COMIC REVIEW: The Bounce #3

bounce3-webThe story so far: Jasper is the Bounce. A post-modern superhero whose special ability is to bounce – hard and fast. The Fog is a mysterious drug-dealer currently residing in prison. There are some dodgy dealings with the police, and while other superheroes and supervillans exist in this universe, they are in the background. Jasper has, at the end of issue #2, walked in on his flatmate Terry, who happens to be wearing a dress.

The Bounce is Joe Casey’s stab at telling the story of the confusing times when young adults find out about themselves and their place in the world. Jasper, or the Bounce, is clearly unsure about his place in the world. In issue #3’s opening dialogue between Jasper and Terry, they discuss the acceptance or otherwise of both sexuality and dressing up as a costumed hero. All the while, drug taking is at the forefront. The conversation in these opening pages is the best written so far in the series, and gets to the heart of the matter. Real feelings are discussed and for the first time, I was going with these characters. There’s a little more of a flashback in the next section, which explains how Jasper came to discover his gift. The artwork in the section is particularly evocative. The ‘alley at night in the rain’ sequence is good stuff; the reds and oranges especially work especially well. Jasper goes to see the Fog in jail to try and find out more about the drugs he’s been using and we discover that the main police character is Jasper’s older brother.

And then the comic takes a slightly unexpected turn as a new threat starts tearing people into pieces at the hospital, while taking in an incomprehensible language. Will Jasper step up?

The Bounce finally hits its stride with issue #3. Story arcs look like they are starting to come together and characters are starting gel. I was slightly disappointed by the introduction of the new adversary but I can see by the last page it might just make sense. The dialogue between the characters is getting there, as if Casey is now into top gear and hitting his marks. Messina’s artwork is cool, if unremarkable. The new villain is a mix of things from other worlds. I was hoping to see more of the cinematic blurring technique from issue #2 but that was missing. Top credit in this comic goes to colourist Giovanna Niro with some sumptuous scenes. Kudos also for putting a cross-dressing man, made up to look very attractive, on the cover.

Issue #3 is still flawed but a significant improvement in the series. Let’s see what the next issue brings.

Rating: 4/5
Reporter: Ian J Simpson

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