Thursday, February 16, 2012

Daily Bugle (Ltd. 1996) [COMICS]

Apart from DC Comics' Daily Planet, the most famous fictional media outlet in comic books is probably Marvel's Daily Bugle. As the employer of Peter Parker, the Bugle has served as the springboard and setting for Spider-Man stories for decades, and became enough of an institution that other series set in New York often make use of it. In a 1996 three-issue limited series, the staff of the Daily Bugle got a chance to star in stories not dominated by Parker & his alter-ego.

In the first issue, reporters Ben Urich & Angela Yin uncover a crime cartel that is blackmailing a cheating Congressman, Ken Ellis is disappointed to realize that a tip about illegal "aliens" was made by a UFOlogist, and secretary-turned-reporter Betty Brant interviews one of the proprietors of a potentially mob-controlled restaurant in what will be mini-series' continuing story.

Issue # 2 has a fun story where J. Jonah Jameson decides that if his staff can't discover proof that Spider-Man is a menace, he'll just have to stop being editor-in-chief for a day and pound the pavement himself; the reader gets to see just how out of practice he is as a reporter, but he still gets a story even if it's not the one he expected. Meanwhile, Brant gets kidnapped, and Issue # 3 details her rescue and the suicide of the restaurant-owner who did it.

The artwork is black-and-white which actually works well to give it a different feel than normal super hero comics. Overall there's a couple of good scenes but the mob-centric main story didn't rise above the level of mediocrity. A good premise for a comic, even if the execution didn't quite make it work.

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