Comics : The Pulse #5

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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...

The Pulse is Jonah Jameson's new pet project - a Daily Bugle supplement covering in-depth stories related to the super-hero crowd. It's also Brian Michael Bendis' new pet project, and quite naturally stars Bendis' favourite characters - most notably Ben Urich, Spider-Man, Jessica Jones. I'm not complaining here, I'm just setting the scene for ya.

A young naive Bugle staffer goes hunting down a story about folks going missing at Oscorp, and before she knows it, she's out of her depth in a deadly way. Ben Urich contacts Peter, because it's Osborn. Thing is, Ben knows that Parker and Osborn are Spider-Man and Green Goblin. The Bugle guys, the cops, they all head up to Oscorp. What they find is the Goblin, fighting mad. Looks like cats are coming out of the bag all over the place!

In Detail...

The Pulse #5
Nov 2004 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 5 of "Thin Air"
Editor:  Andy Schmidt
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Mark Bagley
Inker:  Scott Hanna
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Review
 Reprinted In: Dark Reign The List: The Amazing Spider-Man (Story 2)
Articles: Green Goblin I (Norman Osborn)

The first to pages of this issue really belong to Mark Bagley, as the Green Goblin starts making with the major-league mayhem. Jessica gets blown out of the window, but gets rescued by Spidey. Even though she's safe, Jessica starts freaking out, thinking she's lost her baby! No time for that though, as Osborn is strangling Ben Urich.

Spidey goes for the save, but gets joined by Jessica, who we see in full power mode for the first time. I don't know exactly what her powers are, but flying and super-strength are definitely in there! She does some serious damage to Norman. The Goblin in return sends his glider smashing into Jessica, distracting her, but hardly doing any permanent damage. This girl is tough.

Goblin gets away, and Jessica heads to the hospital, where it turns out her baby is fine. Luke Cage, the father of said child turns up, and is not of a mind to let things rest there. The police arrest Osborn on suspicion of being the Goblin, and Osborn takes the "innocent victim" line. Cage turns up and starts throwing Norman's car around. Throwing caution to the wind, Osborn goes into Goblin mode, basically blowing his defence. It doesn't help. Cage KO's Osborn, and that's that.

Wrap-up? Jonah is a bit happier with Ben, since it turns out he was right all along about Osborn. But he's still pissed about Ben knowing who Daredevil is and not coming clean. Meanwhile, Jessica is just happy to have her baby. The end. "Next issue: Secret War". Hmm... isn't Bendis already occasionally writing a title called "Secret War"?

In General...

Osborn is outed as the Green Goblin. Jessica finally opens up and shows what she's capable of. Gorgeous action shots courtesy of Bagley. Moody interaction all round with lots of gnarly Bendis dialog. It's all good. On the down-side, I'm a little disappointed that Cage finished off Norman when really it should have been Spidey. In fact, this really should have been Spidey's comic, but he really got a bit short-changed in the conclusion.

Perhaps also, while I hate to even suggest it, maybe I'm getting a little Bendis-weary. He does great stuff, but it does tend to be all very similar in style, and even revolves around the same cast. I've given this kind of thing five webs in the past, but maybe I'd like to see BMB demonstrate a little more versatility? Am I being ungrateful? Yeah, probably. Despite any minor complaints I might have, Pulse is still up there among the best Marvel stuff being produced these days.

Overall Rating...

A worthy finish to an excellent tale. A near-perfect four and a half webs.