Is it just me, or does she look like Jennifer Aniston?

Released from Dynamite Entertainment today is Jennifer Blood: First Blood #5. Jennifer Blood was created by Garth Ennis, an amazing writer, and artist Adriano Batista. However, this series, telling the origin story of daytime soccer mom/nighttime vigilante Jennifer Blute, is written and illustrated by a different team. How well do they handle the material laid out for them by a comic book legend?

The issue opens with Jennifer questioning one Mr. Rudy Hooper, a henchman for Mike Blute (Jennifer’s uncle that killed her father, leading to her mother’s suicide). Hooper doesn’t know much though and, after a lucky break, decides to attack Jenny instead of running. The choice proves fatal though and he ends up with a belly full of fire extinguisher chemicals. Jennifer ends up with a body in her trunk and “slipping” in the bathroom in order to explain her bruises and cuts on her face. This is the first time she has taken a life and, as they say, the first time is always the hardest. The next night she decides its time to take another. She gears up with a sniper rifle and heads to the home of Wendell Cortland. Everything is going as planned… until a damn cat with a laser pointer addiction ruins the whole thing. How will Jennifer get out of this tight spot? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

Mike Carroll writes a mean story here. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen someone killed by the contents of a fire extinguisher before… even in cheesy action flicks. His handling of Jennifer trying to tiptoe around a body stuffed in her car, even while driving the kids to school, was very well handled. And you may think the cat foiling the attempt on Cortland’s life silly… yet, as the owner of a cat that will attack a laser to no end, I can tell you this is completely plausible.

Igor Vitorino provides the art for the book and it is pretty Plain Jane. That does not stop him from creating expressive faces and excellent poses though. In fact, I think it makes these things stand our more. Another note is that all Igor does to change Jennifer’s appearance between her two personalities is to change her clothing and put a wig on her. Now, while I can’t for the life of me figure out why all of Metropolis doesn’t know Clark Kent is Superman, these two simple changes make Jennifer Blood look completely different. Maybe someone should let Igor do a few issues of Superman and see if he can fix my annoyance at no one in Metropolis being able to see Sups is Kent without his glasses and a little curl in the front of his hair.

This title’s color is outsourced to Inlight Studio, a team of colorists that handles several titles for several companies. Some of the panels seem well colored while others seem washed out. This has been a huge complaint with me in several comic book reviews. What happened to the days when comics featured dark, rich color? I understand we are no longer using four-color printing anymore, but in today’s digital age comics should be getting deeper and richer in color, not make to look like they received a color wash.

Originality: 2/5 – At it’s heart, this is a revenge story just like any other. The Punisher from Marvel, Dark Horse’s X, and Jennifer Blood are essentially the same story told with different characters.
Story and Dialog: 5/5 – That said, Carroll does a great job handling the material. Well plotted and great dialog throughout.
Art: 4/5 – Simplistic, but great expressions and poses.
Color: 2/5 – Washed out color that comes directly from a color factory instead of Dynamite employing artists to focus on colors for each title. We understand that they are a small publisher and their need for cheap coloring, but they have to realize that quality will be affected.
Repeat Reading: 4/5 – Despite it’s downfalls, this is a fun title that could be read often. Think of it like a Bruce Willis action flick. It may be the same as all the others, but they are all uniquely fun.

Score: ½

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