The space cowgirl from Young Justice gets her own extra-sized special from DC’s Wonder Comics imprint, giving us a closer look at Jinny and her world. It begins with a stranger walking into the garage she runs with the help of pals Lady Bird and Alex.
Is he Jinny’s father? It’s just weeks since her mother died, which may be why Jinny is so open to the idea, and so quick, after a few days, to share her secret with him.
As it turns out, Jack isn’t entirely the stand-up guy he presents as, and soon he’s stolen Jinny’s trunk.
While Young Justice was such a busy series that Jinny didn’t get an awful lot of panel time, we saw enough of her to intrigue. I can’t resist a fast-talking gal with a science fiction shooter, and this special repaid my faith. Written by Magdalena Visaggio and illustrated by Gleb Melnikov, this is a fun ride, with Jinny a warm. witty protagonist as she takes on the ghosts of past and present. I’d have liked to learn more about what’s in that trunk ‘Great great whatever grandfather’ Jonah Hex filled – did he get those sci-fi relics during his brief stay in a post-apocalyptic 21st century? – but no luck there. Basically it’s a box of maguffins, primed to spark shenanigans aplenty for Jinny (who I still reckon should be called ‘Joanie’!).
And the first out of the box, the Godseye, brings a decent threat, as the newly named Three-Eyed Jack sets about transforming everything around him. Jinny is gutsy and resourceful, Lady Bird is the smart-talking sidekick and Alex… well, he’s just kinda there. It’s not like he isn’t used, but where Lady Bird’s Jewish background informs her character, Alex is just a big guy in a sweaty vest.
Visaggio, a graduate of DC’s Writers Workshop programme, works hard to ensure Jinny and her world have appeal, and succeeds. Jinny narrates and for the most part the device works; when there’s narration and dialogue flying across the page at the same time, it’s less successful.
There are a couple of confusing aspects to the script – a story Jinny recalls about her mother vanishing from a Paris hotel begs many questions. And why does she correct people who call her ‘Heck’ when that’s the name on the garage sign? (I assume one of her forebears change the spelling to distance them from grim bounty hunter Jonah Hex.)
The visuals by Melnikov are terrific – the storytelling is first rate, with clear characterisation and engaging action. And when things get nightmarish, the book kicks up a gear. Colour artist Luis Guerrero does an equally great job, underlying the mood with his carefully chosen tones. Gabriela Downie’s font choices, and the way she lays them down, also add to the eye appeal.
Nick Derington’s cover illo, coloured by Nick Filardi, is excellent, neatly encapsulating the basics of Jinny Hex… and that’s a wonderful logo.
The issue ends with Jinny setting off on a search for adventures, and on the basis of this issue, I’d like to see them, perhaps in one of DC’s new back-up features.