Explain me Alias

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When I started reading comics again a couple of years ago, I spotted the Alias comics but assumed they were related to the TV show of the same name (the girl on the front even looked a bit like Jennifer Garner and I didn't know it was a sweary imprint of Marvel).

Anyway, now everyone is going on about the main character lady and how good it was - is it any good and worth looking for trades etc?

Mark C (Markco), Friday, 11 March 2005 11:50 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, the first issue feature the lead character getting buggered by Luke Cage as a means of character study, so if you like that type of writing I'd say go for it.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 11 March 2005 14:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Very worth getting, some of it is still Bendis's best. I would read the trades in order -- the last of them is the best, but works best if you're already used to the character and all -- but if you were strapped, I think you could skip a couple. I'll try to think of which, and be more helpful, when I've had my coffee.

Tep (ktepi), Friday, 11 March 2005 14:25 (seventeen years ago) link

Huh, I thought maybe I had weighed in on this already, but can't find it in search. So, the four Alias trades:

vol 1: Introduces Jessica Jones, former superhero and never-quite-Avenger, current private investigator and friend-with-benefits of Luke Cage. I think this is the one where she looks for Rick Jones, having been hired by a woman claiming to be his wife (and further claiming that Rick and Jessica are married), but I'm not sure -- I read the first two trades' worth in single issues, but not in order. This is probably the most skippable.

vol 2: Come Home: Jessica investigates the disappearance of a rumored-to-be-a-mutant girl in a small town, and dates Scott "Ant-Man" Lang after mutual friend Carol "Ms Marvel" Danvers sets them up.

vol 3: The Underneath: The second-best of the bunch. Spider-Women Jessica Drew and the other one (not Black Costume Julia, but the new one) show up; Jameson hires Jessica to dig up dirt on Spider-Man (unless I'm forgetting where this one fits in too?); Speedball makes a ... brief appearance.

vol 4: The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones: Terrific stuff I don't want to say much about, but that fleshes out Jessica's brief superhero career, her backstory with the Purple Man, and how she made her connections with the Avengers and SHIELD. The fact that Bendis's makes it feel as though everything in the series leads up to a story that's so flashback-heavy is one of the things that makes this series work so well as a whole.

Tep (ktepi), Friday, 11 March 2005 14:43 (seventeen years ago) link

[redundant x-post w/ Tep, but whatevah]

Well, the first issue feature the lead character getting buggered by Luke Cage as a means of character study, so if you like that type of writing I'd say go for it.

Wickedly off-base, sir! I challenge you to a duel!

Tep's OTM. I think I actually have the first issue sitting in my GMail folder - I can send it to you later today (as I can't access GMail from woik). The U&K trades / storylines (aside from Purple, which is fantastic - I imagine, if Douglas finds this thread, he'll third that emotion) would probably be The Underneath & The Secret Origin....

HOWEVER, from what I found on Amazon, it looks like there has been no trade action since Volume 4 (The Secret Origin), so I don't know if the stories following that are available outside of their original format. What's stranger is that they've already squeezed out the first collection for The Pulse (the series born from the end of Alias).

FYI - Mark C's misconception was my misconception - "oh, geez, I don't even care about the TV show, why would I want to READ about it?"

[post x-post]

Though I think Tep crossed up his storylines - the first collection deals w/ Captain America. The second collection deals w/ Rick Jones (& features nice insert art from Bill Sienkiewicz).

David R. (popshots75`), Friday, 11 March 2005 14:46 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah dan's description is pretty off the mark.

incredible comic, best thing bendis has been associated with by far (and i like powers ALOT), the most fleshed out character i can think of in any superhero comic i can think of, read them in order i'd say. the most adult (adult meaning something other than graphic sex, language, violence) superhero comic i can think of too. if we were doing that alltime best poll again i'd put alias somewhere on my ballot without a doubt.

j blount (papa la bas), Friday, 11 March 2005 14:53 (seventeen years ago) link

Yep, I figured I'd get some of the storylines wrong, damn. Wait, is Purple not included in the Secret Origins trade?

