Comics : The Pulse #7

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This story is part of an Arc: "Secret War"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

Jessica Jones tries to figure out what happened to Luke Cage and what connection Nick Fury and Captain America have to it all. Plus more deja vu ensues for your redundant pleasure.

In Detail...

The Pulse #7
Mar 2005 : SM Spin-Off
Arc: Part 2 of "Secret War"
Editor:  Andy Schmidt
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:  Brent Anderson
Staff Only
Issue
Review

Dazed from the experiences of last issue, Jessica Jones goes back to the bombed- out apartment she shares with Luke Cage and sleeps on the rubble. Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich finds her there. Jessica spends three pages telling Ben things we have already seen in Secret War and last issue. (And even if you missed those issues, it's all repeated in the recap on page one of this issue.) They head back to the hospital only to be confronted by an African-American nurse who is angry that her car was trashed in the previous night's carnage and tells Jessica that it serves Luke right for dating a white girl. Ben gets a tip that a nearby pier was hit in the explosion. He and Jessica go visit the area which is completely devastated but is unoccupied by anyone except them... no police, no bystanders, no looters, nobody. Oh, except a homeless man who may or may not have seen something. Jessica tries to call Danny Rand, Matt Murdock, Misty Knight and Luke on her cell but gets no answers.

Next stop, the Daily Bugle where everyone refuses to help when they find out Nick Fury is involved. Out on the street, Jessica spots the man who was spying on her in the lobby of the hospital but she loses him. Exhausted, physically overwhelmed, and pregnant, Jessica passes out on the stoop of Misty Knight's apartment building. Three men in trench coats and sunglasses surround her. "Hail Hydra", one of them says.

In General...

Okay, I called it deja vu in the opening... the feeling that you've seen something already. But what do you call it when you feel like you've seen it three times? One of those times is on the first page recap of the issue you're reading! I know Brian Bendis doesn't write the text update but it still seems sort of tacky to condense it all into a couple of paragraphs (showing that it can be done) and then repeat it for us over three pages of Jessica/Ben dialogue. Sure, Ben hasn't heard it before but we have. We don't need to hear it yet again. That's what offstage is for. If you take a course in dramatic writing, one of the first things you learn is to "show, not tell". In other words, it's always better to show the event rather than have people telling you about it. (Yes, I know there are notable exceptions like, often, Shakespeare but it's generally true.) Brian Bendis, an excellent writer, knows this but he has entered into the realm of "show and tell" with this story. First we see it, then we see it again from a different perspective, then we're told about it. There can only be one reason for this, it seems to me. Brian is dragging his feet.

I love Brian's dialogue. (I love the sequence between Jessica and the nurse. It's a bold dialogue for a couple of comic book characters. I love the discussion about Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. between Jessica, Ben, and Joe Robertson.) I love Brent Anderson's artwork and Pete Pantazis' colors. But what really happens in this issue? Jessica teams with Ben, sees the devastation of the pier, fails to contact her friends, gets the bum's rush at the Bugle, and passes out at Misty's place only to be found by Hydra. Even given the need for the proper mood and pacing, this shouldn't take more than half of this issue. Brian, will you just please get on with it?

Overall Rating...

One and a half webs. It's not going to get much higher than that until this story starts going someplace. And still no appearance from Spider-Man. Though we do get the Daily Bugle and I guess that's good enough.