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Alias Omnibus cover
Alias Omnibus cover
Alias Omnibus cover


Story by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Michael Gaydos
Colors by: Matt Hollingsworth
Cover by: David Mack
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To sum it all up..

ALIAS: JESSICA JONES If many of you know Jessica Jones through the social media and other media outlets, particularly her upcoming NETFLIX series, then call yourself blessed, but not entirely lucky because she is already existing in the Marvel Universe or the 616 canon since the early 2000s, particularly her first comic appearance in ALIAS […]

Posted October 28, 2015 by


Alias Omnibus cover


If many of you know Jessica Jones through the social media and other media outlets, particularly her upcoming NETFLIX series, then call yourself blessed, but not entirely lucky because she is already existing in the Marvel Universe or the 616 canon since the early 2000s, particularly her first comic appearance in ALIAS #1 by her creators, Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Graydos, under the MAX imprint, Marvel’s innovation of publishing mature-themed superhero comics. In short, MAX promotes virtually no-holds barred, no political correctness nonsense, and almost unhinged in dialogues, characterizations and themes.

ALIAS ran for twenty-eight issues, and in 2006, Marvel rewarded Bendis and Graydos’s hardboiled and seminal run its most high-end treatment yet then—the OMNIBUS deluxe hardcover edition. Moreover, ALIAS Omnibus HC is one of the first Marvel Omnibuses to be published and released ever, paving the way for the comic publishing company to select some of its most successful, influential, critically and commercially acclaimed, and well-loved series runs/events/storylines ever grace in the publisher’s long-storied existence. Seriously, the Marvel Omnibus line never looks since then. However, Marvel Omnibuses have a limited number of copies published, and many of these titles became out-of-print soon/later after of their respective publication. Naturally, some of the sought-after or “by-popular-demand” titles are either reprinted or given another new edition. Titles like Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run; Grant Morrison’s entire New X-Men series; Ed Brubaker’s Captain America saga; Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man collaborative run; Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four (specifically Volume Two) seminal series; and in 2014, ALIAS was given another opportunity to be reprinted, anticipating the demand for new readers for the stuffs relating anything about Jessica Jones.

Both printing (first printing and second printing)  of ALIAS Omnibus have the same contents. They are comprised the entire ALIAS run, issues #1 -28, and the special fourth-wall issue “WHAT IF: Jessica Jones Joins the Avengers?” issue (written by Bendis, obviously). ALIAS is the name of Jessica’s private investigation office that handled on super-powered cases (ranging from superheroes to mutants). However, Jessica is the sole proprietor and employee around. She tackled cases like whether or not unmasking and publicized the secret identity of a superhero, looking clues surrounding a suspected mutant, locating a super-powered husband’s whereabouts, a cold case, and even confronting some of her worst nightmares. Her characterizations, as handled by Bendis, are definitely too mature to handle for the average superhero readers around; thus the mature-MAX treatment. She was (and still is) foul-mouthed, unhinged, sexually promiscuous, virtually lost, and down-to-luck. But at the same time, particularly as the story’s last story arcs presented, she displayed determination, resilience, resourcefulness, grittiness, loyalty, and discovered courage to set things right, confront her unsavory past and embrace her true calling once and for all. This is the comic version of personal motivation, and the “just-do-it” attitude mantras. New readers will definitely encounter some of Marvel’s mainstream superheroes around, including a blind attorney in Hell’s Kitchen, a certain web-slinger, the sentinel of liberty, and even her on-and-off friends, Jessica Drew and Carol Danvers.

Bendis’s dialogues here in ALIAS are some of the most brilliant he ever done, alongside his other previous assignments, particularly Daredevil and Ultimate Spider-Man (both treated in Omnibus editions). In this format, the scripts and the wordings are definitely flowing freely, so open and brutally grounded, one can say ALIAS is destined as a hardboiled noir-crime and suspense, mature rating television-or-movie adaptation. However, Brian’s uncanny balance and mature (or potty if you insist) words and themes are both lyrical and realistically up-tuned for new comic readers then and even surprisingly now. The latter’s highlight is significant for this pioneering series ages so well, it still reads better and even so proof of Bendis’s height of comic literary powers then. In that regards, it is little surprising why he was often nominated and won a couple of Eisner’s, alongside his opuses, including ALIAS.

Michael Graydos is the main illustrator of the ALIAS series. However, there are occasional artworks made by some guest artists around, like the legendary Bill Sienkiewicz, Mark Bagley, Art Thibert, Al Vey, Rick Mays, Rodney Ramos, and MAX’s proponent, David Mack, who also contributed all of the series’ cover artworks. To be honest here, Gaydos’s illustrations are something for the acquired taste. His art is minimalist at best, but his brand of illustrating Jessica Jones and the New York City landscape and skyline are a bit avant garde, and at times, surreal and dirty. These qualities paradoxically make the ALIAS run remarkably stunning to strengthen Bendis’s noir-suspense-mystery narrative and capture Jessica’s overall characterization and her evolutionary progress as a person as the series progressed. David Mack’s highly experimental artworks of collage and Japanese-inspired cover arts are the strong foundation of this series that dictate the tone of the interiors. Some of his illustrations can be found inside the compilation as part of the narrative and as the behind-the-scenes artistic process in “Sketchbook”. Matt Hollingsworth’s colors are also responsible for making the general atmospheric mood of this series more noir and grittier as ever before. His colors heighten whenever the scenes are indoors, tense, and nighttimes. Garnish, raw, and unpleasant, Matt simply recaptures Gaydos’s dark and heavy pencils, making Jessica Jones not an ordinary pushover.

Essentially speaking, both the 2006 and 2014 ALIAS Omnibus editions are the same. The only major difference is the paper material used in the latest version. Admittedly, the 2014 edition has good glossy and sturdy paper qualities, unlike some recent Omnibus releases. Nevertheless, the original edition’s paper quality is obviously superior: thicker, sturdier, and more durable; though the contents of 2014 may be enhanced a little, such as some additional artworks and some notes around. But comparatively speaking, the latter is geared for new ALIAS readers, or to those who want to know more about Jessica Jones or simply missed getting the older edition. Other than that, the new printing offers basically the same contents as the first one, except the paper. Even the nonexistence of the table of contents and the pagination is so glaring, making minor reading unpleasant at times. Yet, ALIAS Omnibus still remains the hallmark of mature-themed superhero narrative, only matched by Garth Ennis’s entire PUNISHER-MAX run. This is Jessica Jones at her true self: raw, damaged, self-loathing; but equally human, grounded, and most importantly, honestly true. Grab this copy while it’s still available!

Paul Ramos



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