Archive for the ‘Jessica Jones’ Category

Captain America #50

September 13, 2015

Captain America 50a-plot: Ed Brubaker // Luke Ross
b-plot: Ed Brubaker // Marcos Martin
July 2009
a-plot: ***
b-plot: ****

Brubaker mirrors his half-century on CA by celebrating Bucky’s birthday & flashing back to his notable natal revels during the Big One. Bru used this device better in a Winter Soldier one-shot, partly cuz the sentiment felt earned & partly cuz its pencils were stronger than Ross’s generic movietone. A few bonus pages, a mod origin recap from Marcos Martin, do more w/ #50’s higher page count.

last issue: Captain America #49
next issue: Captain America #600

also indexed for Jul. ’09
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #3 of 5
Guardians of the Galaxy #14
Nova #25
War of Kings #3 of 6
War of Kings: Ascension #2 of 4

Captain America #26

August 20, 2015

Captain America 26Ed Brubaker // Steve Epting & Mike Perkins
May 2007
****

Everyone at Captain America’s wake commends Sam Wilson on his eulogy (much better than hearing it). The Falcon’s cool is a balance to Bucky, who starts a bar brawl. Meanwhile the bad guys gloat & toy w/ their Doom-built time machine. A great scene—it’s a shame Epting couldn’t draw the whole ish.

last issue: Captain America #25
next issue: Captain America #27

also indexed for May ’07
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #2 of 2
Astonishing X-Men #21
Daredevil #95
Thunderbolts #112

Daredevil #83

October 19, 2014

Daredevil 083Ed Brubaker // Michael Lark
May 2006
****

After Foggy’s funeral (note: no one saw a corpse), a court puts Murdock into the prison gen-pop—a case of the Watchmen line, “I’m not in here w/ you….” Brubaker’s style instantly contrasts w/ Bendis’, his violent action supplanting the dialogue-driven approach, & propelling the mag’s momentum.

last issue: Daredevil #82
next issue: Daredevil #84

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
The Pulse #14
Young Avengers #11

Daredevil #81

October 17, 2014

Daredevil 081Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
March 2006
*****

This brilliant run’s end—Murdock remanded w/o bail to Rikers, pending trial—subverts the genre’s expectation of illusory change, which would demand his acquital. The radical penalty undermines the naïve virtue at the core of pulp vigilantes & leaves the next creative team w/ plenty of material!

last issue: Daredevil #80
next issue: Daredevil #82

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
The Pulse #13
Young Avengers #10

Daredevil #80

October 16, 2014

Daredevil 080Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
February 2006
****

Part 2 of the big action finale, #80 features a streetfight btw ninjas & Feds! Maleev’s work on DD has possessed great physicality & expressive bodies. Mostly that’s added levels to his writer’s dialogue, but it’s also helped him to stage great scenes of hand-to-hand combat. Then… Matt surrenders!

last issue: Daredevil #79
next issue: Daredevil #81

also indexed for Feb. ’06
Drax the Destroyer #4 of 4

Daredevil #59

September 25, 2014

Daredevil 059Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
June 2004
*****

The G-man gets taken out by Yakuza right on Center Street! Meanwhile, Ben Urich joins the growing chorus who say that Karen Page’s death has driven DD to self-destructive behavior. Breaking a character’s psyche = a brilliant take on the difficulty of superhero writers to alter a mag’s status quo.

last issue: Daredevil #58
next issue: Daredevil #60

also indexed for Jun. ’04
Thanos #9

Daredevil #48

September 14, 2014

Daredevil 048Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
August 2003
****

Jess Jones & Luke Cage rescue Matt & Milla from Typhoid Mary. Great action scene, but note how the weirdo gets battered & insulted by the pretty folks. BMB’s Mary is a letdown: Typhoid as seductive dom is long gone, replaced by nutty nonsense & ultraviolence. His love for superheroes is a blind spot.

last issue: Daredevil #47
next issue: Daredevil #49

also indexed for Aug. ’03
Alias #23
New X-Men #142
New X-Men #143s

Daredevil #47

September 13, 2014

Daredevil 047Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
July 2003
*****

We follow the $ from buyer to dealer to gangster to Kingpin, as he re-consolidates his hold in a nice burst of cynicism & the blades of Typhoid Mary. Maleev has done A-1 work updating her punk look by JR Jr. He also stages her fight scene w/ finesse, tho’ it says nothing about her character.

