01 May 2012

Faster than a DC Bullet: Jessica Jones, Part III: The Pulse: Thin Air

Comic trade paperback, n.pag.
Published 2004 (contents: 2004)
Borrowed from the library
Read April 2012
The Pulse: Thin Air

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorists: Peter Pantazis with Brian Reber
Letterer: Cory Petit

The end of Alias wasn't the end of Jessica Jones; she soon became one of the central characters of another Brian Michael Bendis series, The Pulse, about the writers at the Daily Bugle, especially those in a special section focusing on superheroes.  (Jessica is there to investigate, though not write.)  This volume sees the Daily Bugle staff investigating the death of one of their own.

It's not very interesting.  I don't quite know why, but nothing the characters did ever grabbed me.  The mystery is pathetic.  There's no resonance to this.  Whereas Alias used the question "What would the Marvel Universe look like to a private investigator?" to say something very interesting about powerlessness, The Pulse asks "What would the Marvel Universe look like to newspaper reporters?" and discovers that the answer is "Exactly the same."  The subversion of the genre tells us nothing of interest.

And the reason I picked up the book, Jessica Jones herself, is weirdly off.  I don't think it's the dialogue, as the same guy wrote both Alias and The Pulse, but it might be, as The Pulse is paced much more like a conventional superhero comic; there's no awkward six-page halting conversations here.  It probably doesn't help that, now that she's pregnant, all Jessica does is worry about her unborn child.  I don't doubt that being pregnant would change her, but it's basically her only personality attribute here.  Worse, Michael Gaydos has been replaced by Mark Bagley, who has what is probably a decent style for a superhero comic, but is a complete mismatch for one about Jessica Jones.  As when Takeshi Miyazawa left Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, her body language is just wrong, and it makes all the dialogue seem off; she doesn't move the way Jessica moves or make the faces that Jessica makes.  Given time I might get used to it, but with only five issues collected in this thin volume, it's time I don't have.

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