Image have taken a page out of Dark Horseís book
and are providing readers a chance to go back to the start of some
of Imageís most successful characters at the bargain price of $1.
This week they are releasing the first issue of the Mark Millar
series Wanted, now a major motion picture, and a brilliant
Full disclosure here, Iíve never seen the Timur
Bekmambetov directed film but after reading this first issue I donít
know if I want to. To me Wanted #1 is almost the perfect
first issue and has me more interested in the series than the
trailers for the movie ever did.
Millar takes the time to introduce you to Wesley
ďone of the most insignificant assholes of the 21st
CenturyĒ. Wesley is the type of loser weíve seen before in comics
but heís done so well in Wanted. He seems so pathetic that
you want to slap him but then realize it would probably be like
slapping a puppy, and thatís just wrong. All that changes when
Wesley meets Fox. Once again it feels so familiar the loser meeting
somebody and then everything changes but Wanted is different,
Wesley has just found out heís a super villain, itís in his blood.
Through Fox Millar is able to inform Wesley, and the reader, of the
world Wesley actually lives in and itís pretty bad ass. Turns out
Wesleyís Ďdadí (he left when Wesley was 18 weeks old) was the
greatest assassin ever, The Killer, but heís been taken out himself.
With a little bit of runaway fatherís remorse The Killer has left
everything to Wesley, including a place in the Fraternity (Order of
Super Villains), $50 million and the opportunity to be a Ďdo
anything you want with no consequences bad-assí.
Wesley is shocked by the discovery of his dadís
true nature and the true way of the world around him and as the
reader itís hard not to feel the same way. This is why I believe
Wanted #1 is the perfect first issue. It introduces you to the
main character well, you almost think you know him from so many
other comics, you feel you know where the story is going to go but
then, when you are given a peek into the true nature of the world in
Wanted and the expected path the main character will follow,
itís hard not to be shocked. Millar creates the perfect blend of the
familiar and the shocking to have the reader already immersed in the
story and wanting more.
The artwork really helps as well. Itís got that
traditional Marvel/DC superhero style to it with clean lines, crisp
colors and a lot of detail. You feel at home in this art style and
once again feel like you can pre-empt the story. Then thereís this
intense and at times, senseless violence, that makes you rethink
your assumptions about the story. The art also helps you to
understand some of the characters, like Fox. She unloads on a group
of innocent civilians just to get Wesley to come with her and to
make a point. Due to the violent nature of the act, captured well in
the art; you get the sense that sheís more than a little unhinged.
Wanted #1, as I
said, is the perfect introductory comic. It plays with the reader
who is accustomed to reading tales based on the superheroes coming
of age. Millar does it so well that the reader wants to read more
and the art also helps to toy with the reader. By the end of the
comic you want Wesley to embrace the Fraternity and be bad because
heís so pathetic and, well, doesnít everyone want to be a little
bad? Buy it!