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dante
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Anyone read these comics. I think the company is Dark Horse but I'm not sure. I don't follow up with comics too much anymore. But my friend let me read a couple. The whole comic book is about the bad guys, which is a nice angle. And also about a bad guy who goes against bad guys as well...

 

Well, the main character looks like Eminem, and I think he was the main inspiration of the comic book. What gets to me though, is how almost every other word is a curse word. I mean, they are bad guys but even bad guys have a sense of propriety sometimes. Like Magneto or, you know, some suave villian. I'm almost shocked when I see a speech bubble that doesn't contain a no-no word.

 

I'm not trying to censor the writing style...but it does make it a little trite.

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wanted.jpg

 

damn, my Wanted thread got lost in the storm, too....

 

Yeah, acclaimed writer Mark Millar (Ultimates, Ultimate X-Men) took on a host of small mini-series for Image, set up to be (in my mind) to garnish attention & get a movie deal out of at least one....he's clever like that. The project (by Image comics) was called Millarworld, and contained Chosen, a series about jesus coming back from the dead nowadays, which he's called "the ultimate sequel to the bible", The Unfunnies, an unfinished, shock-value piece on cartoon characters, and this, the most famous one, Wanted.

 

Millar admits taht he had his artist (JG Jones, i believe?) model Em for Wesley, the main character, who's the sun of the greatest super-villian of all time. The book is all about a world where the super-villians have won, and rule in secret, after having killed all the super-heroes. But the bad guys diasgree; as some want to go public, and others dont....the mere shock of a world where the bad guys run the show, and members of their secret club can kill & rape at will, brought this book a lot of attention.

 

And its done amazingly well from that controversy, selling out every issue just one shy of finishing up. As dante noted, it pulls no punches, between the gore, sexual innuendo, and language, but the formula seems to have worked, as the movie rights are being discussed, last i checked. But yes, there's no Magneto shakespearian solliloquies here; these villians are clearly in the R-rated range, from Shithead on down.

 

Newsarama puts it better than i do:

 

CSN @ NEWSARAMA: WANTED'S MAN - MARK MILLAR ON WANTED

 

by Cliff Biggers

 

Want to read Mark Millar telling a story that’s entirely his own—his own concepts, his own characters, his own supervillains, his own world? Then you want Wanted, one of four creator-owned books that will appear from four different publishers in December as a part of Millar’s Millarworld initiative.

 

Wanted #1, published by Top Cow, has been described as “Watchmen for super-villains.” Millar offered CSNewsarama a little more information on the limited series and its concept. “The idea here is that super-villains took over the world in 1986,” Millar said. “This isn’t the Marvel Universe. This isn’t the DC Universe. This is the world outside your window, and the first couple of issues explain how this happened and why we’re the only Earth in the multiverse that isn’t protected by superheroes.

 

“This all unfolds through the eyes of a young, angry, white-collar worker, frustrated with his lot in life, who discovers that his Dad was the most dangerous supervillain who ever lived and, upon his death, our protagonist basically inherits his position within this secret supervillain organization. It’s a story that works on a number of levels, but the main thrust of this is a repressed white guy with a terrible job, a bad relationship and serious confrontation issues suddenly having the pole up his ass removed. It’s incredibly sick and incredibly violent as he cuts loose and rapes, kills, and destroys everything from Big Brother contestants to people he had a crush on back in school—but it’s also very human, too. It’s a book about what it’s like to be living in the 21st century and not being the millionaire you grew up expecting to be.”

 

page 1Does this book deconstruct the super-villain concept, putting a human face on the masked adversary? Or is it a human interest story, a la Watchmen, only with super-villains as the main characters? Millar explained the tone and approach he’s bringing to Wanted. “Movies like Goodfellas and The Godfather always appealed to me because the forces of what we perceive as good—that is, law and order—are almost redundant, and the morality play takes place between what we perceive as the bad guys and their varying degrees of sociopathic behavior.

 

“I wanted to do the same thing with this book, but it evolved a great deal from simply being a realistic take on the whole super-villain thing. When I first conceived the project, it was just an exploration of what life is like on the other side of these comics we’ve all been reading since we were kids. What it was like for the bad guy and what happened when he was waved off to jail by The Flash or whomever.

 

“However, since then it’s grown a great deal and become something a great deal bigger and more personal and the characters are really unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in a traditional superhero book. The concept has also become much more movie high-concept, if you like, and I don’t want to give too much away here, but this covers everything I ever really wanted to say about supervillains, superheroes, Adam West, Linda Carter and Christopher reeve. It’s a vast complex story with everything that’s important to me interwoven in six, very tight issues. Forget decompressed story-telling; this thing moves like a rocket and I wanted to leave the reader breathless at the end of each issue.”

