Tug's Pick of the Week

The Pulse # 1

If there’s one thing that I’ve always thought Marvel had going for it over DC, it is the fact that Marvel has a plethora of “street-level” heroes. Sure, you can talk all you want about Batman being the ultimate “street-level” hero, but you can’t discount the sheer number of these characters Marvel has running around. Heck, most of them are running around in the same city! The new series The Pulse, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist (at least for now) Mark Bagley, will be spotlighting these characters.

While most of these street heroes (Luke Cage, Cloak and Dagger, Moon freakin’ Knight) have been gathering dust for the past few years, they have recently seen a spike in popularity — mostly due to a new addition to their ranks. One of the first Marvel MAX titles, Alias (written by Bendis) was a series starring Jessica Jones, a former super-hero who had a bit of a breakdown and went from up and coming super-heroine to private investigator who just happened to have super powers.

Known for her dirty habits and even dirtier mouth, Jessica was a realistic portrait of what happens when a super-hero is down on her luck. While Alias’s ending didn’t really sit well with me — I’m not a big fan of deus ex machina finales — it did serve as a great set-up for the new series.

Jessica’s luck seems to be on the upswing. As she prepares to have a baby with her new beau Luke Cage, she gets a job offer from none other than J. Jonah Jameson — to be a “super-hero analyst" for a new section of the paper called "The Pulse." And if that doesn’t already sound neat enough, then Marvel fans will be happy to know that Jessica’s partner in this endeavor is Daredevil supporting cast member extraordinaire Ben Urich.

This series really seems like it’s off to a good start. Say what you want about Bendis, but he really does write a great Jameson. I think some Alias fans will be a bit worried about the switch to a non-MAX titles, but Jessica cleaning up her language in preparation for having a baby makes sense and doesn’t detract from the book at all.

Best of all, this series looks like it could be a book that focuses on many of those underused street heroes. C’mon, Moon Knight!

E-Mail Tug About This Review