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Kevin Thompson was diagnosed at a young age with a degenerative neurological condition that would have left him brain dead by the time he was twelve if his parents, Louise and Albert, had not tried to save him. Eventually, they succeeded, but the painful experimental methods they used made their son hate them and also gave him the power to make people do whatever he requested. Kevin used his newfound powers to enslave his parents, who only abandoned him after he forced Louise to take a hot iron to her own face (leaving a scar). He later admitted that he didn't mean it and saw it simply as a temper tantrum, like any other child might have.

After being abandoned, Kevin roamed the world, forcing people to feed and take care of him, and to do his bidding, eventually abandoning his name entirely and taking on the identity of Kilgrave.[citation needed]

Meeting Jessica Jones

Kilgrave first encountered Jessica Jones as she was beating up thugs attacking Malcolm Ducasse. Intrigued, he had a chat with Jessica, and using his powers, controlled her to accompany him. Kilgrave controlled Jessica for quite some time, forcing her to live with him and have sex with him on a regular basis.[citation needed]

Losing Jessica

When Kilgrave learned that Reva Connors had come into possession of a thumb drive featuring footage of the experiments performed on him as a child, he became obsessed with keeping it a secret. He forced Connors to reveal its location and ordered Jessica to use her enhanced strength to dig it up. Eventually, after digging through feet of concrete, Jones discovered the hard drive and handed it to Kilgrave.

Stepping outside, Kilgrave ordered Jones to "take care" of Reva, an order she obeyed by punching Reva so hard she was dead before she hit the ground. Kilgrave ordered Jones to leave Connors' body behind, but was confused and annoyed when he witnessed Jones disobeying him. Kilgrave demanded Jessica to come back to him, but she didn't, instead walking further away. At the same time a bus driver, drinking on the job, crashed and rolled his bus while trying to avoid hitting Reva's body, hitting Kilgrave instead and nearly killing him on impact.[citation needed]


Having almost been killed in the accident, Kilgrave sought the help of a doctor and forced another man to donate both his kidneys to him. The doctor was forced to perform the surgery on Kilgrave and saved his life, while the man had a stroke from the shock of losing his kidneys. Kilgrave then ensured that his death was faked and went on the run while Jessica believed he had perished in the accident. Because Jessica had been the first person to ever disobey him, Kilgrave became dangerously obsessed with her, to the point of believing himself to be in love with her.[citation needed]


Kilgrave is a sociopath with an obsessive fixation on Jessica Jones. He has no moral grounding and is quite content to have his victims commit suicide if it suits him. He claims that he is not evil, however, saying that he takes no particular pleasure in killing people. He also vehemently denies ever having killed anyone, as he never personally gets his hands dirty.



Mind Control: Kilgrave has the power to control the actions of others through verbal commands, somewhat akin to a powerful hypnotic suggestion. His body produces an airborne virus that makes his victims susceptible to his spoken word, and then they have no choice but to obey his every whim, even to the point where they might commit suicide or kill a loved one. Initially, this control could last for a twelve hour period, although it was later extended to twenty-four. The viral and verbal nature of Kilgrave's power limits its efficacy in circumstances where either the virus or the sound of his voice are blocked or sufficiently diffused. This includes electronic transmission, where audio transducers are typically not able to convey whatever element of his voice carries his power to command (Towards the end of the series, he becomes powerful enough to overcome his previous inability to manipulate people through electronics). Aside from his own limits, the literal interpretation of his commands can also provide unexpected results when his victims execute his commands in an unexpected way. For example, he ordered Trish Walker to "put a bullet in [her] head", intending that she should shoot herself, but Jessica was able to help Trish obey the command by sticking a bullet into Trish's mouth, thereby having a bullet technically inside her head. Surgical anesthesia shuts down the exact part of his brain that creates his powers, instantly ending any control he's currently putting out, and he is still without it for a while after waking up.[citation needed]


  • David Tennant portrayed Kilgrave as a regular character in the first season of the Netflix series Marvel's Jessica Jones. He reprised his role in a guest appearance in the second season episode "AKA Three Lives and Counting". James Freedson-Jackson portrayed the younger version of the character.
  • Unlike most, if not all, of his alternative versions, Kilgrave's skin isn't purple and is instead portrayed regularly wearing purple clothing. In his final appearance, however, once his powers were upgraded by his father, his veins temporarily turned purple as he used his powers.[1] Several scenes also have him near a purple light source.

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