 

Wanted, page 12So what motivates a super-villain, as Millar sees it? Mark Waid has already explored the whole “taking over the world” scenario on Empire; what motivates Millar’s bad guys? “I really go into this in some depth in the series and, like everything else; it boils down to sex and money. Every decision we ever make in our lives from what clothes we buy to what haircuts we get to how hard we work essentially boil down to these two things. However, what’s also important is the sense of freedom being part of this Fraternity gives them. They really do have a license to do anything they want and losing that fear that people have in them (of unemployment, rejection, poverty, taxes or whatever) is a very alluring prospect. These guys are allowed to live without consequence and take part in everything from temporal jumps to raids upon neighboring parallel realities. Who wouldn’t give up their white-collar jobs?”

 

But what about the M. Night Shyamalan view that the existence of super-heroes and super-villains is interlinked—that for one to exist, the other must exist as well? “No, that’s funny, because as much as I love Unbreakable I think that’s just 20th century thinking. The Ultimates is basically superheroes in a world without supervillains for them to hit every month. Conversely, Wanted is a world where

super-villains have free reign. What makes it different from Darth Vader or any other story where the bad guys have won is that it’s all been done in secret. This is happening right outside our window. There are guys driving past us who can travel through mirrors and alien super-computers with 12th Level Intellects, but we just don’t get to see it all. I actually believe this on some level, too.”

 

Wanted, page 6Don’t look for gaudy costumes in contrasting primary colors in this series. “These are post-Matrix super-villains in the sense that they operate in our world and, since the heroes aren’t a problem any more, there’s no need to wear the costumes. However, when they’re initiating a new member or having a meeting I’ve opted for the quasi-masonic approach to this secret society and made it compulsory for them to dress in costume when they enter the inner-sanctum of their secret headquarters in either of the five continents. Some of them wear variations on the costumes for assignment purposes, but it’s really more about being practical than looking like a Carmine Infantino drawing... however cool those drawings are.”

 

Wanted lets readers see the world through the eyes of Wesley Gibson, “our reader-identification figure. He’s a frustrated white guy who isn’t happy with his lot in life and wonders where the hell is the Ferrari and supermodel the magazines and TV shows promised him when he was growing up. He hates his job, his girlfriend is sleeping with his best friend, cholos follow him off his bus every night and chuck beer-cans at him, and he really just hates himself. Until someone puts a gun in his hands and he discovers that, like the father he never met, he’s extremely good at killing people and can make all these problems disappear.”

 

Again, Wanted is one of five Millar first issues in December—four Millarworld titles and the high-profile Ultimate Fantastic Four #1. Did Millar plan the Millarworld event to coincide with the debut of the latest Ultimate series? “Well, Ultimate FF is almost certainly going to generate a lot of sales and interest so it would have been crazy not to hitch my wagon to that lucky star in some sense. What I’ve created here essentially is the first pan-industry cross-over, and my hope is that the big companies can feed the small companies, and the kind of people who enjoy smaller books like the Avatar titles will venture into the mainstream and try material like the Ultimate Fantastic Four.

 

Wanted, page 17 “It’s a microcosm of how I feel the industry should work more. Multiplexes are successful at the moment because they accommodate both the art-house audience and the blockbuster audience, the blockbuster audience ostensibly supporting the venues that play the art-house material. I don’t see why comics shouldn’t work in the same way.

 

How far back do the concepts for the four Millarworld books date? How long have they been in active development? “Well, I first explored the idea of Chosen in a small-press book I had published when I was nineteen—which, quite characteristically, had the bombastic tag-line of being a much-anticipated sequel to The Bible. It’s evolved enormously since then and is really quite unrecognizable.

 

“Likewise, Wanted started life as a project for two big two and, when they both thought it was too extreme, gradually evolved into something much better and which I own lock-stock and barrel. All the others have been in my head for a while as I played good boy and wrote all the company owed stuff the last couple of years. It’s enormously cathartic getting all this down on paper, let me tell you.”

 

Since Millar doesn’t seem like the sort of glutton for punishment who’d leave himself overwhelmed with the writing duties with five different series at once, is it safe to assume that all the limited series are pretty much complete, at least as far as the writing is concerned? How likely is it that these books will all appear on time? And even with advance planning, isn’t this a lot of work to juggle? “Yes, but working on The Ultimates has taught me a great deal about the importance of getting your book out on time, and I’m now somewhat paranoid about it. So much so, in fact, that I made sure I started this stuff a year before it was published and have scheduled most of the books in such a way that the artists are completing the final issues before the first books are even published.

