Wanted Issues 1-6 (Available online at Graphicly)
Writer Mark Millar
Artist JG Jones
Published by Top Cow/Millarworld
Wanted is one of those rare series where I strongly distrust the politics of its creator Mark Millar but the story is so well written that you discount it. The brilliant premise of Wanted–gang raped, pistol-whipped, ruined , violated and publicly humiliated multiple times by that awful film adaptation–is what kind of world would you get if the bad guys actually won. And it’s actually kind of an interesting world. Its clear that these villains are mostly corporatists/Blackwater types that do most of their killing in the background. Most people just seem to go about their business. Kind of like here.
Likewise, just try putting a banker or a member of Wanted’s “American Fraternity” in a jail cell. Go ahead, try civilian. I think Professor Solomon Selzter runs this reality as well. It also ends just like you’d expect. When you’re dealing with psychotic murderers they just won’t be happy until they own it all. Some of them don’t like doing evil by way of boardrooms and want more of a Pol Pot regime where people are just slaughtered like sheep. The series kind of resolves that debate although you’re not certain how the new American Fraternity will be set up. You can read Issue one of Wanted for free at Graphicly, a new online comics attempt–I have seen a few of them fail–and you can buy the rest for 1.99 I believe. And no this is not a good thing for your beloved comics shop. Not to mention bit torrent, which is also not good for your local comics shop.
Wanted 1 is probably one of the best written comics I have ever read. I think its interesting that the movie pretty much stole the first issue line by line. The movie then ruined the premise by getting rid of those silly super villains, stars of the most profitable movies ever made(?), and replacing them with some kind of idiotic weaving fortune teller and assassins. Morgan Freeman couldn’t even overcome it. But the comic in its pure form is much much better. If you’re the kind of person who secretly thinks that the villains are more interesting characters you can revel in your guilty pleasure with issues 1 through 6 of Wanted.
I also wanted to talk a little bit about reading the comic online. I’ve done that a couple of times. First the good: Graphicly has come up with a number of ways of reading the comic. But its a very slick interface that allows you to read the comic panel by panel and you set your own speed. The Bad: You apparently can’t keep the comics. The reading experience seems to be entirely online. Again, not competitive with Bittorrent which I would never ever use. Because its wrong. I mean, who has time to even read every issue of Heavy Metal?
More Bad: This delivery system could end your friendly neighborhood comics shop in the long run. I don’t see what could save them. Comics and book sellers are the middle men that I actually like but I just see that as a tough future.