Alias #15

Background

Meet Jessica Jones, former costumed super hero, now a private investigator. Creation of Brian Michael Bendis, Jessica appeared in Alias for 28 wonderful issues, then starred as an assistant reporter for the Daily Bugle in Pulse, before now becoming part of the backup cast for New Avengers. She's married to Luke Cage, and they have a child together.

The "Alias" series was part of the "MAX Comics" label by Marvel, which means it's full of grown-up stuff. Not really grown-up, no serious nudity, but there's a far bit of violence, sexual references, adult situations, and lots of strong language (F*%# is spelt in full and used frequently). Alias is sheer brilliance, as it follows Jessica through some weird but fascinating cases.

Jessica herself has some super-powers, though she doesn't like to make a big deal of it. Several super-powered characters make appearance, including Luke Cage of course, and Jessica's friend Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel. Daredevil appears quite a bit too. Several of the cases Jessica takes on are super-power related, but not all of them are.

Story Details

  Alias #15
Summary: Spider-Man Cameo

This entire issue of Alias is entirely dialog driven. Jessica and Luke Cage are acting as bodyguards for Matt Murdock, whom a newspaper has recently exposed as Daredevil (though he still credibly denies it). Jessica and Luke had a one-night stand way back in Alias #1, and Jessica is being a bitch about it. So half the issue, she and Luke Cage give each other a hard time.

For the second half of the issue, Jessica is on a date with Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. Carol Danvers set her up with him. Clearly, Jessica has a lot of issues. Plus, she goes kind of weird when she drinks. Scott's a nice guy, and the has plenty of challenges getting on Jessica's wavelength. But they work things out pretty well in the end.

The issue ends with Jessica and Scott still on their date, and next issue leads into "The Underneath", the six-part story arc where J. Jonah Jameson hires Jessica to find his niece, Mattie Franklin.

So where's Spidey? Well, while Jessica and Scott are sitting at a restaurant table on the sidewalk chatting before ordering their meals, Doctor Octopus comes rampaging through (smashing a cab), closely followed by Spider-Man. There's a huge panel showing both of them, followed by a second smaller panel showing the two of them retreating down the street.

The two diners consider helping the web-head, but Scott doesn't have his costume with him, and Jessica doesn't really do that kind of thing any more, so they decide to carry on with dinner.

General Comments

Either you love laid-back Bendis gritty super-reality-hero stuff like this, or ya don't. Myself, I do love it. Alias is some of the best damn comic book you'll get your hands on. If you've never heard of it, seriously, do yourself a favour and pick up the Trade Paperbacks.

This particular issue is a moment of calm following fourteen regular issues, but Bendis does dialog and characterisations so well that you just don't care if there's super-hero battles, or two guys talking about who f@$#ed who, and why, and who's damn business it is anyhow.

Overall Rating

Ratings are relative. As a series, Alias is a five web series all the way. But I can't give every issue five webs, that would be silly. So I'm gonna call this one four webs just because... because it feels right.

Footnote

At this time, Jessica doesn't yet know that Matt is Daredevil.