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"Wanted" by Mark Millar

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  • "Wanted" by Mark Millar

    Isaac Newton might hate this comic but what about you and I?

    So this is my first ever attempt at reviewing a comic. I'll try to be as informative as I can be.


    Basics - Why Wanted?

    Out of the hundreds of thousands of comic books out there, why did I choose Wanted to review? Well the main reason is I like Mark Millar. I've read a few of his other works (Superman: Red Son, Civil War) and enjoyed them. I really loved Red Son actually. I've also heard positive things about his other stuff. So I figured I was guaranteed to enjoy myself if I picked this up.

    A little note before we start. I have very bad eyesight so I can't really judge how good the art is. I've only heard praise for the art of this comic though and I will be providing some scans later on.
    My point is this review will just cover the story.

    The Beginning:

    The first issue is basic set-up. The protagonist is Wesley Gibson, a guy with a pretty shitty life. His girlfriend cheats on him with his best friend, he has something against Hispanic people (possibly because they fuck with him all the time), he hates his job... It's kinda the "I was just an Average Joe UNTIL..." archetype except Wesley's life is pretty crappy.

    We cut away from establishing how much Wesley's life sucks and get to see a man we don't know get killed. Funny since he is identified as "The Killer" shortly thereafter.

    We return to Wesley and in the middle of ordering something to eat - a "sesame-crusted salmon over sourdough with mustard greens and wasabi mayonase" - a strange woman comes over and "insists" he comes with her. He does.

    So we get some more explanation of this wonderful world of his. Surprise! Supervillains and superheroes aren't just things in comics books! They're real and he's currently in the presence of a few supervillains right now. Notably The Fox who was the woman who "insisted" he come with her. Oh and "The Killer" who got...killed was actually Wesley's father. Wesley's father wasn't an airline pilot like his mom told him. He was a supervillain and upon his death he left his entire fortune to young Wesley here.

    Only there's a catch. To claim this windfall he has to de-pussify himself. He has to become a supervillai. His first test is to shoot the wings off a fly. oh and if he doesn't, they'll shoot him instead. The scared Wesley fires and, much to his surprise, actually carried out the orders he was given.
    End of Issue 1.

    Issue 2 starts with the real training. You don't just become a hardened killer it seems. You have to be beaten for weeks on end to toughten up. You have to shoot corpses and you have to personally kill hundreds of animals day after day in a slaughterhouse. After weeks of this Wesley finally kills his first real person.
    And he likes it.

    Oh and the man in charge of this whole affair is "The Professor" and Wesley finally does the sensible thing and asks him about what the fuck is going on. If supervillains exist, whatever happened to superheroes? The Professor explains they, the superheroes, did exist but all the supervillains in the world united and wiped them out. With "7th dimensional imps" and the like it was easy to warp reality so he heroes who still lived didn't even remember they were heroes.

    Wesley is officially inducted as a member of The Fraternity (the gang of supervillains who run everything now) and he also gets the distinct pleasure of meeting Mister Rictus. Now Mister Rictus is about as "Main Villain" as you can get. For appearances, he resembles a cross between Alucard from Hellsing and Freddy Kruger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. For actions he's doing the typical villain thing of approaching offering blatantly false peace while also giving barely disguised threats.

    And that does it for The Beginning. Wesley has been transformed from one of the bigggest fictional doormats to one of fiction's most awesome killing machines.

    The Middle:

    Wesley visits the house of Doll-Maker, another of The Prof's men who lives a nice life with his wife and daughters. They of course know nothing of his true identity. Anyway he brought Wesley to his humble abode to give him some gossip. Word is The Fox was the one who killed Wesley's dad. Now of course everyone thought it was Rictus because he's kind of a Card-Carrying Villain but it seems The Fox, despite being The Killer's fuckbuddy, didn't ever visit his grave once. So he leaves Wesley with this warning as Wesley departs for a big meeting.

    It seems when the supervillains took over the world they divided it up between "the five families". The Professor's group got America and the I guess all of North America. Mister Rictus got...Australia.
    Once a year, the heads of these five supervillain families have a meeting. There is The Professor, Mister Rictus, Adam One, The Future and the Emperor. It turns out Mister Rictus wasn't always a crazed psychopath. He was a devout Christian for his entire life. That is until an industrial accident left him horribly scarred bu tmore importantly, it allowed him to see what was "beyond". He died for a second on the table and discovered there was no Heaven waiting for him after his lifetime of piousness. So with no reward for being good or punishment for being bad, he naturally decided to become a homicidal maniac.

    To this end he insists every year that the Five Families vote on whether the supervillains should come out into the open or remain as the secret Illuminati running everything from beyond the scenes. It seems to be the same result every year with The Professor and Adam One and The Emperor voting Nay to Rictus' idea with Rictus and The Future voting Aye. The results are no different this year except The Emperor hesitates. Luckily The Professor is Doctor Doom-lite and easily concieved of multiple ways beforehand to ensure The Emperor remained on their side.

    Now I have to draw this summary to a swift halt to actually do some reviewing. From the moment I heard about this comic it sounded over-the-top and I can handle that. However, to my surprise, the story seemed reasonably solid and serious.
    That is until you hear of Johnny Two-Dicks and worst of all, Shit-Head. Shit-Head is 100% feces....
    just think about that for a second.

    So perhaps it is simply me but the jarring switch from straight storytelling to such ridiculousness really put me off. How am I supposed to immerse myself when you hear about a guy who's supposed to be made up of Hitler's stool?

    Moving on. one's surprise Rictus doesn't let this slide. He has Shit-Head kill The Professor. So here comes one of my favorite pages in the series and one for you to judge the artwork.

