The Bounce #1 (Image)


Rating: 3/5 – Deconstructing Superheroes with Joe Casey

The Bounce by Joe Casey and David Messina, published by Image Comics, introduces the reader to Jasper Jenkins, who we are led to believe is the title character. Casey drops us into the action fairly quickly, implying through dialogue that superheroes are just starting to appear. When the Bounce first appears in the story his powers are very similar to Marvel Comics’ Speedball. The appearance is fairly brief, lasting several pages before the narrative switches to another scene. This is a fairly consistent occurrence throughout the issue, moving from scene to scene after no more than four or five pages.

Those constant transitions made for a fast paced story, filled with plenty to engage readers. Although the story doesn’t break any new ground in the first issue superhero fans should take note because it does seem like part of a larger tapestry based on references characters make through out the issue. Whether or not Casey actually uses everything that’s alluded to, the implication of backstory does provide a wealth of opportunity and potential direction.

Casey and Messina provide a fairly well oiled, though standard, interpretation of a superhero story. The story arc is familiar, the characters have the requisite foibles and human weaknesses common to such stories since the dawn of the Marvel age. The main character even has an alliterative name that would make Stan Lee proud. At this point in the story it’s difficult to determine if there’s significant depth or an interesting, unique or creative spin to the story.

Although the details of the story are very familiar and the structure of the first issue doesn’t deviate too much from standard superhero comics, there’s plenty of evidence in Casey’s past writing that readers can expect some surprises. However, as a standalone issue and without the expectations that come with work from Joe Casey, issue one of the Bounce is an average but thoroughly enjoyable comic. Knowing Casey is crafting the story, it will be interesting to see where the story goes from here.

Reviewed by: Dave Frank – Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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