Jimmy Regent is being brutally beaten by Junior while Nancy is facing the same from the two other surviving children. Jimmy finds an advantage in Junior's biggest weakness, while Nancy takes an opportunity to get the upper hand on her adversaries. Is it enough? Can Jimmy and Nancy survive the bastards' onslaught?
This is the final issue of Jimmy's Bastards (or at least the first volume depending on whether it's continued later). There's not a lot to wrap up beyond the primary conflict, as this book has done a good job of pacing its revelations and twists throughout its run. That leaves only the emotional catharsis of resolution instead of any big final twist like the Big Two often rely upon.
There is a lot of brutality doled out in this issue. Junior beats the tar out of Jimmy, and Nancy gets it rough from the other two bastards too. When things inevitably take a turn, the cruelty is repaid tenfold and arguably to a fault. The comic becomes cartoonishly and uncomfortably gory — though I will admit I've not often been one for brutal violence as a punchline.
There is a satisfying wrap-up with Jimmy and Nancy that brings the comic home. You see things resolved between the two, and it's an endearing finale.
There is a stinger-style cliffhanger should the story ever decide to come back. It doesn't seem like the kind that demands a sequel, but it conveys that Garth Ennis and Russ Braun aren't 100% committed to closing the book on Jimmy's Bastards.
Speaking of Braun, the artwork stays strong through the finish. Even if the gore gets a little uncomfortable even for me, it is visually creative. That I cannot deny. I've not really praised the character designs yet, and that is an oversight. Jimmy, Nancy, Junior, and the others all have clever designs that play upon the James Bond tropes and archetypes they are intended to parody. It's quite clever. John Kalisz provides some solid color work too, giving the world the mixture of grit and old-style broad colors that make this story work even better than it already does.
Jimmy's Bastards #9 is a funny, brutal, and satisfying ending to the AfterShock story. There is a cathartic resolution, the dog doesn't die for once, and you're reminded that Jimmy and Nancy were actually made to be characters in addition to jokes on the UK's most famous spy franchise. This one earns a recommendation. Check it out.