Comic: "Wanted"
Published by: Other
Written by: Mark Millar
Artist: J.G. Jones

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 7/6/2008

Plot: In a world where a secret society of super-villains known as The Fraternity have taken over the planet, office drone Wesley Gibson is inducted into the group after learning that his recently deceased father was a member.

Review: The premise of this series is a fairly interesting one, that all of the super-villains of the world banded together to take down all the heroes and are now basically running the entire world behind-the-scenes. Nobody remembers that there were any heroes (and most are unaware of the villains) because of a memory-wiping device that was created by the villains to work on a planetary scale. The execution of this premise could be found a bit tedious, however, if you're the kind of person who doesn't like to see villains performing a series of horrible acts without getting their come-uppance at the end. It all does seem a bit much from time to time, and the whole thing sort of comes across as an adolescent revenge fantasy without consequences.

The protagonist isn't really all that interesting, but the main reason anyone wants to read this book is for the villains, all of whom are based on combinations of other comic book archetypes (mostly DC characters). The main antagonist, Mr. Rictus, clearly owes a lot to the Joker and Red Skull. Professor Seltzer is a combination of Dr. Sivana and Lex Luthor. Fuckwit is based on Bizarro, Shithead on Clayface, and so on. Gibson himself, the Killer, is based on Deadshot (or Bullseye), while the Fox is clearly meant to be Catwoman.

There are actually five different "houses" to the Fraternity, each located on a different continent. Rictus's gang (out of Australia) is based on Batman villains, while Professor Solomon Seltzer's North American crew are meant to represent Superman's rogues gallery. And while many of these villainous character don't have a lot of panel-time in the comic, they're all fairly interesting, and it's quite a lot of fun watching these twisted versions of familiar villains going up against each other.

J.G. Jones's artwork is just as good as you'd expect, assuming you're familiar with it, and he obviously has a fun time designing their individual looks, so it's probably a good thing that Millar and Jones "forgot" the rule mentioned early on in the series that they only wear their costumes during initiation ceremonies.

The book's main point seems to be that you should seize the day and take control of your life, but unfortunately with all the gratuitous violence, the series isn't nearly as deep as it thinks it is. Watching Wesley running around being "bad" simply for the sake of being bad can get a bit tiresome, but overall the book is a fun concept that fortunately doesn't wear out its welcome by dragging on too long. If you like "Elseworlds" or "What If" kind of stories, seeing this dark and gritty alternate take on villainous archetypes will probably be of great interest to you, but if you're the type of person who doesn't like seeing people doing bad things and getting away with it, stay far away from this one.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeHalf
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Jason's a Furry! Run!
Jul 7th, 2008, 04:13 AM
This book was difficult for me. ON the one hand, I loved the artwork, and many of the battle sequences (and more than a couple of the characters) were really cool. Also, the concept is something with a lot of potential (seems like the bad guys should get away at least some of the time).

On the other hand, it was all presented in such a... I guess juvenile is the word I'm searching for. The constant swearing, the random acts of violence (all seemingly inserted just to have it there), the 'bad for bad's sake'... it all seemed kinda forced. How the book preaches to you is exactly how you describe it; it's simply not as deep as it wishes it was.
Turrican't. :(
Jul 7th, 2008, 04:53 AM
Wow, awesome premise and EXTREMELY awesome art! I'm gonna have to check this one out.
Jul 7th, 2008, 09:09 AM
The Fox... Hah.
taco loving zombie
Jul 7th, 2008, 12:13 PM
i wanna read this but it seems pointless somehow
Forum Virgin
Jul 7th, 2008, 01:59 PM
I really enjoyed this one. The "holy two idiots getting eaten by a giant octopus!" part was funny as hell, and Mr. Rictus is a great villain.
Jul 7th, 2008, 02:07 PM
I can't decide if I like this book or not. Like Relaxing Dragon said, the art is great and the idea is interesting. But I can't shake that feeling that its a preteen male fantasy gone wild. I could take it as satire but it seems to take itself a little to seriously to be that. Maybe I am just getting old.
Mexican Rambo Doll
Jul 7th, 2008, 05:00 PM
I think it's an incredible comic. There are so many great villians that are only in a panel or two.
Jul 7th, 2008, 06:22 PM
I think I may read up on this series a bit.
By Hawkings Chair!
Jul 10th, 2008, 10:20 AM
I read this recently and really enjoyed it. Juvenile fantasy turned up to 11. It's a good reminder that comics can be enjoyed while your brain is in neutral.
Jul 10th, 2008, 08:26 PM
I read it a few days ago. It was awesome.
Forum Virgin
Apr 12th, 2009, 08:28 PM
I picked up the TPB not to long ago and read it. I liked it but it did leave me wishing for more. I guess more of true ending rather than a guy a yelling at me about how I suck.