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The Pulse #3

Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2004
By: Shawn Hill



“Thin Air, part 3”

Writer: Bendis
Art: Bagley and Hanna

Plot:
Having lost one of their own, the staff of the Daily Bugle (led by a very somber J. Jonah and a more articulate Robbie) set about uncovering her killer. Meanwhile, Luke has doubts about his wife’s new job.

What’s Interesting:
Those who’ve compared this series to nighttime procedural dramas aren’t far off the mark. Bendis is unfolding his story in stages, and introducing his supporting cast scene by scene as he goes along. This month Ben Urich sharpens his investigative skills against angry Detective Gans, while Kat quizzes a contact at the coroner’s office. There’s a palpable sense of mourning and regret driving all their efforts, which makes for a somber and deadly serious orientation for Jessica Jones (more or less the superhero consultant) to the team. If you’ll remember from her own series Alias, she was never the cheeriest of gals, so she slides into the role with relative ease. She’s already among friends, so to speak, on the city’s grittiest desk.

Luke’s doubts about her job are on one level by-the-numbers sitcom plotting, saved as always by Bendis’s unequaled ear for natural dialogue and sexual chemistry in intimate conversation.

The visual centerpiece this issue is a wonderful sequence where each of the sleuths imagines a different meta-human dropping Terri Kidder’s body from on high: an inexplicable Iron Man, a leaping Hulk, a brutal Vulture, even a murderous Stilt-man? It is this niche between real life (and whodunit drama) and the spandex world that this title straddles, a niche that artist Mark Bagley fills with old-school aplomb. I’m dreading the coming of Gaydos a bit, actually, wondering if the book will become like Daredevil, too dark and over-inked to read. I don’t want to lose the details amidst an oppressive mood.

Not so interesting:
Third issue, third Spider-Man cover, still no Spider-Man inside. We do at least hear his name, though, so he might actually justify the marketing yet.



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