"Jennifer The She-Wolf #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Cruzin Comics
Written by Luis M. Cruz
Illustrated by Henry Simon and Miky Ruiz
2014, 26 Pages
On the way home from a party, Jennifer and Antonio stumble upon a man lying in the middle of the road. When they go to check out the victim, they find that it's actually a werewolf; it kills Antonio and mauls Jennifer. Fortunately, the aptly named Lykan takes the woman in and fills her with a brief history of werewolves before she escapes. Fast forward almost a hundred years, and Jennifer (at least I think it's Jennifer) is riding around on a motorcycle and fighting zombies.
For a comic that's called Jennifer the She-Wolf, the main character is never actually addressed by name. She's the only woman in the book, so it's safe to assume that she's the title character, but it's never called out. The men are named, but not her. There's probably more I can get into here about the comic book industry and how it treats women.
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Anyway, the story makes a few leaps throughout this debut issue, almost as if the creative team knew where they wanted to go, but didn't want to waste time fleshing out the details. Big moments such as Jennifer essentially abandoning her children are briefly mentioned in an effort to get to the present day.
Lykan presents his own set of questions. Why was he lying in the street? Is this a half-assed way of hunting? Why did he kill Antonio, but not Jennifer? He spouts off a bunch of exposition at Jennifer and doesn't provide much in the way of explanation for his actions. Then, just as quickly as he's introduced, Jennifer escapes off panel and we jump ahead about ninety years.
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The comic is broken up in half with the first portion illustrated by Miky Ruiz, and Henry Simon handled the latter section. Ruiz's artwork is presented in black-and-white, which works well with the flashback scenes. There's an excellent use of shading, giving the panels a classic look, especially those after the incident. He draws a menacing werewolf that looks like a hulking beast made of muscle. What stands out a bit is the tail on the creature. I don't know if I just never noticed a werwolf's tail before, but it looks a little silly.
Simon's artwork in the present day is rather flat, as if the three dimensional characters are squished between two panes of glass. They lack depth. The werewolf and zombie designs are better, although they suffer from the same problems.
Jennifer the She-Wolf takes the alternate approach to an origin story. Instead of expanding out the beginnings of the character, it rushes forward, skipping almost all of the important details of her life for the past nine decades. Perhaps if the comic had started in present day and had flashes back to how Jennifer became a werewolf and came to terms with her new life it would have flowed better.