last issue: Daredevil #46
next issue: Daredevil #48

also indexed for Jul. ’03
Alias #22
New X-Men #141

Daredevil #46

September 12, 2014

Daredevil 046Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
June 2003
****

BMB gets meta with his televisual style, opening #46 with a woman acting in a soap opera. It’s Typhoid Mary, sexy schizo assassin of Nocenti’s run, whose worst qualities were inflated by ’90s kewl. Here TM reflects DD’s multiple IDs, a facet that his new g’friend is simult attracted by & wary of.

last issue: Daredevil #45
next issue: Daredevil #47

also indexed for Jun. ’03
Alias #21
New X-Men #139
New X-Men #140

Daredevil #43

September 9, 2014

Daredevil 043Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
early April 2003
*****

At its strongest, this run offers a 21C take on pop-comics’ core concept of the urban vigilante; #43 centers on a debate over its scope & validity. Luke Cage, orig. a ’70s super-riff on blaxploitation, propounds localism. DD can’t accept that limit, since he knows how corrupt the whole system is.

last issue: Daredevil #42
next issue: Daredevil #44

also indexed for Apr. ’03
Alias #19
Daredevil #44
New X-Men #137

Daredevil #42

September 8, 2014

Daredevil 042Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
late March 2003
*****

Double-ship month! A hyperviolent criminal has organized crime w/ a mutant variation on HGH that temporarily gives normal folks superpowers. It’s a brilliant addition to the Marvel U., useful for any writer who wants (a) a one-off supervillain, or (b) a comics-y variation on the classic PSA theme.

last issue: Daredevil #41
next issue: Daredevil #43

also indexed for Mar. ’03
Alias #18
Daredevil #41
New X-Men #136

Daredevil #39

September 5, 2014

Daredevil 039Brian Michael Bendis // Manuel Gutierrez
January 2003
****

TV’s influence on Bendis has never been more obvious. #39 is a courtroom drama—w/ guest stars, witness-stand confessionals, a prosecutor out for blood, & preposterous legalities—but it’s executed superbly. Gutierrez’s style & colorful tone makes this ish a precurser to Waid’s run w/ Samnee et al.

last issue: Daredevil #38
next issue: Daredevil #40

also indexed for Jan. ’03
Alias #16
New X-Men #134

Daredevil #36

September 2, 2014

Daredevil 036Brian Michael Bendis // Alex Maleev
October 2002
*****

Murdock denies his secret ID as DD; V. Fisk skips town, creating a power vacuum; ex-GF Black Widow visits the law firm incognito, where she’s treated like a superheroics enabler—not exactly inaccurate either! Incidentally, check Alias #15 for a Rosencranz/Guildenstern perspec of Matt’s bodyguards.

last issue: Daredevil #35
next issue: Daredevil #37

also indexed for Oct. ’02
Alias #13
New X-Men #130
New X-Men #131

The Fantastic Four #588

November 29, 2013

Fantastic Four 588A-story: Jonathan Hickman // Nick Dragotta
B-story: Jonathan Hickman // Mark Brooks
April 2011
A-story: ***** // B-story: ****

Hick finally gets a partner who matches his calibre: Dragotta, who apes Kirby’s dynamic grunts but draws a Sturm-like indie line. Silence signifies mourning as Johnny Storm’s family & friends grieve. It sells the moment w/o sentiment—unlike the B-plot, where Spidey helps Franklin mourn his uncle.

last issue: The Fantastic Four #587
continued in FF #1

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

November 5, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 9Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
May 2011
****

A:TCC‘s strongest issue, prob’ly cuz it plays to Heinb’s strengths: character & dialog, and his core team of Young Avs. Some closure as Iron Lad, by killing Vision 2.0, accepts his destiny as Kang the Conqueror. The catastrophe gets treated w/ emotional weight, as the team drifts apart over months.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

also indexed for May ’11
The Fantastic Four #604
FF #16

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

November 4, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 8Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
March 2012
****

There’s no good way to retcon a bad story, so A:TCC provides multiple ones for Wanda M’s haywire episodes, incl. the possibility that Doom was behind it all. Now he’s got cosmic powers, unluckily for Cassie Lang. The storytellers play fairly, trading her life for her father’s resurrection.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #9 of 9

also indexed for Mar. ’12
The Fantastic Four #601
FF #13

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

November 3, 2013

Avengers Children's Crusade 7Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
November 2011
***

