Thursday, 22 March 2012

New Beginnings - Supercrooks #1

Welcome to Millarworld (for those of you who are here on their first visit) and welcome back those who have visited before! Millarworld is an interesting place, hosted by its Mayor and founder Mark, which over the last year I have really grown to love. One thing I have also found is that his style is strangely unique and familiar at the same time. Millar manages to take a completely normal situation and add a touch of super or, and this is particularly the case with Supercrooks, takes a super situation and adds a sheen of normal and reality.

Supercrooks is a story about an idea I’ve had in my head for a little while and have knocked back time and time again to enjoy my weekly comic fix. The general premise for a “superhero” is that they have their own little area which has its circle of heroes and more importantly villains revolving around it. So why do the villains stick around? Time and time again their actions, plans and dastardly deeds are thwarted by some individual or team set firmly on the path of righteousness.

Millar’s tale begins with one such failed heist with The Gladiator taking down a supervillain group, sending them back to a supermax prison where Johnny Bolt languishes for five years. It’s only on his release when he finds that his former mentor has got into a spot of financial bother with a criminal demanding $100 million within a month. A steep request for even Danny Ocean and his crew. So what is Bolt to do? Bolt comes to the same realisation that many have before, that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, so he starts to look further afield towards Europe. This is so eloquently put in the comment that in Spain, “Their money’s as good as anyone else’s," and 'I‘ve never heard of a Captain Spain”.

The writing is what I have come to know and expect from Millar - it is the stories that he weaves that attract me. On both counts he has come up trumps even though the issue doesn’t really venture into the main body of the story, this is still a very attractive proposition for a storyline. I’ve been looking forward to the comic coming out since reading about it in the back of Superior and I have to say it has lived up to my expectations. Lenil Yu’s artwork is a good supporting choice with Millar’s work and fits into what I feel you could call a “stable” of artists like Steve McNiven. It’s open enough to not feel crowded or cluttered but at the same time has plenty of detail within them too. Sunny Gho has provided the colouring work which gives more grounding to the “normal” feeling to it all and the real world element is heightened. The combination of the three sits incredibly well for me.

As a final act of goodness I even enjoyed the publicity moments at the end. OK, I understand that as a creator-owned brand Millar has to plug his titles including Superior which had its final issue released some weeks ago, but it also features some which are still to come: the spin off for Hit Girl; the soon to be released Secret Service; and towards the end of the year Jupiter’s Children and Nemesis 2. What more could a reader want? You have a great issue and to top it all off teasers setting you up for the next six months!

There’s no point in me warbling about this any further. Make a bee line for your friendly local comic shop and buy this comic!

Matt Puddy is fighting fit once more

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