In a team-up that promises to be legendary, The Defenders will be bringing together Marvel's four Netflix heroes in an eight-episode crossover event that will be ready to binge starting on Aug. 18. Each of the four main characters — Jessica Jones, Matt Murdock, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand — established their hero status on their own shows first before signing up to join forces. They dealt with a lot without the support of their superpowered brethren, handling solo obstacles and victories that turned them into the heroes they are now. Jessica had a particularly harrowing journey that she's likely still feeling the effects of. But what happened to Jessica Jones before The Defenders?
When fans first met Jessica, she was a hard-drinking private investigator haunted by trauma from her past. Over the course of 13 episodes, it was revealed that she had super strength that had once inspired her to try and be a hero, but in the midst of a good deed she was discovered by the villainous Kilgrave. He had powers of his own, abilities that allowed him to control people with just a few words. He used that mind control on Jessica, abusing and sexually assaulting her over the course of months, as well as using her strength to hurt others. In the first season of Jessica Jones, Jessica had to face him once again.
When Kilgrave began targeting new victims, Jessica had to step in and stop him despite the fact that she was still dealing with the fallout of their last confrontation. Throughout the season she was haunted by memories of what Kilgrave had done to her, and what he'd made her do. Jessica was especially tortured by her murder of Reva Connors, to the point that she began stalking Reva's husband: none other than Luke Cage.
Luke and Jessica's relationship evolved in complicated and problematic ways. She began a relationship with him without revealing her (unwilling, but still) part in Reva's death, even though she knew that he was desperate to know the truth. Though they had a shared connection over their abilities (Luke also possessed immense strength as well as unbreakable skin), there was no getting over what Jessica had done. Once Luke found out, their relationship was fractured seemingly beyond repair. The Defenders will mark the first time Jessica and Luke see each other again.
At the end of Jessica Jones Season 1, Jessica triumphed against Kilgrave by finally killing him. It earned her a new reputation as a hero and may have been the first step towards truly releasing her from her past. The Defenders will catch up with Jessica just in time to find out how she's coping in the aftermath. Knowing Jessica, she's probably doing it with a bottle of alcohol on hand.