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Ocean’s Eleven With Powers = Supercrooks

Everybody likes a good heist story.  A group of unlawful, but extremely likable people from all different walks of life come together to pull one over on someone who is incredibly wealthy and make their fortune.  We have seen it played out in the motion picture industry with the Ocean’s 11 and 12 films, The Score, Sneakers, The Italian Job, Gone in Sixty Seconds, and various others.  The concept is timeless.  There was even a movie in 1973 called The Sting that predates everything that I will discuss today and it won 7 Oscars.  Comic books are no strangers to heist stories either.  Just this year we have seen the popular series from Robert Kirkman and Nick Spencer “Thief of Thieves” roll through it’s first story arc and get optioned for an AMC television series.  Richard Stark’s “Parker” books exist both as novels and as comic books and see great success in both avenues.  The heist story is beloved.  Though, I’m not sure if I had seen it in spandex before…

That is until now.  Supercrooks is a 2012 title by Mark Millar (Kick Ass, Wanted, Civil War, Ultimates) with art by Leinil Yu and published by the Marvel Icon imprint.  In it, we find characters who are mostly archetypes, jokes, and parodies of more established super-personalities.  There aren’t any surprise power sets, but Millar’s writing might have the characters using them in different ways than you have previously seen or expect.

If you are familiar with Millar’s writing, then you know that this title is not ultimately appropriate for children, but you won’t let that stop you from checking it out.  Millar has a sort of twisted world view that was cultivated by stints on the Authority, Judge Dredd, and (less notably) Sonic The Hedgehog.  There is an edge to his writing and for his biggest fans, it’s why they keep coming back.  For his biggest critics, his over the top harshness and excess is unnecessary and raw just for the sake of being so.  I tend to walk right down the middle and ignore titles that push my buttons too much, but give most things a shot.  I was glad that I did so with Supercrooks.

Without spoiling the four issue miniseries, I can say that Supercrooks is built on the strength of it’s characters.  While none of them has a particularly compelling story, they are just interesting enough that you care about their well being and just entertaining enough that you want their heist to succeed.  The charisma in this rag-tag crew will make it a quick read as you are spurred on to the end.  It is also important to mention the villain who is done really well.  A retired, old supervillain with a ridiculous powerset and the will to unleash it on everyone makes for a good foil.  His personality fits very well and by the end, you will see why he is called “The Bastard.”

All in all, it is a good four issue read and comes to a satisfying conclusion.  When this is collected in trade, it would be a good thing to hand to a friend who is not into comic “books” per se, but may have an interest in comic movies.  The whole thing reads like a Guy Ritchie movie to me.  There is a lot of action and humor and even a little bit of drama.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel and if there is one thing we know about heist movies it is that people love sequels to heist movies.  The fourth issue just came out yesterday, so it will probably take a while to be collected into one volume.  Consider pick up the next great “gateway drug” to comic books when it is collected and if you want to grab it in issues, do it here for around $10.


~ Scott Deaux ~

About Scott Deaux

Favorite Comics: Lazarus, Essex County, Chew, Superior Foes Of Spider-Man, Age of Apocalypse stuff, The Nightly News, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, Pax Romana, Avengers, NEXTWAVE: Agents Of Hate, Sweet Tooth, We3, others... Favorite Quote(s): "Journalism is just a gun. It's only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that's all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world." - Warren Ellis "People who hold signs go hold many other things" - Eddie Pepitone

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