Alias Ultimate Collection Vol 1 (Graphic Novel Quest)

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Michael Gaydos, Colours by Matt Hollingsworth and Letters by Richard Starkings

Marvel Comics went hard when they decided to launch their ‘Max’ line of Comics Codeless ‘mature readers’ comics. They also tapped Brian Michael Bendis who most people might have known from Ultimate Spider-Man, but also had a background in crime comics (more on those later this year).

Alias may have the same name as the spy show which came out the same year, but it’s a totally different story. Handily, a lot of you will know the basics from the Jessica Jones television show which aired a few years ago, although this is a lot closer to the Marvel Universe than that show, it’s also a bit similar to DC’s Chase, which was one of my motivations for buying the series when it first came out.

This is literally the start of Marvel’s mature readers ‘Max’ line. They really start as they mean to go on.

The Plot

Jessica Jones was an Avenger for an incredibly short time. That’s okay, they’ve had tons of members who no one remembers. Did you know they had Gilgamesh from the Eternals on their roster? Or that Mr Fantastic was an Avenger briefly? I only did because they were in an Inferno tie-in.

Anyway, Jessica was an Avenger and then *something* happened, which is alluded to but not discussed openly in this volume. We get two stories and several hints about Jessica’s life both as the super-powered Jewel, and as a post-heroic private detective.

A memento from Jessica’s brief stint as an Avenger.

The first story arc has Jessica hired to spy on someone and getting some footage of Captain America with them, shortly before their death. She has to navigate a superhero community which she ditched and suspicious motivations from her employer.

The second story has Jessica searching for Rick Jones, the constant sidekick to Captain America, Hulk and the Avengers as a while. He’s apparently married, mooching off folks and now vanished.

I enjoyed the Jessica Jones show, but I did wish there were some cases which weren’t all tied back to her origin and her superhero times. I can understand how it would be impossible for an MCU to have all the appearances of Captain America, Captain Marvel and many other heroes whose names don’t begin with Captain.

Some classic Bendis patter

Is it any good?

There are valid criticisms for his style, but I’m a sucker for a Bendis page. This is a good book, although it is only half of the comic, all of which I still have in floppies. Gaydos’ art definitely feels of the era and you wouldn’t recognise Jessica if you’d only seen the television show, but it’s still a classic.

Rick Jones, who I was confused by after reading the Peter David Captain Marvel. There is a reason for his presence here, though.

Am I keeping it?

This one’s difficult. I am definitely keeping it in some form. I’ve got the whole thing in individual issues and while I’d like a collection of it, the hardcover version I’ve got is very out of print, so I’d need to either get rid of the collection and replace it with modern softcovers which collect the whole thing, or stick with the individual issues.

About fakedtales

I'm a writer, a podcaster, a reviewer of games. Here's where I share my own fiction and my encounters with other people's.
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