REVIEW: Illegitimates #2
Original concept, homage to a well-established movie franchise
Conventional artwork, lack of character development, slow start to story
World renown OLYMPUS agent, Jack Steele, is dead, killed by a sniper while chasing down his nemesis, Marcus Dannikor. With Dannikor planning something big, OLYMPUS is forced to enlist the help of Jack Steele’s illegitimate children, Vin Darlington, Kiken Kaze, Saalinge M’Chumba, Leandros Antonio Caliestas, and Miss Lordley. Each of Jack’s children posess a unique set of skills, secretly trained over the years by OLYPMUS. Is this group of inexperienced recruits ready for the field , or will they fail to stop Dannikor’s nefarious plans?
Previously in Illegitimates: Jack Steele is the best OLYMPUS agent the world spy organization has to offer. He is also a notorious womanizer, siring several illegitimate children with his lovers. When Jack is killed by a sniper while in pursuit of Marcus Dannikor. OLYMPUS activates Project Sire, bringing five of Steele’s children into the spy organization. OLYMPUS hopes their secret training will be enough to stop Marcus Dannekor’s evil plot, which has escalated with Steele’s death. However, Dannikor is also taking an interest in Jack Steele’s children.
JAMES BOND….I MEAN JACK STEELE’S BASTARD CHILDREN
Marc Andreyko and Taran Killem continue their spy thriller with Illegitimates #2. The writers make little effort to veil references to James Bond. From his illicit affairs to his employment with a secret spy organization as its number one agent, Jack Steele is a clear homage to James Bond. The comic even has a character named Miss Heatherpence, which is a reference to Bond’s assistant Miss Moneypenny. Aside from the obvious pastiche of the famous 007 James Bond movies, Illegitimates is slow to develop its main characters. Although each character possess a number of skills that make them unique, their personalities are stereotypical. The cast is international, with an illegitimate child from each continent, reminiscent of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Meanwhile, the antagonist Marcus Dannekor is not menacing like the typical Bond villain. He is a Ukrainian concrete maker responsible for the Berlin Wall and filling Chernobyl with concrete. Besides killing Jack Steele, he is an inept villain with an undetermined goal. In the end of this issue, he provides motivation for several Illegitimates to join OLYPMUS after initially declining its offer. Illegitimates proposes an original comic concept but lacks developed characters that would engage its audience.
MAINSTREAM COMIC ART
Kevin Shrape continues to provide artwork for Illegitimates #2. The artist’s character designs provide diversity with this international cast. It is done well, but they are conventional. Although the characters’ details are different, the characters’ individual physiques are the same. Unfortunately, there is nothing in this issue that separates Shrape’s artwork from other comic books in the industry. However, every panel is filled with art, and there are no blank backgrounds or lazy pencilings. Overall, it is a good but average artwork.
BOTTOM LINE: A SLOW START
After two issues, Illegitimates have finally set the foundation for their story. Although it is a unique concept with roots in an established movie franchise, characters ring hollow with little substance supporting the overall story. Original ideas have potential, but can still come across as cliché if they are not executed properly. So far, Illegitimates needs more development to become a decent series.