New York City is overrun with super-humans. As the police attempt to contain these costumed “freaks,” one is trying to make a difference by fighting crime. Jasper Jenkins was an ordinary drug addict living with his conservative roommate, Terry. In need of money, he volunteers for an experimental drug trial with his friend, Zander, but all the participants die except Jasper, who develops superpowers and decides to use his abilities for good.
A unique superhero origin
Well-crafted character designs
Basic layout that lacks creativity
Previously in The Bounce: New York Police Chief Kantor is killed by a superhuman called the Crunch. Jasper Jenkins attempted to save him, but arrived on the scene too late. After the chief’s death, capturing super-humans becomes top priority. Leading the charge against these costumed assailants is Jasper’s brother and assistant district attorney, Jeremiah Jenkins. Meanwhile, a mysterious man known as the Darling meets with a group of military heads on behalf of General Bava. He takes them on a tour of their facilities and introduces them to the new technology they are developing. At a nightclub Jasper is looking for another drug hit. He meets the Fog, a man who can create hallucinogenic smoke. Jasper wakes up in a haze to see his dead friend Zander in front of him.
SUPERHEROES AND DRUGS
Joe Casey continues Jasper Jenkins’s drug-infused superhero adventures in The Bounce #2. The comic focuses on two main storylines: Jasper Jenkin’s drug addiction and rise as a superhero, and the Darling’s plot involving the US Government. Unlike the first issue of The Bounce, this comic is much more clearer in terms of plot. The Bounce #2 reveals the origins of Jasper’s powers. However, aside from the origin story, there are still many questions left unanswered. In most cases, this could help the story keep the reader in suspense, but with The Bounce these questions make it very difficult to follow a lot of the twists while reading this series. The writer drops you in the middle of the action without any context or background to support it. The scenes featuring the Darling are still very confusing. He is cloaked in mystery to the point where the reader has no idea what his relevance to the overall series is. While his storyline must tie-in with the main plot, but at the moment, it is still vague and difficult to decipher. Still, the dialogue is quirky and funny at times. I also like the idea of modern drug trials as the source of the super-human phenomena. Although creating superheroes through drugs is not an original idea, Jasper’s addiction takes the concept to a whole new level.
STANDARD CEL-SHADED ARTWORK
David Messina’s art in The Bounce #2 is solid but lacks creativity. His character designs are unique, especially Jasper’s superhero costume. Overall, the character’s emotional expressions are clearly depicted. However, David Messina’s panels and layout are average. He does not take any risks when there are opportunities to express the comic differently. In a comic full of drug references and hallucinations, the art does not have the hazy feel of the plot. There are no color changes or off panel shots, just boxes and art to fill them in.
BOTTOM LINE: AN AVERAGE SUPERHERO STORY
Joe Casey and David Messina attempt to create an average hero that fits our modern era. However, with a confusing plot and average artwork, The Bounce falls short of its aspirations. Although it has the potential to become something bigger, there is a lot of work that needs to be done before it gets there.