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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: Alias (Issues 1-5)

Alias #1-5
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Michael Gaydos
Published by Marvel Comics


Let's go back to 2003. Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos teamed up to create a one-of-a kind comic book series featuring Jessica Jones (aka the wife of Luke Cage) - superhero turned private investigator - who thinks her superpowers are "low-level" unlike the other popular masked heroes. 

Agitated and alone, Jessica also struggles to find and understand herself and the people around her, making her one hell of a wrecked woman trying to solve other people's problems.

And as Jessica tries to solve of what is supposed to be just one of those missing sibling cases from one of her clients, she finds herself sinking into a quicksand of a big government conspiracy that threatens to destroy the reputation of a familiar superhero and the President of the United States himself. The events that would follow are nothing but compelling, smart and sometimes funny filled with a lot of profanity.

Bendis' mystery plot thread creates a thrilling story that will keep readers turning the pages until the smoke clears. His characters are depicted in a realistic way by making them vulnerable and victims of their own reckless behaviors. 

Other Marvel characters make a cameo in some of the pages as well, which makes for a great extra value for fans who are familiar with them. 

These elements are very well mixed by Bendis, resulting to a satisfying reading experience because readers will be able to relate to Jessica and her convoluted personality and life.

Now partner that with Gaydos' watercolor-ish, true-to-life illustrations, and you've got an instant classic starring a female character that isn't even in the "mainstream". 

Gaydos art is what got me hooked into picking this comic book because of his "non-cartoony" art style and I'm sure those who likes vivid and lifelike depictions of their favorite superheroes will definitely like it too. And because he does it so well, even non-comic book readers will be impressed.

Alias is a newbie-friendly comic book that serves a very good bridge to the Marvel Universe and comic book reading in general. And long-time fans will find themselves even more amazed with the great art and story concocted by Bendis and Gaydos and for sure will be wanting more of Jessica Jones' adventures. 

This is one of those old and rare comic book series that everybody should be reading right now: that is if they want to stay away from the crap storylines of many of the comic books today, and if they want something that actually starts not only with a bang, but with the word - "FUCK."

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