Writer: Tee Franklin
Artist: Alitha E. Martinez
Colorist: Shari Chankhamma
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Welcome back to the Jook Joint!!! A place where anyone can have a good time long as you follow three simple rules. And the rules are as follows, keep your hands to yourself, respect everyone, and live to see tomorrow. Simple enough, but some believe rules are made to be broken, only difference is these rules have some dire consequences. In this issue, Mahalia makes an example out of a few rule breakers and tries to help Heloise with her poor excuse of a husband.
Freddie is just trying to enjoy himself at the Jook Joint, but three men have different plans for Freddie, or that’s what they think. Remember the three rules, but of course these men think these rules don’t apply to them. They corner Freddie, call him a queer, and are about to start beating him up. That is until they’re stopped and asked to leave. It’s at this point where Tee Franklin and Alitha E. Martinez shine in the comic. These three men disrespected Freddie and were about to attack him, but Ms. Franklin and Ms. Martinez show there are consequences when rules are broken. As one the men is having his heart ripped out of his chest, greatly illustrated by Alitha Martinez, one of Mahalia’s sirens says, “Here’s a lesson for you-your ignorance and inability to follow rules will be your demise.”, and it most certainly was their demise. Tee Franklin shows that in the Jook Joint no matter who you are that you’re not above the rules, and if you think you are, you have another thing coming to you.
Mahalia can dish out punishment to those who deserve it, but she can also help those in need, and Heloise is a woman who needed her help. In the previous issue, it’s learned that Heloise and her daughter are being beaten by her husband Jean-Pierre. Mahalia, once a victim of domestic abuse herself, kidnaps Jean-Pierre, but does not kill him. She feels that Heloise needs to be the one to punish him. Heloise for a few fleeting moments enjoys her husband being gone but suddenly has a change of heart once her daughter tells her that she misses her father. It’s here where Tee Franklin sets the real-world element of the comic because Heloise goes back to Mahalia asking her to spare her husband. She believes that he didn’t mean to do it, that he’s sorry, and that his daughter misses him. Even though Jean-Pierre knows he has done terrible things, Heloise wants his life spared. Even when Mahalia shows her something truly unremarkable at the end, Heloise still doesn’t believe Mahalia. Heloise is in denial but can’t admit the truth to herself. Tee Franklin shows that denial can be a hell of a thing even with all the proof you need right in front of your face.
Jook Joint #2 continues to move to the right beat and is a must read for all. Tee Franklin has something special on her hands and is not to be missed. She has a great creative team with her for this unique story, and people should be reading it. I’ve been a fan of Tee Franklin on Twitter for years, and it’s nice to see that others are finally realizing the talent she has.