Tep (ktepi), Friday, 11 March 2005 14:57 (seventeen years ago) link

I dunno if the anal sex thing was BMB being shrewd (getting folks to talk about it, & getting fans to shout down anti-fans that kvetch about the anal sex), or BMB not thinking / caring that folks would harp on the anal sex at the expense of everything else in the book.

And, yeah, it's probably my favorite thing from Bendis, too (w/ Ultimate Spidey at #1a).

Tep, it might be! I have no idea - I just assumed that the trades were 6 issues each, though, if there's 4 TPB, and the series was 28 issues long, then I'm probably wrong about that.

Listen to Tep, not me!

David R. (popshots75`), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:01 (seventeen years ago) link

Purple Man is in the "Secret Origins" trade.

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:07 (seventeen years ago) link

Listen to Jocelyn, too!

David R. (popshots75`), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:09 (seventeen years ago) link

I think the anal sex -- well, the fact that it's anal is the least important part -- was a good shorthand signal that this wasn't taking place in the Marvel Universe we were used to, which was an ongoing theme for the rest of the series. It's the part of the MU where there's casual sex without vilification or mustaches, which makes it easier to accept that it's an MU where maybe Captain America isn't as stand-up as we thought and maybe Rick Jones really does have a secret wife.

Tep (ktepi), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:12 (seventeen years ago) link

& maybe Scott Lang is actually a character worth giving a damn about, which was probably the best part of the series for me - taking this cliche-ridden cypher of a character & making something from that.

David R. (popshots75`), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:20 (seventeen years ago) link

Haha anal sex is like Batman, it doesn't exist in the Marvel universe.

Jordan (Jordan), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:21 (seventeen years ago) link

One of the cons my ex worked at, they passed out buttons to everyone that said "There is no masturbation in the DC universe," something reportedly said to Neil Gaiman re: a change to one of his Sandman scripts.

Tep (ktepi), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:25 (seventeen years ago) link

ILC will now show up for google searches of ex con masturbation, hooray.

Tep (ktepi), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:27 (seventeen years ago) link

Never mind "anal sex cage".

David R. (popshots75`), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:29 (seventeen years ago) link

"Jennifer Garner trades come"

Tep (ktepi), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:35 (seventeen years ago) link

I'd kind of like to point out that nothing said on this thread actually contradicts my original post if you think about it.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:41 (seventeen years ago) link

batman anal

it is a google pandora's box!

hmm, thanks for the info - i will certainly have a look at the first trade and see if it appeals to me

Mark C (Markco), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:51 (seventeen years ago) link

I dunno, Dan - your comment seems borne from a one-off experience w/ the book that's A) not indicative of the book as a whole, and B) not indicative of even that particular issue of the book and C) not very fair to the stuff that's going on around that particular incident. Wasn't the anal sex scene (the actual sex) only a few panels long?

Actually, I'd like to know what you're getting @ by "that type of writing" - I'm sensing you mean to say that the writing is sensationalistic & confrontational, shocking for shock's sake, and possesses no substance beyond that shock, & I think those claims (if that's what you're getting at) have been dealt w/ on this thread.

David R. (popshots75`), Friday, 11 March 2005 15:53 (seventeen years ago) link

Dude, this is DAN PERRY you're talking to! "Anal sex as character study" is a high compliment!

(sorry Dang, had to!)

J (Jay), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:13 (seventeen years ago) link

FWIW, I'm seeding it at 0!nk's.

I like it ok, but my favo BMB remains vols. 5-6 of DD.

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:44 (seventeen years ago) link

J OTM, you mentalists!

(My underpoint was about the murky narrative style of both the writing and the art and that particular example as a subversion of shock-tactic writing to actually flesh out characters and advance plot rather than just being there to SHOCK! THE! READER! (and Jessica, haha) but, as most people have pointed out, I haven't actually read the series, not because I didn't want to (because it seems like it's right up my alley) (hahax2), but because it came out during a self-imposed moritorium on comic book purchases due to extreme brokeness.)

