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This Week’s Notable Comics: A Woman’s Work Killing Criminals is Never Done

Rating

B-

It’s hard to be a fan of Garth Ennis. You want to recommend his work to people, but you run the risk of offending them. Ennis is best known for Preacher, an acclaimed ’90s series about an East Texas minister searching — literally — for God. The comic is as profane as it is profound. For every heartfelt dialogue on the true meaning of friendship, there’s a close-up on a castrated man’s crotch as he sits on a toilet, or something equally shocking.

Ennis’ latest series is Jennifer Blood, the third issue of which went on sale yesterday. The title character is a stay-at-home mom by day and a vigilante by night. As the husband of a stay-at-home mom, I’m aware of what a ridiculous concept this is. But so is Ennis. He heightens the absurdity by framing the story through Jennifer’s diary entries. For example: “I just don’t trust little bullets — 5.56 is nice and light, and you can carry lots and lots of it, but you just can’t smash the life out of people the way you can with 7.62.”

At first, Jennifer Blood seems like just a high-concept excuse for Ennis to unleash his trademark brand of bullets ripping through bodies. But he hints at a deeper story. Jennifer has a connection to the criminals she’s capping that isn’t entirely explained in the first two issues; I’m intrigued enough to keep buying. But make no mistake: If you are easily offended, Ennis’ comics are not for you. The splash page of issue #2 is a R-rated joke about Titanic that hits you like a punch in the face. I laughed out loud as I shook my head in disbelief; you may just be repulsed.

Richie Rich #1: Since we started with such an “adults only” book, it behooves us to mention this kid-friendly series from Ape Entertainment, which is also launching a Kung Fu Panda series today. By the way, Ape publisher Brent Erwin has an ambitious schedule for Free Comic Book Day. He plans to sign autographs at no less than six Lone Star Comics stores.

Moon Knight #1: So you have a revival of Moon Knight, a superhero with multiple personalities, being written by Brian Michael Bendis, a scribe known for overly chatty dialogue. Who cares who’s drawing it? The art will be obscured by all the word balloons.

Huntington, West Virginia: On The Fly: The late Harvey Pekar takes his American Splendor act on the road.

Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #1: This place sounds like the antithesis to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

Image: From Garth Ennis’ Jennifer Blood.