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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of the Purple Man from the Marvel Cinematic film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Purple Man
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Villain Overview
I'd make her want me. Then reject her. Devastate her over and over and over until she wants to die... No, I won't give her that, either. She'd wither away like someone dying of thirst or starvation. Be a certain ring of hell, designed specially for her... Or maybe I'll just kill her.
~ Kilgrave referencing Jessica Jones.
Don't lie to yourself. I felt you shudder when you were so close. You wanted it. And that terrifies you.
~ Kilgrave taunting Jessica from the grave.

Kilgrave (real name Kevin Thompson) is the main antagonist in the first season of the Marvel TV series, Jessica Jones. Born with a brain disorder, he was tested on by his scientist parents who were able to save him but in the process he gained mind controlling abilities. When coming across Jessica Jones, he became obsessed with her until Jones broke free from his power, prompting Thompson to try to kill her.

He was portrayed by the well-acclaimed actor, David Tennant, who also portrayed Barty Crouch Jr, Sir Piers Pomfrey and voiced Lord Commander, Wilf, and Dread the Evil Genie.

Personality

Jessica: I just can't handle another death on my conscience, even if it's yours. You would know the feeling if you had a conscience.
Kilgrave: I have a conscience. It's just more... selective.
~ Kilgrave and Jessica discuss the former's sociopathic nature

Kilgrave lacked any form of moral compass; if someone annoyed him, he would frequently go out of his way to order them to do something vicious to themselves. An example of this was when he ordered a newspaper salesman to throw his hot coffee over his face simply for telling him to stop loitering. This was only a mild example; he had been known to order people to remain motionless for hours on end or even to commit suicide. Worst of all, he repeatedly raped female thralls such as Jessica Jones and Hope Schlottman, impregnating the latter, and was apparently too divorced from human morality to realize it was rape. He also had little, if any, self-control, with a tendency to overreact to even the slightest insult.

Before he met Jessica Jones, Kilgrave was used to getting everything he wanted. However, when Jones escaped his thrall Kilgrave became obsessed with Jones; stalking her and trying everything in his power to get at her with the ultimate goal of trying to make her his. To further this goal Kilgrave attempted to destroy anyone that Jessica was around. Hope Shlottman and her family were mere toys for Kilgrave and his attempts to woo Jessica. He turned Jessica's neighbour Malcolm Ducasse into a drug addict so he could use him to get pictures of her. This would have also happened to Jones' sister Trish Walker, when he was just about to escape wanted the ultimate act of revenge against Jones by taking one of the only people she ever loved and turning into his plaything whereas in Jones' mind he would be raping her, whilst Walker was slowly dying in her own mind.

Kilgrave hated children, believing they should be "seen and not heard, or better still not seen and not heard". Without batting an eyelid, he put the children of a family into a closet and told them to be quiet, not caring that the family's daughter needed the toilet. He also told a man he controlled to become his chauffeur to leave his child on the side of the street. He also saw no regret in using the fetus of his aborted child with Hope in order for his father to research ways to expand his powers to greater levels.

Though he was grotesquely overabundant and disproportionate with the use of his mind control powers, normally using them for every remedial task there have been hints that Kilgrave himself finds his abilities a burden at times. He screams to Jessica that he "never knows" when somebody is "doing what he tells them to do" or "of their own free will". Also for some reason he did not use mind control to force a family out of Jessica's childhood home instead he gives them his ill-gotten poker money on the condition they leave before 24 hours. It is unknown why he would do this, the most feasible excuse is that he wanted to prove to Jessica that his feelings were genuine and that he was a changed man.

Despite being psychopathic, schizophrenic, confrontational, over-indulged, manipulative, and completely capable of killing or ruining people's lives without remorse, Kilgrave proves capable of emotion but lacks the capability to process said emotion because of his grey morality. A good example is when forced to see the experiments that created him, he showed genuine sadness and discomfort covering his ears and assuming the fetal position in order to hide from the video being shown. Also Kilgrave had what appeared to be an emotional breakdown when confronted by his parents. Initially he screamed at them with rage for abandoning him but showed a twinge of regret for burning his mothers face with an iron. Perhaps if his mother had not stabbed him he would have seen the error of his ways but his final chance for redemption was completely blown away when he forced her to kill herself.

One of his most defining traits was his complete refusal to take responsibility for any of his actions, often twisting events and finding reasons to make it sound like others were to blame or that his victims deserved the horrible fate he gave them. At one point, he went so far as to say Jessica didn't love him because she was incapable of loving another person, not even considering the possibility that it was because he turned her into his personal mind-slave.

Ultimately, Kilgrave's personality was little more than that of a sociopathic overgrown spoiled child prone to throwing temper tantrums over not getting what he wanted, which in turn makes his hatred of children completely ironic. Literally everything he did with his powers (from forcing Jessica to kill Reva Connors to attempting to kill Jessica for 'rejecting" him) were either completely self-serving or acts of petty vengeance against those he claimed to have wronged him.

