Comicbook: Jennifer Blood
Jenny is a housewife. Her husband is a college professor and an avid birdwatcher, her children are unremarkable, and her neighborhood is a suburb like many others across the continental United States. Every night, however, Jenny puts her husband and children to sleep with drugged hot chocolate, puts on a black wig and a black coverall, arms herself from a well-maintained arsenal she has hidden in the tool shed, and goes out to kill every mobster she can find.
Jenny's real name is Jessica Blute, and years ago, her father and uncles ruled an entire city by fear, before her uncles turned on and killed her father. She's spent the intervening years in training, and now she's out to return the favor.Jennifer Blood
is a monthly-ish
, mature-audiences-only comic from Dynamite Entertainment, written by Garth Ennis
, Al Ewing, Mike Carroll, and Steven Grant with a rotating cast of artists, and is intended as a black comedy. Its original run ended with issue #36 in February 2014, with a new volume, Born Again
, premiering in August 2014.
Spin-off miniseries include The Ninjettes
, a prequel featuring some one-off antagonists from issue #4, and First Blood
, a story set during the period of time when Jenny was training for her initial run at her uncles.
Tropes encountered in this work include:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Varla seems to have wandered into this story from a cyberpunk novel. She can cleave a man's skull in half with a one-armed swing from her katana.
- Asian Airhead: the Ninjettes.
- Becoming the Mask: Ennis's initial run is about Jenny's attempts to juggle her idyllic suburban life with her mission of revenge against her uncles. When Al Ewing takes over the book, that juggling act begins to fail almost immediately, as does Jenny's image of herself.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Ray Buwick seems like the last guy you'd want to leave a couple of preteens alone with, but compared to just about every other adult in the book, he's probably the nicest guy of the lot. After the bloodbath in issue #22, he's arguably kinder to Jenny's kids than Jenny is.
- Crazy-Prepared: Jenny's very fond of planting charges ahead of time to secure her escape routes.
- Combat Pragmatist: How does one woman, however well-trained or -funded she might be, manage to kill off entire housefuls of armed gangsters? Any way she can.
- Covers Always Lie: If you went by the covers of each issue, you'd think Jenny used sex as a weapon a lot more often than she actually does. In truth, she uses her own boobs as a distraction tactic once in the first issue, but that's about it. The alternate covers often show her gunfighting in her underwear, which never happens in the actual book.
- Cycle of Revenge: Jenny finishes her original mission by the end of issue #6. The subsequent plotline involves the fallout from it, which includes the angry father of one of the Ninjettes.
- Dark Action Girl: Jenny's not a particularly likable protagonist, but she's fetched up somewhere between Batman and The Punisher. She's also capable of holding her own against vastly superior forces.
- Eek, a Mouse!!: When cornered by the musclehead neighbor who seems to think she has the hots for him, Jenny screams that there's a mouse, with a very tiny pink tail, causing all the other houseguests to come running.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Salazar's really one of the nicest drug dealers in the history of fiction.
- Expy: Jenny has a very similar background to a character from the "Widowmaker" arc on Ennis's MAX run on The Punisher, right down to having the same first name.
- Gorn: It's a Garth Ennis comic. It isn't really surprising.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: The Ninjettes from issue #4 are a trio of bored young upper-class Asian girls trading on the ninja stereotype in order to get their feet in the door as professional assassins. They last about three pages once they actually run into Jenny. Hell, one of the variant covers of their own book is of Jenny standing over their dismembered corpses.
- Imagine Spot: Jennifer imagines what she could do to the new neighbor who wants her to suck his dick, including slamming his head on the barbecue or drowning him in the toilet.
- In the Blood: Pruitt's theory on Jenny is that despite her own stated desires, the craziness that made her uncles monsters is still well active in her. She may want to be normal, but between her training and her trauma, every attempt she makes to do so is doomed to failure. This theory has been advanced in later issues with the strong suggestion that being a member of the Blute family at all means you're at least predisposed towards sociopathy.
- Mood Dissonance: Ennis's initial six-issue run on the book is an action story with occasional humor. Al Ewing, on the other hand, wrote something that reads a lot like a really violent Carl Hiaasen novel, with multiple coexisting plotlines and an eccentric cast of characters. Finally, Mike Carroll's run is a globe-spanning action movie with Jenny as the villain of the piece, dealing with her family's European relatives and on the run from the FBI.
- Varla, Daisy, and Darlene, a trio of disgraced hitwomen introduced in the Ninjettes spin-off, are exactly the kind of Hollywood action heroines that Jenny is a deliberate counterpoint to. Where Jenny is competent, thorough, and professional, Varla's idea of a clean hit is chopping a guy in half through a hotel room door, then setting the hotel on fire.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Jenny's entire motivation in a nutshell.
- Spin-Off: The Ninjettes have, for whatever reason, received their own limited series, which covers their training and background. This is presumably at least partially meant to lend characterization and background to Skyler's father Oshiro, who's currently one of the major antagonists of Ewing's run, and sets up Kelly's unwilling mentor Varla for her appearances later in the main book.
- Stepford Smiler: Jenny.
- Villain Protagonist: Jenny devolves over the course of the book from a particularly vicious brand of anti-heroine to an outright sociopath, culminating in #18 and #19 when she goes on a rampage through her neighborhood and then across the United States, holding up gas stations for money and leaving no survivors.