The Jenkins Family farm isn’t your typical farm. Yes, they grow plug and play human organs. Need an ear, they can grow that. Need a liver, they can grow that too. Jed Jenkins has mastered what is likely stem-cell research into a bio-engineering empire for human kind.
So you might of seen the opening sequence 8 page preview that Image released a month or so ago, the story starts out with Ezekiel Jenkins, Jed’s son waking up from what is likely numerous nightmares he now deals with as an adult, growing up on his fathers farm. Sorry, I spoiled that opening scene now. If you don’t like a few spoilers, then stop reading now. But I don’t go into too many details that give away or ruin the rest of the story.
I can sense a bit of Rob’s likely own story or life experiences within this story he’s telling, probably the family scenes dealing with the kiddos. For those with kids, we can likely relate and throw in our own personal stories if we were to write our own comics. So expect some of that real life humor from Rob mixed with some of the emotions we have with family after detaching ourselves from their lives.
After the opening dream sequence, the story starts with a car ride to see grand-paw as Zeke calls him. They’re greeted by his fathers employers at the farm that doesn’t seem so familiar now to the older son Ezekiel after he grew up with so many memories.
This next part has almost a Willy Wonka Weird vibe for me as they travel through tunnels that tell the history and story of how Jed Jenkins stumbled upon his revolutionary stem cell that carries with it a sense of intelligent design. Imagine instead of chocolate trees though we all know from Willy Wonka’s factory, Jed grows human parts off trees and directly from the soil itself.
Zeke apparently has been away for quite sometime as we learn quickly his father has not met his youngest child but seems to only have a few memories of his oldest child.
Rob does a great job to slightly detail the disconnect Jed and Zeke have with what is a clearly strained father son relationship. But there’s likely good reason for all of this as the book doesn’t go into too many details, it clearly sets the tone that this is a story builder and we’ll get pieces one issue at a time.
As the tour unfolds and the family reconnects, we learn Jed likely encounters those who want his technology and research likely all too often. He seems to take the illogical approach at handling the situation but I’m sure we’ll find out more of such encounters in future issues as there are plenty of untold events with lack of details in this debut issue.
I love the suspense and the potential this book provides, with this issue ending with a sort of cliff hanger surprise we’ll have to wait for issue 2 to learn more. This book has a lot of potential of not only present and future story lines but also Rob set himself up for a lot of back stories.
As fan of Chew, I loved the cliff hanger type endings Rob and John Layman mastered, making the readers yearn for the next issue. This is why I can’t wait to read the next issue as I’m sure it’s only going to get weirder where we hope to learn more about his fathers past with the deep roots hopefully shall be dug up.