Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wanted – A Review

One of the best things about the advent of the trade market is that when you hear about something you missed, instead of searching through back issue boxes and haunting all your local comic stores, you just pick up the trade. In this case people were telling me that I missed a great series (Wanted) or people were telling me this was a waste of my money. Either way my curiosity was raised and so almost one year ago or so I picked up the Wanted trade. It sat on a shelf unread for a long time and then I heard about the movie version of the book coming out, so I finally read it.

Wanted: Writer Mark Millar, Artist J.G. Jones, Color Paul Mounts

All in all I have to say that it was an enjoyable read. The idea was an obvious pitch to DC and then Mark twisted it enough to keep the story the same and published as a creator owned project. The premise is the villains won and have taken over the world and can do whatever they want. The regular public for the most part does not even realize what has happened.

A loser type Wesley is actually the son of the Killer and he is brought into this new world. He learns how to be the new Killer and he embraces this lifestyle of unrelenting violence, sex and basically a hedonistic existence. At the end to complete his transformation he ends up killing his father.

Then we get that the two page ending. Now in the introduction by Brian K. Vaughn we are told that we will want to throw away the book if we are not hip and just don’t get how cool the ending is, but if we do get well we are just too cool for school. This false intellectual snobbery did turn me off the book and the ending is a slap in the face as Millar basically says he is f***ing you up the a**. Really, nice, I mean isn’t that just super. The underlying point that he made to me is a better message, we forgot what a wonderful world we had because when the villains won and changed everything they made us forget. This world was not always at war and having rigged elections. The net message I got was wake up and go out and try to change the world. Maybe that wasn’t the message, but that is what I got out of it, I just thought it was a too harsh and that the introduction was intellectual snobbery at a bare minimum.

Next I want to talk about the art side of this book. J.G. Jones is flat out a great artist. I wish Paul Mounts coloring choices were a little lighter so we could enjoy more of Jones pencil work, but the book looked great. In paging through the book, there was almost nothing that Jones was not asked to draw. Starting with a sex scene, to a work scene, to futuristic gizmos, gun fights, acrobatic fighting, big fights scenes, airplanes, cars, emotional moments and he drew it all very well. J.G. Jones has a strong dramatic style that has weight to it, but is not so photo realistic as to get towards the Alex Ross end of the scale. I can see bits of Jack Kirby, George Perez, John Buscema and Gil Kane in his work and the ultimate amalgamation is Jones’ own style.

One final note, the language is harsh and the ending is harsh, but overall it does tell an interesting story and owes much to the DCU as it is extremely derivative of the DCU and events that have happened in their history. I know it was a pitch to DC, but I almost feel like he owes DC as he ripped off their history and barely changed some characters names.

Bottom Line the book was a B+, outstanding art, well done story, just a little too cute and full of itself to be an A.

1 comment:

  1. Best thing Mark Millar ever wrote.