Jook Joint is one of the most shocking first issues I’ve ever come across. It opened with a trigger warning, contains graphic gore, and has a deeper meaning you may not see coming. It’s a comic I interviewed writer Tee Franklin about just last week and it’s the hottest horror comic on the stands right now.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Tonight at the Jook Joint, the blood runs as hot as the music as Mahalia and her coven face an attack at the bar. Meanwhile, young mother Heloise has the chance to get away with murder. Will she use it, and take revenge on her sadistic husband?
Why does this matter?
This book has a purpose on multiple levels that most comics just don’t approach in their storytelling. It’s aiming to help those in domestic abuse situations, while also telling a story that will make you think.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Issue two starts where we left off with a wife-beating husband getting what he deserves from an enchanted tree. Okay, that might sound weird, but if you stick with it this issue explains even more of what is going on. Rules are explained as far as Mahalia’s coven, but also the choices they make in killing (or not killing) wife-beating men. As the story progresses another man is given trouble at the Jook Joint as writer Tee Franklin continues to shine a light on bullies getting what is owed to them.
One of the more fascinating elements of this issue involves Heloise who wept for Mahalia to rid her of her husband in the first issue. There’s a message in this story about wives who take back their abusive husbands and Heloise has a hard choice to make. The issue ends on a horrific reveal that gives readers the impression there is only one way for justice.
The art by Alitha Martinez continues to suit the dark and disturbing nature of the story. That includes the supernatural elements with Mahalia and her coven and also the gore which continues to be used thoroughly. One has to marvel at the mostly nude coven as their bodies are drawn realistically.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The book retreads a bit like with another dumbass at the Jook Joint messing with someone, although it is for a different reason. There is also some supernatural love making going on like in the last issue and Heloise’s turn seems surprising given how she acted last issue. I suspect when one is making decisions under duress it could make sense, but there isn’t enough done here to make it feel genuine and instead treads a path that has a meaning in it.
Is it good?
A good second issue that continues to reveal more about Mahalia and her fascinating coven while also delivering a message that will ring true with many.