In Review: Jimmy’s Bastards #1

A terrific send up of an iconic spy, who's about to reap what he's sown -- literally!

The covers: A jolly trio for you to track down from this AfterShock offspring. The A cover is by Dave Johnson, showing James Regent holding a champagne flute in his right hand, while spinning a pistol on his pinky finger. He sports a big smile, showing he enjoys himself, and he’s surrounded by a gigantic upside down male gender symbol, which shows five different gorgeous women in various states of ecstasy. This cover is clever in setting up the premise without making it explicit. The B cover is by Russ Braun with John Kalisz and shows the opening two villains, Theophilus Trigger and Bobo the Bastard Chimp Clown, against a white background. This two baddies are silly looking, being over the top for serious comics, but are perfectly suited for this book’s tone. A good cover. There’s also a Midtown Comics Exclusive cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson. This has a close-up of Jimmy smugly showing his hand to the reader, revealing he has four aces, with the image on each card showing a beautiful woman in different states of disrobing. Behind him are two women dressed to the nines, though only their busts can be seen. This is very much in the James Bond mode and the Dodsons are incapable of producing anything but stellar work. This is one to track down. Overall grades: A A, B B+, and Midtown Comics Exclusive A+

The story: London’s first aerial restaurant, Gordon Ramsay’s Soar, a dirigible, is on fire about to crash into Parliament, the Palace of Westminster, “…and not even Jimmy Regent can save it!” Tuxedoed super spy Jimmy then shoots the terrorist between the legs, causing him to drop the detonator in his hand that will set off the bomb that circles his waist. He takes out the rest of the terrorists and gets the passengers to don parachutes to jump out of the falling blimp. As Jimmy looks for other foes, a spat of phrases and profanity issues behind him. He turns with a smile, “Oh, I should have bloody known…! Theophilus Trigger!” The lanky, mustached villain appears, moving his hands as though casting a spell, as if he had Tourette’s Syndrome. Making short work of the villain, Jimmy helps the final passenger escape, as only he can, before encountering the final antagonist, Bobo the Bastard Clown Chimp. The chimp is dealt with and Jimmy escapes the craft with James Bond panache. This opening perfectly introduces Jimmy to the reader, showing what he is capable and his non-PC personality. This is a riotous James Bond parody by co-creator Garth Ennis, showing what would happen if there was a Bond character in today’s world. He’s suave, debonair, handsome, a killer, and an absolute pig. After his opening adventure, Jimmy is at headquarters where he sees some new inventions from the staff and is assigned a partner, Nancy McEwan. She’s obviously not thrilled at working with him, revealed on Page 18, which is where the title characters appear. Why they are unified is funny and by the issue’s close, Ennis has solidified this series’ premise. As a childhood James Bond fan, who will always think of Sean Connery in the role, this is a hilarious story. Oh, I’m so on board for this! Overall grade: A

The art: The other co-creator of this book is Russ Braun who is a sensational artist. The first page is a gorgeous illustration of the blimp aflame plunging into England. Set within this large panel is Jimmy and the gun, which hits the terrorist down low. Jimmy’s true introduction is at the bottom of Page 2 and he’s got Cary Grant charm to spare and sports a Kirk Douglas chin. The design of Theophilus is really over the top, but suits the character perfectly. Bobo is a riot graphically, whose violence instantly pushes this book into mature readers territory, yet had me laughing. Though only on two pages, Bobo left an impression on me that I’ll share with several friends. Jimmy’s rescuer on 8 is completely in line with an Albert R. Broccoli production. The introduction to the exteriors of headquarters also created a smile, showing the state of the country Jimmy works for. The gadgets warehouse would make Q proud, however I laughed out loud at the outrageous poster at the bottom of 9. Jimmy’s parking of a car is nicely displayed; I’m so appreciative of Braun actually drawing it, rather than using a computer to create the motion. Jimmy’s apartment is stuck in the 1970s, in both looks and action occurring there, but the lone picture on the wall was hilarious, especially given what it’s seeing. Braun really goes into overdrive as an artist with the partial double-paged splash on 20 and 21 with a horde of characters — seriously, a horde of characters — that are very different from one another. Often artists reuse the same faces for characters in a mob, but not Braun, because the story demands each be different. It’s those differences that make the moment humorous and underlie the hurt that Jimmy’s created. The final panel of the book focuses on three leads, who look wonderfully evil, and I’m hopeful that Braun will get to show more of them as the series progresses. Overall grade: A

The colors: The book opens with a beautiful pale violet sky for the backdrop of the the flaming restaurant. Throughout the book, all the characters have excellent coloring on their skin to give them depth, as shown by Jimmy on the second and third page. Bobo sports a shocking collection of colors, which would stand out even if he wasn’t covered blood. The gadgets room is clean in silver and off-white, befitting an inventor’s lab. The pub that Jimmy and Nancy go to has a lot of wood, allowing John Kalisz to use several different shades of brown to create a comfortable and aged setting. Take note of how two characters, that don’t say anything, are the brightest objects in this space, showing what catches Jimmy’s eye. There aren’t any lights on in Jimmy’s place, but the reader can still see every element of the art. The title characters’ clothing is the perfect color, as it’s associated with anger and evil. This was an excellent job by Kalisz. Overall grade: A

The letters: Rob Steen is responsible for creating dialogue, a scream, yells, poster text, a recording and a telephone conversation (the same font), signage, a chant, and the tease for next issue. The only things that are missing from this issue are sounds, which could have been used in the opening pages, but this decision was not under Steen’s purview. However, all that Steen does is good. The real stand out for the issue is the closing chant, which establishes this title’s direction. Overall grade: A

The final line: A terrific send up of an iconic spy, who’s about to reap what he’s sown — literally! I can’t wait for the next issue and I hope this goes for years. Recommended. Overall grade: A

To purchase a digital copy go to http://aftershockcomics.com/on-sale-june-2017/

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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