iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #76 – Wanted

Show Notes

Originally published in 2003 by Image Comics, Wanted was written by Mark Millar with art by J.G. Jones. The story follows Wesley, a no body, as he becomes one of the world’s deadliest super villains.

Wanted is a polarizing comic book that some people absolutely love and others hate vehemently. For example, Josh hates it, while Conor and Ron really enjoy it.

The movie Wanted was released on June 27th, 2008 and while it strays from the original story, many familiar scenes and elements make their way into the movie.


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  1. ‘Someone says I love it or hate it’

    Well chalk me up on someone who hated the book. Josh said it best, with no characters to really root for and just a story that goes nowhere…why would you like this book? This book was only written to shock people in terms of violence. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; but with pages of just death everywhere by characters who are the bad guys…and no one to really route for in a book. Hell, Wesley was a pussy before he joined the villians and then he turned into an asshole by the end. Sorry but that is not good character development.

     Oh and the story ends with him, naked stating: This is what my face looks like when I’m fucking you up the ass!….Wow, just sounds like a teenager wrote this book.

  2. This  is my first post to ifanboy.com. Usually my motto is to keep my opinions to myself, but my feelings about Wanted are so strong I could not resist adding my two cents.

    I am in complete agreement with Josh on his  opinion of Wanted.  After hearing much buzz about it, and reading the trade a couple of years ago, my reaction was one of utter revulsion.  

    Call me old fashioned, but my perference is to read comic books that contain  a certain level of hope and optimism..plus a protagonist one can root for.  Being 38 and a former avid comic book reader, my enjoyment of the medium has increasingly lessened in recent years. This is mainly due to,  in my humble opinion, too many comics relying on cynicism and ultra-violence as story-telling components. 

    Sadly, many of us have simply become desenitized to the increasing levels of extreme, graphic violence in comics (not to mention other media).  The common rebuttal to this accusation is: "it’s not a big deal, it’s only a comic book, movie, etc."  Is it really not a big deal? Really? I wonder…



  3. In A Clockwork Orange you can always root for the redemption of Alex, which is a (maybe even "the") major theme, though the transformative final chapter was left out of the movie. Plus pretty much everything about ACO was very original.

    "Original" is not a word I would ever associate with Mark Millar. I found his work quite mediocre or average. I just think he’s a very middling writer, just "ok". I’m beside myself whenever he gets championed, though. All his concepts seem so hackneyed, even if they are fun to read. "Kick-Ass": "cliched as hell; fun to read? yes." The same goes with the current Wolverine arc. Okay, it’s set in the future–does that instantly mean we have to proclaim it as genius? It’s set in the future that’s inexplicably like the old West–which is senseless and isn’t intriguing at all because I doubt that highly unlikely future will ever be explained, much less explained in a way that would make us re-evaluate our own world (which the best future stories make us do). Not that I would bash any of his work too much, really. I read it–it’s usually a fun read–but it doesn’t really give the reader that much to think about. The Ultimates was a lot of fun, and it basically showed Marvel how to make post-2000 superheroes work for the mindset of action movie fans.

    But I can’t believe this guy "was inspired to become a comic writer after meeting Alan Moore…in the mid-’80s" (wikipedia). How can that be? He must have taken one look and thought, "Wow, I want to become a comic writer and be everything that weird bearded guy’s NOT."

  4. All the talk about "shock value" and "offensive" is all relative. Not everyone has the same delicate sensibilties. Some people would be offended if you said "shit" to them.

    So, looking past all that, this was an awesome comic book. Awesome writing, artwork that’s off the planet & a highly entertaining & original concept.

    Yeah, the characters are all assholes & they do horrible things, but c’mon, it’s set in a world where people are flying around and there is dudes made of shit — how can you take it serious? It’s entertainment, no one is forcing you to read it — put the book down if you don’t like it.

  5. "Deadliest Catch" rocks.

  6. I’m in the ‘hated it’ camp. The thing is, I think it WAS supposed to be fun. A no holds barred id power fantasy. This is what bothers me about Millar. Where someone like his former writing partner Morrison writes the horrifying stuff as truly horrifying, Millar writes the horrifying as titillating. At least that’s the feeling I get.

    I also have a huge problem with the notion that "escaping from your boring life" requires hurting people, that your happiness is contigent on other peoples’ suffering.

    But hey, maybe this just wasn’t for me. I was never the kid that wanted to be Cobra or Decepticons.

  7. Hello guys ! Sorry to post this here, but I keep trying to access the new website you are promoting (www.emusic.com) and it doesn’t work… I don’t know what’s going on.

     Just wanted to let you know about it.


  8. @Mary – It loads fine for me.  What about it isn’t working, exactly?

  9. Make sure you type the http://www.emusic.com/ifanboy, and don’t leave out the "www".

  10. I’m typing http://www.emusic.com/ifanboy and the broser says "Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete." And I’ve tried this both on Firefox and Internet Explorer and they never load the website.

    Both http://www.emusic.com and http://www.emusic.com/ifanboy don’t seem to work on any of my two computers.

  11. @Mary – That’s very strange.

  12. I can map my return to comics in stages.  I originally collected comics in now what will be referred to as the "1985" heyday with X-men and Daredevil when they were cool and "intense."  My favorite was Daredevil – I was sold after he dropped Bullseye in #181.  Enter age 13 and the discovery of music – no more comics (I guess I was fortunate to miss the 90’s from what I hear). 

