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.

Advertisements

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 #6 (January 2018)

Jimmy's Bastards #6

Jimmy’s Bastards #6 is all about the true horror of the Bastards’ plan. It breaks Jimmy. His partner tries to get him out of his funk–Jimmy’s gone nonverbal–can she do it in time to save the day?

Ennius juxtaposes her well-drawn but tedious visit to the mental hospital with flashbacks to Jimmy’s discovery of the aforementioned true horror.

Ennius does all right with the partner’s monologuing. Not great but definitely all right.

The problem is it’s a stretch issue. It’s issue six, it’s time for Jimmy’s Bastards to wrap up and instead we’re just going into the second arc. Worse, what if the series is planned for twelve and Ennius has paced it so poorly. Everything in Bastards is thin, everyone is caricature; Ennis doesn’t go for character development in this book, he goes for sight gags.

Sometimes exceptionally gross ones.

It’s been difficult to maintain enthusiasm for this book, despite it sometimes being good and usually being better than mediocre (Ennis mediocre being much better than most other mediocres). And now he’s dragging it out? Bastards is on the brink of exasperating.

Great Braun art, though. At least one beautiful–horrifying–double-page spread.

CREDITS

The Laughing Academy; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, Guy Major; 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 4 (October 2017)

Jimmy's Bastards #4

Well. I’m not sure what to think of Jimmy’s Bastards right now. Ennis goes broad with the humor, giving Braun what becomes a litany of sight gags involving the villains’ mass disaster plan. And the usually careful dialogue gives way to a bunch of inferences and interrupted thoughts. Ennis returns to his undercooked (still bleeding) “attack” on social justice and basically just fills pages with it until the mass disaster strikes. Then it’s time for Braun’s art fest, then it’s off to the cliffhanger setup.

Take

It’s technically all right–mostly Braun’s art–but Ennis isn’t putting Jimmy’s Bastards is a good spot for a strong finish. More like he’s hobbling it and reducing its ambition.

CREDITS

Takeable-Pissable; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, John Kalisz; 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.

Where Monsters Dwell 5 (December 2015)

Where Monsters Dwell #5

So light. It’s so light. And it’s a sequel to War Is Hell, which I’ve read at least twice and I can’t remember any of it. Not even when there’s a flashback–got to love the Marvel Ennis-verse.

But, even though it’s light, it’s really funny. Ennis is able to run with a joke until it’s funny. He doesn’t wear the reader down by relentlessly hammering it in, he just molds the joke until it’s ready. There’s a maturity to the humor. Even if the joke isn’t particularly high brow.

This issue wraps up the Phantom Eagle’s adventures in the Savage Land. Does it have anything to do with Secret Wars? No. In fact, it’s just Phantom Eagle in the Savage Land. And the Savage Land part isn’t even particularly important. Ennis and Braun show they can get an issue out of almost any material and they do. It’s good material, sure, but it’s not the most compelling. Most of it is a narrated flashback.

Where Monsters Dwell probably reads better in a sitting, just for how Ennis paces out the jokes. But well done, disposable, excellent amusement.

CREDITS

What Comes of Empire-Building; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, Dono Sanchez Almara; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Jake Thomas and Nick Lowe; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: