REVIEW: ‘Jenny Zero,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jenny Zero #1

Jenny Zero #1 is published by Dark Horse Comics, written by Dave Dwonch and Brockton McKinney, art by Magenta King, colors by Megan Huang with letters by Dave Dwonch. In a world plagued by giant monsters, Japan has turned to the Action Science Police(ASP) for its defense. As a new threat emerges from the Pacific Ocean, the ASP must call on one of its former members to return to face the menace. But just how much they are going to ask of her may be more than she realizes.

It has become a very familiar story setup. A former hotshot government agent/superhero left their jobs due to conflicts of an unknown nature. Since then, they’ve fallen into a cycle of drugs, drinking, and wild sex, to the point that they are barely recognizable as their former selves. Until one day, a crisis has arisen that is so big enough to drive their former employers to reach out to them. But with no time to prep, train, or even detox, the would-be hero is forced back into their former life with nothing to lose except the world itself. Sounds familiar, right? This basic setup is the starting point of Jenny Zero #1.

Now I don’t want the previous paragraph to give anyone the wrong idea. I appreciate a flawed hero as much as the next person. Giving characters their shortcomings makes them more human. Even when the character’s flaws are as deep as Jenny’s, however, like all concepts, overuse can quickly rob a perfectly valid concept of much of its punch. This is my big problem with Jenny Zero #1. From the first panel on, I felt like I had read numerous stories about the partying Jenny and how she gets thrust back into her former world. It is that world that provides the book some measure of saving.

In her past, Jenny would fight giant monsters to protect her country. To do this, she was teamed up with some form of sentient weapon that envelops her arm, which she calls Nemo. The nature of this bizarre-looking weapon/companion is not gone into this issue, but I’m certainly curious. 

When she is awakened from her regular drunken stupor to be reunited with her old ally and once more defend the world from danger is when Jenny Zero #1 manages to pick up a little steam as the monster design is interesting. The final panels of the book see the results of her return to the ASP send her life in an unexpected direction. 

The overall artistic presentation in Jenny Zero #1 delivers a solid, if not overly, inspired presentation. The book’s linework is a bit rough, which works well with the overall tone of the story, but just like that same story doesn’t find a lot of ways to truly separate itself from the pack. 

The colorwork is the most distinguishing aspect of the book’s visual presentation. I love many of the color choices themselves, and there is a sort of faded look to the colors that make them stand out. 

The lettering here also shows the same level of competence the rest of the book provides. While I think there are a few things that could’ve been done to help the art more seamlessly merge with the images, the lettering delivers the story in a clear and functional manner.

When all is said and done, Jenny Zero #1 delivers a tale that, while told well, doesn’t do enough to make it stand out. But if you are looking for a solid sci-fi tale about a hard-living hero who has to fight giant monsters, this will certainly scratch that itch.

Jenny Zero #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Jenny Zero #1
3.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Jenny Zero #1 delivers a tale that, while told well, doesn’t do enough to make it stand out. But if you are looking for a solid sci-fi tale about a hard-living hero who has to fight giant monsters, this will certainly scratch that itch.