Jimmy’s Bastards #8 (May 2018)

Jimmy's Bastards #8

There’s one more Jimmy’s Bastards after this one. It only runs nine. Thank goodness.

The series has been a littly wobbly–though sometimes a lot wobbly–and, as Ennis prepares for the finale, it’s finally stabilized. Sure, Jimmy’s still extremely upset and emotionally distressed and in his pajamas (not to mention bringing his puppy) but he’s in motion. It helps.

His partner, who somehow manages to be a perfectly good character and deserving of more page-time… well, her name still doesn’t stick in the noggin. Nancy. Nancy tries to bring the old Jimmy back while she steps up to save the day.

Unfortunately, she’s not the hero so the plot twists don’t go in her favor.

Some great art from Braun, like, you forget how good Braun’s art can be and then there’s an issue like this one. Just great action art, great movement, great expressions.

And Ennis keeps the train running. It’s always compelling, especially since there’s only one more left. I was terrified he was going to go straight into another story arc instead.

CREDITS

Go Full Villain; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, AfterShock Comics.

Jimmy’s Bastards #7 (March 2018)

Jimmy's Bastards #7

Jimmy’s Bastards ran the risk of going on too long, with Ennis running out of story in the first arc. If it’s an arc. The first six issues. But with issue #7 he seems to have things moving again. Jimmy’s back in the game, albeit slowly, as he’s got to deal with the institutionalization thing.

And Nancy gets a bunch to do on her own.

Still way too much with the offspring, who aren’t anywhere near as diverting as the amount of pages Ennis dedicates to them suggests. Everything with the kids feels like filler, until there’s action, then it’s at least that awesome Braun action.

The book’s not spectacular or anything (and never–or rarely–has been to this point), but it’s certainly in better shape than I thought it’d be at this point. Ennis does have a continuation in mind; I’d just assumed he was dragging things out.

At least he’s got Braun on the art. Braun makes up for a lot.

CREDITS

I Never Get Tired of That Sound; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, AfterShock Comics.

Jimmy’s Bastards 5 (November 2017)

Jimmy's Bastards #5

And there you have it, don’t count Ennis out, not even on Jimmy’s Bastards.

It’s been a rocky series and this issue’s probably just another peak, but it’s a good peak. It’s beautifully paced, it’s funny, it’s dry. The Britishness comes through.

The issue’s all action. Regent’s doing things and Nancy’s doing things. Bloodshed and dead Regent offspring ensue.

But what does a good issue of Jimmy’s Bastards mean? It doesn’t mean the comic’s saved. It’s been too rocky. When Ennis is on for a series, he tends to be on for it. At least by issue five. Bastards is an ongoing, which is concerning enough for Ennis these days, but one without a clear point? Well, it’s hard to get invested in the comic again. Beyond reading it, enjoying it, appreciating it. Anticipating it is out.

Which is fine.

Good art as always from Braun, including a great double-page spread of Nancy’s skydive landing. The book’s fine, with some standout issues, it’s just not consistent.

CREDITS

Better Get the Puppy; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, Guy Major; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, AfterShock Comics.

Jimmy’s Bastards 3 (August 2017)

Jimmy's Bastards #3

While Jimmy’s Bastards is only on the third issue, it certainly feels established. Ennis is working on the banter between Jimmy and Nancy–during a shootout–and it seems like it’s going to be Nancy who figures out the plot. Jimmy’s a little too dense for it. Ennis is falling into some familiar characterizations for the villains and his attempts at being anti-politically correct are word balloon fodder, but Bastards is still moving well enough not to trip. Having Braun on the art helps.

CREDITS

Some Animals Are More Equal Than others; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, AfterShock Comics.

Jimmy’s Bastards 2 (July 2017)

Jimmy's Bastards #2

Ennis retreds more familiar territory this issue–Jimmy’s Bastards really does feel like all his most successful elements set into a new, gimmick-y book, but it sure does work. Especially here. There’s a lot of banter between Jimmy and his female partner and some nice foreground and background humor. Braun’s art is fantastic–the issue opens with a helicopter assault on a golf game, then moves on to investigation and conspiracy. And Idi Amin as a cameo. Because Ennis. It’s perfectly solid, accessible Ennis. This issue’s success suggests he might even be able to keep it going for the whole series.

CREDITS

Ninety-Nine Percent; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, AfterShock Comics.

Jimmy’s Bastards 1 (June 2017)

Jb1

What if James Bond had a bunch of bastard children out to destroy him (and, presumably, Mother England)? That concept is the hook for Jimmy’s Bastards, which has got to be some of Garth Ennis’s most accessible work in years. Sure, it’s frequently risque, but it’s still an accessible risque. It’s all for laughs so far. Are they great laughs? Not really. Mostly smiles, the occasional eye-roll actually–Ennis takes some way too easy shots at "safe spaces," for instance–but it’s got gorgeous Russ Braun art. Braun handles the action, the hi-tech, the London setting, and the goofy villains beautifully.

CREDITS

Get Daddy; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, AfterShock Comics.

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