A multi-blog look at lists of “Movies You Didn’t Know Were Based On Comics” to see how true they really are.
Wanted (2002 – 2003) is Mark Miller and JG Jones’s sideways look at superheroes. Or more importantly super villains.
Wesley Gibson is an salmon-eating vegetarian “pussy” with a job he hates and a cheating girlfriend whose life is going nowhere. Then he is told that his father, who left Wesley’s mother when Wesley was a few weeks old was a super villain hitman who has just been killed and Wesley has inherited his father’s wealth and role as a super villain. Oh, he’s also told that super villains are real and superheroes used to be until the villains won, erased all memory of the hero (and themselves) and began to secretly run the world.
Superheroes are often claimed to be (or accused of being) a power fantasy of children or adolescents. Wanted is a power fantasy for young adults who think they deserve more. Like the Stanley Ipkiss issues of The Mask, it starts out as revenge fantasy that gets out of control. Arbitrary murders for the slightest slights and casual, even glorified rapes. Eventually, as these things always do, the story settles down into hero or anti-hero mode.
The comic tries to shock in a number of ways, you can get past the misogyny, racism, homophobia and pedophila that is mostly associated with villains, the in-your-face use of scatology, sex and swearing to be edgy there are a couple of “wow” moments through the storytelling that make the comic well worth reading.
In 2008 a film called Wanted was released loosely based on the comic.