Since her creation, Jinny Hex has been a character shrouded in as much mystery as the strange box she carries around. Jinny Hex Special #1 by Magdelane Visaggio and Gleb Melnikov attempts to fix this, adding some clarity and backstory to such a new character. What they come up with is a touching story about legacy, adding layers of depth to Hex’s character.
Since her creation, Hex’s story has been deeply entrenched in her family — she’s the descendent of Jonah Hex, and carries around a box of trinkets inherited from her family. The choice to center her solo issue around family feels natural, and the way Visaggio approaches it is very nuanced. Hex reveals that her mother has died of ovarian cancer, leaving the family mechanic shop to her. In a world of superheroics and unnatural feats being achieved every day, there’s always something tragically real in characters who die of real-world causes. It makes a character like Jinny Hex more relatable and human.
Early on in the issue, Hex meets her father, Jack. Though Jinny knows her father abandoned her at a young age, Jack frames himself as someone who wants to do better by her and her mother. Too trusting, Jinny believes him and lets him into her life almost instantly, explaining a bit of her past with Young Justice and her mysterious box. Her best friend, Lady Bird, warns Jinny against trusting Jack, feeling him to be untrustworthy.
Soon, it’s revealed that Lady Bird’s suspicions aren’t far off at all, and Jack steals a specific trinket from Hex’s box: the Godseye. Inserting the artifact into his head, Jack becomes Three-Eyed Jack, shaping the world in his image. One of the feats Jack accomplishes is creating a copy of Jinny’s mother, which shocks the grieving teen to her core. Once again, Jinny is placed in a scenario where she’s confronted with her own legacy and what that means, making peace with her mother’s death as she realizes that the figure in front of her will never be her mother.
Jack also reveals more shocking details about his past. Not only did he know Jonah Hex, but he hired him to track down the Godseye, which Jonah later pocketed for himself. Jack spent decades trying to find the lost artifact, eventually romancing Jinny’s mom with the sole intent of locating the Godseye. When her mother didn’t know where it was, he left her. And, as if he hadn’t already made life hard enough for his daughter, he puts the Godseye in her best friend, Lady Bird.
By the issue’s end, an interesting statement about family and legacy has been made. Jinny Hex makes peace with the fact that her mother is gone and her father will never be the kind of man she wanted him to be, leaving her with an unsavory legeacy. But she has gained a sister in Lady Bird, who was left with a sliver of power from Jack. Family has always been central to her character, giving her her “power” in the mysterious box and also becoming her greatest enemy. However, the family she has chosen in Lady Bird is far more important, and it’s that family that she chooses to recognize as her strength.
Jinny Hex Special #1 is a much-needed insight into a new character that provides a thought-provoking narrative about the family we are born into and the families we choose. Visaggio’s story is nuanced, proving that she was the perfect choice for this book. Melnikov’s pencils have a neat yet unpolished sheen that is perfectly fitting for this old-west inspired aesthetic, breathing life onto every page. It’s certainly worth the read and is the kind of title that sticks with you afterward, bringing a moment of reflection.
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