COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE BOUNCE / AUTHOR: JOE CASEY / ARTIST: DAVID MESSINA / PUBLISHER: IMAGE / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 2ND
If ever a comic was going to give Watchmen a run for its money, The Bounce is it. As much an antidote to the oversaturation of superheroes as it is a love letter, writer Joe Casey and artist David Messina’s Bounce is a comic series for our times. Starting off with a bong hit, this is a far cry from the Fantastic Four.
The twelve-issue run focusses around Jasper, a deadbeat stoner who is the only survivor of a voluntary government clinical trial. Infused with the ability to bounce off any surface, he dons the mantle of, well, The Bounce, with all the wise cracking attitude of Peter Parker to boot.
A hero is only as good as their villains, of course, and The Crunch and The Vamp are nuanced menaces. The Fog, a drug dealer who is himself the drug, is more chaotic neutral than straight-up evil, but a fascinating character. The Darling is a darkly charismatic and unsettlingly-knowing character, trying to get a grip on a new measure of perception, and bringing forth the being that lives in the space between spaces.
Given the complexity of the narrative, it’s difficult to describe without spoiling the gradual acquisition of plot details. Just know there are barriers within us that keep us apart, and Jasper is able to push through to the other side, being Sauterne, a parallel utopian dimension full of superheroes. Complete with flashbacks, you slowly build up the entire story over the twelve issues.Intelligent and sly, The Bounce is a social and political commentary, a vicious satire and a parable for our apathy and complacency in the face of mass starvation, terrorism and school shootings. Part study of the superhero phenomena, and with plenty of psychedelic art admits Messina’s playful realism, The Bounce proves Image is the premier comic publisher for modern audiences.
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