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Millar’s World: A 2014 Overview

2013 is almost over and with the dawn of the New Year there comes a tidal wave of new possibilities. New frontiers to explore. Another chance for various publishers to make an impact on the pop cultural zeitgeist. There has been no bigger a splash planned for 2014 than by the ever headlining Mark Millar whose name in connection to anything breeds discussion.   Supercrooks-Comic-Book-Cover-2   Yet, for all his faults, Millar is perhaps the most ambitious creator in at least a marketing sense. If Geoff Johns is the master of creating “the breakfast cereal equivalent” of comic books, then Mark Millar is the master of advertising. Many have joked and mocked that Millar only writes comics that are glorified movie pitches – but the fact is that they still sell and still become movies. Even before the comics themselves even come out he has already sold off the film rights. He has been described as the modern day Stan Lee, and in terms of marketability and hype, it’s pretty on the money. So, for a man whose latest comic series have even had potential directors credited as “co-plotters”, what could be the next large step for Millar? Well, naturally, it would be to create his very own shared universe. So fitting with the Stan Lee comparison – except there is no singular “Jack Kirby” analogue this time around. Of course this is not the first time Millar has tried creating a true “Millarworld”, as years ago he tried interconnecting three of his then most current titles. While only vaguely related to each other, and this means in terms of single lines of dialogue here and there, The Unfunnies, Wanted, and Chosen, were the beginning of Millar’s overall meta-story.   1369789753   When Millar began his “Millarworld” brand in earnest in the last couples of years it seemed like the idea was dropped. Besides, the hints before had were really minuscule and probably would never have been noticed if Millar himself did not point them out. No one seemed to have any interest whatsoever after all, and there was no sense of a lost opportunity. Until this very year, when Millar reignited the flames with his brand new “Millarworld” and creative partners. There was nothing in stone, however, until Mark Millar announced the end to his highly publicized Kick-Ass series and that it would lead into a brand new comic in its closing pages – the aptly titled MPH. MPH is one of the few titles that Millar claimed would be one of the foundations of his brand new shared universe of comics. Oddly enough he also claimed the same for the currently ongoing Jupiter’s Legacy, which is what caught the attention of comic readers. How could such dissonantly toned comics ever be a part of the same universe? Especially since one was set in a world full of super-heroes and one that was closely molded to our own? Setting aside the fact that MPH is the beginning of the super-power phenomena in its universe, it just does not work.   mph  The web of Millarworld grew from there, ever expanding, when Millar set a fuse by confirming that his previous work, the heist film homage SuperCrooks, was in fact a prequel to Jupiter’s Legacy and that the main character would be making an appearance within Legacy. So, with that, what was complicated became something mind-bending. If SuperCrooks was free game, what else could be? The Secret Service? Nemesis? Millar fans soon realized that connections, especially in those latter cases, could very well be made – and made incredibly well. Yet, after these initial teases Millar has played everything else completely close to the chest, a tried and true hype tactic. The very last stirrings that Millar let out was his upcoming collaboration with Gorlan Parlov – Starlight. A title which he described as an important launch title for the upcoming shared universe initiative. Along with MPH, which has been dubbed his “Fantastic Four”, these are but two of his handful of launch series that will kickstart the whole thing in the coming year. There is nothing yet forthcoming on the other series, but Millar has been linked to several prominent and acclaimed artist – all of whom serve as his collective “Jack Kirby”. Sean Murphy and Francesco Francavilla have both been rumored to be participating with Millar for Millarworld titles, which may come into play with the shared universe initiative. For now, however, with the year almost at its end, Millar has yet to finish up Kick-Ass and Jupiter’s Legacy is still in its early days. MPH kicks off in February, and could provide an energetic start to the New Year. If you have any thoughts on how Millarworld should unfold, please feel free to comment below.


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