 

”It looks like a lot of work, but I spread the books over perhaps eighteen months and this happened at the same time as I took a little break from my Marvel contract. I’m signing my new deal with Marvel very soon, and by this point, all of these books will be completely finished on my end. I’m relatively slow because I like to think the material

through a lot, but this wasn’t impossible with a little planning.”

 

OG KillerOf course, Millar is involved in Wanted and the other Millarworld books as more than the writer. “My name is on these things in the credit box—but for the first time, it’s also in the ownership bar down at the bottom of the page, so I’ve been painfully hands-on, doubtless irritating the hell out of editorial and marketing with my constant

revisions, vetoes, suggestions and so on. Unlike, say, The Ultimates or X-Men or The Authority or Superman: Red Son, these characters have been created by me from scratch, so I felt a genuine responsibility to make sure they reached the finished page looking as good as they possibly could and as close to my original vision.

 

“Of course, picking pretty much the best line-up of artists in the industry made this a good deal easier. Whatever I had in my head for each issue was improved upon enormously by these guys. It was a bit like being a director and surrounding yourself with the best actors, writer and cinematographers. When you’re surrounded by people like JG Jones and John Cassaday and so on, it’s almost impossible to make an arse of something.”

 

Wanted #1, featuring art by J. G. Jones, is scheduled for a December 5th

release from Top Cow.

 

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dunno, it's just too raunchy. my friend Julian had asked me if I thought they should be all proper and nice. I said maybe that wouldn't be too realistic, but I don't know about the level of cursing they do in this either...I mean why the fuck can't there be a middle ground? Everything is so black and white!!! AHHHHHHH heh.

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  • 1 month later...

Newsarama's goin crazy with the interviews...

 

LOOKING @ WANTED WITH MARK MILLAR

Next week, the final Millarworld series will wrap up with the release of Wanted #6 from Top Cow by Mark Millar and JG Jones, with Paul Mounts on colors.

 

Spoiler Warning - Mild spoliers for what's come in issue #5, and what's coming in issue #6

 

The limited series was set on a world that would have made any Dr. Doom and Lex Luthor giddy – years before, the super-powered villains had managed to kill off the superheroes. The result, a world run by villains who lived in no real fear of any repercussions to their actions. They could be kings, or commoners, wealthy or just getting by – the world was theirs to take or squander as they saw fit.

 

That’s not to say there wasn’t any strife however – when The Killer, the best super-powered assassin in the world was killed, his fortune, name, and prestige were transferred to his son, Wesley Gibson, a run of the mill, normal guy. Gibson’s initiation into the role he’d inherited came fast and furious, as he was brought into The Fraternity, the main group of super-powered criminals. Within The Fraternity though, there were deep schisms. The skeletionized Mr. Rictus and his followers thought The Fraternity too mild, and wanted a return to letting the world clearly know how held the power.

 

Battle-lines were drawn, and a villain war was on, with both sides taking heavy casualties. The fighting grew and grew as Wesley came into his powers, position, and confidence – and led to the revelation at the end of issue #5, that al was not as it seemed.

 

We sat down with Millar to look back on the storyline and see where things may progress after issue #6.

 

Newsarama: Generally speaking, you're pretty big on structure and nods to source material...or source eras. What was your nod here? A Silver Age Secret Society of Super-Villains on speed?

 

Mark Millar: It's interesting you bring that up because this book went through half a dozen incarnations and one of the earliest ones was a Secret Society of Super-Villains mini-series. The finished plot bears absolutely no resemblance to the idea I first pitched Archie Goodwin when I was trying to break into DC, but this is essentially where my interest in a supervillain project began.

 

The original one was pitched as four prestige format minis, the first being a self-contained story set in the Golden Age, then the Silver, then the Dark and finally the most recent Age. Each story was told from the perspective of a villain from that era, all sharing the same name. It was pretty good, but very enmeshed in DC continuity and probably completely impossible for anyone besides me, Paul Levitz and Roy Thomas to even understand. I also pitched it to Jimmy and Joe at Marvel Knights as something much, much closer to Wanted in a series called Shocker. This was all about the original Shocker being murdered and his son inheriting the costume. This was way before The Authority and neither me nor The Shocker seemed particularly marketable so this died a little death too. But the series was starting to gel into something much bigger, pulling all the various archetypes together and really benefiting from the fairly unusual idea of taking place here. On this world. The one we all live in. The notion that the villains are out there and controlling us from behind the scenes after killing all the superheroes is something I've wanted to write since I was six years old.

