Review: Jacked #1

Jacked #1Eric Kripke (creator of Supernatural) teams up with Vertigo veterans John Higgins and Glenn Fabry to bring you a very Vertigo take on the modern superhero in this six-issue miniseries. Josh Jaffe, a neurotic family man mid-midlife crisis, buys an online “smart pill” to increase his focus and jolt him out of his slump. But to Josh’s surprise, the pill gives him incredible strength and power—but its cost is that it’s extremely addictive.

Though I feel like we’ve seen similar stories, Jacked #1 has a brutal honesty about it that feels fresh and realistic. There’s very much hiighs and lows in this first issue, and using that, Kripke has given a comic that just feels relatable.

The main character Jaffe is an out of work guy, laid off, going from interview to interview, whose marriage has fizzled, wife is the bread winner, and to relax he turns to internet porn. So simple, but feels like something a lot of folks can relate to, even if it’s just one aspect of that.

The use of a pill to give special powers and abilities is something we’ve seen in other stories like Limitless and others, but again, Kripke brings on those powers slowly in a way that’s subtle and again relatable. How many of us go to the doctor for a magic pill? Jacked feels grounded, which is one of its great strengths.

Joining Kripke is Higgins on art and the details he puts in creates a comedic element to the first issue. With the art taken another way, the comic would be much more depressing than it is. It’s interesting in how the art really creates the tone in many ways.

Jacked #1 is an interesting start and another new Vertigo series revitalizing that publishing brand. It’s a solid debut, and though many elements are familiar, the comic itself has a voice of its own. Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Story: Eric Kripke Art: John Higgins
Story: 8 Art: 7.7 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review