Villainous Acts

  1. After gaining his powers as a 10-year-old he torments his parents by making them his personal slaves and even during his tantrum, forced his mother to burn herself with an iron.
  2. Continuously raped Jessica Jones and turned her into his personal slave, even forced her to murder Reva Conners, a woman who came close to discovering about him.
  3. After being fatally wounded by a bus crash he suffers from Crush Syndrome and forces a man to give him both his kidneys despite the fact that he was capable of surviving with just one.
  4. After meeting Hope Schlottman, he raped and made her do everything she didn't want to for his own entertainment. When it appeared she was free of his control he had her murder her own parents.
  5. Brainwashed a man into abandoning his child and becoming his chauffeur for a week, resulting in the man being charged with child abandonment and being left by his wife.
  6. Invades the home of a family, forcing them into his slaves and has the children be locked in a closet. It's presumed he killed the family after this as when Jones saw him in his apartment with Simpson they were no where to be seen.
  7. Has a police officer, Will Simpson try to murder Trish Walker when she insulted him on her radio show and then later makes him commit suicide but unsuccessfully as Jessica intervenes in time to stop him.
  8. He destroys a man's life by turning Jessica Jones neighbor, Malcolm Ducasse into a drug addict so he could stalk her and send Kilgrave pictures of Jones.
  9. He cheats 1.2 million dollars out of some wealthy men, then orders one of them to "put his head through" a column in the building, prompting him to smash his head into it again and again and again, not caring that the man might die or get serious brain injury.
  10. Orders a man to throw scalding hot coffee onto his own face.
  11. Has Ruben, the naive neighbor cut his own throat out when he found Kilgrave in her apartment and forced him to admit his foolish love for her.
  12. After successfully getting Jessica to live in her old family house he treats the two workers with mass cruelty, such as making them kill themselves as a fail-safe to protect himself from Jones and not allowing them to blink until she returned.
  13. When he was kidnapped by Jessica and Simpson, he turned the elderly neighbor into a kamikaze by planting a bomb on her, murdering his men and leaving Simpson critically injured.
  14. Throwing away his only chance of redemption, after meeting his parents for the first time in years he warmly embraced his mother however when she stabs him with a pair of scissors, in retaliation he forces her to stab herself for "every year (she) left (him) alone." He attempted to make his father do the same but Jessica once again intervened.
  15. After forcing Hogarth's (an associate of Jessica's) ex-wife to patch him up when he was injured by Walker he later makes Wendy murder Hogarth by "one thousand cuts."
  16. He forced a man he used as a courier to kill himself by sticking a pair of shears in his mouth and falling on them.
  17. He forces his father and a couple to help him make his powers grow stronger, he later has the couple murder his father and butcher themselves.
  18. After meeting with Luke Cage he enslaves him and makes him tell everything about Jones before forcing him to blow up his own bar in view of Jessica he later pretended to Jones that he was free of Kilgrave when in reality he was still under his control and orders Cage to kill her.
  19. As a final act of revenge against Jessica, he prepared to kidnap Trish Walker (her adoptive sister) and continuously rape her until she began to die on the inside.

Quotes

Here I am, just debating where to eat, and then, bam, there you are! Performing feats of heroism. Come here, let me look at you. Come on. Jesus, you're a vision. Hair and skin. Appalling sense of fashion, but that can be remedied. And underneath it all, the power. Just like me.
~ Kilgrave to Jessica.
Do not presume to know! Before I met you, I got everything I ever wanted. And I didn't realize how unsatisfactory that was until you left me to die. You are the first thing - excuse me, person - that I wanted that walked away from me. You made me feel something I never had before. Yearning. I actually missed you.
~ Kilgrave reveals his obsession towards Jessica.
I understand. Mum... pick up the scissors. Stay there, Dad. Take note. For every year that you left me alone... stab yourself.
~ Kilgrave orders his mother to kill herself.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Kilgrave is written as a contrast to Wilson Fisk. Fisk is a very large, muscular man more than capable of fighting despite having no powers, and the head of a large criminal organization. Kilgrave, on the other hand, is slim, heavily reliant on his non-physical power and operates entirely alone. Fisk has grand ambitions and semi-defensible motivations, if not methods, while Kilgrave is all about his momentary wants and petty desires. Fisk has a number of people he cares about and makes no secret of this, while Kilgrave cares about nobody but himself despite his insistence otherwise. Fisk loves his mother and would do anything for her, while Kilgrave hates his mother and uses his powers to make her kill herself. Fisk regrets the damage done by his actions and even goes through some positive character development, while Kilgrave refuses to even take responsibility for his actions and only gets worse as the series progresses. Fisk is Affably Evil, an Anti-Villain, and his tragic past makes him sympathetic, while Kilgrave is Faux Affably Evil, a Pure Evil villain and despite having a tragic past as well, he is far from receiving sympathy due to the many horrendous things that he has done. In the end, Fisk is imprisoned while Kilgrave is killed.
  • This version of Purple Man differs from the real name of the character: Zebediah Killgrave was his name in the comics, unlike Kevin Thompson, the name that the show uses was never in the comics itself.
    • Despite being Purple Man, although, he is never called by the title and is instead referenced as Kilgrave.

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