I have absolutely no compunctions about teenage girls reading Twilight. After all, the only reason I didn’t jump from Twilight to Wuthering Heights or Sense and Sensibility was that I’d already read them and not been overly impressed.
Why is this relevant to comics? Because, dear Reader, in much the same way as thousands of teenage girls discovered great classic romance through… less great romance, I discovered comics because of Chris Evans.
The first comic I ever bought was The Losers. It’s not the sort of thing I’d normally pick up off the shelf, in novel form or in comic book form. It’s gritty, and political; the characters are cynical for all they’re incredibly loyal to one another; Jock’s art is very noir and shadowed. Not really the sort of thing I go for at all. But I watched the movie, and I loved it, and as soon as I realised there was more I was on eBay looking for it. I had to pay the same amount for shipping as I did for the actual books, but that was still about half of what I’d pay here (oh, curse the Colonies!).
The Losers is the kind of comic book you can give a non-comic book reader, expecially one who loves dorky action movies, and they’ll love it. The first thing that struck me about reading The Losers was how true the movie had been to the book. You’re dumped straight into an action sequence that was lifted whole into the film, and for all that Cougar is more solid and Pooch has an adorable paunch and Aisha is considerably more spiky and terrifying, I can see their film selves in the comic book. If anything, it only made the slight differences more jarring – I’m following a panel about a Cougar who’s a little stockier and more haunted than the one in the movie, but I can hear Óscar Jaenada’s voice saying his lines.
Diggle’s dialogue is short and punchy. The characters talk like they’re in an action movie, just with added swearing and a touch more exposition than in the film, which is necessary for a story that’s being told in a different order. There’s an interview with Diggle and Jock where they comment on the bizarreness of having their story lifted straight from the book into the film. It’s great to read, given how pleased they were with the look and feel of the film – especially as I’m someone who came from the movie to the comic.
One of the things I love about the comic is the colouring. Jock’s panels have two or three main colours that allow the eye to slip from action to action without getting caught on the scenery. And yet, of course, when you suddenly find yourself at the end of a double-page spread, you take a moment and a deep breath and go over it again, slowly, because it’s just so lovely to look at.
If you love actio movies, I highly recommend The Losers. It’s a dorky action movie in comic-book format.