The Purple Man: the villain capable of undermining the will of the people

Who’s The Purple Man?

The origins of Zebediah Killgrave are shrouded in mystery and the only one who has shed light on it has been Zebediah himself and one should not be overly confident about what a villain can tell about himself. In any case, Killgrave was a Soviet spy stationed in the United States of America during the Cold War. One of his missions during that period was to steal an experimental nerve gas from a military facility, but it was discovered by the guards while he was escaping. When they open fire on him, one of the bullets bursts into the container in which the nerve gas that envelops him was and makes his skin purple – hence his nickname, the Purple Man. During the subsequent interrogation, Killgrave is unable to give a valid alibi and is still released. It is then that he discovers that the nerve gas has given him the power to mold the will of others at will. Evidently, Zebediah sees a clear potential for crime in this new skill and quickly built a criminal empire in New York City first and in Los Angeles second.


However, their desires are not only criminal but also personal and passionate. That’s where a young, innocent Jessica Jones comes in, calling herself Jewel at the time and acting like a superhero. Killgrave finds her and makes her her her personal slave at all levels, from sending her to fighting with Daredevil to playing marriage, with all that that implies. Although, with the help of Scarlet Witch and Jean Grey, Jessica manages to free herself from Killgrave’s mental clutches, she is deeply traumatised and Killgrave is always ready to exploit that insane connection again. On the other hand, it is also important to note that the children of Killgrave, to a greater or lesser extent, inherit their purple skin and some of their powers and, on more than one occasion, Zebediah has tried to find them all to use their powers to control the planet.

The personality of the Purple Man

Zebediah Killgrave is a nasty being, but more on the inside than the outside. Selfish, manipulative and a liar even before he has his powers, being able to control people’s will only exacerbates all these traits. Almost like a spoiled child, he is unable to control his impulses because his will and desires are the only ones that count. However, the power to always control the wills of others generates tremendous insecurity because he has never known the sincere and felt affection. Nor will he ever do it because, in the end, he prefers immediate falsehood to the uncertainty of respecting the other.

Friends and Enemies of the Purple Man

Like many villains in the Marvel Universe – and some of its heroes… -, the Purple Man has no allies, but his powers are highly coveted by other villains like him. Sometimes he can collaborate with them if he thinks he can make a profit like when he tried to kill New York’s heroes with Wilson Fisk, but other times he is kidnapped by other villains who want to use his powers, like Dr. Doom, who wanted to amplify them to become the king of the world.

As for his enemies, the most recurrent is Daredevil who, because of his enormous willpower, has stopped him on more than one occasion. To this must be added the aforementioned Jessica Jones, who feels a special responsibility to stop him. In addition, Killgrave is determined to make his life miserable, so he has also faced Scott Lang or Luke Cage, once lovers of Jessica.

The Purple Man in the Kinematic Universe of Marvel

Zebediah Killgrave debuted as the main antagonist in Jessica Jones’ Netflix series, which focuses precisely on the sequels suffered by the character played by Krysten Ritter after being under his control and the attempt by the character David Tennant brilliantly plays to subdue her again. Rarely is an adaptation significantly superior to the original content, but, quite simply, the Killgrave offered by Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is extremely superior to its counterpart in comics, becoming, without a doubt, one of the best villains offered by both 100 and comic book-based television.

Once again, the casting of Disney’s productions hits the nail on the head with a David Tennant who makes his own a Purple Man who keeps the color in his suit and takes to the extreme the absolute evil and perversity of powers that violate the most intimate of his victims. Jessica Jones is one of the best series in Netflix’s Marvel Corner -and in fact the whole platform- although she also has other attractions such as the presence of Luke Cage -Mike Colter- and Jessica Jones herself. Let’s hope it comes back, somehow, in the second season because the Cinematic Universe of Marvel is not exactly full of good and complex villains like Killgrave.

What powers does Purple Man have?

It has become clear that Killgrave can control the wills of the people around him, but how does he do it? Unlike other beings with superhuman abilities who can exercise similar control, Killgrave does not use the mind but the pheromones that his body releases to parasitize the mind of others. In this way, only with his words and intuitively and is able to make people not breathe until they say otherwise. Otherwise, it is quite normal beyond an above-average ability to recover from injuries and blows, but away from others like Wolverine or Deadpool.

#InFewWords: A conclusion about the Purple Man

Mental Parasite

Killgrave is defined by his powers, which make him one of Marvel’s most terrifying villains for his cruelty and for the powerlessness he generates by losing all capacity for free will. On the other hand, he is one of the characters who has best jumped to the real image and has helped to grow the spectrum of genres that can be found in the Cinematic Universe of Marvel with psychological thriller as is the first season of Jessica Jones.