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Mark Millar

Mark Millar, December 7, 2007
Born 24 December 1969 (1969-12-24) (age 40)
Coatbridge, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Area(s) Writer
Notable works The Authority
Superman: Red Son
Wanted
Wolverine: Enemy of the State
The Ultimates
Marvel Knights Spider-Man
Civil War
Ultimate Fantastic Four
Kick-Ass
Official website

Mark Millar (born December 24, 1969) is an award-winning Scottish comic book writer born in Coatbridge. Now a resident of Glasgow, Millar has been the highest selling British comic-book writer working in America this decade.[citation needed] His best known works include: The Authority, The Ultimates, Wanted, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Ultimate Fantastic Four, and Civil War. In August 2007 he won the Stan Lee award at Wizardworld in Chicago.

A film adaptation of his Wanted series, starring Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy was released on June 27, 2008.

Millar is a practicing Catholic.[1]

Contents

1990s

Millar was inspired to become a comic writer after meeting Alan Moore at a signing session at AKA Books and Comics when he was a teenager in the late 1980s. However it wasn't until experiencing financial problems after his parents died that he decided to drop out of university and take up writing professionally.

His first job as a comic book writer came when he was still in high school, writing Trident's Saviour with Daniel Vallely providing art. Saviour proved to be one of Trident Comics' most popular titles. It provided a mix of postmodernist storytelling, religion, satire and superhero action Millar later became known for.

During the 1990s, Millar then worked on titles such as 2000 AD, Sonic the Comic and Crisis. In 1993, Millar, Grant Morrison and John Smith created a controversial eight-week run on 2000 AD called The Summer Offensive. It was during this run that Millar and Morrison wrote their first major story together, the highly controversial strip Big Dave.

Millar's British work brought him to the attention of DC Comics, and in 1994 he started working on his first American comic, Swamp Thing. The first four issues of Millar's run were co-written by Grant Morrison allowing Millar to settle into the title. Although his work brought some critical acclaim to the ailing title, the book's sales were still low enough to warrant cancellation by the publisher. From there, Millar spent time working on various DC titles, often co-writing with or under the patronage of Morrison (as in the cases of his work on JLA, The Flash and Aztek: The Ultimate Man), and working on unsuccessful pitches for the publisher. During this time, he was publicly talking about potentially abandoning comics and had taken to mentioning a horror series he was writing for Channel 4 called Sikeside.[2] Sikeside was cancelled in pre-production and has recently been optioned by Crab-Apple Films for a planned theatrical release.

2000 onwards

In 2000, Millar received his big break by replacing Warren Ellis on The Authority for DC's Wildstorm imprint. Keeping the so-called "widescreen" aspects of Ellis's title, Millar and artist Frank Quitely added a more polemic style to the story, increasing sales and gathering many awards at home and abroad.

The title was a success for Millar and Wildstorm but suffered from self-censorship from DC, which caused friction between Millar and Warner Bros, especially DC publisher Paul Levitz. After the events of 9/11, DC became more sensitive to violence and scenes of destruction in titles such as The Authority. With shipping delays and artwork alterations, Millar became increasingly frustrated by DC's objections to his over-the-top style and story content on the title. As a result of this and receiving lucrative work from DC's main competitor Marvel Comics, he announced his resignation from DC in 2001. His acclaimed Superman: Red Son story was printed after his departure, and Millar has repeatedly stated his desire to recreate the Superman character both in comic-books and on the big screen. During his sabbatical in late 2005, he mended his fences with Levitz & DC Comics.

During 2001 Millar launched Ultimate X-Men for Marvel Comics' Ultimate Marvel. This imprint was created to make popular Marvel characters more accessible to new readers by rebooting them, erasing their often decades-long histories and starting from scratch. The line was an enormous success, further consolidating Millar's position and quickly making him a major player at Marvel Entertainment. The writer further expanded the Ultimate line in 2002 with The Ultimates, the Ultimate version of Marvel's The Avengers title. This book proved even more successful than Ultimate X-Men outselling it from the very first issue and providing the basis of two best-selling animated adventures. X-Men 3: The Last Stand screenwriter Zak Penn has said in interviews that he plans to adapt the story into the blockbuster Avengers movie tentatively scheduled for a 2011 release.

After 33 issues, Millar left Ultimate X-Men and wrote the number one hit title Marvel Knights Spider-Man in 2004, He also co-wrote the first six issues of Ultimate Fantastic Four with Brian Michael Bendis. After the arcs by Warren Ellis and Mike Carey, Millar returned to Ultimate Fantastic Four for a 12-issue run throughout 2005-2006 and returned the title to the top of the charts, creating the lucrative "Marvel Zombies" spin-off title in his first and final storylines.

In a 2005 interview with BBC Radio Scotland, Millar discussed his "dream project," teaming up with top science fiction and comic book writers to create a 21st century version of Karl Marx's book Das Kapital, with each writer tackling a different aspect of modern life. Millar said that his personal pick would be the educational system.

