Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Brent Anderson
Bendis kicks off his secret war tie-in with an interesting exercise in telling a story from a different point of view. Having seen his Secret War unfold in the title’s own first 3 issues, we are treated here to a closer look at the aftermath of the attack on Luke Cage – and to be honest, it’s a little bit dull. Readers of the main Secret War title will find themselves quickly skipping over the repetitive early segments of this issue, but the follow-up to Luke’s illness and attack at least manages to pose a few questions that we may have forgotten to ask after the fast-moving opening of Secret War #1. What’s more, the opening dialogue with Wolverine points towards elements in the Secret War book which have not been revealed there yet (and, indeed, the ending of this issue advances the story of some of the characters further than the main title thus far) and as such is required reading for those wishing to fill the gap between the quarterly Secret War issues. As a kind of disjointed crossover, the whole experiment works – but you really have to have been following both titles to get the most out of this Pulse issue.
Brent Anderson begins a stint as regular artist with this issue, and his style - whilst occasionally inconsistent or rushed-looking – fits in with the darker tone of the book nicely. Fittingly, his work comes off as a cross between the dark noir-ish quality of Alias artist Michael Gaydos and the sketchy realism of Guy Davis’ work on the Deadline miniseries a while back which introduced reporter Kat Farrel (so far underused in this title). It’s a tall order to better previous artist Mark Bagley – but at least we lose the big-eyed young-looking faces that detracted from The Pulse’s more adult tone – and his work suffers in the direct comparison with Gabrielle Del’Otto’s Secret War painted art, which is copied panel-for-panel in some places. However, the slightly murky style works in its own right and should prove a fairly good match for the dark places Bendis looks to be keen to take the whole Secret War crossover.
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