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Wanted Comic Book Review

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User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Title: Wanted
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.

He gets brought into a world where super-villains have taken over, getting rid of every last superhero on earth. The villains call themselves The Fraternity and they control everything you see behind the scenes and can do whatever they wish as they have rewritten history to hide their presence from daily life and have every government organization working for them. The world is divided up between five different villains, each leading their “house” in the manner they so choose. There is dissention amongst the ranks though, as two of the houses, led by Mister Rictus and The Future want to go public and rule the world with fear and power. The other houses disagree, worried that the heroes of the multiverse will descend and attack what they have so carefully set up. Caught in the middle is Wesley Gibson, who trains to take the mantle of his father, The Killer, to join the rank with The Professor, one of the villains who would prefer a more legitimized existence of villainhood.

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.

As stated before, this comic is not a good comic book in that most people will feel a little squeamish reading it more than a time or two. The series covers all manner of vicious behavior – murder, theft, doing whatever you want without facing the consequences – all in a way that keeps you engaged in this twisted coming of age story.

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.

Conclusion:

This series is not for the light of heart. It is a searing portrayal of the dark side of humanity, pokes fun at our beloved superhero comics, and leaves you feeling just a little bit dirty inside. That being said, it was one of the more original ideas to come out in awhile and it was very well executed. It will continue to be a highly read comic for years to come. I just hope the world of Wanted stays where it is, in the pages of a comic book and not in our reality as we know it.
Related Video
Wanted - Mark Millar, JG Jones, and Danny Elfman Interviews
Wanted Cast Interviews - James McAvoy, Terence Stamp
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