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vilja

Vilja Reads

I'm a student, so I don't have nearly as much time for leisure reading as I'd like. If I manage to read an entire course book instead of just the assigned chapters, I'll review that here, too.

Amazing Agent Jennifer

Amazing Agent Jennifer, Vol. 1 - Kriss Sison, Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir

College student Jennifer is recruited on her freshman year to join a shadowy U.S. agency as a trainee. The two volumes track Jennifer, gifted and single-minded with very little interest in creating social ties, as she cuts off tie after tie to the "normal" world and devotes herself entirely to the service. 

 

I surprised myself by picking the comic up in first place. I also read it in one sitting - not as surprising if you know my comic book habits. The premise is so typical that I didn't expect it to be handled as well as it was. I certainly didn't expect introverted Jennifer to get through the entire thing without being opened up like a gentle flower by the first stirrings of love, etc. Her introversion and pursuit of her scholarly interests is rewarded, and she's allowed to shape her life into what she chooses to make of it, even if that puts her under the strict observation of her commanders - a constrained life chosen freely. That's about the only real surprise, but in a well-told story, it's all you need to get to four stars.

 

I rarely rate comic books on the art, but the art in this one, it must be said, is painstaking, with that minute attention to detail in the backgrounds and items we've come to expect from manga and pseudo-manga alike. The art did, it must be said, get clumsy when it came to drawing bodies, especially the bodies of women, which have an unnatural elongated look with a waist-dip that doesn't really work even if you accept that their design is highly stylized. The wages of impossible beauty ideals dog us at every turn. 

 

I was rather pleased with the framing of the story as the beginning of another typical manga story, the genetically engineered supersoldier, until I learned it actually was a prequel to another series focusing on just that supersoldier. Even so, it stands on its own, and I don't feel like I need to read Amazing Agent Luna to understand it or follow it up.