The Bounce Comic Book Series Review | Fanboys Anonymous

The Bounce Comic Book Series Review

Posted by Orion Petitclerc Monday, June 9, 2014
Hey, peeps! I'm back to review yet another comic book series that has nothing to do with Venom or Moon Knight. Shocker, right? (Wrong; it's not about the Shocker, either.) About a year ago when I started branching out beyond my comfort zone with comics, my eyes were set on Image with its rise in power against the Big Two of the industry (Marvel and DC). I picked up a few interesting titles here and there from Image, including Revival and Saga—both of which are beyond-amazing books that you should be reading. I wanted to stay within my superhero comfort zone as well, though, so I decided to subscribe to The Bounce at the beginning of the series, and I have stuck with it to the end of its 12-issue run.

Read The Bounce by Image Comics on Comixology
Written by Joe Casey and with art by David Messina, Giovanna Niro, Sonia Harris, Gaetano Carlucci, and Claudia Scarlet Gothica (there are a ton of art credits throughout the series, so I apologize to anyone I haven't listed), the series' selling point was that it's about a slacker, stoner superhero called the Bounce whose superpower was literally just that—he bounces like a superball. What the series eventually transformed into, however, was something much larger than another superhero story.

The book follows Jasper Jenkins, your run-of-the-mill nobody who has no career ambitions; a tough-as-nails older brother, Jeremiah, who's also an Assistant District Attorney for New York City; a cross-dressing roommate, Terry; and a secret life as, seemingly, the only superhero in a world that just doesn't feel right. That's the ultimate main point of the story: he's actually one of a handful of new super-powered individuals popping up in New York, and none of them feels like he or she has a place in a truly screwed-over world. War, famine, and misery reek in Earth's atmosphere, and nobody has any time or patience for the Bounce and his villains' bull. That is, nobody but the mysterious Darling and his secret, US military-run organization.

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Both the Darling and the seductive Silver, a fortune teller who professes to live in two worlds simultaneously, have their own plans for Jasper as he's thrown into an interdimensional fantasy adventure and expected to play a part he has no idea he was assigned. Who knew some loser with one of the lamest superpowers would become the epicenter of a cosmic revolution?

Casey developed this complex story and universe in such a fluid way that the reader follows along with Jasper, thinking "what the heck is going—OH!" What really sold the book for me, however, was the tantalizing artwork. The Bounce utilizes every color of the psychedelic rainbow to deliver a visually stunning series, especially in the final book, which explodes in color along with the story.

There were a few instances in which the panel layout confused the order in which the panels were supposed to be read across a double-page spread, and the dialogue cues that could've dictated the flow of the narrative were nearly nonexistent, so I sometimes would have to reread a two-page spread in alternate orders to find the right directional flow. Another detractor from the story is the point at which Casey lets us in on the Darling's background, which also suffered from the double-page panel layout issue. I got the gist of how his back story relates to the present events, but there were several elements that just didn't seem to fit with the overall narrative. And don't get me started on the apparent deus ex machina ending, which left me scratching my head a bit and wondering, is that really how he's going to end it?

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The Bounce was really a fun, mind-bending read with superb art. It has its flaws, but what book doesn't? It gets 3.5 stars out of 5 for the writing, and 4.5 stars out of 5 for the art. Definitely pick the book up if it sounds interesting, but I'd wait for the trade paperback release if I were you.

Read the book? What do you think of the series? How about those superhero designs from the Sauterne? Seemed familiar, eh? Tell me about it in the comments section below!

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