With 4 superteams in this ish, it’s no surprise that characters get lost in the melée. The mag’s real point is a retcon of Av Disassembled & reversal of House of M. Offpage, the Scarlet Witch had allied with Dr. Doom to tap into a “life-force” that gave her reality-altering powers.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #8 of 9

also indexed for Nov. ’11
FF #9

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 of 9

November 2, 2013

Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
Avengers Children's Crusade 6August 2011
****

The Scarlet Witch confirms that, yes, she is Wiccan’s mother, metaphysically at least. It’s earnest comic sturm und drang that makes A:TCC the best “essential” Marvel U. tale of the terrible Bendis Era. To underscore this mini’s central status, X-teams (incl. David’s X-Fac) make strong cameos.

last issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 of 9
next issue: Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #7 of 9

also indexed for Aug. ’11
FF #5

Young Avengers #12

October 26, 2013

Young Avengers 12Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
August 2006
***

YA, like Astonishing X, has hit catastrophic delays, & sadly folds up shop just as it begins to deliver on its potential. That Marvel space-opera, the Kree-Skrull War, reverbs as Avengers kids & adults fight to keep Hulkling from getting drafted by both sides. Clean fun, classic superhero comics.

last issue: Young Avengers #11

also indexed for Aug. ’06
Astonishing X-Men #15
Civil War #2 of 7
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #6

Young Avengers Special #1

October 23, 2013

Young Avengers special 1Allen Heinberg // Michael Gaydos, Neal Adams, Gene Ha, Jae Lee, Bill Sienkiewicz, & Pasqual Ferry
February 2006
***

As YA hits delays, it offers a special to keep interest high & loop new readers in. It’s secret origins time, as Jess Jones (drawn by Gaydos, as she should be) interviews the teen team. Each episode gets a different artist—serious talent, & some of my faves. On the plus side, gay hero Wiccan shares a curious spark w/ Scarlet Witch; on the minus, the tough, awesome Hawkeye has a rapey backstory.

continued from Young Avengers #9
continued in Young Avengers #10

Young Avengers #8

October 21, 2013

Young Avengers 08Allen Heinberg // Andrea DiVito
November 2005
***

The teen comics mag takes on the classic PSA subject of drug use. The Cap analog, a black kid, derives his powers from an illegal serum; Cassie Lang, meanwhile, got her growth powers by filching her late dad’s Pym particles. Yet the issue complicates its mild disapproval by sticking by its heroes.

last issue: Young Avengers #7
next issue: Young Avengers #9

also indexed for Nov. ’05
The Pulse #11

Young Avengers #7

October 20, 2013

Young Avengers 07Allen Heinberg // Andrea DiVito
October 2005
**

The kids face a heavy who’s dealing a mutant street-drug. It’s part of Marvel’s nouveau-gritty style, which can suit teens well or badly (the last panel alludes to GL‘s classic “junkie!” cover). DiVito proves a journeyman, tho’ inks add a teen-manga gloss that’s too similar to Alphona’s Runaways.

last issue: Young Avengers #6
next issue: Young Avengers #8

also indexed for Oct. ’05
Iron Man #4

Young Avengers #6

October 19, 2013

Young Avengers 06Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
September 2005
****

The first arc wraps up as it should’ve done in #4—w/ Kid Kang surrendering to repair the timestream—while Jess Jones’ subplot has faded away. Despite these flaws, YA leaves me optimistic for its future: unlike many super-comics right now, these youngsters enjoy being heroes. Just pick up the pace!

last issue: Young Avengers #5
next issue: Young Avengers #7

also indexed for September 2005
The Pulse #10

Young Avengers #5

October 18, 2013

Young Avengers 05Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
August 2005
***

A decompressed structure is strangling the momentum of the next great superhero comic. Heinberg nails personalities, w/ just enough character conflict & soap opera to imply this could be a Teen Titans for the new millennium. But what actually happens in the fifth issue? One long skirmish with Kang.

last issue: Young Avengers #4
next issue: Young Avengers #6

also indexed for Aug. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #12

Young Avengers #4

October 17, 2013

Young Avengers 04Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
July 2005
***