 

NRAMA: You never did go for the mulligan that the superheroes are still around, or they're coming back in a new form. Going back to your comments about the Ultimates, is this another of your explorations of "heroes don't exist?"

 

MM: No, not at all. At least not consciously. It just seemed like such an obvious route to take and there are so many books out there featuring superheroes that it was nice writing something where the villains had a chance to shine. But I take your point that just as The Ultimates shows that these superheroes can't be nice all the time, Wanted perhaps shows that supervillains can't be nasty all the time.

 

NRAMA: Speaking more to the world of Wanted, do you feel that, given the existence of the technology of the story was real, we'd end up with this world, rather than the one of DC and Marvel comics, with shining heroes leading/serving as examples for us all?

 

MM: No, I'm actually very optimistic about that kind of thing. I think people are kinder and more civilized than anything else on the planet and New York City is absolute proof of this. Imagine 8 million monkeys all living in such a combined space. Or 8 million alligators. They'd all be dead in a week. People do their best and can, in most cases, be relied upon to do the right thing. I honestly believe that people are fundamentally pretty honest and incredibly sentimental. Especially us comic types. I know for a fact that if someone gave me a Green Lantern thing I'd make an arse of myself and try to save people all the time to the detriment of my home life.

 

The idea behind Wanted also sprang from a story I wrote in school when I was a kid, which posed the notion that perhaps the Nazis did win the war, but wrote the history books to look like they didn't. This way nobody ever rises up against them. Those who think they're free are actually in the smallest prison, as they say. If we knew that we were living in the spoils of a war where the superheroes were all killed people would eventually rise up and fight back.

 

NRAMA: Also in the world - Rictus - just to get everyone on the same page - what was his beef with the Fraternity? That the supervillains weren't being...supervillainous enough?

 

MM: Yeah, The Professor's plan was a typical Silver Age idea of ridding the world of superheroes and the villains ruling the cosmos, etc, etc. But what he didn't really count on was some of the villains getting bored and hankering after the old days with the death-traps and the prison breaks and everything that made them want to be supervillains in the first place. Imagine Lex Luthor trying to pacify The Joker. That's essentially the situation that The Professor found himself in with Mister Rictus. Again, it's the varying degrees of villainy.

 

NRAMA: And so, as it came down to in issue #5, and spoiling things a little – Wanted turns out to be a big father and son story, that is, Wesley’s dad, The Killer is

still alive…

 

MM: That was what the series was all about. It's all about a missing Dad feeling guilty about walking out on his kid. The original Killer, one of the world's greatest super-villains, just decides he wants to do his own thing and live life to the max, not really stopping to think about the consequences this has on his only son. When Wesley grows up, as we saw in issue one, he's a socially-retarded mess and the series was his father's carefully orchestrated plan to give him everything in a few months that he failed to give him growing up. It's a really simple idea at the heart of the whole thing; a father/ son drama dressed up with exploding brains and superhero costumes.

 

NRAMA: Artistically, for you, why fathers and sons? Why is a father and son such a potent ingredient in a story such as this one?

 

MM: I think it's something we can all relate to and one of the reasons why I think Wanted hit so big is that it especially resonates with comic readers. There's a huge number of us who grew up with displaced fathers or came from broken home - both my parents died when I was in my teens - and I think it was Gerard Jones and Will Jacobs who speculated in their brilliant book The Comic Book Heroes that Superman, Batman, Captain America and so on were written for little boys who wished they could spend more time with their Dads.

 

Sidekicks are reader identification figures, of course, but perhaps it goes slightly deeper and in some ways Superman and Jimmy and Cap and Bucky represent the kind of parental bonds we feel we're missing in our real lives in some ways. It's just my own take on it. Star Wars was all about absent fathers and I think it home because it was the first epic movie to tackle this subject at a time when divorce was becoming more widespread. But fathers and sons and angry brothers are always very interesting to write about.

 

NRAMA: Moving on to the final issue, explain the structure of issue #6 a little – you’ve got a Silver Age flashback of The Killer’s glory days…

 

MM Yeah, I'd just seen Kill Bill when I wrote that sequence and really liked the way the movie shifted gears between various styles. It seemed appropriate and more creepy and evocative to have this "pre-Crisis" continuity drawn in a Silver Age style. It's actually very sad when we shift scenes into the world we have today and see it getting seedier and seedier over a couple of panels. It's an obvious allegory for childhood too.

 

NRAMA: You also went all out for the flashback, bringing in Dick Giordano to illustrate it. Why bring him in and not just get J.G. Jones to ape Carmine Infantino or Dick Ayers’ styles?

