Monday, June 13, 2005

"Pulse-pounding"? Not exactly.

I'm behind on my comics reading and used some recent stress as an excuse to get caught up with some relaxing picto-literature. Joe Casey and Giuseppe Camuncoli's The Intimates seems a bit sparse despite its density, if that makes any sense, but it's a good read for a fan of the teenage-jerks-with-superpowers genre like me. Like a lot of Casey's work, it benefits from being read in large chunks. That's how I tend to read comics, anyhow. That's how I read... The Pulse issues 2-8.

The "Into Thin Air" story wasn't bad, just not nearly as interesting as it should have been considering the subject matter -- Norman Osborn killing random folks at his company, then choking to death a Daily Bugle reporter who's on his trail -- or, well, worth five issues considering how terrifically underwritten it is. I have to say Jessice Jones's position as a consultant on the superhero beat is pretty much a bust. And is Ben Urich the only reporter in the MU who has dirt on anybody, ever?

But really I want to say something about issues six through eight, the "Secret War" crossover issues, or as I like to call them, "Satan." Seriously, you guys read this stuff? I refused to buy the Secret War mini-series on the grounds it sounded like crap and cost too much. (I know we're tumbling headlong into House of M, but did Secret War ever wrap up?) I figured I'd keep reading The Pulse because the concept of the series intrigued me; I had no idea until I read these issues not a fucking thing is done with that concept. This, though... it's easy to see why it's called "Secret War" because nobody knows a goddamn thing about what's going on. We've got two and a half issues of people running around in a fog, making phone calls, trying to get a hold of someone who might know what's going on, leaving messages, listening to messages, making more calls, running around. There's an interminible amount of NOTHING going on in these issues, and the recap pages help not at all. The events of issue seven add only one sentence to the recap page of issue 8: Jessica Jones passed out. Nothing is said about what Nick Fury is up to until the middle of issue 8, when we're given the sole interesting conversation in the whole 66 pages as Jessica is offered a job with Hydra. Boy, she sure is popular. And did I mention the phone calls? Forty-some-odd pages of people on the phone! Even the explosions manage not to excite, because no one knows why they're happening. These are the worst crossover issues since Infinity War. At least some of those had a purple guy with an afro.

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