6 November 2008

Wanted in multiple forms

Mark Millar is one of the hottest writers in comics today but I managed to miss his Wanted series when it came out in 2003, probably because it was published by one of the smaller companies, Top Cow.

The film Wanted from earlier this year was harder to miss as some of the action shots in the trailer were very clever and it starred Angelina Jolie.

Now the film is available on DVD and the comic has been issued with the same cover art (pictured). I watched the film and then read the comic a few days later.

As with most film adaptations of books and comics, there is a something of a lose relationship between the two plots but I do not mind that as the attributes of the two media are quite different. For example, curving the flight of a bullet works well in the film (because you can see the motion) but would be a pointless effect in a comic.

I see little point in comparing the two as they are so different, instead I prefer to consider each on their own.

The comic is fairly typical Mark Millar with strong confident characters, sub-plots of treachery and intrigue and a fairly relentless pace. While I can appreciate the techniques used, and I enjoy some of his other work a lot (e.g. Ultimates), there is something unsatisfactory about the comic and it lacks substance. I cannot imagine myself ever wanting to read it again.

The film, however, is just fantastic for so may reasons. The plot is more realistic and more subtle, the actions scenes are great but do not dominate the film, and there are some nice comic touches too, such as when a keyboard is smashed into a man's face and the keys (and a tooth) fly off to spell "F#ck you". I will be watching the film again soon.

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