Wonky time-business threatens Earth? Must be Kang! Cheung draws A-1 superhero art—like Oliver Coipel, he’s got a touch of Bachalo. Heinberg confidently lays out his chars’ personalities & writes great scenes. His talent in serial TV transfers well, just like Joss Whedon’s contempo Astonishing X-Men.

last issue: Young Avengers #3
next issue: Young Avengers #5

also indexed for Jul. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #11
The Pulse #9

Young Avengers #3

October 16, 2013

Young Avengers 03Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
June 2005
****

Unlike Bendis’ contempo New Avengers, Heinberg’s scenes have an arc, & his characters have goals & distinct voices; where NA‘s Finch apes movies, YA‘s Cheung draws comics (w/ better technique). With Kang threatening Cap, IM & even the Vision, Young feels better & more true to the franchise than New.

last issue: Young Avengers #2
next issue: Young Avengers #4

Young Avengers #2

October 15, 2013

Young Avengers 02Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
May 2005
****

A very fashionable debut for YA, Cheung’s a la mode art matching the script’s long, slow opening arc & quippy dialog. Plotwise, there’s little action & much exposition as Kid Kang fights his fate to mature into Adult Kang. Good to have a couple gals join the boys, incl the late Ant-Man’s daughter.

last issue: Young Avengers #1
next issue: Young Avengers #3

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
The Pulse #8
Secret War #4 of 5

Young Avengers #1

October 14, 2013

Young Avengers 01Allen Heinberg // Jim Cheung
April 2005
****

Both the disbanded Avengers & the Daily Bugle wonder who the kids dressed up like Avengers are. The light, superheroic tone reminds me of The Legion of Super-Heroes at its youthful best—not least cuz the team’s been recruited by a 30th-century teen: Iron Lad, AKA Kang! Nice to see Jess Jones too.

next issue: Young Avengers #2

Secret War #3 of 5

May 20, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Gabriele Dell’Otto
October 2004
**

If you’re writing a 5-part quarterly, you really need shouldn’t indulge in so much action & so little plot—you kill the momentum. Peter Parker’s unconscious mind begins to recall the cover op that last issue set up. But mostly, it’s Dell’Otto drawing glowy red-eyed tech in an homage to The Matrix.

last issue: Secret War #2 of 5
next issue: Secret War #4 of 5

also indexed for Oct. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #4
Daredevil #63
Fantastic Four #517

Secret War #2 of 5

May 19, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Gabriele Dell’Otto
July 2004
***

Marvel’s spymaster recruits a dream-team of supers (& a wild card, played by Angie Jolie) to overthrow the Latvarian govt. The mag aims at fun cloak-&-dagger realism. But the glossy, dead art, facile dialogue, & a cast that’s way too A-list for the plot all imply a slick Hollywood emptiness.

last issue: Secret War #1 of 5
next issue: Secret War #3 of 5

also indexed for Jul. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #1
The Pulse #3
Thanos #10

Secret War #1 of 5

May 18, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Gabriele Dell’Otto
April 2004
***

Nick Fury has evidence that supercriminals are funded by a post-Doom Latverian proxy—but he’s muzzled by the State Dept because Latv’s our ally! Bendis brings his hard-boiled espionage to the greater Marvel U but he may not be able to pull off the moral ambiguity. Jury’s out on D’O’s painted art.

next issue: Secret War #2 of 5

also indexed for Apr. ’04
Daredevil #57
Fantastic Four #510
New X-Men #153
The Pulse #1

The Pulse #14

May 17, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
May 2006
*****

Bendis returns to Alias-style storytelling to conclude this too-brief bi-monthly mag, cancelled just as it found its rhythm. Jess Jones talks to her newborn daughter about her one week as a grim-n-gritty vigilante (“The Knightress”), when she met the Heroes for Hire. A smart, sweet bit of closure.

last issue: The Pulse #13

also indexed for May ’06
Annihilation: Prologue #1 of 1
Iron Man #6
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #3
Young Avengers #11

The Pulse #13

May 16, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
March 2006
*****
Jess delivers her daughter surrounded by baby-daddy Luke Cage & his colleagues, the Avengers. D-Man, a onetime Avenger & now a vagrant, gets help from his hero, Daredevil. The thematic parallel is elegant, liberal, & hopeful, implying an inclusive community that looks after even its lowest members.

