“Jennifer Blood” has been a taut splatter thriller about a lady slowly taking her personal revenge on a crime family. Garth Ennis spun this tale and with its general conclusion last issue he departed the scene. One might think the whole endeavor should thus be abandoned, and yet Al Ewing will quickly sew those lips shut. Ennis might have closed his part of the tale, but this issue shows exactly how bad events can spiral into worse.
Just because Jennifer gained some closure on certain events in her initial arc doesn’t mean her double-life of slaying goombahs and wearing skintight leather won’t come back to haunt her. This issue is a complete success in that it shows us a wider and new scope for the tale and presents tangents that are freshly interesting. If you liked the start of this book then there’s every chance you should really stick with it as Ewing wants to keep you going.
The entire tale drops down a gear and we see more of Jennifer in the real life she often escaped and ignored. Now, she has nothing but all the time in the world for it. While she might have worked hard for this pedestrian existence to take center stage, the violence of her world isn’t done blowing up around her. Our main character can not sleep thanks to the disfigured ghosts of slaughters past, and orbiting around her are a man who’s prepared to sentence savage beatings for an 11 cent discrepancy and a nosy child who might ruin everything she’s finally peacefully enjoying. Life is still a tough place.
Kewber Baal seems to really enjoy the intense moments of this book. Whenever someone loses an eye or ends up in a shallow ditch, the clarity of this brutality is scary. The worst on display gets the microscope and yet this means inversely the more placid panels have a propensity to feel average. Things aren’t necessary bad -- though a few facial features may change across a sequence -- but the quiet isn’t spectacular.
If you dug on the messed-up first arc of “Jennifer Blood,” you should be very happy because the quality and insanity continues. Ewing comes on board and shows our titular heroine isn’t just a one-trick pony. He doesn’t try to replicate Ennis’ run but instead builds gloriously up from it like an ambitious kid making a three story sandcastle with wi-fi and a car wash. The first arc was just the introduction, now we need to see Jennifer reap the blood she worked so hard to sew.