Thursday, March 22, 2012

DAMN Good Comics -- SUPERCROOKS #1

Well, it seems writer Mark Millar has made another comic book property designed to be instantly adapted into a movie.  After film versions of Wanted and Kick-Ass both made money at the box office, it's no surprise that this latest property, Supercrooks, is already slated for a 2014 film to be directed by Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo.

Described by Millar in high-concept terms as "X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven." Supercrooks features a hard-luck supervillain named Johnny Bolt who repeatedly gets caught and imprisoned by superheroes.  After Johnny's elderly mentor gets into financial trouble with a dangerous supervillain casino operation in Las Vegas, he suddenly gets the idea of going overseas (to Spain, of course) where there aren't any of those annoying superheroes capable of stopping his crime sprees.

Millar has a knack of honing these types of story premises into a strong central concept, such as "What if an ordinary office drone found out he was the son of a superpowered assassin?" and "What if someone actually tried to go out and be a superhero in the real world?"  And it doesn't hurt that these story premises are simple enough to be pitched to Hollywood movie executives.  But thankfully, his years as a mere comic book writer serve him well when given the task of writing the actual comic books these movies are supposed to be based upon.

We start off with the necessary background on Johnny Bolt before turning the page and being hit with a big two-page spread of the series title as if it suddenly filled the movie screen.  Then we dive straight into a superpowered version of the film Ocean's Twelve, right down to staging a heist in Europe to pay back a casino boss.  Yeah, it's a bit overly familiar, but Millar makes the story flow with the right kind of tone it needs to be effective.  By the end of this first issue, you want to know what happens next and that's always a good thing for a comic book series.

Leinil Yu, Millar's artistic partner on the Superman/Captain Marvelesque mini-series Superior, continues to produce solid work here as well.  Action sequences are bold and dynamic, while his characters look as if they were drawn with specific movie actors in mind.  He also doesn't skimp on his backgrounds, which is always refreshing compared to some other artists.  Overhead shots of Las Vegas and the interior of a diner look rich and detailed, so it's going to be interesting to see how Spain will be depicted in the next issue.

Oh, and just to give you a taste of that impending Supercrooks movie, here's an actual teaser trailer that was shot...

Say what you will about Millar, the man definitely knows how to work a project.

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