Saturday, February 13, 2010

Alias #1

This is kind of embarrassing but, I just read my first Marvel MAX comic book today. I know, I know. For a person who writes about a comic book everyday you would think he has at least dabbled into the popular Marvel MAX line.

Well, the past is behind me and today I dabbled. About a month ago I won a bunch of comic books at a charity event and many of the issues were Brian Michael Bendis's Alias. Alias follows private investigator Jessica Jones, a former superhero. In the first installment to the Bendis 28 issue run, Jessica takes a case to locate a woman's sister. The missing person seems to be found easily enough, but it is who she is found with that leaves readers in suspense as the issue ends.

The Marvel MAX line is the perfect place for a gritty detective tale to take place. Bendis definitely uses the MAX line to his advantage creating dialog that cuts the comic realm and is more closely connected with reality. The opening scene displays the word "fuck" many times, and an appearance by Luke Cage brings the "n-word" from his lips and to the pages of Marvel, as well. It feels slightly vulgar, yet very real.

The dark art of Michael Gaydos (not the dark arts - he isn't a warlock or into witchcraft...as far as I know) adds to the world of the detective and mystery. Every scene is at night and the only thing well lit in this comic is Jessica's cigarette.

One issue in and I am already wanting to finish this post and pick up the next book. I guess I thought that the Marvel MAX line was like the Marvel Ultimate line in that it doesn't follow the Marvel characters in normal continuity. While this may be true for some Marvel MAX titles, it is not for Alias. Adult comic book readers of all types should be able to enjoy Alias as I have so far.

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