    Having eliminated the head of the family, Rictus' group seeks to finish off the rest. Thanks to the betrayal of The Sucker (one of The Prof's men) they only have to finish off Fuckwit (a clone of a superhero with superstrength, durability, fligth X-ray vision...and he only does what you tell him when you say it backwards), Wesley, Fox, and Doll-Maker.

    I gotta admit the scene with Doll-Maker was probably the most powerful in the comic. Doll-Maker accepts death with good *****, only asking os his assassins that they don't mess up his face too bad because he doesn't want his daughters to come home and find their daddy too messed up.
    Trouble is, he's informed that Rictus had already had his wife and girls killed. The previously affible supervillain is crushed and taunted before being killed.

    Just seeing his reaction really tugged on my heartstrings. Doll-Maker was probably the only "human" character in this series.

    We return to Wesley who is with Fox. She can tell something is up and so she asks him what is bugging him. Wesley since becoming a supervillain has been quite monstrous. He kills, rapes, does whatever for the hell of it. He seemed to have reached the peak of his inhumanity when he wandered upon a police station and...for no reason, decided to kill everyone inside.
    After almost everyone was dead, he found a single female cop and with the bloodlust coursing through him, the "natural" thing would be to rape her.

    Only Wesley doesn't. Instead he starts to cry. He confesses all this to Fox and she tells him they all hit this "wall" apparently. Wesley comes out and flatly asks her if she killed his father. She calmly tells him no and that's the end of that minor mystery.
    OR IS IT!

    But forgetting all that for the moment, Mister Rictus had notified Adam One and the Emperor of his killing The Professor and seizing all his superweapons. He also revoked The Fraternity's protection of Wesley and Fox which means not only would his gang be after them, so would every cop.
    We actually get a nice little news report of what Wesley has done and interview with his old girlfriend. That is before the attack of Shit-Head.
    Wesley knows how to deal with him of course.

    Gotta admit I laughed at that.


    With The Professor and the rest of the Prof's group dead, the only chance for Wesley and Fox is to find and take out Rictus.
    Which they do.
    After taking out a shitload of goons, it's just Wesley and Rictus.

    Rictus' reply.

    Allow me to just say LMAO.

    The End

    Now this is where I really have something to say.
    At the end of Issue 5 we see...GASP. Wesley's dad isn't really dead.

    It turns out he faked his death so Wesley would be recruited and made into a man.
    And that's all I'm going to say about it because that last issue fucking ruined Wanted for me. Wesley's dad banged his mom for two days and then left. But he deeply loved her anyway....

    she turned Wesley into a pussy because she knew what a hardcore killer he'd be if he ever fought someone. So his pops wanted to rectify how whipped Wesley was. The whole thing with Rictus? The death of the Professor and God knows how many other people? I guess they were just great coincidences.

    Anyway, to claim his fortune, Wesley must actually kill his father. After all, how can you inherit money from a dead man who isn't really dead? After some hesitation Wesley shoots his old man.

    With The Professor and Rictus dead, he and Fox are going to be promoted to heads of families. Wesley doesn't want that though. He just killed his own father. He just slaughtered dozens of random people. He wants to go back to his old life. He has a conscience.


    He gladly accepts the money and his father's old sperm dumpster and sets out on a great and glorious life.

    My Conclucions

    This was a great story despite some key failings. As I noted the whole disconnect between the serious story elements and the absurd bits was off-putting. But it was still interesting enough to keep me going. Until Issue 6.
    That issue alone killed this comic for me.

    It renders Wesley's one moment of feeling pointless. The entire arc with Rictus is forgotten and made merely a sidenote. It's just a way for Wesley to ascend the criminal ladder. Thanks to Issue 6 the menacing Mister Rictus became less of the main villain of the story and more a distraction until the real end could be supplied by Wesley's father.

    Rictus was my favorite character in this story. All of the main characters are pretty much Complete Monsters with the exception of Doll-Maker. And he wasn't even really a main character anyway,.
    But I liked Rictus because he was awesome in his sincerity. Mr. Millar made no attempts to show Rictus as anything more than a bastard of the highest degree. And I loved him for that.

    The plot is overall nothing too spectacular. It is a parody of comic books in general and that's fun. When it's being serious it is decent and readable. But is it gonna change your life? No. Is it worth picking up and reading often so you can discover new themes and ideas? No.
    Thanks to the reveal at the end, it's at most passable.

    Boy oh boy did you ever with that last issue.


    Fun Stuff:
    Just some more scans of my fave parts.

    Favorite bit with Rictus


    So ends my first attempt at a review... I hope it was a bit insightful and not a waste of your time. If it was, I'm sorry.

    My biggest problem that I can see is I did too much summarizing and not enough actual reviewing. I'll try to fix that in future.
    Last edited by Becky's Butt; 01-24-2010, 03:34 AM.

  • #2
    The movie was based on this?!


    • #3
      Yes, just like the video game. They're already making a sequel to the movie and...Suprise

      Last edited by REmaster; 01-24-2010, 04:09 AM.
      "One can only match, move by move, the machinations of fate... and thus defy the tyrannous stars."
      Resident Evil/Castlevania/ Silent Hill/Onimusha/Tekken /Dark Souls


      • #4
        Well, l liked the movie. They seemed to cut a lot out from the comic.


        • #5
          I always liked the comic (I have a soft spot for Top Cow comics). Haven't read it in, like, 4 years though. Never liked the last breaking-the-4th-wall splash though. Maybe it just wasn't my thing.

          The movie was... okay. Was it the movie that introduced curving bullets, or the comic? I forgot. Although everybody was nearly completely different than in the comic, they did well with the story, especially Fox's... demise.