Fury, Clay surprisingly retorts – they’ll sneak out of here, him and her. Jessica remarks he’s too cute. Clay asks her if she wants a hug. “Yes,” she replies. Clay apologizes for asking, it’s just hard to know with her sometimes. They quickly embrace. Closing her eyes, Jessica feels sorry he met her the way he met her. Clay is just glad he met her. Jessica remarks he’s too cute for his own good.

Clay asks her if she’s ready. They walk down a corridor together. Pausing before a door, Clay warns her: “Last chance.” Defiantly, Jessica turns the doorknob and enters the room. The full roster of the Avengers is waiting for her inside. An awkward silence ensues, as neither she nor the heroes can bring themselves to talk for a few moments. Ms. Marvel is the first to hesitantly break the silence, before Iron Man takes the floor. He apologizes to Jessica, on behalf of the entire Avengers organization. They know they’ll never been able to make up to her for the time lost. She can imagine that their finding out she was one of them, made them just feel terrible about their overreaction. They had just gotten back from an overly tense and threatening adventure – one they barely escaped from in one piece. When Jessica attacked Wanda, they overreacted; there’s no other way to put it. They lashed out without thinking. “Mine apologies,” Thor exclaims.

After saying nothing for a second, Jessica accepts the apologies and apologizes herself. Scarlet Witch notes that she was hardly to be blamed for that. “Still,” Jessica insists. Satisfied, Nick Fury remarks that all was nice and painless. He announces they have something else to talk to her about. He thinks she’ll be looking for a job when this is all over. If she’s interested, he’d like her to be the S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison to the Avengers. Following some training and tests, she would become a level six agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., answering to him and him alone. She would also be an auxiliary Avenger when needed. She’d be in charge of communication between the two organizations on a day-to-day…

Jessica is surprised: he’s offering her a job? Smiling, Fury argues she’d be perfect for it. What she came through… and she went out the other side in one piece? He’s enjoyed their talks over the months. She’s a survivor, and a fighter, and they need her on their team. Jessica turns to Clay and asks him in a lower voice if he knew about this. Clay admits he did; it was half his idea. Ms. Marvel happily asks Jessica when she will be ready. Confused, Jessica wonders what this is; a payoff or something? Nothing of the sort, Fury replies. Ms. Marvel reassures her it’s nothing like that. She reminds Jessica that the two of them talked about this.

Jessica pauses for a moment before she gives her answer: “No.” She tells Carol she’s done with all of this anyhow – all this costumes and sh*t. They say she’s got what it takes. And Jessica is sitting here thinking: what are they, out of their minds? Did they see what happened to her? This is the result of having the opposite of having what it takes. “Thank you – no,” she remains firm in her decision. She’s sorry for all of this. She thanks them for coming down here and everything, for the closure of it, but no – she’s done. Carol and Nick Fury watch as she turns her back to them and walks away.


“And that’s that,” Jessica concludes her narration and remarks she’s exhausted. “C’mere,” Luke tells her and a fragile Jessica snuggles against him. Luke holds her in his arms. He offers to take the Purple Man gig for her. She doesn’t have to face him. “Yeah, I do,” Jessica retorts. Luke insists that she doesn’t. He can easily… Jessica stresses she has to. “Okay. Good for you,” Luke concurs.

Ryker’s Island, maximum security penitentiary

A helicopter lands in The Raft, Ryker’s maximum security installation. Jessica comes out of it and greets Clay Quartermain. Clay quips that she never ceases to amaze him. Jessica clarifies that she didn’t like it. “What?” Clay asks her. The helicopter ride, she explains. She feels like barfing up her uterus! Clay retorts she can fly. Jessica wonders if she has to explain her dichotomy to him again. She tells him he looks really good. “Yeah?” he asks. She reassures him that yeah. Hugging him, she thanks him for taking care of this. Clay allays her it was no big thing. What are high-ranking government employee/ex-boyfriends for? Jessica wonders if Nick Fury knows she is doing this for him. “Of course, why?” he asks her. “Dunno,” she replies. Clay explains he’ll take her through security and then they’ll go down to meet him.

Inside, Jessica and Clay walk along seemingly endless, white corridors, sporting large monitors depicting the various inmates. So this is the Raft, Jessica remarks. Worst of the worst, Clay confirms. “Like who? Who do you got here?” Jessica wonders. Clay drops several names: Baron Blood, Bushwacker, Carnage, Crossbones, Jigsaw, Tiger Shark, Tombstone, Vermin, a goofball that calls himself Radioactive Man, Scarecrow, Mister Hyde… Jessica cuts him short: “Yeah, okay…” Clay admits he hasn’t even heard half of these guys.

He finally points her at Purple Man’s cell: “Right down there on the end.” Jessica asks if it’s okay to speak to him alone. If that’s what you want, Clay replies. However, he informs her that the entire conversation is being recorded. He can’t do anything about that. But no one will see the video that doesn’t already know what happened between her and Purple Man anyhow, so she shouldn’t worry that much. He warns her that odds are nothing is going to come out of this.

Jessica knows that. Clay insists he’s being serious. Jessica repeats she knows. Clay asks her if she’s sure she doesn’t want him to stay behind her and look bad ass. Jessica quips she wore her leather jacket, so she thinks she got it covered. Clay confirms it is bad ass. He asks her if she wants to grab lunch after. “Yeah, maybe…” an almost hypnotized Jessica mumbles, walking towards the cell that houses her nemesis.

Crossing the aisle, she finally sees Purple Man in his cell, sitting on his bed, sideways to her. She remains silent, studying him, her face filling with dread as she remembers what he did to her. Without moving the slightest, Purple Man welcomes her here: “Jessica Jones. If it isn’t my favorite comic book character of all time.”

Characters Involved: 

Jessica Jones

Luke Cage

Clay Quartermain (S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Purple Man


Jessica Jones/ Jewel

Phoenix II (all X-Men)

Beast, Jocasta, Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision, Wasp, Wonder Man (all Avengers)

Hulk, Namor, Silver Surfer (all Defenders)

Nick Fury, Clay Quartermain (all S.H.I.E.L.D.)

In Jessica’s mind:

Jessica Jones

Phoenix II


Phillip Campbell

Story Notes: 

Although technically untitled in the interior pages, this story is undoubtedly “Purple, Part 3.” The first half of Jessica’s flashback can be found in the previous issue.

Judging from the then Avengers roster, Jessica’s flashback is set somewhere around Avengers (1st series) #197, with Jocasta gaining a probationary member status in that issue and Scarlet Witch returning after a leave of absence, but before the beginning of Ms. Marvel’s bizarre pregnancy which culminated in #200. The Marvel Chronology Project places this story between Avengers (1st series) #196 and #197.

Judging from the time period, the “Jean Grey” in the flashback is actually Phoenix II, the Phoenix Force impersonating Jean Grey among the X-Men at the time.

The first time Jessica lapsed into a coma was during a traffic accident involving radioactive materials – an accident which claimed her family’s life, while imbuing her with superhuman powers. Jessica was awoken from her coma when Galactus passed outside her hospital room during his first coming on Earth – hence the presence of Galactus in her mindscape. The blond boy is obviously her younger brother, Phillip, who also perished in the accident. [Alias #22]

Akira is a famous serial manga, set in a post-apocalyptic dystopia, which was adapted into an anime movie in 1988.

Issue Information: 
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