In Super Crooks, Mark Millar is continuing down his well-trod path of taking a familiar superhero genre concept and flipping it into something more sophisticated and interesting. It’s essentially a follow-on from his 2011 book Nemesis, except that here we have a group of supervillains planning one last heist. Their victim is an ageing supervillain himself, with an amassed fortune of ill-gotten gains, though whether his age makes him vulnerable to this group of villainous upstarts remains to be seen.
The plot largely revolves around the gathering together of the characters and the meticulously planned robbery itself, making it feels more like a Hollywood heist caper with superpowers than your standard superhero fare. It’s got an engaging set of characters, a well thought out concept, and copious amounts of swearing and extreme violence.
As a result it’s immensely entertaining. Leinil Yu isn’t my favourite Millar collaborator but he turns in some solid work here, embracing Millar’s fevered imagination and break-neck pace. Millar’s script is tight and focused, pared down to its raw essentials, with nothing wasted.
Perhaps the one thing it’s missing is a little soul. There are some beautiful set-piece moments in here, particularly one where a superhero puts a brutal stop to a group of bank-robbing supervillains escaping on a subway. But with so many characters, few are allowed to shine as brightly as they might.