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 11 March 2005 16:51 (seventeen years ago) link

Ahhhh. I took your "if you like that sort of thing" as having a hidden clause saying "because I think that sort of thing is bunk & garbage".

David R. (popshots75`), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:04 (seventeen years ago) link

David R.: the fourth trade paperback takes us right up to the end of the series (it's actually "The Secret Origin" and "Purple").

I agree with Tep & David that it's the best of the bunch, but I also think you need to read the others first to get the full impact.

Also: the Luke/Jessica ass-fucking scene actually sets up a couple of the big character arcs of the series.

Douglas (Douglas), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:25 (seventeen years ago) link


The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:34 (seventeen years ago) link

Dang, you goof, your point would've been vindicated way back when if you didn't phrase your point as if it were a BAD THING. (Or maybe that's the Catholic in me immediately thinking that buttsex is a BAD THING.)

Also, I think Dan just found Green Arrow's newest catchprase.

David R. (popshots75`), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:38 (seventeen years ago) link

Dan OTM extra for mentioning the art, too. It put me off initially, but I came into the series during what now forms the second TPB, having both mistaken the series for a TV tie-in, and then once I realized it wasn't, associating it only with rac discussion about teh buttsex0r.

(About which -- the sex, I mean -- I would say more, but I didn't want to spoil anything for Mark. Yeah, you heard that right. "Let's not say too much about the anal sex, we don't want to spoil it for Mark.")

Tep (ktepi), Friday, 11 March 2005 17:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Dang, you goof, your point would've been vindicated way back when if you didn't phrase your point as if it were a BAD THING. (Or maybe that's the Catholic in me immediately thinking that buttsex is a BAD THING.)

That doesn't explain the big goofy smile on his face! (hahax3)

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 11 March 2005 18:34 (seventeen years ago) link

From an Avi Arad article in Wizard, The Magazine I Read So You Don't Have To:

Ari and Avi take a conference call to discuss the studio's new television series, which will adapt Brian Michael Bendis's comic book Alias, about a former superheroine who gives up the costume to become a private investigator in Manhattan. Since Jennifer Garner's hit ABC show shares the same name, the new series has been tentatively titled Alter Ego.

"Bendis wrote the pilot, and it's awesome," says Ari. "We're just trying to figure out when we're going to shoot it or when we're going to get picked up. Bendis nailed it."

Tep (ktepi), Sunday, 13 March 2005 00:31 (seventeen years ago) link

won't roy thomas have a shitfit if they call it alter ego?

Andrew L (Andrew L), Sunday, 13 March 2005 18:47 (seventeen years ago) link

three months pass...
I was completely in love with this series until vol. 4, which despite my expectations was the weakest of the lot. I don't want to give away any spoilers for those who haven't read it, but even though I was glad to have Jessica's origin and "issues" explained, the sex and general R-rated elements seemed a bit gratuitous and misygonistic (adjectives that never even occurred to me in the previous arcs). Also, the ending seemed out of character and tacked-on to me (not what Luke Cage had to say, but what she had to say).

Jordan (Jordan), Thursday, 23 June 2005 01:05 (seventeen years ago) link

four months pass...
so... i just read the second trade & i'm not so sure how big a fan i am. love the idea, like the character a lot etc etc... but all of the stories so far have kind of felt like throwaways, almost like... like... "b-stories." you know, the secondary stories in tv shows.

s1ocki (slutsky), Saturday, 5 November 2005 03:23 (seventeen years ago) link

the most recent pulse is the closest it's been to being an issue of alias, good stuff

j blount (papa la bas), Monday, 14 November 2005 18:12 (seventeen years ago) link

A superhero's having a baby! PUT OUT THE CALL

Dan I., Monday, 14 November 2005 22:39 (seventeen years ago) link

Reminded me of a christmas episode of ER or something. I liked it though! Although what's up with the horrible CGI on the cover and inside page?

