Jennifer Blood is Born Again!

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Exposure to unfamilair characters is a huge part of the reason I like crossovers so much. For example, ZERO HOUR was pretty much the whole reason I became interested in Starman and the Legion of Super-Heroes. I had never really heard of Jennifer Blood until she showed up in SWORDS OF SORROW, but Nancy Collins did an excellent job explaining the character in a two-page spread in the VAMPIRELLA/JENNIFER BLOOD tie-in.  Because of that comic, I wanted to know more about Jennifer Blood. So when I saw Dynamite was putting out a collection of JENNIFER BLOOD: BORN AGAIN, I had to give is a try.


Jennifer Blood: Born Again

Written by: Steven Grant
Art by: Kewber Baal
Colored by: Inlight Studios
Lettered by: Rob Steen

Published by: Dynamite
Cover Price: $19.99

This trade collects Jennifer Blood: Born Again #1-5

Warning! This review contains quite a few spoilers!

In BORN AGAIN, Jennifer Blood was gone into seclusion as part of a cult, just to get away after her family turned their backs on her because of her vigilante ways. But, she’s soon drawn back into action when someone tries to consolidate all the crime families in Los Angeles by pretending to be Jennifer Blood. The real Jennifer comes out of seclusion only to realize her replacement is far better trained and equipped. Jennifer ends up getting trained by an assassin who has been sent to kill her.

For the most part, I really enjoyed the story here, though I will admit it had some small flaws:

1) There was a lot of clichés here. The false Jennifer Blood was an out of control sadist with brutal sexual desires. Why is it that whenever someone wants to show a strong women, she needs to be an over-the-top, whip-wielding, leather-clad dominatrix?  It’s like we can’t imagine a strong woman without making her into a sociopath. Also, why does S+M always have to be pathologized in comics?  It's become comic book shorthand for "evil woman."

2) I also thought that were some action movie clichés here too. As soon as Jennifer started working with the assassin, you knew they would end up sleeping together.

3) I also didn’t think a new reader would quite get a handle on who Jennifer Blood is. There were a lot of hints and teases, but it was never clear enough to make me feel I fully understood what made her tick. If I hadn’t read the SWORDS OF SORROW tie-in, I am not sure I would have gotten through this mini.

But, I will also say that I still enjoyed this comic. The action sequences were real well done. The violence felt real, but never gratuitous. I also thought Jennifer Blood was a real strong female character. I may not have quite liked the antagonist, but I did enjoy Jennifer Blood quite a bit. I especially liked when you see how her plans play out. This miniseries established a new status quo for Jennifer Blood with most people thinking she is dead when they find the imposter’s body.

I also thought this was a terrific story. I don’t mind clichés when they end up coming together to form something completely new, and I do think there was enough new about BORN AGAIN to make it worth checking out.

I have said this before, but I have never seen a Dynamite comic where the art, coloring, or production was anything less that brilliant. You can tell a lot of quality control goes into anything Dynamite puts out. Some of the bigger companies could really learn a lesson here.

Kewber Baal’s art really made this comic stand out for me. At times, it was hard to tell the two “Jennifers” apart, but that worked real well with the twists of the story. All the action was drawn perfectly, and even though it was a dark setting, it never felt dreary or depressing. That is always a tough balance to pull off, but it was done so well here.

Reading this book continued to make me want to know more about Jennifer Blood. She doesn’t seem to have a lot of information on her online. I know that she was created by Garth Ennis a few years ago and had a series that went for over 50 issues. Dynamite has those collected as well, so I will probably pick them up at some point. Hopefully new editions will come out so I can get review copies…HINT, HINT, DYNAMITE!

Actually, I would love to see Nancy Collins do more Jennifer Blood. She was the one who got me interested in the character in the first place, and she seems like she would be a great fit. I am already very excited by the announcement that she will be taking over ARMY OF DARKNESS.


Title: JENNIFER BLOOD: BORN AGAIN
Written By: Steven Grant
Art By: Kewber Baal
Company: Dynamite
Price: $19.99
Pros:
  • Jennifer Blood is a great character, and she comes off real well here
  • Some nice twists and turns in the plot
  • Great art
Cons:
  • A little heavy on cliches.
  • Not easy for new readers to jump in
Is it worth your $3.99? It's not quite perfect, but I did feel I got my money's worth here.  Steven Grant was not quite the right writer for this, but it's close enough to still be a very satisfying comic read.
Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0