By Joe Casey & David Messina
Joe Casey has been cranking out lot of great original superhero work lately, The Bounce being one of them. It’s no secret now that the character of Jasper Jenkins aka The Bounce is an analog of Spider-Man/Peter Parker but slightly perverted in that Joe Casey style. The first four issues of this series have been very bright and engaging and also fun with a very serious overtone but with issue five Casey starts to unravel some heavy plots that look to only lead the way to a deeper story.
The start of this issue wraps up the predicament Jasper was stuck in at the end of the last issue and then goes into the past of the man known only as The Darling. Without spoiling too much the one interesting reveal is why The Darling loves eating those little lizards so much. We also finally get the name of the bizarre dimension chock full of super powered beings, it is called The Sauterne. There is a lot going on this issue and in typical Joe Casey style you are left slightly lost, confused and intrigued. The Bounce has always felt like there is a complex and interesting plot looming in the background but never quite shows its hand yet. Instead we’ve had a lot of questions that are framed by some excellent character building. From Jasper’s brother, Jeremiah, to Jasper’s long thought dead friend, Zander. You feel like you know each character’s individual personality or style and just feel this hidden small line that connects everyone to a bigger story. Having us really care for and understand each person will just make the story hit harder later on.
Messina’s art has also been a big selling point to this book; it really heightens the psychedelic feel of this book. Speaking of the psychedelic art there is this trippy sex scene that really stuck out this issue, you find yourself just checking it out in awe of the art and not just the boobs… or maybe both, whatever’s your bag, I won’t judge. Hopefully if you’re familiar with Joe Casey’s work then a strange sex scene should come at no real surprise by now, it was only a matter of time. As we are now five issues deep into this series the one artistic choice that sticks out is the similarities and differences between the real world and the mysterious Sauterne. The Sauterne is so warm and bright with a futuristic vibe, whereas the real world feels dark, gritty and cold. All things in the Sauterne have the sleek look of glass or metal but then you have parallel of the brick and mortar ambiance of the real world. You could go as far as to compare it to the difference between Gotham and Metropolis.
The Bounce is much like lead character, Jasper Jenkins; hopping all over the place and you have no idea where it will go next. Things are in motion; you can feel the pressure building in the story. When will it blow? We have to wait and see. As long as the characters stay interesting, there is no reason the story won’t be worth the wait.