Dan I., Monday, 14 November 2005 22:40 (seventeen years ago) link

three months pass...
So I got the first two trades of Alias in the mail yesterday. (Thanks, Slocki! Yr Powers is in the mail!)

I read the first one last night. I'm not sure what I think of it. Half of it seems to be "Look at what we can get away with!" and J. Loeb's whole intro where he talks about how "FINALLY COMICS FOR PEOPLE OVER 17!) only made me think that the only people who'd be superjazzed about that are 16 yr olds.
The art is sometimes really good, sort of like Phil Hester under the influence of Keith Giffen as inked by Matt Wagner.

In a way, I kind of appreciated the opening bit with Luke Cage, because it says, well, what Dan said in his first post to this thread.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Friday, 17 February 2006 17:55 (sixteen years ago) link

Oh, and the covers are sorta wretched.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Friday, 17 February 2006 18:19 (sixteen years ago) link

i liked the luke cage stuff

but honestly i really liked the idea of this more than the execution... the stories themselves are pretty crappy.

(ok i do like the cap'n america one)

s1ocki (slutsky), Friday, 17 February 2006 18:39 (sixteen years ago) link

It's not bad (thought the fact that it leads up to a story involving the fucking Purple Man is about 1000 points off), but it of course helps if this is towards the start of the Bendis you've read. And the start of the comics you've read, if you're expecting exciting new comics for over 17s.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 20 February 2006 10:52 (sixteen years ago) link

The second one, "Come Home", was just so, so Bendis. And it totally lost the plot of the whole Marvel U mutantism as stand-in for X, and it just seemed so, ugh, hateful and kinda hackneyed. I couldn't get a handle on the what the reporter was supposed to be. Was she supposed to be a Peggy Hill type naivebo or the kind of character that Drew Barrymore would play, ie that one hip person in an otherwise square-ass hicktown? OH BENDIS.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Monday, 20 February 2006 14:24 (sixteen years ago) link

Of course, I still want to keeping reading.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Monday, 20 February 2006 14:25 (sixteen years ago) link

haha i think you see why i tossed vol 2 in gratis

s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 20 February 2006 17:42 (sixteen years ago) link

Well, if I remember correctly, I think I sent you the Superman Wedding Album, so consider us square.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Monday, 20 February 2006 17:46 (sixteen years ago) link


s1ocki (slutsky), Monday, 20 February 2006 17:49 (sixteen years ago) link

i really liked alias. not as much as laura did, though. i could have done without the ant man subplot, though. who cares about ant man?

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Wasn't that the point, though?

Huk-L (Huk-L), Monday, 20 February 2006 19:48 (sixteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Is this series still ongoing? I'm really enjoying this on the downlo(ad), but #28 is the latest issue I've found.

pixel farmer (Rock Hardy), Saturday, 22 April 2006 00:55 (sixteen years ago) link

No, the series is done (as of #28). It became The Pulse. It's done now, too, I think. It's not as good, though.

P.S. Late to the game, but: Alias really was pretty good. I recently read it in conjunction w/the Bendis DD run and it was a perfect companion piece. And, perhaps, in some ways, better.

Deric W. Haircare (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 22 April 2006 01:54 (sixteen years ago) link

twelve years pass...

I just wanted to come back and contradict former me because the most offputting thing about that first issue isn't so much the anal sex thing as much as the liberal use of the word "nigga" in Luke Cage's dialogue and how Jessica equates having sex with him to degrading herself, which I hated when I first read it but wanted to reserve judgment on because so many people I like/respect were extolling the series' virtue.

On the positive side, the storylines were mined for a great season of Jessica Jones so it's not like the whole thing is worthless; I just have no interest in ever reading it.

GDPR vs GAPDY (DJP), Friday, 7 December 2018 22:13 (four years ago) link

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