Alias 1

alias-volume-1-tpb-cover
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 8/10

Jessica Jones, great covers, strong writing

Might be too slow for some readers

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:  Alias

Publisher:  Marvel Comics/MAX

Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis

Artist:  Michael Gaydos

# of Issues:  9

Release Date:  2003

alias-#2

Alias #2

Reprints Alias #1-9 (November 2001-July 2002).  Jessica Jones has problems.  She’s a detective who has just been hired to trail a woman who turns out is dating Captain America.  Now Jessica’s got Captain America’s true identity on camera and realizes she’s caught in a trap when the woman is murdered.  Jessica also happens to be a former superhero with powers of her own, powerful friends like Luke Cage and Ms. Marvel, and a real attitude problem…whoever picked Jessica picked the wrong girl to mess with.  To top it off Jessica also has a client who claims to be superhero sidekick Rick Jones’ wife and who says he’s Jessica’s relative…and Jessica must uncover the truth.

Written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Michael Gaydos, Alias Volume 1 collects the first nine issues of the Marvel Comics series which includes Jessica’s first appearance in Alias #1 (November 2001).  The series was one of the first titles in Marvel’s MAX imprint which aimed at adult audiences much like DC’s Vertigo titles.  This collection is also available in an Ultimate Collection 1 along with Volume 2 of the series or in the Alias Omnibus.

I love Alias and Jessica Jones and rereading this collection reminded me of that.  The character is great and has many different facets.  At this point, we know she was a former superhero…a B or C leaguer who didn’t have that long of a run.  Most of the people she knows are ’70s stars like Ms. Marvel and Power Man and none of the big name heroes seem to know her.  This makes Jessica an outsider and it has a feel of something like Kurt Busiek’s Astro City.

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Alias #4

The series combines this Astro City feel with Bendis’ other title Powers.  The story like many of the stories in Powers is very raw.  Jessica talks like a sailor and has great timing and delivery (which is a hard thing to master with images).  Bendis does a great job here making her likable and vulnerable despite her great powers.  Jessica is a real character that makes real choices…which aren’t always good.

Michael Gaydos’ art is basic but works with Bendis storytelling.  He is part of the reason that Bendis jokes time out so well and he helps make Jessica real and likeable.  Sometimes Gaydos’ style makes it hard to distinguish some of the characters and the intentionally heavily inked story is even darker than it needs to be.  Plus, you have to love the David Mack covers.

It is sad going back and reading Alias in the realization of what Bendis did to Jessica after the end of the Alias series.  Alias made Jessica a dark and troubled character in a dark and troubled world.  Bendis explained why through the course of the series, but then Jessica cleaned up…she cleaned up too much and became a waste.  It is like too separate Jessica (and two separate Luke Cages for that matter…he doesn’t come off too sympathetic in this volume).  I wish this Jessica Jones would come back.  Alias 1 is followed by Alias 2:  Come Home.

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Related Links:

Alias 2:  Come Home

Alias 3:  The Underneath

Alias 4:  The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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