Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah
by Mike Mignola, Troy Nixey (Boom!, 2007)

It evokes elements of Lovecraft and Verne. But Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah, a steampunk yarn set in Victorian London, falls short of its lofty mark.

Jenny is a young girl with an old face who wanders the seedy streets and leaves fishy growths in the flesh of everyone she touches. Tentacles and tales, scales and suckers, it's all a pretty ghastly lot for poor Joe, a country lad who's come seeking work and instead falls under Jenny's spell. He feels bound to protect her from the strange occurrences in her wake -- even though she herself may be the cause.

Joe's not without assistance in his efforts, but the forces moving to take Jenny for strange and arcane purposes -- as well as the work of a mysterious slasher in the vicinity -- are sure to overwhelm the well-intentioned but naive lug.

Unfortunately, the story by Mike Mignola and Troy Nixey (along with the art by Nixey, aided by Farel Dalrymple) never achieves any real level of horror. Instead, there's some vague sense of "ick," a feeling of mild distaste that makes you want to wash your hands after reading it. Jenny Finn isn't horrifying, it's just unpleasant.

review by
Tom Knapp

23 August 2008

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