'Jenny Finn' #1 an inky-black spookshow well worth the wait

‘Jenny Finn’ #1 an inky-black spookshow well worth the wait

Are you looking forward to a new comic book but it’s impossible for you to wait for its release? We totally get it. That’s why there’s DoomRocket’s Advanced Reviews — now we assess books you can’t even buy yet.

Cover to 'Jenny Finn' #1. Art by Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart/Dark Horse Comics

Cover to ‘Jenny Finn’ #1. Art by Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart/Dark Horse Comics

By Mickey Rivera. Mike Mignola, the big brain behind the Hellboy franchise, has always loved a good horror story. He’s certainly told more of them than can be counted, and among them is Jenny Finn, a horror comic he began working on with artist Troy Nixey in 1999. And while the four-issue limited series took six years to finish — switching publishers and eventually enlisting the aide of Farel Dalrymple along the way — Dark Horse Comics has finally re-released the series with colors by Eisner-winning colorist (and frequent Mignola collaborator) Dave Stewart. The book turns out to be well worth the wait.

Jenny Finn starts something like this: A strange plague is haunting London. It causes grotesque tentacles and fish-parts to grow on the skin of those afflicted. Eventually, sufferers explode into gruesome piles of tentacled gore. Though the cause of this plague is as yet unknown, it’s put the city on edge. Compounding the city’s worries, a killer is going around town murdering prostitutes. The people are looking for a scapegoat.

Jenny Finn is a creepy young girl whose uncanny aura keeps the city dwellers well out of her path as she stalks down London’s streets. She ignores all but the occasional plague sufferers that cross her path, checking in on them as she goes about her mysterious business. A kind but misguided working class oaf named Joe takes to worrying about Jenny and tries to protect her. He’s soon led down a path that has him chasing ghosts, investigating trails of blood, and bearing witness to horrors soon to unfurl.

This book is incredibly well drawn. Nixey’s original black-and-white ink drawings have this amazing flowing quality, with lines that billow and swirl around each other. However, these drawings were sometimes hard to decipher when there was a lot going on in one panel. Adding colors clears up the narrative while simultaneously making the art hit harder. Stewart fills page after page of Nixey’s already exquisite line-work with Victorian earthtones and ectoplasmic neon.

Besides the amazing artwork, this is a classic Mignola horror story that would feel right at home in Hellboy. Every single speaking character in this book is a personality worth paying attention to, from the crazed religious fanatic who tries to hunt Jenny down to the fishes that periodically pop into the panels to whisper “doom.” Whether you’ve already experienced the inky-black horror of Jenny Finn or not, this version of Mignola and Nixey’s tale is one you shouldn’t miss.

Dark Horse Comics/$3.99

Written by Mike Mignola and Troy Nixey.

Art by Troy Nixey.

Colors by Dave Stewart.

Letters by Pat Brosseau and Ed Dukeshire.

9 out of 10

‘Jenny Finn’ is available in stores November 15.

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