Story summary: Wesley Gibson is a nine-to-five shit eating cubicle jokey. He’s miserable but too much of a low-down coward to change anything. His boss is a bitch, his girlfriend is fucking his best friend, thugs on the street mock and spit on him, and he takes more pills for his imagined ailments than a hypochondriac geriatric. Everything changes when he learns that not only has his father died and named him beneficiary, not only was his late father worth millions, and not only was he a member of a fraternity of Super-villains who had teamed up to rid the world of superheroes, but his father’s knack to kill just about anything and everything runs deep in his own blood. Is the price of his humanity worth the ability to do whatever the hell he wants, whenever he wants? And will Wesley be able to survive when Bad Guys come hunting Bad Guys?

ImageThis comic was recommended to me in a random thread on a website after I mentioned that I tended to identify more with the bad guys than the superheroes any day. Fairly new to comics and always on the lookout for some new trades to grab, I threw this one onto an Amazon order.

When I first started getting into the meat of the comic, I had quite a few reservations. Up to this point, I’ve read fairly gritty, non-superhero-y stuff-Transmetropolitan, Preacher, Freakangels and the like. So when Wanted started to really delve into the villain/hero/alternate dimensions/underground bad guy lair, I felt myself pretty turned off by the idea of the story. A few key things kept me going:

  • I bought it and even as a trade, finishing it was not a huge time investment
  • There is a lot of violence. A ton of bloodshed, senseless murder, and violence. I’m in.
  • The story is dark, crass, fucked up and funny in all the right places

Even if those are what kept me involved to begin with, I’m so glad I rode this out. Once I decided to just accept it for an Underwear Pervert story (and to be fair, it was only bad guys, not a single superhero to be found, so no weird underwear) I had a lot of fun. The characters aren’t deep and complicated because they don’t need to be, they need to perpetuate senseless violence at will and wrack up the body count, which they do.

Really, though, the dark tone of the story coupled with the comedy really made me happy with this comic. It was dark, it was wrong, and it was sexy, all wrapped up in a bloody pile of some pretty ingenious and original supervillains. I have to say I’ll probably be buying more of Millar’s non-mainstream superhero trades. These characters, The Killer (Wesley) and The Fox (his fuck-buddy and mentor) really don’t have  many redeeming qualities, but they don’t need them. They both have such a bad-ass cool factor working for them, in addition to their sex appeal, that if that’s your thing you’ll be as ready to take them home by the last page as I was. I found something incredibly sexy about this story; that may have been entirely the doing of The Fox, but I’m okay with that.

The art in Wanted was good, but not mind-blowing. I’ve been spoiled by beauty in Locke and Key and the shock-treatment of Transmet. The wanted art is good, but didn’t blow me away. However, I found immense value in the character dossiers in the back, both with the copy for each character as well as the art-man, the art in the back is beautiful. But I felt it wasn’t lacking in anyway and met the needs of the story.

All in all, I would conditionally recommend Wanted. I loved this comic, it’ll be hanging out on my shelf for many years, but there’s no happy-fun-sane times to be had. It’s rude, crude, crass, violent, offensive, sex filled and profane. Which, honestly, would sell me on a comic, hands down, but to each their own.

If you’re interested, here is the link to Wanted as available on Amazon.