 

MM: Dick Giordano either penciled or inked some of my favorite comics growing up. It just seemed like a great opportunity to work with him and it's always going to look more convincing when using the genuine article as opposed to asking a modern artist to adapt his style to suit a particular flavor.

 

NRAMA: So how’d you land Giordano?

 

MM: We'd actually worked together once before in Legends of the Dark Knight #79. It was the first thing I'd ever written and I sold it to DC - with Steve Yeowell on pencils, and the notion of having Dick ink not only your first comic, but a Batman story was amazing. I'll associate Dick forever with DC's best period, 1981-1987, when he was very hands-on and stealing all the best Marvel talent. In a few short years, he gave us everything from the really under-rated stuff like the Conway Batman comics he edited in the beginning to Moore on Swamp Thing, Dark Knight, Watchmen, Chaykin's Shadow and so on. I don't get nervous about anything, but I was genuinely too nervous to call him and got Jim [McLaughlin, Top Cow Editor in Chief] to do it instead. He's a legend to me. I also recommend the biography that was produced last year.

 

NRAMA: Now that the story is almost over, it’s still pretty clear that the world of Wanted seems like an incredibly fertile one...yet you've pretty much said you're not going back. Are you sure? It seems that someone could find a way to occupy many months to years exploring the world - why not continue it as an ongoing, if not with you writing, with someone you pick - your own Fiona Avery or Samm Barnes?

 

MM: I just don't see the point, I originally conceived this as a nice little mini-series that might also be translated into a movie or a video-game, but we completely self-contained. As I started working on the thing and we started getting interest from producers a few years ago, I suddenly saw scope for a prequel and a sequel and started putting notes together. But then something weird happened. I went to see the second Matrix movie and I walked out incredibly disappointed. Something I really enjoyed had been raped for cash and I swore then and there that this wouldn't happen to Wanted.

 

The movie deal makes it more difficult to keeping the comic self-contained, but JG and I are adamant that there will never be a comic spin-off by us or - God forbid - anybody else. I'm not interested in being a super-rich guy. I like doing my comics and writing a few little extra things and being able to pay my bills and go out with my family and friends. I don't dream of having a helicopter with a full-size snooker table inside it. If I luck into some cash it's great because it makes life a little easier, but the minute you start chasing the check you should pack up and go home.

 

We'll whore this out with toys and games or whatever else comics our way - providing they're good, but I'm not interesting in killing something people like as fast as the Wachowskis or George Lucas did. The only book from Millarworld Phase One that might have a sequel is Chosen, but even that's not a guarantee by any means. I've still got a Millarworld book to come out early this year, but the Phase Two stuff will happen in late ’06, after my big break doing other stuff, and most likely be all new material.

 

NRAMA: Wrapping things up then – you mentioned movies. Are things moving forward on that front for Wanted?

 

MM: They seem to be. The Fast and The Furious 2 guys - I know, I laughed

too - were paid an insane amount of money-- as in a million dollars or so-- to write the screenplay and it's supposed to be good, although I've yet to see a word. Apparently, this means Universal has a lot of confidence in it and are fast-tracking the thing so fingers crossed it's out sometime in ‘06 as was originally mooted.

 

NRAMA: Will you be involved at all?

 

MM: Not really. I take the Alan Moore/ Raymond Chandler approach to these things becoming movies. I'll do everything I can to protect the comic book, but recognize that you're playing in a lottery the second you allow Hollywood guys to make a film. Whatever they do, it doesn't affect a single word of the book sitting on your shelf, as Chandler says, and I think that's a healthy approach. These people seem to have a good understanding of the property and I'm hoping for the best. Similarly, Chris Columbus really liked Chosen and - given his Harry Potter background- I think he'll capture the atmosphere of the movie pretty perfectly. There's no talk of a director as yet for Wanted, but I'd love to see somebody like Danny Boyle getting a crack at it.

 

A hardcover collection of Wanted is due in stores in March from Top Cow.

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  • 4 months later...

So I picked up the HC and just finished it... Pretty tight, and while I'll say that in this particular story profanity had it's place(tho the Fox made me blush more than a few times, and her lines did feel a bit forced), there is a helluva lotta gratuity since Marvel dropped the Comic Code Authority(Vertigo was really the only publisher doing anything risque before that, and now the market's flooded). Liked the story up until the ending, the art was tight, and yes. I felt a certain 8-Mile-as-rendered-by-a-crazed-Scotsman-with-a-distaste-for-the-oxymoron-that-is-American-culture vibe to it.

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