Overview

Jennifer Blood #3

Review

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Jennifer Blood #3

Credits

  • Words: Garth Ennis
  • Art: Audriano Batista and Marcos Marz
  • Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
  • Story Title: "Born to Run"
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: May 4, 2011

One of the best books Dynamite Entertainment puts out every month just dropped the ball. Okay, so it’s not as bad as all that. As far as I’m aware, the Apocalypse isn’t in the offing or anything of that magnitude. I’m just a little disappointed, is all. During its short lifespan, Jennifer Blood has become one of the few titles I look forward to reading every month. So, when I come across a sub-par issue only three chapters in, I get a little concerned.

My past two reviews of the opening issues of Jennifer Blood have focused primarily on Garth Ennis’ writing. I’m a writer, so that’s only natural. Generally, I’m in awe of any published artist, for their vision, dexterity, and discipline. However, one thing I absolutely loathe is inconsistent artwork, especially in my favorite comic books. For the past two months Audriano Batista has provided stellar pencils to accompany Ennis’s tight, twisted scripts. A more than capable visual storyteller, Batista’s pages have been clear, well-rendered, and exciting to read. In many respects, Batista matches up with Ennis’ strengths perfectly. Just as comfortable relating scenes of humor (as in this issue’s opening sequence) and moments of quiet reflection, as he is rendering in shocking detail death and mutilation, Batista’s versatility was one of Jennifer Blood’s strongest selling points.

As Jennifer prepares to off her third uncle in a row and fends off the sexual advances of her new neighbor, Batista gets a helping hand from Marcos Marz. I can’t remember ever coming across Marz’s work before and I really don’t have anything bad to say about it other than it was a somewhat jarring and distracting visual transition, after Batista’s pencil work. A little more polished and crisp, Marz’s style differs drastically from Batista’s. Worse than contrasting styles though, is Marz’s inconsistent interpretation of the characters, which differs so greatly from Batista’s, I was momentarily perplexed, thinking I’d missed a scene somewhere along the way. It was as if he was working from a entirely different set of character designs.

That’s where my criticism of Marz ends, though. In fact, I believe he should be commended for coming in at what was likely the last minute to help complete the comic book. The editor, on the other hand, should give his head a shake. A little harsh perhaps but what we’re talking about here is pretty amateurish stuff. When important characters aren’t recognizable from page to page, there’s a serious storytelling flaw in your comic.

That being said, this little stumble won’t turn me off Jennifer Blood completely. Hopefully, next issue will see a return of consistency in the title’s visuals, otherwise any success Ennis’ latest creator-owned series has enjoyed so far may be far too fleeting, no matter whose name is on the cover.

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