Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review - The Bounce #1

Superheroes. Every day it seems like more and more of them are springing up, capitalizing on whatever problem or event in their life to become a new persona. Why those heroes do what they do sometimes remains a mystery. What they actually do however, often doesn't. If a character is called The Bounce, it's pretty self-explanatory, such as in The Bounce #1 from Image Comics.

The issue is written by Joe Casey, with art by David Messina, colors by Giovanna Niro and letters by Rus Wooton.

Jasper Jenkins is a rather typical twenty-something. He seemingly drifts through life (most of the time high) and doesn't really show any real purpose around his friends. Clearly, his friends don't know him that well, as he doubles as a superhero named The Bounce. As a superhero, he springs and leaps against his foes, including those named Crush (who's fond of bear hugs) and an expected foe in a mysterious, alien being.

The Bounce isn't exactly treading new ground, as ever since Kick-Ass gained so much popularity the concept of "superheroes" existing and acknowledging one another has exploded in stories. Having said that, Casey seems to be both relying on that idea while lampooning it at the same time. Characters such as The Bounce, Crush and The Fog are relatively straightforward and boring to an extent, but Casey puts a more mature and dark spin on them. The characters are flawed for whatever reason and Casey forces the characters to be slaves to their vices.

Messina's art is very well done. Panels where The Bounce is bouncing are achieved with a blur effect, which emphasizes the motion of his power. It's a cool effect and helps the reader learn more about his power. Many of the panels are laid out in a superhero book fashion, giving the reader the sense that they're reading a superhero book about slackers. There are some relatively trippy panels towards the end of the book that really take the reader along with the character in an interesting way.

More and more books are going the "normal superhero" route and it remains to be seen whether or not this continues to be the focus in The Bounce as the series. In the first issue, the reader is more or less thrown into the mix of it all and forced to catch up. Subsequent issues will likely settle down and help make clear whether or not Casey is making fun of superheroes and the trope or just pitching a really messed up world inhabited by messed up people. Still though, the first issue is interesting and is worth checking out.

The Bounce #1 is available now.


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