Guest commentator Paul Stevenson shares his thoughts on Millar and Jones’ Wanted.
Hello friends, my name is Paul Stevenson. I’ve been asked to write this column for all of you to offer some insight and make suggestions of comics and toys that I am currently enjoying. I’ve never done anything quite like this before so I hope that you will enjoy this information and it will be interesting enough for you to keep following what I’ll be trying to share with you periodically.
Since this is my first contribution to this site, let me give you a brief bit of information about myself. I’m a mid 30’s middle class father of 2, living in the Buffalo NY area. A few years ago I was looking for some new hobbies to occupy my time and stimulate my mind a little bit. I starting by picking up comic books, just to read a few series and see if I liked it. I hadn’t read comics since I was a kid but I immediately fell in love and now I have graduated to following series of every style from indie horror comics to campy superhero stories and cartoon based comics. It’s been nothing short of fantastic to rediscover this hobby and I am glad to have this opportunity to share my thoughts with you.
In addition to comic books, I began to collect action figures, which has become an extremely infectious hobby. This led to me sharing my collection of toys and comics on Instagram. Through this, I started becoming friends with many collectors who do artistic toy photography. I gave that a try and over the duration of the past couple years I’ve developed a pretty good aptitude with photography and have built a little following and have made many friends all over the world, while becoming a part of a great and supportive community of like minded people. You can find me on Instagram to see this at @paultstevenson.
I was invited to share my opinions and thoughts by my friend and contributor to this website, Joe Milone. My idea for this column is to share some of my insight and recommendations for you of comic book stories I have read, focusing more on whole story arcs and complete mini-series, less towards single comics. I feel that it’s easier to recommend a story from beginning to end rather than a single issue of a 24-part series. Also I will share some info about some of the action figures I am buying and what I do and don’t like about them since I’m constantly buying new ones, but the primary concern for me here will be comic books.
OK, enough about me, let’s talk comics. Being my first time and talking so much about me already, I’m going to keep my recommendation to one story this week. The book is in 6 comics or 1 trade paper back and it is called Wanted from Top Cow/Image Comics. First things first, the writer of this Mark Millar is absolutely one of my favorite comic writers in the business right now. He’s responsible for one of my favorite comic series of all time Kick-Ass and all the following stories about Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl. Millar has such a great style of keeping things very crude and real but he does it intelligently in a way that makes sense and is enjoyable. This book holds true to his gritty and raw, in your face, R-rated style, like the Kick-Ass books. The artwork is beautifully executed by J.G. Jones and Paul Mounts. It is realistic, natural and beautifully shaded and colored. The panels and storyboarding work so well which makes everything very easy to interpret and follow. It all combines in such a way that is captivating and keeps me wanting to turn the page to see what’s next. Great creative teamwork.
Here is my synopsis without spoilers, (if I spoil the ending, you’d have no reason to read it). The main character Wesley Gibson is living a train wreck of a life. He was raised by his single mother, he never even knew his father, he is an extreme hypochondriac, all the people in his life treat him like garbage and he’s fighting the listless feelings of depression and disdain for the human condition. I won’t even give away the specifics of his problems, but we’ll just say that his life sucks.
Early on, we see a man who is living a very good life who seems to be a well trained killer who gets hunted down and taken out by a strike team. This man is later revealed to be to Wesley’s father by a friend of and former partner of his father. He learns about how his father is a part of a secret underground world with a society of super-villains, who basically run the world and are allowed free reign over whatever they want as long as they stay secret and allow the world to stay in state of normalcy. Wesley is invited to train with them and try to join the team, but he’s unsure about this path, but he is eventually persuaded to leave his terrible life to lead a life of crime and considerable wealth and comfort. Throughout his training he learns more about his family history and his unique genetics that make his transition remarkably successful at a rapid pace. Things finally start to turn around in his life but nothing will ever be the same as he quickly learns that with more money and more power, follows more problems and conflict.
My opinion on this is, if you like R-rated comics with lots of swearing, violence, and adult themes…this book is for you! I loved it completely and it was amazing and easy to read and easy to follow. I have nothing bad to say about it and I would love to see a follow up someday, like Millar did with the Kick-Ass series. It is available now in trade paperback form from any number of outlets such as amazon, ebay, and everywhere else you can buy comics.
Thanks for bearing with me on this new adventure I’m trying out. I hope that you like my commentary and I hope I can continue to improve and recommend more comics and toys that you all should read and check out. Any comments, questions, or suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.