April 28, 2012

Review: SUPERCROOKS Issue One

It’s hard not to like the characters portrayed in SUPERCROOKS.  In fact, you almost want to feel sorry for the bad guys in Mark Millar's latest title. Featuring fantastic artwork by Leinil Yu, the series focuses the lives and struggles of everyday criminals - with superpowers, that is. If you can picture the Ocean’s 11 gang powered with telekinesis, invincibility, then you have a general grasp of what parts of the book is all about. Of course, Millar’s story goes beyond that and offers something truly original and engaging for readers to delve into. 

Gladiator in action
With SUPERCROOKS, the protagonists and especially main character, the supervillain Johnny Bolt, are shown in the harshest and depressing light.  In one of the opening sequences of the debut, a group of criminals holds ground inside a subway train, running from law enforcement after a robbery. Eventually, a superhero known as the Gladiator, arrives on the scene and captures them.  Not before he roughs up the criminals with much brutal and deadly force though. It's truly reminiscent of the Comedian from Watchmen in his prime and Magog’s team in Kingdom Come.  

This is just a small part of a much deeper story Millar thrusts upon us.  Johnny Bolt's past catches up with him, leading the down-and-out supervillain on perhaps another futile adventure.  Furthermore, Millar makes it awfully difficult for the audience not to cheer on Johnny Bolt in his portrayal of the struggling criminal. The end scenes of issue one go deep into Bolt’s past and you decide, if you will ultimately root for him.

Leinil Yu’s art style thoroughly complements the tone of the series perfectly.  The hazy and washed out style of his work truly conveys the dark world of Millar’s characters.  I can’t think of a better choice than Yu for this book.

SUPERCROOKS is a highly recommended title, if you can look beyond Johnny Bolt’s criminal motives, you’ll enjoy the characters just the same. While they’re not exactly anti-heroes, Millar’s story gives us a thorough portrayal of the life and choices these villains have ultimately made, making them and the story, enjoyable. 

Final Verdict: A

GameStop, Inc.

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