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YMMV / Wanted

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The Movie:

  • Crazy Awesome: Attacking a guild of assassins with a trash truck full of peanut-butter-smeared bomb-rats? Shooting a bullet so that it flies along a CIRCULAR WALL and kills everybody standing along it, including the shooter? Sloan's "X marks the spot" death from literally miles away during Wesley's "this is (not) me" lecture"? How long is the sequel going to take?!
  • Designated Hero: While nowhere near as bad as his comic counterpart, Wesley takes as much responsibility for having a train full of innocent people killed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The 1999 videogame Shadow Company: Left for Dead also featured a team of assassins working for a loom (in this case, an organization called The Loom, not a literal one).
    • Six years later, in another movie, James McAvoy gets to play character who accuses someone else for committing assassination because the bullet curved.
    • Many have joked that the scene where Wesley hits Barry with a keyboard is actually Professor X punishing Star-Lord for letting Thanos win in Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Maybe a little bit too sympathetic for a label, but both Movie!Wesley and Fox could qualify. Their sympathetic portrayal in the movie is the closest to humanizing them.
    • Cross, specifically because he, as it turns out, was Wesley's father. All he wanted to do was to prevent his son from being influenced by the Fraternity.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Shoot THIS motherfucker!"
    • The broken keyboard scene has spread too, leading to such gems as this.
    • People commenting on future Professor X hitting future Star Lord with a keyboard.
  • Nightmare Fuel: A garbage truck chock-freaking-full of the aforementioned exploding rats. Poor rats.
    • The fight in the moving train, which ends with at least a hundred people dead due to Fox's car getting debris stuck in the wheels and the train driver braking. This causes 3-4 carriages to derail off a bridge.
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  • Retroactive Recognition: Professor X smacks Star Lord in the face with a keyboard!
  • Signature Scene: the chase with the Dodge Viper, the raid of the Fraternity, and Fox curving the bullet engraved with "GOODBYE."
  • Strawman Has a Point: Wesley's boss may be verbally abusive, incredibly obnoxious, and a poor manager, but she does have a point in that Wesley should perhaps be doing his job rather than surfing the internet.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • The depiction of Wesley's boss Janice as a Fat Bitch doesn't fly as well in times when body positivity is embraced. That said, it's still a softened blow thanks to the fact Wesley notes that he doesn't hate her, instead having a feeling more like pity toward her and noting that he dislikes her because she's a bitch, not because of her weight.
    • The depiction of Wesley earlier in the film may draw more sympathy than the film's release, since as of The New '10s, toxic masculinity is being talked about more and more, with his meekness and anxiety being considered sympathetic flaws at absolute worst rather than character defects.
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  • Wangst: Everything until Fox first appears. Fortunately, it's Played for Laughs.

The Comic Book:

