The highly publicized new comic from Garth Ennis and Dynamite Entertainment is a huge disappointment. The comic focuses on Jennifer, a doting but bored housewife, who is also a methodical, ruthless assassin. With her thoughts revealed via diary entries, I can only assume that we are supposed to ask ‘Why?’ to a number of hints and questions dropped throughout, but these plot hooks are squandered by the simple fact that you don’t really become invested in Jennifer as a character.
The absolutely stunning cover was a dead giveaway of less than stellar interior art, but this comic also fails on every other level. Jennifer Blood #1 is some of the weakest writing from Garth Ennis yet. This could be forgiven, if at least the book lived up to his usual over-the-top grotesque and violence, but it doesn’t. Not for a lack for trying though, between the plot-by-numbers and very scratchy pencils by Adriano Batista, even the action sequences feel wooden and weak.
Adriano Batista’s art reads as rushed and thrown together. Maybe it is the inker or colourist’s fault, but the end result is still the same – bad art that relies on T&A to catch and keep keep the reader’s attention. A nipple here, some cleavage there, etc. This is definitely not the luscious, curvaceous artwork of Frank Cho, or the cheeky cheesecake of J. Scott Campbell. Sadly, the interior art reminds me of some of the more badly drawn Grimm Fairy Tale issues, where skin replaces plot, characterization and dialogue.
Jennifer Blood #1 is a cheap cash grab, trading on Garth Ennis’ name and fan base. The man is an amazing writer, and his Preacher and Punisher comics stand as classics. His stunning Battlefields series is almost unbearable in its brutality and gut wrenching true-to-life depiction of war. So maybe Jennifer’s Blood will become a good read, but after this first issue, I’m definitely not buying #2.