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Comic Book / Supercrooks

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There are too many superheroes in America. Let's go somewhere else...

Supercrooks is a 2012 four-issue comic series written by Mark Millar and drawn by Leinil Yu. Described as "X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven", Supercrooks takes place in a world full of superheroes, and follows a team of thieves, the titular super crooks, as they go about a heist after one member tries to cheat the biggest mob casino in Vegas. After he gets caught, he's given one month to repay the original $12 million debt with the added interest of $100 million... or else.

The super crooks consist of:

  • Johnny Bolt — The main protagonist, our "hero" who brings everyone together. A criminal mastermind with electric powers, though he relies mainly on manipulating others with his charisma and charm.
  • Kasey — Johnny's ex-girlfriend and the only prominent female character in the story. Her power allows her to make people see what she wants her to see.
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  • The Ghost — The world's greatest cat burglar who can become intangible and phase through walls. He favors two pistols to get the job done. Beforehand, he retired to be an architect.
  • The Heat — An elderly supervillain with fire-manipulation powers, which he uses in conjunction with a heat gun. He mentored the younger ones, and he's the guy who kickstarts the plot by getting involved with gambling debt.
  • Forecast — A con artist working in New York City who can control the weather with his mind.
  • TK McCabe — Telekinetic supervillain who tried to go legit, and hated it. He jumps at the chance to be part of the heist.
  • Roddy and Sammy Diesel — Brothers and professional fighters who have regenerative healing factors. They bicker, but work well as a duo.
  • The Gladiator — A superhero with Super Strength. The only reason he goes along with the heist is because they blackmail him, threatening to out him as a homosexual.

Johnny decides to go to Spain, where the superhero population is non-existent, and commit the heist there. Also, his target is none other than the most feared supervillain that ever lived — The Bastard. Not only does he intend to pay off the debt, but he intends to live rich by the end as well.

In 2019, it was announced that Netflix would adapt Supercrooks into an Anime series, with Studio Bones in charge of making it. The release date hasn't yet been revealed.

Tropes that apply to Supercrooks include:

  • Affably Evil: Johnny Bolt is quite a charming fellow, even though he's a bad guy.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The chest containing The Bastard's fortune is small, but is a space-time container that's absolutely massive internally, allowing a convenient place to carry all the gold.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: As to be expected from a creator-owned Millar comic, swearing is everywhere.
  • Cool Old Guy: The Heat. While not a good guy, he's an elderly man who takes part in the fighting, uses a heat gun in conjunction with his fire powers, and mentored the others. They respect him enough to go along with the heist so they can bail him out of trouble (and get rich, of course).
  • The Dragon: Praetorian is a corrupt superhero and The Bastard's right-hand man.
  • The Dreaded: The Bastard is the most feared supervillain ever, for good reason. He's the kind of guy who will murder a man's whole family and friends, then the man himself, if they wrong him. And of course, Johnny chooses him as his target.
  • Elemental Baggage: The Heat can manipulate fire but can't shoot it by himself. Hence, he carries a heat gun.
  • Genre-Busting: A superhero heist comic with all that it entails, and a dose of Black Comedy.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: One part of the heist can only be done by the Diesel Brothers. Specifically, they have to get past a laser room that will instantly kill any other member of the team in a very messy fashion, but their fast healing allows them to survive and disable it. Not that it's fun.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Johnny Bolt. He gets the team together, and flies them to Spain for the heist. What he neglects to tell them is that they're robbing The Bastard, aka the most feared supervillain ever, until it's too late to back out.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Kasey is very busty and the art takes every chance to demonstrate it.
  • Retired Monster: The Bastard. After spending many years as The Dreaded, he grows tired of villainy without a challenge, and retires to live peacefully in Spain with his riches.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The plot begins with Johnny assembling the old team together for the heist after Heat comes to him for help.
  • Reality Ensues: The Diesel Brothers are the top dogs of the professional fighting tournaments, but they don't fare nearly as well outside of it when the circumstances aren't controlled.
  • Sequel Hook: Though the comic is mostly self-contained to the four issues, it does end with The Bastard taking over the Las Vegas casino by force and swearing revenge. The fact that the trade is marked as Vol. 1 does suggest that Millar may continue the story should he feel the desire to.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Kasey is the only female character with any amount of prominence in the story.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Johnny has a no-kill policy that he enforces on everyone else, though mainly for pragmatic reasons as he doesn't want to be labelled a murderer and making them a bigger target. He has no problem with violent beatdowns that leaves their enemies heavily scarred and/or brain-damaged, however.
  • Token Good Teammate: Gladiator is a superhero, and a legit one at that. The only reason he goes along is because they blackmail him into it, threatening to reveal that he's gay to the world.
  • Villain Protagonist: The main characters are bad guys, and only look good because the people who antagonize them are even worse.
  • Working with the Ex: Johnny and Kasey used to date, and Kasey only works with him to help Heat. Afterwards, she makes it clear she never wants to see Johnny again. Of course, Johnny views it as a challenge, that he has three days to win her heart back. He succeeds.


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