Ms. Johnni is an indie comic in the purest sense… from it’s grassroots publishing to it aspiring creative team to it’s raw emotion. This first issue of Ms. Johnni mostly revolves around a main character and her introverted journey in her struggles of being trapped in an emotionally abusive marriage that came from an unwanted pregnancy fifteen years ago and the devastating impact it has had on her self-esteem. Johnni’s life gets the cathartic change that she needs when tragedy strikes and her youngest daughter is abducted from her elementary school. Faced with the darkness of her situation, she starts to take back what is hers… her personal health, a positive relationship with her oldest son and her self-worth.
While there are areas to work on, Ms. Johnni‘s debut is a very positive and welcomed one.
The issue actually opens with a very traditional “superhero”ish scene, with a top secret training facility for teenagers being busted into by a punisher-like character named Lennyx and claiming he was there to fight the bad guys. At this point, I really though the whole book was going to fall into a cliched melodramatic vortex. I wasn’t impressed by either the harsh-lined art nor the stilted text. But then we cut to Johnni’s story… her failed marriage and her private woes. At this point, the writing and the art steps it up tremendously. By the end of the issue, Johnni has lost sixty pounds and has a sharp focus in her life, to find her daughter. I’m not quite sure how this ties into Lennyx or how she transforms into the heroic figure on the cover, but I am intrigued.
There were two different pencillers on the book, and I am much more impressed with the last 2/3 of the book that was drawn by Rebecca Fedun. She still has some honing to do, but her potential will be evident to anyone who reads this book.
Ms. Johnni is filled with heart and emotion, and it’s obvious that the creative team here was passionate about what they put together. This is a fresh take on the hero genre, that is much more about the motivations rather than the actions of the protagonist.
Issue grade: B