Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review - Jenny Finn #1 (@DarkHorseComics)


"This world's no better for us bein' in it."

Times in older eras were rough for a variety of reason. London was no exception, as the din and clamor of the river it sits on made every day an adventure in society. In Jenny Finn #1 from Dark Horse Comics, that difficulty is further compounded by a mysterious horror stalking prey. The issue is written by Mike Mignola, illustrated by Troy Nixey and colored by Dave Stewart.

London's dockside is threatened by the twin terrors of a plague that leaves bodies covered in tentacles and a slasher killing women in the night, all of which began after the arrival of a strange young girl who is followed by whispers of doom wherever she goes.

Mignola is no stranger to the strange and his work in Jenny Finn #1 is certainly no exception. The story follows Joe, a seemingly well-intentioned individual who has to grapple with a decision he makes regarding a spate of murders in London. Mignola funnels the entirety of the narrative through him, providing information to the reader along the way and demonstrating his exceptional grasp of storytelling. There's something strange (probably supernatural) about Jenny Finn and the events of the book, but Mignola leaves a lot of it to the imagination. It's likely that Mignola has something in mind when it comes to the tale in general and he does very well to not completely tip his hand in the first issue.

The artwork by Nixey is what really gives the book a different tone. Nixey's work focuses on making everyone look ugly in a way that likely represents the ugliness in their personalities. Nixey offers perspectives of the characters that reflect a certain grotesque nature about them that would make Richard Corben proud. Nixey's presentation near the beginning of the issue that demonstrates the abnormal way people are dying meshes well with Mignola's take on the events and furthers the notion that things are ugly in Jenny Finn's London. Stewart's colors are appropriately present per normal, imbuing the book with just the right amount of a washed-out sense that reminds the reader they're in another era.

Jenny Finn #1 is haunting in a way that relies more on a subversion of the horror genre by emphasizing the normalcy of things. Joe wants to do and be good, but it turns out there are things beyond his control that don't always encourage that approach. Mignola's script is very subtle in its presentation and pacing, gradually building up a suspense throughout that keep's the reader curious. Nixey's artwork is beautifully ugly in that it reinforces the macabre sword dangling over the events. Jenny Finn #1 isn't shy about being a story about an unknown terror and how such an event can be haunting in its own right.

Jenny Finn #1 is available now.

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