last issue: The Pulse #12
next issue: The Pulse #14

also indexed for Mar. ’06
Iron Man #5
Nextwave, Agents of HATE #1
Young Avengers #10

The Pulse #12

May 15, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
January 2006
****

Jess deals w/ an early labor (three months in fiction—in real life, the fetus was conceived in Nov. ’01!) & w/ a bigoted reaction to a “mutant” delivery, till the Avengers shuttle her to Dr. Strange. Tight pacing smoothes over the lack of segues btw the plot & a subplot about  a homeless superhero.

last issue: The Pulse #11
next issue: The Pulse #13

also indexed for Jan. ’06
Drax the Destroyer #3 of 4

The Pulse #11

May 14, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
November 2005
****

Gaydos returns w/ his rough-hewn, indie style that Jess, frankly, is growing out of. She chats w/ Sue Richards about super-motherhood over brunch, a scene of adult normalcy & even realism. To parallel her rise in the world, a subplot shows how onetime Avenger D-Man has fallen into obscurity.

last issue: The Pulse #10
next issue: The Pulse #12

also indexed for Nov. ’05
Drax the Destroyer #1 of 4
Young Avengers #8

The Pulse #9

May 12, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Lark
July 2005
****

Lark nails the seedy, cynical tone that Bendis aims for—no surprise, considering how akin this mag is to Lark’s previous gig, Gotham Central. Jess & her Bugle colleagues are pawns in a superspy intelligence leak. But she only cares about Luke Cage, whom she finds w/ his kung fu pals in a safehouse.

last issue: The Pulse #8
next issue: The Pulse #10

also indexed for Jul. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #11
Young Avengers #4

The Pulse #8

May 11, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Lark
May 2005
****

Jess Jones turns down an offer from HYDRA, an evil superspy outfit, while an anonymous SHIELD agent blows the whistle on Nick Fury. This arc finally starts perking, helped by strong pacing & Lark’s scratchy line. More than Secret War itself, #8 gets the petty betrayals & vendettas of espionage.

last issue: The Pulse #7
next issue: The Pulse #9

also indexed for May ’05
Astonishing X-Men #10
Secret War #4 of 5
Young Avengers #2

The Pulse #7

May 10, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Brent Anderson
March 2005
***

A crossover w/ Secret War is undercut by that quarterly mini’s delays. So we’re just as confused as Jess Jones about who bombed her apt with Luke Cage & what went down at a wrecked NY pier. In a bright spot, the Bugle drops the story cuz Nick Fury’s involved: a cynical take on Bush-era journo-politics.

last issue: The Pulse #6
next issue: The Pulse #8

also indexed for Mar. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #9
Iron Man #3

The Pulse #6

May 9, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Brent Anderson
January 2005
***

As if to underscore the Astro City inspiration, editors have assigned Anderson to an arc of Pulse. His grit fits the reporters-in-Marvel-NYC concept better than Bagley’s light. But this arc crosses over (via Luke Cage, injured by a suicide bomber) into the chaos of Secret War, a delayed & murky mini.

last issue: The Pulse #5
next issue: The Pulse #7

also indexed for Jan. ’05
Astonishing X-Men #7
Iron Man #1

The Pulse #5

May 8, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Mark Bagley
November 2004
***

Osborne gets arrested, yet the big moment feels anticlimactic. Maybe it’s the obvious violation of due process when Luke Cage attacks him in broad daylight? Maybe it’s how a super-tussle violates the book’s fragile realism? Maybe it’s that Jess’ scene, a pregnancy anxiety, rings a rare hollow note?

last issue: The Pulse #4
next issue: The Pulse #6

also indexed for Nov. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #5

The Pulse #4

May 7, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Mark Bagley
September 2004
****

Ben Urich, the shabby newsman from Miller’s Daredevil (& this writer’s too), pins a murder on the Green Goblin & confirms the villain’s secret ID—& incidentally, Spider-Man’s too. It’s incredibly solid work, although Bagley’s wide-eyed ‘toonish style doesn’t match the gritty, realistic tone.

last issue: The Pulse #3
next issue: The Pulse #5

also indexed for Sept. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #3
Thanos #12

The Pulse #3

May 6, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Mark Bagley
July 2004
***

