Review–First Blood mini-series introduces readers to Jennifer Blood

By C.J. Bunce

She seems pretty ordinary from afar.  Jennifer Fellows has a husband and a kid.  Driving around town like anyone, completing her shopping errands, she is planning and plotting her next activities.  But Jennifer Fellows, or Jennifer Blute, or whoever she really is, has a weapons cache hidden in her basement.   And she leaves at night while her family sleeps to check out her next target.

Jennifer is a former daughter of the mob or at least some sort of gangland enterprise.  Her father was murdered and her mother’s life was apparently ruined but that is all we learn from Jennifer as we get her backstory via her writings in a diary, left in case all this ever gets public, so her husband will understand why she had to do what she is planning to do.

Jennifer Blood: First Blood is a spinoff, six-issue, mini-series providing the account of “the lost years” of the recurring lead character in Dynamite Comics’ Jennifer Blood series, currently in its 16th issue.

Issue #1 is first and foremost a prologue.  And only toward the end of the issue does she take action, a bit like the DC Comics New 52’s Batgirl in her first hand-to-hand combat.  She falls into a bad situation, but comes out barely bruised.  She learns something about her five uncles that will help her to kill them all off and avenge her father’s death.  All in a day’s work for someone like Fiona on Burn Notice, Annie on Covert Affairs, even Echo in Dollhouse, or Jennifer what’s-her-name, who humorously questions upfront if any soccer mom-type turned murderess gets to create with her own nickname.

Other than settling the reader into this new world of Jennifer Fellows, we don’t get a lot of action in this first issue, but it is a good introduction to the mini-series and may even be enough to entice readers to jump into the regular, ongoing, monthly series.  Mike Carroll’s story is dense but clearly lays out the character’s motivations and environment and is a solid entry point for readers with no former knowledge of the character.  Brazilian Igor Vitorino’s artwork and Inlight Studio’s colors work well together to give us the bright and cheery everyday Jennifer yet quickly moves us to her alter ego in a darker world.  The introductory panel of Jennifer with weaponry is a particularly nice layout.  Mike Mayhew’s beautiful cover alone enticed this reader to check out the first issue.  An interesting beginning.  Jennifer Blood: First Blood is labeled for mature readers, and lists at $3.99.

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