If super-villains read as many comic books at Mark Millar they would be renewing their passports instead of stewing inside Arkham Asylum or Ryker’s Island.
“Here is something I’ve wondered ever since I was a kid: Why do super-villains always commit crimes n Metropolis, Gotham and New York City when Batman, Superman and Spider-Man are there?” asked Millar, the Scottish writer of “Kick Ass” and “Wanted.” He added: “The entire cast of the Avengers live in New York so if I were a super-villain I’d go somewhere I’m less likely to bump into Captain America. That’s the basic conceit of ‘Supercrooks.'”
“Supercrooks” arrives on comics shelves this Wednesday and, above, you’ll find an exclusive preview of the first 10 pages. For this tale of bad-guy tourism, Millar reteams with his “Superior” co-creator, Leinil Yu. “Just about the best artist in the business,” Millar said of his Phillipines-based collaborator. “I can’t believe my luck getting to work with him on a second project.”
Just as “Kick Ass” was constructed simultaneously as a comic book and film project, this new creative venture is already headed for the screen before it reaches the published page. “I’m teaming up with my old ‘Wanted’ producer Marc Platt for this one and Oscar-nominated Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo has been brought in to helm the film. Nacho and I are good friends and I’ve loved him since I saw his Spanish language time-travel movie “Time Crimes” a few years ago. He and I finished the screenplay for ‘Supercrooks’ late last year and we’re all extremely happy with how it’s turned out. He just released ‘Extraterrestrial,’ his Spanish language alien invasion movie, and this was a huge hit at all the film festivals recently.”You’ll be hearing more about the film endeavor soon but, just listening to Millar describe the story conceit, it’s clear that decades of comic-book passion informed his newest project.
“A gang of super-villains decide to go and pull the biggest heist of their career in Spain because, let’s face it, there’s no Captain Spain,” Millar said in an email interview. “Stylistically, it’s like a Guy Ritchie movie or ‘Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,’ a gang of very likeable, blue collar thieves who just hit on a good idea and try to make some dough after years of getting busted by the superheroes. It’s basically the X-Men meets Ocean’s 11 and I think that’s what excited Platt’s office because it’s a great chance for a big ensemble cast and I always like these fish out of water stories. American super-villains trying to pull a job in Spain just kind of writes itself.”
Of the preview pages, he added: “The sequence illustrates how hard it really is for super-villains in a country crowded out by costumed heroes just eager to put them in jail. This is what has our lead, Johnny Bolt, sitting in his prison cell and coming up with the notion of going somewhere else for a change. It’s an incredibly obvious idea when you hear it. I’m surprised nobody’s ever thought of it before. It’s exactly what I’d do if I were a supervillain.”
— Geoff Boucher