By Victoria Irwin
Bounce begins with a bong. Dark haired and nonchalant, Jasper Jenkins lights up in his apartment while watching the weekday news report; much his roommate’s chagrin. The two exchange slight berating banter before Jasper overhears the newsanchor describe the local police chief and his family have been taken into hostage by an unknown and violent assailant. Without notice, Jasper takes off, leaving his roommate confused and still smoking. Arriving at the scene of the crime in golden and black spandex, Jasper encounters an over-buff villain named Crunch. Though unable to save the police chief, we see Jasper in action as basically a human bouncy ball. Trouble is on the rise in Manhattan with both costumed heroes and villains appearing quite suddenly.
Joe Casey and David Messina have quite an interesting read on their hands with Bounce. Jasper Jenkins comes across as part Spiderman, part Kick Ass, and part king of the stoners. He equally seems concerned for what is happening around him and a total smart ass. I found myself really routing for him, despite the fact that he begins in his apartment as a seemingly unemployed drug enthusiast. Casey creates a darker world, creatively going after a very creepy concept of semi-religious scientists bringing about destructive forces. While the familiar story of the District Attorney’s office coming down hard on masked villains and vigilantes is nothing new, the writers wisely choose to focus on the mystery and intrigue of Jasper’s behind the scenes behaviors. Messina’s pencils and inks are gorgeously done. The concept design behind Jasper’s costume is less about flashy spandex and seemingly more adult. It’s red accents make sure to highlight something a little sinister behind his behaviors.
I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed Bounce. Initially, I feared that it would be just another comic book hero story filled with elaborate costumes and no storyline. Instead I found a read that kept me focused as it took me down a dark corridor and hit me upside the head with plot. The story is very dark, so if you’re looking for a light read this is not the one to pick up. If you want something that is going to get very in depth and take you on an intriguing drug trip of a super hero story, this is definitely something you’re going to want to try. I will definitely be keeping my eye on this series.