I love discovering new comics. Even if they are long over. That’s one of the things that make graphic novels so much fun. You can discover a character or book you’ve never read and get the whole series in a matter of volumes. Along those lines I’ve recently had reason to start rebuilding my comic book collection and one way I’ve been doing it is by purchasing graphic novels of series that I owned years ago. While doing this I’ve been rereading them and rediscovering what I loved about them. I decided to review some of these long dead titles so they can be discovered by those of you who may have missed them when they were first out.
One of my favorite comics in the early 2000s was Alias by Brian Michael Bendis.
Alias was part of the MAX line of comics. The MAX comics were aimed at adults, rather than kids or teens and Alias made use of that freedom very early in the first issue. Jessica Jones was the lead character. A former super-heroine, she was now a private eye. The circumstances surrounding this life change unfolded as the series went along.
Bendis had cameos by big name heroes as well, like Daredevil, Captain America and Luke Cage. Yet all of them are very down to earth and in living their real lives in ways we don’t normally see in the typical Marvel universe. This is a gritty New York and even the superheroes aren’t very shiny here.
I loved Jessica in all her messy glory. She was damaged but not fragile. She had chosen a path and was determined to live it even when it felt like she was just going through the motions. At heart she still wanted to help people but she wasn’t romantic about it anymore. I understood and appreciated her take on life and the struggles she went through. She was the most human superhero I had ever encountered.
She has since been integrated into the regular Marvel universe and while I miss Alias I’m glad they understood she was a character worth keeping. It was recently announced that she would be one of the characters getting a series in the new Marvel/Netflix project. Do yourself a favor and discover her in her original series first. No matter how good the show is, it won’t compare to getting to know in her original form and she is a character well worth knowing.