Is Garth Ennis trolling James Bond or the readers of ‘Jimmy’s Bastards’?
By Arpad Okay. Our Week In Review sums up our weekly comic book coverage while taking time for a new review or two before it’s all over. Did we miss your favorite books this week? Well. This is where you need to be.
Jimmy’s Bastards #1
Written by Garth Ennis.
Art by Russ Braun.
Colors by John Kalisz.
Letters by Rob Steen.
AOK: Is Garth Ennis trolling James Bond or the readers of Jimmy’s Bastards? The first issue is so far into the red it is nearly impossible to tell.
You can plainly see it loves what it mocks. It indulges its passion for the genre it lances. The super spy makes every shot. Gets every girl — and often all at once. Gadgets, nemeses, labs, cults, you name it and you’ll find it there and wildly amplified. Jimmy’s Bastards is a showcase of the absolute worst to make a point about how bad it can get. The sly wink is as subtle as a dropped diaper, but the execution is perfect. Professional, even, the art evoking the aesthetic of a classic Vertigo title so well that, if you blanked out the dialog, you wouldn’t be able to tell if it was from 2017 or 1997.
Being self-aware that the tropes are overgrown does little to dull the pain of wading through them. But that’s what we signed on for, isn’t it? Garth Ennis making fun of things is not synonymous with subtlety. Parody going so hard that savoring the funny in it takes some serious effort.
Jimmy’s Bastards is the side of Garth that pushes beyond tasteless into the absurd, a clown monkey who rips your face off. Bad men shot in the crotch. Bum cracks peeking out through terrible underwear. Smug grins. The entire creative team jumps in with both feet but the mud gets in our eyes, in our mouths, staining our brains.
It’s barbed and heavily referential. The dialogue is filthy, beyond filthy, a special kind of shocking that only Ennis can pen. Nothing is held back. Is anything gained? I’m not really sure.
If you want bad jokes taken further than anyone else would dare, it’s here. If you like to laugh at decency, this is your chance. Take the tired excuses Jimmy makes to justify his behavior with a metric ton of salt. Please ignore the things he says about minorities, women, everybody. Jimmy’s Bastards is a judo chop to the throat, and meant to be that way. It successfully rakes up the coals, but thus far fails to rise above them. Can’t say yet that it won’t. Just doesn’t seem like it will.
4 out of 10
From earlier this week —
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