"Secret War, Part 4"
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Michael Lark
Inks: Stefano Gaudiano
Colors: Pete Pantazis
Letters: VC's Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
$2.99 U.S. / $4.25 CAN
As Jessica continues her fruitless bid to locate Luke Cage we see her efforts include tearing J. Jonah Jameson a new one as she believes he's holding back information from her. We than see Jessica becomes involved in a S.H.I.E.L.D. plot to take out Nick Fury as she's directed toward Wolverine, but we see this bid fails when Jessica takes the time to talk with the upset Logan. As the issue ends we see Jessica is able to locate Luke, but first she has to get past a belligerent Iron Fist.
I had the same problem with this issue that I had with many issues of the "Alias" series in that it's not really an investigation on Jessica Jones part, but rather it's simply that character running around, getting upset that none of the leads that she's chasing are panning out, and the rather than the solution arriving as the result of her efforts instead it's simply dropped into her lap largely because the end of the story is quickly approaching and it wouldn't do to have the story come to a close without answering the big question that was driving the story. Now I'm not asking the character to be Sherlock Holmes, but it would be nice to see the character do more than spend her time chasing done false leads until the solution arrives in a neat tidy package through no real effort on her part. Still while I was a little disappointed with how Jessica managed to uncover where Luke had been taken, I will give this issue full marks for at least making the false lead that she does follow pretty interesting. Now Wolverine is so overexposed lately that I wasn't exactly looking forward to his arrival inside the book. Nevertheless I have to say if you're going to randomly insert the character into a book to boost sales than this is the way to go about it, as not only is the reason for Wolverine's appearance deftly explained, but the character is actually allow to do more than simply growl menacingly at our hero before running off to his next guest-appearance. Plus how can one not play the guessing game about who are the other three people on Wolverine's list are (the Thing, Captain America and Nick Fury are my guesses). This issue also does a lovely job of playing with the idea that Luke Cage has an established continuity before Jessica entered his life, as there's a great little exchange where Iron Fist refuses to let Jessica in to see Luke. Plus it's actually nice to see Iron Fist hasn't been written out of the picture completely simply because Luke Cage is one of Brian Michael Bendis' favourite toys to play with.
Michael Lark is turning in some lovely work on this title and I couldn't be more pleased that he's found a new home on this title as it's one of only a handful of Marvel titles that are trying for a more down-to-earth quality, and as such it's perfectly suited to Michael Lark's art. I mean how can one not love the opening sequence where we see Jessica tearing into J. Jonah Jameson, and his non-response to her tirade is perfectly captured by the art. The same goes for the final pages of this issue as we see Jameson is sitting on top of a major story, and I loved how the art managed to sell his internal conflict as he considers whether to run with it, or wait until he gets the full story. The art also does some nice work on the big scene involving Wolverine, as there's a lovely panel where we see the character reacts to Jessica's pity. There's also a cute little moment where Kat Farrell attempts to get Logan to make some comments on record. Also while the character is grossly overexposed, I will say that this issue's cover certainly grabs one's attention.
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