James Bond is a name nearly every human on Earth can recognize. The spy drama is a genre that’s so old and ingrained it’s everywhere and with The Kingsman‘s sequel hitting this summer, it’s clearly one we adore. Enter Garth Ennis’ take on the super spy in MI6 entitled Jimmy’s Bastards. Given MI6 agents’ proclivity to sleeping with many women I think I know where this is going…
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Russ Braun
Publisher: AfterShock Comics
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Jimmy Regent, Britain’s number one super-spy, has got it all: intrigue, adventure, a license to shoot whoever he likes and beautiful women falling at his feet. He also has a new partner who isn’t quite as impressed by Jimmy as all other women appear to be. Now, there’s a price to pay for Jimmy’s multiple romantic conquests — the results of which are about to come calling in the worst possible way…
Why does this book matter?
Garth Ennis is a writer you just have to pay attention to. The guy wrote Preacher and his fair share of fantastic Marvel Comics. Working with Russell Braun, who previously collaborated with Ennis on Sixpack and Dogwelder, you know we’re in good hands for the comedy most likely to ensue.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
What a charmer.
If you didn’t know this was written by Garth Ennis you surely will after reading the first page. It’s littered with dirty language, content that’s most likely to upset a bevy of people, and has a crackerjack wit. We’re introduced to Jimmy via the thwarting of terrorists who are taking down a hot air balloon right on top of London. Quickly we see, with a smirk on Jimmy and the coolness of a cucumber, he’s done this before. Ennis then defies your expectations with the introduction of multiple villains, each zanier and more insane than the one before it, such as a man who triggers folks with his words (see below) and a villain straight out of the Teen Titans. If you like your comics a bit off-color you’re going to love this.
The explosive opening (in more ways than one!) kicks off an introduction of Jimmy’s life and the setup to the big cliffhanger. Ennis expertly introduces a new partner for Jimmy, which surprisingly discusses relevant topics on society today. By the end of the issue it’s clear Jimmy is everything you’d expect from a real life James Bond, but with a tad more thought. The character work done on the partner is well done and efficient and you’ll instantly take a likening to her too.
Braun draws an impeccable issue, with a fun two page layout to introduce each of the villains Jimmy faces in the opening action sequence. The art in general is very clean and easy to follow and props must be given in regards to how Jimmy is practically a caricature of the charismatic super agent. There’s gore for fans of that too and if you’re faint of heart be aware there are some well-blocked sex scenes in this issue too. Ultimately the issue contains everything you’d want in an adult, hard-R secret agent story.
This dude is offending me!
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s clear this series is lampooning James Bond in a sense, which isn’t bad really, but the comic does mimic the tropes maybe too closely. The check in with the gizmo expert, the sex, and the brash charm of the agent are all present. There is some development as far as Jimmy’s point of view on a social issue that gives me hope, but by the end of the issue it doesn’t identify itself as more than a lampooning of James Bond with a heavy dose of adult themes. That said, if it’s attempting to do just that then it has succeeded wildly.
Is It Good?
Garth Ennis delivers a well paced story with the adult themes a real life secret agent deserves. Off color, action packed, funny and enough charm to sate anyone looking for a spy drama.