JINNY HEX SPECIAL #1 (REVIEW)

Dec 29, 2020

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JINNY HEX SPECIAL #1
DC COMICS

Written by: Magdalene Visaggio
Art by: Gleb Melnikov
Colors by: Luis Guerrero
Letters: Gabriela Downie

Fresh from the dimension hoping pages of Young Justice, Jinny Hex gets her one shot special. And if writer Magdalene Visaggio continues to be involved, let’s hope there’s more stories out there for Jinny beyond this single issue. Visaggio brings a distinct voice and life to Jinny after being one of many character Bendis juggled during Young Justice. The combination of strong writer and beautiful artistic team provide an excellent canvas to develop this fresh character.

Like many one-shots, this issue starts by playing it safe giving readers some backstory and context. Jinny has just returned from her time with Young Justice and is still dealing with the grief of losing her mother. The story takes a formulaic turn when a man shows up with knowledge of Jinny’s mother claiming to be her father. They connect and Jinny opens up to him. If this too good to be true scenario sounds familiar, Magdalene Visaggio is ready to subvert those expectations. Yes, Jinny’s father betrays her and causes super villain levels of disaster, but Jinny does not need a father figure, nor does she try to redeem him. Jinny is confident in herself and her abilities.

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This twist on the “deadbeat dad come back into child’s life for personal gain” works because it connects her father to the deeper Hex legacy and because Jinny and her friend push back on daughter gender roles. Writer Magdalene Visaggio brings her Eisner and GLAAD awarded voice to the characters allowing them to feel genuine, realistic, and empowered. Jinny and her friend take down her father not because of some romanticized notion of family, but through their own force, willpower, and intelligence. Jinny comes to terms with the loss of her mother and forges new family bonds through choice, not blood relation. That powerful interpretation of family grounds Jinny into the reader’s world.

Visaggio’s compelling narrative is supported by Gleb Melnikov’s art and Luis Guerrero’s colors. Melnikov’s characters are youthful, grounded, and have a dash of grit that is expected from a Hex title. Guerrero’s colors bring that western grit to life with dusty hues and warm sunshine. The dark alternative version Jinny’s father creates, is colored and drawn with haunting purple, blue, and black. Melnikov’s depiction of Jinny’s friend, Lady Bird, fighting for control of her mind conveys the struggle through distinct facial expression and body language. In other hands the body takeover would use specific angles and shapes to accentuate the female battle, but Visaggio, Melnikov, and Guerrero create strong female characters that are admired as heroes for who they are, not what they wear.

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The strong, confident voice of Jinny and her friend Lady Bird are the core of this title and the characterization Visaggio creates shines brighter than the warm sun on the horizon. Jinny clearly has more mysteries to uncover and this creative team should be along for the adventure.

SCORE: 9.0

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