IMPOSSIBLE JONES VOL. 1: GRIN AND GRITTY/ Script, Inks, Book Design and Pre-Press by KARL KESSEL/ Pencils by DAVID HAHN/ Colors by TONY AVIÑA/ Letters by RICHARD STARKINGS OF COMICRAFT/ Published by PANIC BUTTON PRESS
Full Disclosure: The author supported the Kickstarter that helped to fund this book and has not received any special attention or compensation for this review.
Once upon a time there was a thief. She was a good thief but a bad person, but not so bad as some of the criminals that called New Hope City home. That changed the night a job went south, her crew split and she was locked up in the middle of a science lab about to go nuclear.
When she pulled herself together after the Earth-shattering kabooooom, she found herself changed. Apart from a permanent dye-job, her skin and her clothes became as flexible as rubber. That, coupled with an unexpected encounter with a telekinetic assassin and two of the city’s biggest heroes was enough to make her reputation as the city’s newest and most unlikely hero… Impossible Jones!
Now Impossible is playing a dangerous game, using her new powers to endear herself to the public while taking down the honestly dangerous criminals and pocketing their ill-gotten gains for herself. Will the other heroes of New Hope City catch on before her conscience catches up with her? It’s impossible to say. But for now, she’s having the time of her life!
In case the subtitle of Grin and Gritty were not enough of a clue, Impossible Jones Vol. 1 is not intended for those without a sense of humor. This shouldn’t be surprising given that this comic is the passion project of artist David Hahn (Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Batman ’66) and Karl Kesel, aka the creator behind uplifting event books like The Final Night and the writer of the first monthly Harley Quinn comic. Still, it should probably be noted that if you’re eagerly awaiting the eight-hour unedited Blu-Ray edition of Zack Snyder’s Batman Shrugged, this might not be your cup of tea.
Impossible Jones is rightly described as a combination of Harley Quinn and Plastic Man, but that summarization goes way beyond her powers and her nature as a cheerful anti-hero who is unsure of her own motivations at least half the time. This comic is fun.
This comic is simply fun in the same way that a rollercoaster is fun. For those of the right temperament, it will make you smile in spite of yourself. This is the kind of comic where the hero ambushes the villains by standing in front of the billboard with their face on it. This is the sort of comic with an impish robber named Holly Daze, who uses Christmas and Hanukah themed devices in her heists.
The artwork and the script work in perfect harmony, with a light aesthetic that evokes memories of the pun-spouting villains of the Adam West Batman era and the twisted delirium of Jack Cole’s original Plastic Man comics. The colors by Tony Aviña are vivid throughout. Richard Starkings does his usual outstanding job on the lettering. It’s clear that every creator involved in this book believed in it and poured their hearts and souls into this work.
Bottom line: if you like silly superheroes that break the mold, you’re going to love Impossible Jones as much as I do. But wait – there’s more! More Impossible Jones on the way, that is. In addition to a follow-up graphic novel, Panic Button Press has just announced that it will publish four single-issue comics to expand upon the wacky world of Impossible Jones throughout 2021. Look to ImpossibleJones.com for all the latest news and to pick up this book.