Preacher-creator Garth Ennis is back at it again with Jimmy's Bastards, a comic about a James Bond-esque secret super-agent being hunted down by the results of his many romantic encounters.
Also, Idi Amin is in it? Like, no joke.
Jimmy's Bastards #3 finds our "hero" and his new partner fighting a number of assailants in a museum while discussing the effectiveness of politically correct as a term. Again, no joke.
Meanwhile, Idi Amin — I feel really weird saying that — is on a cargo boat with jihadists and is waiting on a rescue from Jimmy and Nancy.
This is an ugly, reprehensible book that revels in the horrific and uncomfortable concepts that it throws at you. Jimmy is an unrepentant mass murderer who has boned so many women that there is literally an army of his own children out to kill him, which he has killed in droves. He's working with a murderous warlord that he's stowed away with a number of radicalized muslim terrorists. He's an ass to Nancy.
The comic features brutal killings, sociopathic dialogue, implied genital mutilation, and enough obscenity to fit in a Tarantino film 10 times its own runtime.
And yet, it kind of all works — kind of.
It's like Bizarro-The Man From U.N.C.L.E, you know, the film adaptation with Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Jerod Harris, and Alicia Vikander. That movie was really underrated, by the way. I loved it.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E worked because it played off of the old spy film tropes with a lot of charisma, charm, and a more optimistic and self-aware world view (the Soviets aren't the implicit bad guys of the film).
Meanwhile, Jimmy's Bastards works off of how ugly its world is, how it revels in the moral bankruptcy of its world, and how loathingly charming Jimmy is in spite of all of that. The horrid concepts it discusses and the beyond foul language all work as set-dressing for this anarchic, nihilistic world.
You can really tell that this is the guy who made Preacher.
Jimmy and Nancy are a good duo. They really hate each other, but they have a good repertoire.
Once it hit me that it was his own children he was killing by the dozen, I was both shocked and intrigued me. This comic has potential to really hit a Dan Harmon-esque moment of self-introspection later on in the series, and I look forward to it.
The art is simultaneously stylized, neat, and grainy enough to balance all of its James Bond on bad heroin world on a tightrope. Russ Braun and John Kalisz manage to make the world of Jimmy's Bastards just as ugly and fluid as it should be.
Jimmy's Bastards is not a pleasant read, and, yet, it is a fun one. I enjoyed myself in spite of myself. This one gets an acidic recommendation that is just as toxic and grinning as Jimmy himself.