In 2006, Millar, joined by artist Steve McNiven, began writing Marvel's summer crossover Civil War. This maxi-series has become the biggest success of Millar's career with sales exceeding any Marvel comic since the speculator boom of the early 1990s. With Marvel continuing to offer high-profile work as well as an outlet for creator-owned work, Millar has extended his exclusive contract with Marvel to mid-2010.

Currently Millar and Bryan Hitch are having a run on Marvel's premiere Fantastic Four franchise. Their run started in February 2008 and Millar promised that they will remain on the title for at least sixteen issues.[3] He also has new series, Marvel 1985,[4] with artist Tommy Lee Edwards,[5] which "is about the real world, the world we live in right now, dealing with the villains of the Marvel Universe finding us."[6] He also wrote the "Old Man Logan" Wolverine storyline, set in an alternate future.[7]

Millar, along with Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada, Tom Brevoort, Axel Alonso and Ralph Macchio, were called on by Iron Man director Jon Favreau to give advice on the script. It was Millar who suggested dropping the Mandarin as the villain, and replacing him with Iron Monger, who was being set up for the sequels.[8]

Millarworld

In 2004 Millar launched a creator-owned line called Millarworld that was published simultaneously by four different, competing comic book companies. So far, Wanted, Chosen, The Unfunnies, Kick-Ass and War Heroes have seen print. Wanted was loosely adapted into a feature film by Universal Pictures. Chosen, published by Dark Horse, was described by Millar as a sequel to the Bible and has been optioned by Sony Pictures. Kick-Ass, published by Marvel's Icon imprint, is now shooting in London and Canada, starring Nicolas Cage, produced by Brad Pitt and directed by Matthew Vaughn. In September 2008 it was announced that War Heroes had been optioned by Sony, with Michael DeLuca as producer and Millar taking an executive producer role.[9][10]

As of 2005, Millar had gained mainstream attention for a variety of over-the-top antics including a lost bet for US$5,000 with Harry Knowles regarding the casting of the lead actor in the next Superman movie (which Millar says was a huge publicity stunt). He also once wrote an article detailing the fictional pre-production struggles of The Orson Welles Batman Hoax, which many believed, for a time, to be real and resulted in a massive online response. Millar also joked that rapper Eminem begged to take the lead role in the movie version of Wanted. That resulted in a strong rebuke from Eminem's management, who immediately denied the story.[11] The claim was also denied by Universal Pictures, the production company for the project. Millar has stated that he will never leave comics and just sees Hollywood as a "fun hobby."

Millar announced 1 November 2005 he would be taking a six-month sabbatical from comics work to rest up after taking ill while in America,[citation needed] although he continued to work in a reduced capacity during this period, working on Ultimate Fantastic Four and Civil War. Future plans include a second set of titles under the Millarworld banner, and 1985, which he has claimed will be "...enormous. This is Marvel's [Chronicles of] Narnia".

Millar has also announced that he will return to Chosen, which he revealed, was only the first part in a planned trilogy American Jesus. Moving the title to Image Comics, he will write two more mini-series, to complete the story, and release a collection of the first one with the title American Jesus Volume 1: Chosen.[12] He is also working on another creator-owned title at Icon, called Nemesis with art by Steve McNiven.[13]

