Reading Spider-Man, pt. 3: The Pulse

I’m on a quest to read all Spider-Man stories, one collection at a time! After reading Amazing Spider-Man by Nick Spencer, I felt that going back to the early 2000’s was a better route. I found a Marvel series called The Pulse that was created by the same team behind Ultimate Spider-Man! What’s even better is that the first five issues feature Spider-Man and the Green Goblin!

What is The Pulse?

This series centers around Jessica Jones, former superhero and current private investigator. She joins the Daily Bugle as a consultant for their new superhero section: The Pulse. During her first assignment, she investigates the death of a journalist at the hands of a super-powered villain. Over the course of five issues, we get to see Jessica Jones interact with reporter Ben Urich, heroes Spider-Man and Luke Cage, and supervillain Norman Osborn (a.k.a. the Green Goblin)!

How to Read The Pulse

This arc is self-contained in five issues: The Pulse #1-5. The series continues for an additional 9 issues, which we will cover in the near future. You can read all issues in Marvel Unlimited. All five issues are also collected in the trade paperback The Pulse vol. 1: Thin Air.


The Daily Bugle as illustrated by Mark Bagely.

5 (out of 5)

I mentioned that Ultimate Spider-Man was my favorite comic book series. So, after learning that the same creative team wrote another series, I had to read it. This series does a great job of transitioning from Ultimate Spider-Man to the main Marvel universe. Bagley’s art will be familiar to any USM reader. Just look at the picture of the Daily Bugle above. It looks just like the DB in Ultimate Spider-Man. Bagley reused his designs for J. Jonah Jameson, Robbie Robertson, and Norman Osborn. He also brought back his Betty Brant design, but used it for a new character.

This story is told from Jessica Jones’ perspective. As she is investigating the death of a reporter, she (and the readers) does not have the full story, so we get a combination of a crime thriller with a superhero story. At first I thought that the stakes would not be so high, since Jones herself is superpowered, but Bendis manages to insert thrills into this drama. Norman Osborn’s character in this series is scary. He channels all the energy of Ultimate Spider-Man’s Norman Osborn, but in this universe, his identity is secret (only Spider-Man and a handful of others know that he is the Green Goblin).

The Pulse is a heart-thumping story, with great art. Readers of both USM and the main universe Spider-Man will enjoy this series.

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