Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: Small time crook Johnny Bolt recruits a team of eight supervillains to perform a super-powered heist in Japan.
Review: Created by Mark Millar, the beautiful mind that brought you The Kingsman, Kick-Ass and Marvel’s first Civil War run (the comic not the movie), Super Crooks is Millar’s latest comic book adapted for Netflix with his first being the short-lived Jupiter’s Legacy.
Super Crooks is actually based in the same universe as Jupiter’s Legacy, but instead of the focus being on the superheroes of this world we spend our time with its super villains which, like the heroes themselves, are made up of those who are considered famous (or in this case, infamous) and those who only wish to be.
We follow Johnny Bolt from the discovery of his super power as a teenager and his goal to one day join his favourite heroes like The Utopian, Brainwave and Lady Liberty as a member of the Union of Justice, to him learning the hard way that it takes more than super powers to make a hero. After making a mistake that did massive damage to his hometown, Johnny decides maybe he’s better suited to being a villain instead.
Super Crooks instantly catches your attention with an art style and a soundtrack that brings to mind anime series like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. There’s a reason behind that though as the script is from the mind of Dai Sato, the creator of said shows and numerous others. I love the opening credits (you know it’s a fantastic one when you don’t hit Skip Intro) and as the story unfolds it feels like I’m watching an animated adaptation of Ocean’s 11.
The 13 episodes centre around Johnny Bolt and his rag tag group of fellow “super” villains as they try to pull off the ultimate heist of robbing a private casino owned by the world’s most powerful supervillain known as “The Bastard”. If you love a good heist movie but you’ve never seen an anime before, Super Crooks just might be the best way to jump into the art form.
The voice cast won’t be known to the average movie viewer but are old hands at bringing anime characters to life and continue to do so here. And for those familiar with Mark Millar’s work you won’t be disappointed as the story and the visuals fall squarely in the adults-only category with loads of blood, gore and some nudity to be found. The pacing here is also much better than what was found in Jupiter’s Legacy, a series that showed a lot of promise but ultimately couldn’t pull in audiences the way I think this one will.
One of my favourite aspects of this world was how unique the villains looked and felt. With so many super abilities out there it’s not easy to keep my attention, but Super Crooks did it with characters like The Bastard whose ability is simply terrifying when you think about it. Or the brothers Roddy and Sammy Diesel who can…well you’ll have to see it to believe it, but their powers are somehow both super cool and super creepy all at once. And there’s the weather-changing Forecast who just might be an homage to Marvel’s Storm but still, I’m a fan.
With its beautifully animated sequences, eclectic cast of characters and a soundtrack you can’t help but bop your head to, Super Crooks just might be one of the best anime of 2021. And considering it’s also a precursor to the upcoming LIVE ACTION version of the same series, it’ll be truly interesting to see where the Super Crooks and Mark Millar’s universe goes from here.
Sommer’s Score: 7.5 out of 10
For more of my thoughts on the series you can check out my video review below:
And you can check out more adult superhero content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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