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Karl Malus is the overarching antagonist of the hit Marvel Netflix TV Series Jessica Jones. He serves as the unseen overarching antagonist of Season 1, and the secondary antagonist of Season 2.
He was a bio-geneticist who saved the lives of Alisa Jones and her daughter Jessica, as his experiments on them are the reason why they developed their powers in the first place.
Malus started off as a geneticist working at a secret laboratory called IGH. Unknown to the rest of his employees, he had done illegal experiments on individuals to satisfy his ambitions in saving lives. Upon hearing of a car crash that ultimately killed the entire Jones family (except for Alisa and Jessica), Karl took in in his mission to perform experiments to save both Alisa and Jessica's lives, vastly increasing their strength and abilities. However, it took long for him to restore Alisa due to massive injuries, so he decided to declare her dead, when in actuality he used his illegal experiments to cure her. He also has Jessica discharged by leaving her to be raised by the Walker family to cover his tracks. He then closed down the clinic before marrying Alisa and enjoying a peaceful life together.
Hunted Down by Jessica
Following the death of Kilgrave, Jessica learned about Malus' experiments and the origins of both her and her mother's powers after her adoptive sister Trish Walker starts an investigation on IGH. However, things go out of hand when Alisa escapes and went on a murdering spree, killing several people (including Will Simpson and several IGH employees). Despite learning this in horror, Malus intends to keep Alisa safe from harm and frames the murders on an innocent man to cover her tracks. However, Jessica soon learned about the cover-up before
was arrested for her rampage.
Following Alisa's arrest, Jessica vowed to hunt down Malus so that he can provide her answers about her past. After being confronted by Jessica, Malus admitted that he did care for Alisa despite her conditions, to which Jessica responded that he permanently end his experiments so that she and Alisa can have peace with each other. However, unknown to Jessica, Trish intends to gain powers similar's to Jessica's. To that end, Trish kidnapped Malus and took him to the closed clinic, forcing him to perform his procedure on her. However, Jessica arrived to confront Trish of her intentions, resulting the experiment to fail and Trish to sustain several injuries.
Upon seeing Trish's injuries (as it recognizes of the time he had to save Alisa's life due to her extended injuries), Malus decided to commit suicide by setting himself and his lab on fire, but not before telling Jessica that he was sorry for what he did to her mother. Upon hearing of Malus's death in the news, an angry Alisa broke out of prison before she was shot by Trish during her attempt to reconcile with Jessica. Because of this event, an angry Jessica disowns Trish for this, though Trish later found out that she has developed enhanced powers thanks to Malus's experiments.