Review: The Illegitimates #1

Like most people, when I read that IDW was publishing a book based on a James Bond character’s bastard children I thought, “Yeah… that’s about right.” My next thought was, “I wonder why this took so long to make?” The thing about this concept is that it’s a long running bad joke that James Bond must have a ton of bastard children with all the women he bangs… well the ones that survive the adventure that is. I have to start with the cover and by that I mean the “A” cover showing our James Bond esque character named Jack Steele (yup, it’s very original) surrounded by pregnant women in bikini’s. Well it’s the winner of strangest fucking cover of the year, but we don’t give out that award on this site. Maybe it’s that they all have the same size stomachs or that they’re standing awkwardly with guns in bikinis but this cover is beyond strange.

The story kicks off following Steele’s career over the years starting in 1962, which is the same year that Dr. No  was released so that was a nice tip of the hat. It would have been better if it was 1953 since that was the year the first Bond novel released, but whatever. It’s a familiar scene with a martini and gambling and ends with Steele getting out the situation by jumping off a boat and setting off a bomb. From there we see similar exploits, but all of them ending with him getting busy with a lady. I mean they don’t show it, but it’s heavily implied that they played hide the sausage… took the wood to the beaver… okay two’s enough.

Illigitimates_01-pr_Page_1Eventually the story catches up to the modern era as we find a much older Steele jumping through a window onto a moving train. A man dressed in white named Dannikor makes a lame joke about checking tickets and they begin to fight. Steele, aged but still strong, quickly overpowers Dannikor. As Steele begins to boast though Dannikor tells him he was only serving as a distraction. [SPOILER] Steele turns around and catches his head on an overpass and his brains go everywhere. It’s probably one of the coolest scenes I’ve ever seen in a comic book. Seriously it’s a great scene and you really have to think to yourself, “fucking finally.” Did you see The Wolverine? Remember that really long shitty train scene that ended in typical fashion? Well this will cleanse the palette for sure.

This creates a problem obviously because Steele is the best there is and ever will be. As his handlers point out the next ten agents aren’t even a tenth of Steele combined together. In the ops room we meet General Kole, a dude named Edwards who is “M” in a way and Miss Heatherpence… I’m sure you can figure out who she’s supposed to be. They head to Edwards office so he can set up plan “B” which as he puts it is “the bastard children of Jack Steele.” My god I laughed really hard at that line.

I covered several pages of the story, but not a lot of the plot. If you haven’t figured it out already the rest of the issue is spent introducing the kids and what their individual talents they inherited from their father.

The reason this story works is because it’s fast paced and nothing really happens other than [LAST SPOILER WARNING] Steele’s head catching an over pass. Really I could have said this for the entire story: James Bond action stuff, James Bond fucks five women, James Bond dies, and James Bond’s kids take his place. That’s all that happens, but it’s ridiculously fun to read the dialogue and the pure Bond cheese that this story has.

Will I be back for the next issue; most certainly. Do I have high hopes for it? Not really. Again the charm of this issue is that we really don’t deal with Steele, we just see him in action and frolicking in the forest of foreplay. We also don’t deal with the children who I’m sure will mostly be annoying. Steele works because anyone that’s seen a Bond movie can instantly relate and paint the character upon Steele, but with the kids we won’t have that. Unless it’s James Bond Jr. in which case sign me up again!

The art work is great. It works for the story and is very realistic looking. The action sequences may be brief, but they’re easy to follow which is very important. The fact that Steele ages before our eyes is also very cool. Seeing him over the years was a great node to Bond and very effective in conveying the story visually. Plus that dude’s head exploded! I mean that shit was great. If I could give one page of a comic an award that page would get it (sorry Saga #16).

I’m hopeful for the next issue, but I’m not expecting anything from it. Everything points to it being a very different issue and really more of the first issue of the story line than this issue is. If it can succeed in making me laugh then that’s all that matters because that’s where this issue succeeded. It’s a big week for comics so I don’t know if I would tell you to pass on some of the other great books reviewed on the site, but if you really want to see a James Bond type character clip his head on an over pass while standing on top of a moving train like the asshole that he is… then this is your book.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Marc Andreyko and Taran Killam Artist: Kevin Sharpe Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/18/13