Friday, May 24, 2013

Brand New Feature: The Bounce #1 (Image Comics)

by Joe Casey and David Messina

Sometimes all it takes is a creative team, a great cover and you have eager readers excited for your first issue. The Bounce comes from a pretty strong creative team and what is apparent in the first issue is that they have big plans for this story. The world set up and the different elements teased in the opening issue all point to great potential. The Bounce #1, however, may have more ideas than it can handle, resulting in a strange opening chapter.

The book's lead character, Jasper, is a late twenties slacker who is found sitting on the floor of his apartment getting high as the book opens. Jasper's roommate is annoyed with him, but gives in, indulging and mellowing out. Jasper is out of sight before Terry can even realize it. Jasper seems to have recently acquired powers and has suited up to respond to a hostage situation seen on the news. Casey drops hints that powered individuals are a recent occurrence. Jasper feels like a twist on Spider-Man and even enters the crime scene with what feels like a Bendis-like Spidey quip. 

The Bounce does not stay with Jasper the whole time, however. Casey introduces readers to several other plot threads, some more brief or opaque than others. The story touches on the possibility of a military organization that is funding a private science division that is building some massive tech for an unknown purpose. Readers are also introduced to members of the city's police force and an ADA. 

The book ends in a very unexpected place, hinting that in addition to the threads previously mentioned, the book has even grander aspirations. Unfortunately, there is a lot placed in this issue in a haphazard way. While each of these elements may play out to interesting ends, they are each touched on so briefly that the inclusion of all of them feels forced. Casey may have a great story on his hands, but may have done better to allow these elements to emerge over time, instead focusing on one good hook for the opening issue.

Ultimately, Messina does decent work. The story is mostly well paced. The Bounce's first issue is curious. There are many elements that are enticing. Casey clearly has big plans for this universe and his craft provides confidence that The Bounce can be a great series. Hopefully the book is able to better balance its ideas, allowing for things to develop naturally, so that readers can get a better sense of the story being told.

Writing: 6/10
Art: 6/10
Overall: 6/10

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