ďJadedĒ (part 1)
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Shawn Moll, Victor Olazaba (i)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: Jennifer has gone through a lot of changes in a short time. Time has passed, and now sheís a bounty hunter, not a lawyer. Nonetheless, she immediately runs afoul of some old friends.
Comments: What just happened? David admits in the letters page that he has no hope of equaling the inanity of Slottís run, so he immediately takes a more serious and cynical tack. He brushes off the new status quo, but itís a pretty big deal that sheís fallen down the legal food chain from lawyer to enforcer who has to get her hands dirty with the errant perps. Rather than just her mind and conscience in the courtroom, as it were.
The supporting cast has been jettisoned, too, and so far we donít have much to show for it. And the choice of villains isnít the most surprising: Titania and the Absorbing Man? That pair is old news for Jen. David seems to have substituted a lot of artificial mysteries (ďIíll tell you laterĒ) for the lightning fast dialogue and comic-book in-jokes that made Slottís run so enjoyable. Itís an abrupt change in tone, as is the tactic of telling most of the story from the perspective of one of Jenís targets, Rocky Davis aka Hi-Lite, a pretty hapless but not very evil minor villain.
The all-bad would be Titania and Rockyís cousin, the Absorbing Man. And they do have some new tricks up their sleeves, but then so does Jennifer. She also seems to have two bodies, which is yet another weird twist on the dual nature of her personality (and the reason, I suppose, for ever doing a Hulk story, no matter who the subject of the gamma beam isóthey all come back to some variation on Jekyll and Hyde).
So while Iím not blown away by this odd issue, Iíve got a lot of faith in David to figure out what heís going to do to make it his own. Heís quite rightly been lauded for writing some of the classic Hulk tales over the years, and his psychologically convoluted X-factor remains a favorite title. I just hope, along the way, he figures out how to do it without bumming Jennifer out permanently.
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