Early Review: Blue Hand Mojo #1
The thing about legends that makes them endure is the part of the human psyche which does believe without actually seeing any empirical evidence, that which some call, faith. Some of these legends come off as mere “tall tales” or exaggerations of what actually happened. Then there are those which are told so visceral, that the details make them, live long after the storyteller has left the living. One of those legends, that had so much detail and told in such a tangible way, is the tale of the Devil and Robert Johnson.
This particular story has been explored in popular culture through movies like Crossroads starring Ralph Macchio and through shows like Supernatural. In the comics’ realm, you have iconic characters like Ghost Rider, who practically signed a deal with the devil in order to achieve some temporary wish that will take him seemingly forever to pay off. There are also the indirect adaptations like the popular manga and anime, Death Note, which the main character, Light makes a deal with Shinigami, the angel of death, to be able to kill anyone whom he writes their name in his book but in return not enter heaven or hell. Then there are those adaptations that are truly genre defying, such as John Jennings’ Blue Hand Mojo.
As their solicitation describes the story as:
1931. Bronzeville. Chicago. The mage, Frank “Half Dead” Johnson, is a marked man. Literally. A drunken decision fueled by tragedy has left him with half a soul, sorcerous powers, and two centuries to work off his debt to Scratch (aka The Devil) himself.
Within the first few pages, you enter one of Frank’s dreams, one very much reminiscent of a scene from Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Frank is truly in one of the best ages in Chicago’s history, one that John Jennings takes full advantage of, by Frank getting involved in a case with Macieli Gotti aka Mac the Shark, a lieutenant in Al Capone’s gang, where it seems as his crew was affected by black magic, which is right up Frank’s alley. By issue’s end, Frank is in one hell of a mess between his due to the devil and the gangster world.
Overall, a good blend of crime noir, history and horror, which not only is an above average addition to each of those genres, but a very innovative interpretation of this well-worn trope. The story by John Jennings, works well within any of the genres it inhabits, and a solid crime noir, which is reminiscent of Mickey Spillane. The art by John Jennings, is a huge difference from many of his pioneers, as his artistic stylings is unique and more of which I would like to see more of. Altogether, a fine mix of genres, that not only entertains but will make fans of John Jennings incredible talents.
Story: John Jennings Art: John Jennings
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Roasrium Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review