(The Virgin Read)
You know, I’ve been looking for just the right kind of female comic book character to capture my interest - and Jennifer Blood just might be it!
I wouldn’t have thought it from the cover, either. By the way, the cover art of this comic book is distinctly different from the interior art. It's pretty drastic. If I had chosen this comic book based on the cover art, assuming that the inside was more gritty, realistic stuff, I’d be disappointed.
Of course, I didn’t choose this based off of the cover art. Hell, I didn’t choose it, period. It was chosen for me. As it turns out, it was a pleasant little surprise. Cover art notwithstanding, it's not what one might expect.
Here we have a female comic book character who does it all - happy homemaker and dutiful wife by day (and portions of the night), while also doing the whole vigilante super heroine by night routine. She's also totally feminist and willing to use her alter ego to seek revenge on sexists and/or male chauvinists.
She's hardly Joan Cleaver. What's hilarious is the little lines thrown in here and there that make you do a mental double-take. There's this blurb that comes up in the midst of her diary entry that is explaining the details of her day: "It was only later, when I was grinding up the Valium (junior for Alice and Mark!) to put in their hot chocolate that the one black cloud rose up over the horizon again....”
I had to re-read that part four times to make sure I read what I thought I'd read. Mrs. Happy Homemaker drugs her kids at night so she can go out and play Wonder Woman?
And you know what else? She's totally hot. The artist's pen had a good time drawing this lady. You should see her silhouette in the shower. What's great is that she does and says the very thing I was yearning for Power Girl to say and do. Uh-huh - when the "bad guys" spot her and guns pointed and aimed right at her, she makes sure they get a good look at her. She knows that when they do this, it buys her a second or two. The dialogue goes down like this:
Bad Guy 1: Dude - have you seen this?
Bad Guy 2: JESUS --
Jennifer Blood's thought text: That's right boys, I thought. Boobies. Take a good look. You know you want to. Give me that nice long second I need.
And then she annihilates them. You know something? That's what I want in a super-chick. I want one who knows the power of her sexuality to stupefy, dazzle and weaken the men folk. And I want her to use it for good and for conquering evil. If evil isn't available, she can also just use it to hurt people. I am willing to compromise.
Now of course, just when I got far enough into this comic to recognize that I was enjoying it, I started to wonder about the logistics of the whole thing, like...how the hell can she keep this up? This double life - we get a hint that this isn't for good. She's apparently seeking revenge on uncles. (Her uncles? Is that serious? Perhaps some people just use the term "uncles" generally? Like "Godfathers", or something?) Whatever these guys are to her, she kills one in this issue and lets us know that there are four more to go.
The last thing I feel like I have to write about occurred in the last few pages. Again, I have to mention her body. I mean honestly, her boobs are stunners. She's drawn chockfull of raw sex appeal in the night time sequence, which is all supposed to be juxtaposed against her husband. (Who she's having sex with.) And yes, we're all wincing at the fact that he's working so darn hard to please her, and himself, and all she's thinking about is how nice and boring it is to let him flail around on top of her compared to what she's just been through. But even without the dialog, or the absence in her face, the thing that made him all the most pitiful...is the pronounced, prominently drawn hair on his ass. It's not in the middle of the page or anything - but my eye just goes there. It's so gross. It's not just general male hair - it looks as rough and thick as a porcupines, or, and I hope the comic isn't being this blunt but maybe it is: a pigs.
I guess it'll turn out that he's also some sort of super hero and they'll end up teaming up together. All his earnest, exhaustive love-making efforts will be an act or something. That's how this all usually works out, right?
-Nina Stone, 2011
Jennifer Blood, Written by Garth Ennis, Art by Adriano Batista, Published by Dynamite