THE PULSE, Issues 1 – 5 with Kate (and Dan)

K: What’s a Jessica Jones?

D: About $2.99. Why? ::snicker::

K: You know I hate that joke.

D: Whatever. ::holds up fist for a bump that never comes:: Oh, just leave me hanging, why don’t you?!

K: Deal with it. But really, with the buzz about the Netflix shows coming up? I know Daredevil. I’ve seen the Luke Cage and Iron Fist cosplayers at C2E2. So what’s a Jessica Jones?

D: Fair question. Remember when we reviewed ALIAS awhile back? That was the book that introduced Brian Michael Bendis’s former-super-hero-now-private-eye-all-around-screw-up Jessica Jones. ALIAS was published under Marvel’s MAX imprint and lasted 28 issues.

K: I liked that book! Although, she sure swore a lot. Like, every other word was “fuck.” “Fuck fuck fuck.” Every other word! It really started to get on my fucking nerves.

::lights cigarette::

D: ::stares::

K: ::glares at Dan:: You don’t know me!

D: No. No, I do not. Anyway, Bendis created Jessica Jones when he launched ALIAS. She spent some time in latex as a superhero, but eventually ditched her cape to become a private eye. Jessica next starred in the on-going mainstream Marvel series “THE PULSE.”

::tosses the first five issues on the table:: Check these out. The first five issues launch the series under the story titled “THIN AIR.” Here, she’s been hired to help cover the brand-new super-hero beat for the Daily Bugle.

K: Sounds like a lame endevour for a former super-hero. Kinda like editor J. Jonah Jameson just wants her to dish on all of her caped friends. Caped snitches get…well…I dunno what they get.

D: Stitches, Red. Snitches get stitches.

K: Whatever. I really liked how Bendis fleshes out JJJ. It’s so easy to portray him as a cartoon screaming at reporters with his flattop haircut and cigar hanging out of his mouth. Here, he’s shown as a newspaperman who knows he has to do everything he can to regain his readership.

D: Absolutely. This is a real world conversation that I could see any newspaper crew having. Just…not about super-heroes. Jones is pretty apprehensive about the gig, but takes it on account of she’s pregnant with her boyfriend Luke Cage’s child and needs to pay for the baby-to-be’s diapers. So health insurance is pretty much the deciding factor. Again, how many people have had to take a job based solely on benefits?

K: When a Bugle rookie journalist disappears, veteran reporter Ben Urich steps into the picture. He’s been on a bit of a slide since trying to expose the true identity of the Green Goblin. Urich tries to expose Osborn as the pumpkin-bomb throwing bad guy, but due to the threat of legal action he gets blocked by either Jameson or the Daily Bugle brass every time he brings it up. But when the search for the missing reporter leads to the Oscorp world headquarters and CEO Norman Osborn, well, let’s just say the Goblin and Osborn wear the same size shoes. And the same size gloves. And they have the same address. (Dude, they’re totally the same guy.)

D: So let’s recap: Named after the Daily Bugle supplement that Jones works on, THE PULSE is really “ALIAS Part 2.” But since it takes place firmly in the Marvel Universe, all of your favorite swears look like this: !@#$.

K: Dude, you’re talking to me. I can’t see that.

We’ve got Jessica Jones putting her private investigator business on hold so she can have health insurance for her budding family, missing persons, a reporter on the edge, and a mega-rich CEO who dresses up as a goblin and likes to throw pumpkin bombs.

D: Don’t forget, her baby-daddy is the African American super-hero Luke Cage, Power Man, the super-strong hero from the streets with unbreakable skin. He’ll also be on the Netflix show! Bendis takes this collection of flawed characters, and over the course of the series, forges them into a family. Jessica’s organic growth from the total screw-up we met in ALIAS, to the mother that will stare down the lunatic Green Goblin is amazing to see. And to watch it unfold via the pencils of frequent Bendis collaborator Mark Bagley? Yeah, more than worth the price of admission.

K: Hold up. I know this is the part of the review where you do your big wrap-up, but I gotta mention one thing. The finale? Where Luke Cage goes ape and stomps on the Goblin? Yeah… that part ROCKED. And when he yells “Cage Rage,” I got all goose-bumpy.

D: Luke Cage has never said “CAGE RAGE” ever. You made that up.

K: ::throws fists into the air:: “CAAAGE RAAAGE!”

D: Really. He never said that.

K: ::continues yelling and swinging fists::

::fade to black::