Jennifer Blood: A Woman's Work is Never Done
by Garth Ennis, various artists (Dynamite, 2012)

Jen Fellows is a fairly ordinary suburban housewife.

She has a mild-mannered husband and two pretty standard kids. She cooks, cleans and does the shopping, and when she has time she plays with her children. In the evenings, she grinds Valium into her family's hot chocolate so she can slip into a leather catsuit and black wig, and head out to wreak terrible vengeance on a group of ruthless gangsters who just happen to be her uncles. Sometimes she signs her work, in blood or intestines or whatever is handy, as Jennifer Blood.

See? Pretty basic stuff.

The story, when you think about it, isn't all that terribly unique. But in the hands of writer Garth Ennis, the book is a treat to read. Violent, sure -- vividly so. But cleverly written all the same, with a wry sense of humor even as our heroine buries an axe in a man's face or a trio of "Japanese schoolgirl" assassins are hired to put Jennifer Blood out of her targets' misery.

The art is handled in turn by Adriano Batista, Marcos Marz and Kewber Baal, and they do a good job bringing Ennis's characters to life ... or death, as the story requires. Prepare yourself for a little over-the-top gore, which has been something of an Ennis trademark at least since his Preacher days over at Vertigo.

Heck, that off-handed comment reminds me I need to reread Preacher one of these days. Meanwhile, it's always good to see Ennis still has the touch.

review by
Tom Knapp

24 March 2012

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