"Secret War, Part 1"
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Brent Anderson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The issue opens by tying directly into the events of the recent Secret Wars miniseries, as Luke Cage is left near dead by a mysterious attack, and Jessica's search for answers are frustrated by the heated conversations that would seem to suggest that there was a reason for this senseless attack, but she can't be told for reasons of national security. As Jessica is trying to make sense of this situation the hospital comes under attack.
The Secret Wars miniseries has felt disconnected from the Marvel Universe, as it's essentially telling the story of a big adventure that most of the participants don't remember being a part of. However, the opening issue of this arc does serve to bring the miniseries into the Marvel Universe, as we get an outsider looking in point of view of the events that are playing out in the present day, with Jessica Jones playing the role of innocent bystander who is caught up in the action after Luke Cage falls victim to a savage, revenge motivated attack that is directly tied to the Secret Wars miniseries. Now one's enjoyment of this issue is largely dependant on one being familiar with the character of Jessica, and as such I'm not sure how much enjoyment readers of the Secret War miniseries are going to draw from this issue, as it's essentially a repeat performance of events that have already played out in the page of the miniseries, from a slightly different point of view. However, the emotional reaction of Jessica to the confusing situation that has intruded upon her happy life makes for a genuinely compelling read, and I am rather looking forward to seeing how much longer she's going to stand at the edges of the mystery before deciding enough is enough, and start taking steps to get the answers that she is currently being denied. I will say the conversation that Jessica has with the cops did feel a little too familiar though, as it felt like Brian Michael Bendis simply dusted off a conversation that Jessica had with the police in the pages of "Alias", but ran it though a profanity filter.
Brent Anderson's art is a bit rough around the edges, and I found the coloring to be a little flat, but I will say that I am glad to see Brent Anderson looks to be providing the art for this arc, as he's shown over on the various "Astro City" projects that he's a wonderful artist when it comes to capturing the little moments. I mean how can one not love the reaction shot we get from Jessica when she learns Captain America and Nick Fury know something about the attack on Luke, or her growing realization that the guy in the waiting room is watching her. The art also does a wonderful job of capturing the chaos of the final pages, as when the car slams through the front of the hospital, it's pretty clear the situation has gone completely off the rails, and Jessica's race to Luke's bedside was effectively presented. I also loved the cover design, though it would've been nice if the claw marks had impacted the cover logo.
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