  • Anticlimax Boss: Mr. Rictus (and his gang of supervillain cronies, if you take them all together as one boss). After being built up as a formidable threat, Wesley just plows through Rictus and his men with ease.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: There are some jokes that are hilarious solely because of how over-the-top offensive they are.
    Wesley: Can you believe I raped an A-list celebrity and it didn't even make the news? That's how deep The Fraternity goes, my friend.
    Mr. Rictus: I don't rape goats, Mr. Gibson. I make love to them.
  • Cry for the Devil: Monster or not, Mr. Rictus' Start of Darkness — a negative Near-Death Experience that drove him over the Despair Event Horizon and into a Faith–Heel Turn, creating the unfettered Hedonist he is today — can be a downright Tear Jerker to some. Hilariously, this probably makes him more sympathetic than Wesley, whose motive for becoming a supervillain is simply a lust for power and infamy.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: In a fight between a group of nihilistic, mass-murdering, serial-raping assholes who want to continue ruling the world in secret and a group of nihilistic, mass-murdering, serial-raping assholes who want to rule the world openly, why should the reader really care who wins? Heck, you might as well root for the series' antagonist, Mr. Rictus. At least he's good for some Black Comedy (if you're amused by the slaughter of children). The You Bastard! ending seems to indicate that the author himself hates both the story, and anyone who read it through to the end. One of the possible interpretations is that he's condemning anyone who could accept a universe so devoid of hope.
  • Escapist Character: The comic is a very vicious deconstruction of the idea of an Evil Is Cool Escapist Character. Wesley Gibson is a put-upon hypochondriac loser whose girlfriend is cheating on him. Then he finds out that his deceased father was a supervillain assassin, so he assumes his father's vacant seat in The Masquerade, Takes A Level In Badass, and eventually becomes one of the most powerful people in the world. However, when we say "supervillain", we mean it. He becomes a mass-murdering psychopath who casually notes that he raped a celebrity, kills any innocent person who looks at him funny, and eventually calls out the reader for cheering him on.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The Fox, who despite being a heartless murderer, would probably give you the night of your life. Before, you know, killing you.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Fox is intentionally made out to be similar to Catwoman and her appearance was modeled after Halle Berry. Guess who ended up playing Catwoman (albeit In Name Only) in the film released the following year?
    • Right before sending the Detective and his sidekick to their deaths, Mr. Rictus gloats about how the Detective was once the most feared man in the world but now will only be remembered for his campy television show. A few months after the series ended, Batman Begins was released, which made the decision to revisit the Caped Crusader's roots as an intimidating vigilante after the failure of Batman & Robin.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: High.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Killer is a supervillain with the innate "ability to end life". After banding together with the other supervillains of the world, destroying the heroes completely and rewriting reality to make ordinary people forget the old world, the Killer worked for decades as a Professional Killer for the Fraternity while keeping an eye on Wesley Gibson, his only son whom he was forced to abandon. The Killer fakes his own death so that Wesley will inherit his seat at the Fraternity and make a name for himself, then destroy the diabolical Mr. Rictus in an Enemy Civil War and take over from the Professor. Feeling his own age, the Killer knows that his days are numbered, and considers the only person worth killing him to be the one to carry on his legacy. Smooth, scheming, and deadly lethal, the Killer stands out as the most dignified of the comic's Card-Carrying Villains.
  • Narm:
    • The book's final scene, a Take That, Audience! which calls out the reader for supporting a monstrous Villain Protagonist like Wesley, falls pretty flat for those readers who never do side with him in the first place and only kept reading out of the vague hope that he receives some kind of comeuppance or Downer Ending.
    • Wesley's entire speech about how "being very good at killing people" is the scariest of all powers and wouldn't change it for anything else. The problem is, the actual action of the comic does not back it up: Wesley faces exactly two people with superpowers, and both of them conveniently avoid using them. And in the inter-dimensional raid, facing heroes using those powers, he ends up needing to be rescued, despite having a couple of extra gadgets and the heroes, being heroes, not using those powers to hurt as kill as a villain could have.
    • Wesley going after Rictus and his men only to avenge his father. A man who, for all he knew, abandoned him when he was eighteen weeks old and never gave a damn (it wasn't what actually happened, but he had no way to know). Literally everyone else killed by Rictus' men had been closer to him than his dad, and he couldn't care less about them. It doesn't help that later you are supposed to find his father to have been a great one, despite choosing to leave him instead of changing his life for him, manipulating his every step to have Wesley become what he wanted, and ultimately doing it merely for his own pride of not having to be ashamed because his son was a different person than he was and to go out on his own terms.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • A lot of the main characters' problems would have been solved if Seltzer (who runs two continents to everyone's one) just let Rictus run South America.
    • In a more apparent case, Wesley's mother "wussifying" her son is presented as nothing but as a bad thing, but would anyone really want to have a son who would be the most dangerous murderer and gunning down the neighborhood kids before he even entered middle school?
  • Squick: There's plenty of disgusting stuff going on in this comic. One of the characters is a shapeshifter made of feces, human bodies exploding from Wesley's shots, cannibalism, Rictus in general...


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