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Comic Review: Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah
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BOOM! Studios: Jenny Finn: Doom MessiahJenny Finn: Doom Messiah
Written by Mike Mignola and Troy Nixey
Art by Troy Nixey (Chapters 1-3), Farel Dalrymple (Chapter 4)
Letters by Pat Brosseau (Chapters 1-2), Ed Dukeshire (Chapters 3-4)
Cover by Mike Mignola with Colors by Dave Stewart
BOOM! Studios
Release Date: September 28, 2011
Cover Price: $14.99

Strange things are happening in London, England. There is a murderer going around killing prostitutes, the town’s men are being transformed into odd half-man half-sea creatures, and there is an overwhelming sense of doom in the air. With such odd occurrences, it isn’t safe for a young girl to walk about town, is it? Well that depends on who that girl is. In Mike Mignola and Troy Nixey‘s Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah, nothing is as it seems.

Fisherman bring in the day’s catch on a London day like any other. The streets are bustling with people as a young girl named Jenny Finn makes her way around town. Jenny catches the attention of an out-of-towner named Joe who can’t help himself but to seek her out and introduce himself. He is concerned for her safety, as the treacherous streets of London are no place for an innocent young girl. Jenny agrees with him, but insists that she is far from innocent. Her reputation has made its way around town, and soon Joe will know that Jenny is a unique and complex individual.

Joe is drawn to Jenny, but not in the way that the other men in town are. He feels a sense of compassion for her that no one seems to share. The men whose lives Jenny has touched previously become zombie-like in their fanatical devotion to her. This group of men idolize her, even referring to her as the “messiah.” While Joe does not necessarily revere her in the same way, he knows that their lives are intertwined, and there is something important he must do to aid her.

The mystery of who Jenny really is is what gives Jenny Finn its luster. Mignola and Nixey have penned a terrific monster epic, which should come as no surprise to fans of either scribe. Using that horror-styled vehicle, they have also crafted a brilliant allegory that picks apart idolatry in all its forms. Jenny is many things, but along with human, monster, and prostitute, to many she is also a scapegoat, messiah, and harbinger of doom. The men who worship her are just as vehement in the love as the men who would destroy her. She changes these men, and some die as a result. Conversely, some of the men are cured of pain and illness after she has her effect on them. Who’s to say those who died weren’t wicked themselves? Perhaps they deserved punishment? We are not given that information in the story, but in honesty, it isn’t needed. Jenny Finn is way more affective as a character if you are not quite sure how to feel about her. She is a sympathetic girl who does unspeakable things, but she takes no pride in it. There is no plotting, no revenge, no killing sprees, just Jenny Finn.

Nixey and Farel Dalrymple‘s artwork expertly characterize the seafaring horror Jenny Finn has to offer. Sprawling tentacles and puddle-filled streets are a constant reminder that something terrible is infecting London’s underbelly, but I found myself particularly drawn to each character’s face. In the artists’ hands, every face tells a story, as though each of the book’s participants have lives equally as interesting as what they endure on the page. Stories like this draw the reader in deeper when it feels as though its happening to real people.

Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah was a fantastic read, with a rich story perfectly punctuated by dark and haunting artwork. It’s also filled with re-read potential, so head out to your local comic shop and pick up the trade!

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