SUPERCROOKS by Mark Millar and Leinil Yu

Written by Mark Millar (co-plotted by Nacho Vigalondo)
Drawn by Leinil Yu
Inked by Gerry Alanguilan
Colored by Sunny Gho
Published by Marvel Comics/Icon Imprint

While I may not have been impressed with NEMESIS, I still decided to check out Mark Millar’s other fairly recent creator-owned series that I originally missed, Supercrooks. And I am glad that I did. Once again though the series isn’t quite how Millar described it would be. Even on the cover of the first issue it says There are too many superheroes in America…let’s go somewhere else…. Well, the villains do go somewhere else, specifically Latin America, but it’s not just because they just want to get away from superheroes, they have a specific plan.

The man character is Johnny Bolt, a low-level supervillain with electric powers. He gets caught by a superhero while trying to rob a jewelery store, and is sent to prison. 5 years later he tries to get back together with his ex-fiance, Kasey (he was robbing the store to pay for their wedding), who is also an ex-supervillain now trying to go straight, and she wants nothing to do with them. But then they’re met by Carmine, and old supervillain who was a mentor and father-figure to them both. He’s gotten into trouble with a Las Vegas casino that is run by big-time supervillains, and now he owes them $100 million or they’re going to kill him. Because they both care about Carmine so much, they agree to help him out, and Johnny plans one last major gig. He gathers a bunch of his old friends, all ex-supervillains trying to go straight and working menial jobs, and convinces him of his plan. The plan is that there is man called The Bastard, the biggest baddest supervillain of all time. He retired a few years earlier with $800 million worth of stolen loot, and now lives in a mansion in Spain, with his bodyguards which includes The Praetorian, a corrupt former superhero. And the plan is break into his mansion and steal his loot from his underground vault.

So this is basically a classic heist caper, like Ocean’s 11, except everyone involved has superpowers. It’s made clear that this is an extremely dangerous assignment, because of how ruthless The Bastard is. The last man who tried to rip him off, The Bastard had his entire family and every friend he ever had (over 200 people) murdered. There is also the subplot of Johnny trying to win Kasey back. Will he succeed? And there’s the superhero whom they’ve blackmailed to join them, will he betray them? Can they really pull this job off? NO SPOILERS! Suffice to say there are several story twists before this comes to an end. Read it for yourself.

The series is just 4 issues, so it’s short and to the point. There’s some cursing and gore, but it’s not over-the-top. Sure there’s a few little illogical story-points that I could nitpick (the way Carmine ends up owing the casino $100 million doesn’t really make sense), but it doesn’t bother me. It’s a fun story, I could definitely see it being adapted pretty easily to a movie, without any major changes. I’m still not the biggest fan of Yu’s artwork, but it fits here.



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