Jimmy Regent has been rendered catatonic by the revelations brought about by his bastards. That leaves it up to McEwan and Sir X to bring him back to the land of sanity and stop his bastards from wreaking further havoc across the world. Unfortunately, that will require them to get the puppy out of Jimmy’s hands first.
I’m not going to make any pretense about Jimmy’s Bastards having ever been high-brow or inoffensive humor, but this issue does start to get a bit uglier than the previous installments.
A lot of the humor of Jimmy’s Bastards does consist of showing you horrible things while being really glib about it as well as dancing around sensitive topics while making a joke or two at its expense.
Here, it’s mostly just making fun of mentally ill people. We get to see the menagerie of previous agents that worked for MI6. There’s a man in a teddy bear pajama onesie. An old man is masturbating through his pants. The rest are just clutching themselves. It’s not really funny. Most of the jokes have been made numerous times before by other fiction and comedians, and it’s just sadder than is anything else.
There is the joke about the long line of James Bond actors and how the character should have had numerous nervous breakdowns, and that one actually is pretty hilarious.
There’s an extended gross-out joke about one of Sir X’s breasts falling out. That one just made me queasy.
That being said, when Jimmy’s Bastards turns its attention back towards the narrative, it’s still an engaging read. The nightmarish surreal spiral that Jimmy Regent is facing due to his own debauchery is both fascinating and funny in itself. It plays pretty coy with the actual reveal despite dropping it last comic, so I won’t say anything about it beyond smugly referencing Old Boy like I am right now.
Russ Braun’s artwork continues to bring this decadent and at-times horrific world to life in a highly detailed and effective manner. John Kalisz’s color art is saturated, and it oddly fits the proceedings very well, emphasizing the feeling that everything is so wrong despite the characters acting like its normal. I feel like that is an excellent summation of the world of Jimmy’s Bastards.
Garth Ennis brings something of a mixed bag this time around. Much of the comic is telling jokes that fall flat, but the plot progression and development of the relationship between McEwan and Jimmy works really well. The art remains quite good thanks to Braun and Kalisz. It doesn’t really give you any new information though. I can tentatively recommend it, but you could skip this one and come back for #7 if you desired. I don’t know many people who would do that, but that option is on the table. Take evaluation for whatever it’s worth.
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