Jade is based on the mercenary love interest of Race, simply known as Jade, from the original 1960s TV series. The differences include race and hair color, along with the fact that she is Race's ex-wife and had his child. The idea of having them previously being a short-lived team on the field was borrowed from a scrapped idea of the 80's series. Jessie was recycled from Jessie Bradshaw, also a failed attempt as a recurring character in the same series. When the second season of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest was being produced, Lance Falk, who is a fan of the original series, didn't like the idea of them being married, so he returned Jade to her original self and made an entirely new character for Jessie's mother in Estella (who was Caucasian and had red hair).
For some reason she still kept the Bannon the name, also giving it to Jessie.