Despite an intimate scene w/ a hormonal Jess Jones, this mag is less Alias redux than a Daily Bugle bi-monthly. Like Astro City, it’s a look at civilian life in a superhero city. Basing it around a newspaper gives Bendis access to every level of urban life, w/ arc #1 focused on a reporter’s murder.

last issue: The Pulse #2
next issue: The Pulse #4

also indexed for Jul. ’04
Astonishing X-Men #1
Daredevil #60

Fantastic Four #513
Fantastic Four #514

Secret War #2 of 5
Thanos #10

The Pulse #1

May 4, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis // Mark Bagley
April 2004
****
A reboot of the superlative ’00s comic Alias, w/ Bagley’s pencils signaling a lighter tone. It’s low on action (same as Alias) but the char work & real-world touches (like the death of print) make it up. Jonah Jameson offers protag Jessica Jones, pregnant ex-superheroine, a gig at the Daily Bugle.

continued from Alias #28
next issue: The Pulse #2

also indexed for Apr. ’04
New X-Men #153
Secret War #1 of 5

Alias #28

August 7, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
January 2004
*****
Alias, unlike most comics, actually has an ending (tho’ Jess Jones’ story continues in a new mag, The Pulse). Okay, the showdown w/ her nemesis is old-fashioned. But what follows! Jess takes the mature step of having a kid, telling the father (Luke Cage), & living her life. A great superhero comic.
[continued in The Pulse #1]
[last issue: Alias #27]

Alias #27

August 5, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
December 2003
****

Jones’ Silence of the Lambs interview w/ her archenemy, the Purple Man, has an obtrusive metatextual element. I guess she plays at roles (superheroine, PI) so she won’t have to face reality? Still, the tension ratchets up till it climaxes w/ an icky splash of Scott Lang (dead?) swarmed by ants.

last issue: Alias #26
next issue: Alias #28

also indexed for Dec. ’03
Avengers/JLA #4 of 4
New X-Men #148

Alias #26

August 4, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos, Mark Bagley & Rick Mays
November 2003
****

By filling his heroine’s traumatic past in, Bendis writes an emo climax that measures up to the rest of the book. He’s also got a new angle on the standard Marvel hero v. heroes fight that has substance & weight. And the use of secondary artists is smart. Next issue: Jess faces her archenemy.

last issue: Alias #25
next issue: Alias #27

also indexed for Nov. ’03
JLA/Avengers #3 of 4
New X-Men #146
New X-Men #147

Alias #25

August 3, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos & Mark Bagley
October 2003
*****

Covered by the MAX imprint, Alias pushes the comics taboo of heroine humiliation. Jones reveals her secret wound: she was once enslaved by a mind-control sicko. A metaphor for abusive love? Impossible to read it objectively or critically. For an extra jolt, flashbacks are in Bagley’s trad style.

last issue: Alias #24
next issue: Alias #26

also indexed in Oct. ’03
Avengers/JLA #2 of 4
New X-Men #145

Alias #24

August 2, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
September 2003
****

We’ve seen Jessica Jones lash out before, but not like this—vomiting (morning sickness?) & literally flying off. All cuz of a case involving the Purple Man, an old DD villain w/ the power to control minds. The prior Spider-Woman arc beautifully foreshadowed this theme of Jess as exploited victim.

last issue: Alias #23
next issue: Alias #25

also indexed for Sept. ’03
JLA/Avengers #1 of 4
New X-Men
 #144

Alias #23

August 1, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos
August 2003
*****
Bendis is performs one of the most impressive retcons in superhero history by stitching his heroine into early Marvel. It’s not just plausible, it’s elegant, plus it enriches the book’s plot of a woman who’s fallen off the map. Here (14 years ago), teen orphan Jess discovers she’s got superpowers.
[last issue: Alias #22]
[next issue: Alias #24]

Alias #21

July 30, 2010

Brian Michael Bendis // Michael Gaydos & Mark Bagley
June 2003
****
Bendis’ trafficking arc (kinda partners to his Owl arc in DD) wraps up w/ a burst of action—Speedball bubbles!—& Kid Spider-Woman’s rescue. It also teases at Jones’ traumatic history by alluding to a similar victimization & a dream-fight w/ the Defenders. Gaydos gets trad w/ a 3×3 grid on 1 page!
[last issue: Alias #20]
[next issue: Alias #22]