Bibliography

UK publishers

  • Saviour (with Daniel Vallely and Nigel Kitching, Trident Comics, 6-issue mini-series, 1989–1990)
  • "Her parents" (with John McCrea, in Crisis #31, 1989)
  • Tharg's Future Shocks:
    • "The Foreign Model" (with Dave D'Antiquis, in 2000 AD #643, 1989)
    • "Self Awareness" (with Keith Page, in 2000 AD #648, 1989)
    • "Nightmare On Ses*me Street " (with Brian Williamson, in 2000 AD #785, 1992)
    • "A Fete Worse Than Death" (with Brian Williamson, in 2000 AD #786, 1992)
  • Silo (with Dave D'Antiquis, in 2000 AD #706-711, 1990)
  • The Shadowmen (with Andrew Hope, Trident Comics, only 2 issues released before the firm went bankrupt, 1990)
  • Insiders (with Paul Grist, in Crisis #54-59, 1991)
  • Red Razors:
    • "Red Razors" (with Steve Yeowell, in Judge Dredd Megazine (vol. 1) #8-15, 1991)
    • "The Secret Origin of Comrade Ed" (with Steve Yeowell, in Judge Dredd Mega-Special #5, 1992)
    • "Doctor's Orders" (with Steve Yeowell, in Judge Dredd 1993 Yearbook, 1992)
    • "Hunt For Red Razors" (with Nigel Dobbyn, in 2000 AD #908-917, 1994)
    • "Rites of Passage" (with Nigel Dobbyn, in 2000 AD #971, 1995)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (in Sonic the Comic #2, #3, #5, #11-13, #15 & #16, 1993; #72 & #73, 1994)
  • Streets of Rage (in Sonic the Comic #7-12, 1993; #25-30, 1994)
  • A Day in the Life of Robotnik (in Sonic the Comic #42, 1994)
  • Robo-Hunter:
    • "Robo-Hunter" (with Jose Casanovas, in 2000 AD #723-734, 1991)
    • "Return of the Puppet Master" (with Simon Jacob, in 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1991)
    • "Killer Grannies" (with Graham Higgins, in 2000 AD Yearbook 1992, 1991)
    • "Escape from Bisleyland" (with Anthony Williams, in 2000 AD #750-759, 1991)
    • "Return to Verdus Prologue" (with Jose Casanovas, in 2000 AD #792, 1992)
    • "Return to Verdus" (with Jose Casanovas, in 2000 AD #793-802, 1992)
    • "The Succubus" (with Simon Jacob, in 2000 AD Yearbook 1993, 1992)
    • "Aces of Slades" (with Anthony Williams, in 2000 AD #813-816, 1992–1993)
    • "Serial Stunners" (with Jose Casanovas, in 2000 AD #819-822, 1993)
    • "Keith the Killer Robot" (with Ron Smith, in 2000 AD #825-827, 1993)
    • "Revenge of Dr Robotski" (with Simon Jacob, in 2000 AD #881-884, 1994)
  • Tales from Beyond Science (with Rian Hughes):
    • "The Men in Red" (in 2000 AD #774, 1992)
    • "Long Distance Calls" (in 2000 AD #776, 1992)
    • "The Secret Month Under the Stairs" (in 2000 AD Winter Special #4, 1992)
    • "The Man Who Created Space" (in 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special, 1994)
  • The Spider (with John Higgins/David Hine, in 2000 AD Action Special, 1992)
  • Purgatory (with Carlos Ezquerra, in 2000 AD #834-841, 1993)
  • Tharg's Terror Tales:
    • "The Tooth Fairy" (with Greg Staples, in 2000 AD #839, 1993)
    • "The Uncanny Dr. Doctor" (with Shaky Kane, in 2000 AD #860, 1993)
    • "Milk & Honey" (with Kevin Cullen, in 2000 AD #895, 1994)
  • Maniac 5:
    • "Maniac 5" (with Steve Yeowell, in 2000 AD #842-849, 1993)
    • "War Journal" (with David Hine, in 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1993)
    • "Maniac 6 Prologue" (with Richard Elson, in 2000 AD Winter Special 1993)
    • "Maniac 6" (with Steve Yeowell, in 2000 AD #956-963, 1995)
  • Big Dave (with co-author Grant Morrison):
    • *Target Baghdad (with Steve Parkhouse, in 2000 AD #842-845, 1993)
    • *Young Dave (with Steve Parkhouse, in 2000AD Yearbook 1994, 1993)
    • *Monarchy in the UK (with Steve Parkhouse, in 2000 AD #846-849, 1994)
    • *Costa del Chaos (with Anthony Williams, in 2000 AD #869-872, 1994)
    • *Wotta Lotta Balls (with Steve Parkhouse, in 2000 AD #904-907, 1994)
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "Book of the Dead" (with co-author Grant Morrison, and art by Dermot Power, in 2000 AD #859-866, 1993, reprinted, Hamlyn, 1996, ISBN 0-7493-9692-X)
    • "Crime Prevention" (with artist, Nick Percival in 2000 AD #872, 1994)
    • "Mr Bennet joins the Judges" (with Peter Doherty, in 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 1994)
    • "Crusade" (with co-author Grant Morrison, and art by Mick Austin, in 2000 AD #928-937, 1995)
    • "Man Who Broke the Law" (with Steve Yeowell, in 2000 AD #968-969, 1995)
  • Canon Fodder: "Canon Fodder" (with Chris Weston, in 2000 AD #861-867, 1993)
  • The Grudge-Father (with Jim McCarthy, in 2000 AD #878-883, 1994)
  • Babe Race 2000 (with Anthony Williams)
    • "Babe Race 2000" (in 2000 AD #883-888, 1994)
    • "Bounty Hunter Mom" (in 2000AD Yearbook 1995)
  • Rogue Trooper (Friday): "G.I. Blues" (with Chris Weston, in 2000 AD #901-903, 1994)
  • Janus: Psi-Division:
    • "A New Star" (with Paul Johnson, in 2000 AD #980-984, 1996)
    • "Faustus" (with co-author Grant Morrison, and art by Paul Johnson, in 2000 AD #1024-1031, 1997)

US publishers

American comics (sorted by year of publication, when available) include:

Awards

Notes

References

External links

Interviews

Preceded by
None
Ultimate X-Men writer
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Brian Michael Bendis
Preceded by
None
The Ultimates writer
2002–2007
Succeeded by
Jeph Loeb
Preceded by
None
Ultimate Fantastic Four writer
2004
with Brian Michael Bendis
Succeeded by
Warren Ellis
Preceded by
Greg Rucka
Wolverine writer
2004–2005
Succeeded by
Daniel Way
Preceded by
Mike Carey
Ultimate Fantastic Four writer
2005–2006
Succeeded by
Mike Carey
Preceded by
Dwayne McDuffie
Fantastic Four writer
2008–2009
with Joe Ahearne (2009)
Succeeded by
Jonathan Hickman
Preceded by
Jason Aaron
Wolverine writer
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Jason Aaron & Daniel Way







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