In Marvel's Jessica Jones, if Kilgrave says stop, everybody stops because of the viruses in the air. But shouldn't those viruses affect Kilgrave too? How can he move after giving the stop command?

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    we know that people can be immune to his power. even in comics, the person with the power is typically immune to it, even when it's extremely destructive (e.g. cyclops/havok) – phantom42 Dec 7 '15 at 5:02
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    @phantom42 Now that would be interesting if the first time cyclops got his powers the front half of his face blew off. – CandiedMango Dec 7 '15 at 7:32
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    “But should not those viruses affect Kilgrave too.” — What, like a real mind-control virus would? – Paul D. Waite Dec 7 '15 at 10:23
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    @PaulD.Waite That's a cheap shot. Even fantasy powers may have an internally consistent logic. If we accept Kilgrave's powers are derived from a virus which makes people follow all of Kilgrave's suggestions, it's valid to ask why they don't affect himself. Why doesn't hearing his own voice affect him? By the way, real-life is strange and I wouldn't discount mind-controlling viruses; there are certainly mind-controlling parasites! – Andres F. Dec 30 '15 at 22:20
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    +1 This is a valid question, undeserving of downvotes :/ – Andres F. Dec 30 '15 at 22:21

In the TV Show

Unfortunately, we're given very little information regarding the virus which Kilgrave emits.

We know:

  • It was the result of experimentation
  • It requires being in a shared airspace with the victim
  • The effects wear off after 12 hours
  • The virus has a limited range of effect

We never learn precisely what makes anyone, like Jessica, immune to the virus.

In the comics

In the comics, Kilgrave doesn't emit a virus, he emits pheromones which have similar effects and limitations as the virus in the TV show. However, people with a strong will or radically different physiologies find it possible to resist Kilgraves powers to limited degrees. In the comics, Jessica Jones is immune thanks to a special mental block provided by Jean Grey of the X-Men.

So... that immunity

As lame as it is, this is pretty much just the standard in most comics - most characters are simply immune to their own powers, even when they are destructive. For example, Cyclops and Havok are both immune to their own (and each others) concussive blasts. That said, it's not without precedent in the real world. Animals which secrete venom can often ingest their own deadly venom with little or no negative effect - nature has simply made them immune to their own natural offenses/defenses. It would make sense that Kilgrave's body built itself a natural immunity to whatever the virus is that he emits.

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    Re: "Animals which secrete venom can often ingest their own deadly venom with little or no negative effect": That's not surprising, since most venoms are not poisonous: they generally have to be injected into the bloodstream, rather than ingested, to have any effect. – ruakh Mar 27 '16 at 22:07

When Kilgrave says "Stop", he wants everyone else to stop. He knows this, so there's no way he can interpret hearing his own voice as commanding himself to stop.

His powers are based on the subject's understanding of the intention and meaning of the words, not from the virus itself directly hearing / understanding the spoken English commands. There's some scope for lawyering his commands (e.g. what exactly did he tell you to do), but not really for completely twisting the meaning. People subject to his powers can't get out of it / around it by purposely misinterpreting what he says.

Since Kilgrave knows he doesn't mean himself, he doesn't have a problem.

It's a little suspicious that the virus makes people susceptible only to Kilgrave's commands, not just to any commands, but this is fantasy so it can work that way if the authors decide it does. So whether the virus affects Kilgrave or not, I don't think it can be a problem for him, because he always knows what he means.

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