    Re-entry (stage 1).  9/11 happens – fear and regression to a happier time for stress relief.  Rumors surface of a possible Daredevil movie and holy crap Kevin Smith wrote a Daredevil tpb – I guess I’ll check it out.

    Stage 2: Wow that art (Allred) on this X-force tpb looks cool.  Everybody gets killed at the end of #116.  Crazy, surprising – I’m all in.  I can’t wait for the next tpb – I start to buy a few floppies.

    The point: stage 3: Mark Millar’s Wanted.  This goes to every line and crosses it.  It is so much damn fun.  Is this a Chuck Palahniuk novel?  Is this the best movie I have ever seen?  I knew comics could be literature (Watchmen, Dark Knight, etc), but who knew they could be this fiendishly entertaining.

    Stage 4: $50/week so I can know what Conor, Josh and Ron are talking about every week 🙂

    So the movie:  I don’t know if I should just sit back and be thankful that I am seeing something on the screen (worked for FF – barely for Daredevil) or be furious.  A friend told me that it was the best action movie ever the day before I saw it – Could I dare to hope that they did the book justice (I did).  After seeing it, I have to say it was somewhat fun (I think I can say this only because it has been a few years since I read the tpb), but I guess I come off mostly disappointed.  Despite what Josh says, I think the source material was great – kinda brilliant in its pure subversion – kinda genius in its pure stupidness.  I guess a "loom of fate" makes more sense to the world.  The book was all about "Fuck You"  too bad the only true part of the movie was resigned to 2 seconds of keyboard keys and a broken tooth.

  13. The loom was unfortunate. Seems to be a running theme in the director’s films. "Day Watch" centered around a "chalk of fate," which altered reality… ummm, so… yeah.

  14. Yeah, I’m not a fan of this book.  I think my dislike of this book is significantly enhanced by my disappointment in its execution.  When I heard the premise was "A guy finds out his dad was a part of a cabal of villains secretly running the world and he copes while assuming his dad’s mantle, I thought "Holy crap, somebody just made the Godfather in a comic book world" and that made me really excited to grab it.  When I read it unfortunately, all my excitement turned into "What the heck is this crap?"  I was expecting something really smart and I got a walking crap man and a man who does ventriloquist work with his penis.  It was just so juvenile and sophmoric, it really pissed me off.  My expectations were probably astronmically high for this book but I thought it felt like it was written by a snickering jr. high student. 

    I also agree that the depiction the characters’ immorality was kind of mismanaged.  There’s obviously several instances of great fiction where the main characters are completely bad people (The Godfather, A Clockwork Orange, Scarface, Unforgiven, Goodfellas) but typically either A.) they’re given some kind of reasoning for their actions (like in the aformentioned Empire where Golgoth’s tyranny is seen as the product of the death of his wife and the backstabbing and deceit around him) or B.) the characters’ actions are seen as having consequences on both the victim and the perpetrator (like in A Clockwork Orange where Alex is betrayed, brainwashed, and tortured for his actions and where you see what pain and suffering his actions bring).  In Wanted, the characters’ actions show very little consequences.  When Wesley kills and rapes, you don’t see the effect it brings on his victims.  Furthermore, Wesley not only recieves no consequences to his actions but he’s pretty much rewarded for it.  There’s no "Die By The Sword" moment like in Scarface or any somber "I’ve lost my soul" moment like at the end of the Godfather, Part II.  He just kills and rapes and maims and gets away with it,  I think that might be why what he does is so disturbing: when we don’t see the cause-and-effect of what a monsterous person does (as we see in real life with Pablo Escobar and Adolph Hitler), we find it repulsive.  Couple that with the kind of kiddie and ridiculous attitude Millar has throughout the whole thing and I can certainly see why people wouldn’t like it as I have.

  15. Yeah, I’m with Tork on this. Frankly, I thought even Josh was being kind to this truly repulsive, horribly written piece of crap. What a waste of J.G. Jones talents. 

  16. I hated this book so deeply, I kind of wondered how the friend who’d given it to me imagined I’d find it remotely palatable, let alone enjoyable.  On the other hand, the utter revulsion I have toward the book was probably what made the movie so fun for me, because it just took that great opening and went somewhere inoffensively watchable with it.

  17. meh. I’ve made the assumption that the vulgarities escalate slightly so as to make you dysensitized to the vulgarity (much like Gibson) in the comic. It’s sorta the point since you’re reading on about "the world". Personally I loved how he took the DCU-mirror and did something worthy of actually reading. Seeing badguys actually win for a change and have dramatic effect in the world is something I would pay to read. After all, it’s a breath of fresh air AND it shares a coin of rules from the real world, one in particular being that life is unfair and how people deal with that.

    The Ending: I could take it or leave. My initial reaction is much like after I read Sandman’s "The Wake": I’d preferably wanted to know more about the "protagonist’s" (used loosly) future aside from the "happily ever after" template. Maybe he could take a bold step and actually add an additional issue sometime later. But for now I’ll have to just be satisfied with Kick-Ass.

    At anyrate I have yet to find a comic that has offended me like some of the gross films you see in the sundance festival channel. >_>

  18. "I’m not going to go rape anyone… i promise"

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