I’ll be really up front about this issue, it looks great, but the story does nothing. Like nothing. Which is a shame. I actually enjoyed most of the first volume of Jirni. I didn’t actually finish it because I lost track of its release schedule, but the first two issues were solid. Mostly the art was great. I did get a bit disappointed when this volume featured a new artist, but it’s V Ken Marion and he’s pretty damn good so my disappointment lasted a millisecond at best. As for the story, we’re not given a recap of how the last series ended. Which is fine. It shows that the creators want this to standalone and that you don’t need to know what happened in order to read and follow this series. Frankly, that’s one of the smartest aspects of the story.
We find Ara on a pirate ship heading somewhere, she’s in full Genie mode and I can’t remember if she could change back and forth or not. She doesn’t really say where she’s going and even though there’s plenty of opportunities to indicate this information. Instead it seems like she’ll leave the ship when she’s ready to. The pirates visit an unnatural black rock that stands way too high in the middle of the sea to possibly exist. They scale the cliff face in a very Princess of the Bride way and find bug creatures at the top. They exchange goods and some shit goes down forcing Ara to fight. Only she’s in the wrong… and even though she’s maimed some people they let her go with a free pass.
That’s literally it. There’s a lot of excess dialogue that does nothing for the story or the character development. The pirate captain Boro is very Pirates of the Caribbean inspired or you could say inspired by what people want from pirates after that movie series took off. There’s a strong chance that Ara and him will bang and frankly I couldn’t care. In fact, if they do I will stop caring about her character because there’s no fucking reason for her to give a shit about this guy other than for his looks. Which of course happens on the flip side of comics all the time, but frankly I hate that shit as well and switching the gender doesn’t make it an acceptable story aspect.
What’s really bothersome about the story is that there’s no consequences for Ara’s actions, but there are for the person that sends her into action. I don’t want to spoil it even though it was easy to figure out what was going to happen when they got up the cliff. I know that character’s having zero consequences in comics is again nothing new, but it seems like a big oversite to have two characters in the thick of it and only one has to face the consequences of their actions while the other just continues to do whatever they want. What lesson does that teach the character exactly?
The art is gorgeous. Marion’s artwork has improved since the last time I saw it and the coloring from Juan Fernandez keeps this world looking similar and beautiful. I do wish this team had more to work with story wise, but seeing the art team take on a storm at sea and illustrate it convincingly was pretty awesome. I really enjoyed Ara’s design and that she’s still almost two feet taller than the rest of the characters in the comic.
Overall I enjoyed this book, mostly for the art and for the possibilities the character holds. I wish the story was more interesting and that it didn’t waste an issue establishing nothing. Will we ever go back to this location? No. Will we deal with these creatures again? No. Is the cargo the important part of the story? Yes, but that’s not something I care about. Maybe the next chapter has something new to offer, but this is feeling like a forced sequel to a story that had a natural conclusion. Why else would you spend an entire issue giving shallow character development and establishing a setting that will never be used again and wasn’t cool to begin with?