Jinx HC
Publisher: Archie Comics
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Price: $16.99 (HC); $9.99 (TP)
Creator(s): J. Torres, Rich Buchett, Terry Austin and John Workman
Format: 128-pgs.; Full-Color; Hardcover and Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-9369-7500-6 (HC); 978-1-8797-9491-7 (TPB)
Age Rating: 11 and up
ICv2 Ratings: 5 Stars out of 5

It's the first day of High School for Jinx Holiday and as she's reunited with some of her old friends -- who aren't quite as little as they used to be either.  Old quarrels are easily resumed but they all discover that there were plenty of new and unexpected conflicts that come with growing up.

L'il Jinx has the creation of the late cartoonist Joe Edwards and while it's always dangerous to give an established character this kind of extreme makeover this one definitely works.  J. Torres, Rich Buchett, Terry Austin and letterer John Workman have all done a wonderful job of handling her transition from mischievous tomboy to cute teen.

Make no mistake, it features the same sort of types and tropes you'd find in a Disney tween
dramedy (if I found out that principal Mr. Vernon had been intentionally designed to look like actor/comedian Larry Miller, a veteran of those kind of roles, I wouldn't be a bit surprised).  And some of the situations (Jinx goes out for the school football team) do seem a little too much like a 1970's After School Special.

But of course it's intended for a pre-teen audience and kids should eat this up -- as should older readers.  Because ultimately, it's how you handle this kind of material -- and Torres manages to avoid the usual pitfalls and pratfalls; all his characters seem like people and even the most standard situations feel informed by felt life.

--Steve Bennett: Writer and retail services consultant.