Comics : The Pulse #2

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This story is part of an Arc: "Thin Air"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Jonah Jameson has two principles. One, report the news objectively. Two, masked heroes are scum. When these two principles clash, he tends to run with the second of those options.

But when readership numbers are down, and heroes are flavour of the month, he's prepared to try things the other way 'round, and hence we have "The Pulse", a Daily Bugle supplement covering in-depth stories related to the spandex set. His two reporters on this project are private eye (and ex-super-hero) Jessica Jones, and long-serving (perhaps too long) reporter Ben Urich.

In Detail...

The Pulse #2
May 2004 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 2 of "Thin Air"
Editor:  Andy Schmidt
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Scott Hanna
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Issue
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Articles: Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn), Vulture I (Adrian Toomes)

This issue doesn't star either of those... it features the Bugle's latest reporter - a young lass named "Terri Kidder", who is just learning to get to grips with the Bugle's enthusiastic approach to journalism. She has no story, and no real hopes for getting one.

Over lunch with a friend who works in accounts at Oscorp, that changes quite suddenly. It seems that people are disappearing from Oscorp, and Terri's friend is spooked. Our young reporter rises to the challenge, and tricks her way into a face-to-face with Norman Osborn, where she asks Norman if he knows what's going on.

Of course, you and I both know that is a terrible, terrible mistake.

In General...

Bob Harras (and friends) resurrected Norman as a way to wrap up the clone saga. Sadly, that was the only idea they really had, and everything dribbled away into that "Gathering of Five" bull-hocky.

Fortunately, Paul Jenkins managed to make something out of Norman, by working away at his love-hate relationship with Peter Parker. By contrast, Bendis has let his instinct guide him to a fertile field where Green things grow. Bendis is aware that Norman Osborn is an immensely powerful psychopath. When it's Green Goblin vs. Spider-Man, it's a battle between equals, and we can cheer on the good guy. When it's Norman Osborn out of control, with no Spider-Man to defeat him (again), that something altogether different, and even more terrifying.

Overall Rating...

Oh, bliss! Bendis does Norman Osborn in mainstream continuity. Can it get better than this? Well, it's a challenge, but if anybody is up to it then BMB sure is. That's why I'm leaving a half-web up my sleeve, just in case, so it's 4.5 glorious webs. Read this book, and enjoy.