7.0

The Bounce #1 by Joe Casey & David Messina

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<i>The Bounce</i> #1 by Joe Casey & David Messina

Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: David Messina
Publisher: Image
Release Date: May 22, 2013

I was pretty sure we were getting some kinda “WHAT IF… Peter Parker was a stoner?” falderal after the first page or two of The Bounce. Some slack-ass sucker with an alliterative name pulls deep on a bong before popping out the window when the TV reports a hostage situation at the police commissioner’s house. Costumes are worn and wisdoms are cracked as the spindly, fast-moving Speedball stand-in (oh wait, that’s a different Ditko joint) bounces off the steroidal terror breaking the cop’s back. Total Spider-town for a good five pages or so.

Joe Casey’s latest book wanders into territory that’s a little weirder and more mysterious after that. It’s still not clear where The Bounce is headed, but so far it’s somewhere within the vicinity of Grant Morrison’s sci-fi magic. These supergods aren’t just on drugs—some of them are drugs, like Fog, the Cloak-like dealer who sells hits of his own self. One whiff sends The Bounce into either a hallucination or a full-on alternate reality where there’s apparently a city full of costumed super beings. There’s also some kind of military conspiracy afoot?

This first issue does a great job of creating mystery. I want to know what happens from this point. I want to continue reading The Bounce. As a single issue it doesn’t quite hold together, though. It’s a collection of ideas, some good and some bad, strung together without a compelling character or much hint of a direction. In the middle there’s a lengthy soliloquy delivered to a group of military officers by what appears to be a dapper and highly-proficient agent of evil. There’s not much to connect that scene to the rest of the issue beyond a reference to the proliferation of super dudes. As is so often the case, The Bounce already feels like a comic that should be read when fully collected, and not doled out sparingly month by month.
 

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