Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Pencils, Inks, and Covers - J.G. Jones
Colors – Paul Mounts
Publisher: Top Cow – Image Comics
Content:Wanted is for mature audiences only and contains strong language, violence, adult content, and is not suitable for children.
Introduction:Do you have a guilty pleasure? Maybe some chocolate hidden in a drawer, a second donut on the way back from the break room, or an extra hour of that video game instead of going to bed on time? Wanted is probably the ultimate guilty pleasure for the comic book fan. It is not a good book. Not good as in well done, it has that in spades, but good as in morals. This is not the comic you would want your mother, spouse, or non comic fan to read first off as it would probably be their last. Wanted appeals to the deep dark question that plague many people. What would you do if you could do anything you wanted and get away with it? Would you steal, kill, or torture? Would you embrace the darkness that is inside humanity and go to the proverbial “dark side?” Wanted doesn’t necessarily explore this issue as much as embraces it.
Story:Wesley Gibson is the ultimate pathetic loser. His girlfriend is cheating on him, his boss ridicules him day after day, he slaves away at a boring job just to get nowhere, and getting walked over is a daily part of life. This all changes when he discovers that his father is the deadliest hitman the world has ever seen and killing people is written on Wesley’s very DNA. To make matters worse, his father is dead and Wesley must take his place or go back to his pathetic life.
When Mister Rictus shows his hand in a diabolical plot to take over, it’s up to Wesley and his father’s girlfriend, The Fox, to stop the villains one bullet at a time. Wesley goes from being nothing to being Wanted in the blink of an eye.
Review:There is a reason that Wanted is one of the best selling creator owned books to come out this past decade. The comic took gritty and grim to an new level and shocked readers with a story, world, and conclusion that mocked the superhero genre and the comic book fans themselves. This didn’t turn people off, rather, it made comic book fans wanting more.
The art, writing, colors, and other details of the comic are all very well done. J.G. Jones style fits the comic well with his detailed characters, backgrounds, and attention to detail. The covers are what really stand out though with the stark white title over a black banner,, an highly detailed art in the middle, and three names of Millar, Jones, and Mounts on the bottom. It really makes it stand out from others on the rack.
Being a farce of the superhero genre, there are a lot of nods to the superheroes of Marvel and DC. Hints to Superman, Batman, Watchmen, and many other comic characters abound in the series, mostly at their expense. You have to have a careful eye or you will miss many of the similarities, although I found myself finding more hints to the DC Universe than Marvel’s.