He was genetically engineered to take over the world, but he’s just a sweet little baby. Your Major Spoilers review of It’s Jeff! #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!
IT’S JEFF! #1
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Editor: Sarah Brunstad
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: March 29, 2023
Previously in It’s Jeff!: The ingenious, the extraordinary, the unbearably innocent Jeff embarks on his own adventures across the Marvel Universe! You thought it was safe doing laundry or going for a leisurely swim in the pool?
No activity can protect against Jeff’s cuteness!
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
Not so long ago, the creature known as B.R.O.D.O.K. (who is exactly what he sounds like) tried to destroy the West Coast with an army of bipedal sharks. The smallest of them was adopted by Gwenpool and named Jeff, becoming first her pet, then Elsa Bloodstone’s, then Kate Bishop’s, I think? This story opens with Jeff attending a pool party that seemingly involved all the heroes of the Marvel Universe, but he finds that swimming is a lot more complicated when you’re a shark. There are also shorter stories of Jeff throughout the Marvel Universe, having adventures, baking cookies, and just plain being cute in stories that range from single-page strips like you’d find in the Sunday paper to five or six pages in length. There’s a little bit of action, very little dialogue, and a whole lot of charm.
I DECLARE THIS CANON!
Big Two comic can be a pretty joyless affair with their Celestial incursions, mutant conspiracies, and crises of various and sundry finiteness. In many ways, this comic serves as an antidote, giving us short, whimsical stories of Jeff, who is essentially a house cat, albeit one with a rough, gray hide. Gurihiru skillfully makes his every movement full of life and personality, with vivid expressions conveying everything. Given the lack of dialogue (I’m pretty sure the only words spoken in the issue are various exclamations of “Jeff!” or “Jeffrey!”, but there’s never a question of clarity. Every moment is crystal clear, whether Jeff is accidentally put in with the wish, stealing the Amulet of Agamotto, or surfing with Hawkeye, and every page is a real joy.
BOTTOM LINE: WONDERFULLY WHIMSICAL COMICS
The conversation about what truly makes a good all-ages comic is always in flux, but It’s Jeff! #1 is a sterling example of how to do it right, featuring expressive comics art reminiscent of the best of Schultz, Watterson, or Basil Wolverton, with stories that make excellent use of the Marvel Universe trappings without falling into the traps of schmaltz or grimdark nonsense, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. Fans of classic comics shouldn’t pass this one up, as it’s cute as heck and a very satisfying read.
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IT'S JEFF! #1
Jeff the Land Shark is the sensational character find of 2021, and this whole issue is a showcase of his amusing and exciting adventures.
Pick it up, you won't regret it.