Mark Millar (born December 24, 1969) is a Scottish comic book writer born in Coatbridge. A resident of Glasgow, Scotland, his most known works include The Authority, Ultimate X-Men, Marvel Knights Spider-Man and The Ultimates.
The Cover of 2000AD #843 featuring Big Dave.Millar was inspired to become a comic writer after meeting Alan Moore at a signing session at AKA Books and Comics in the mid 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 professional comic book writer was with Trident Comics in 1990, writing 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 early 1990s, Millar 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. By the end of the century, he was publicly talking about potentially abandoning comics and had taken to mentioning a horror series he was writing for the British TV channel Channel 4 named Sikeside Sikeside was cancelled in pre-production and has recently been optioned by Crab-Apple Films for a planned theatrical release.
The Cover to The Ultimates #1In 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 Superman: Red Son story - which included revisions written by Millar post-"resignation" from the publisher - was printed after his departure, and Millar has repeatedly stated his desire to recreate the Superman character. 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 imprint. 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.
Millar 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.
Millar earned, and continually attempted to cultivate, a reputation as an often controversial writer. The title Trouble was one such attempt with its depictions of teenage sex and its suggestions that the characters in the title were younger versions of Spider-Man characters such as May Parker. Trouble was originally considered by Marvel's editorial group as the possible origin of Spider-Man, but after the book was a failure with both critics and fans - including Millar's own fanbase - the story was declared not "official" Marvel continuity.
Millar left Ultimate X-Men and wrote Marvel Knights Spider-Man in 2004, as well a run on Wolverine with artist John Romita Jr.. He 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.
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-2008.
In 2004, amid a customary storm of self-publicity, Millar launched a creator-owned line called Millarworld that was published simultaneously by four different, competing comic book companies. One book, The Unfunnies, published by Avatar Comics has not yet been completed, apparently due to legal delays. Wanted, published by Top Cow, with artist J.G. Jones is now in production as a motion picture. Chosen, published by DARK HORSE, was an updating of Millar's Saviour. A fourth planned Millarworld title, Run, to be released through Image Central with slated artist Ashley Wood, was never released. The writer has announced that a new series for Marvel Comics, "Kick-Ass" (due 2007), will replace "Run" as the fourth title.
As of 2005, Millar had gained mainstream attention for a variety of publicity-themed antics including a lost bet for US$5,000 with Harry Knowles regarding the casting of the lead actor in the next Superman movie (later claimed to be a huge publicity stunt to promote his run on Wolverine). Millar also claimed 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 . The story was also denied by Universal Pictures, the production company for the project, and appears to have been another publicity stunt. The movie, which will feature James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman, is now in production for a Spring 2008 theatrical release.
Millar announced 1st November 2005 he would be taking a six-month sabbatical from comics work to rest up after being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease while in America, although he continued to produce work for Marvel 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 "Marvel's [Chronicles of] Narnia". He has also stated that The Unfunnies will be completed, along with a re-release of the first two issues.
Mark Millar is one of the most popular writers in modern comics, though he remains a controversial figure. His fans praise him for clever, provocative and edgy plots, which often have a social undercurrent, while his detractors point to an overuse of shock tactics and a tendency towards polemicism. He has been praised for his ability to inject new life into pre-existing characters, such as The Avengers, although he has also been criticized for his habit of always cherry-picking high-profile, big money projects.
Insiders (in Crisis # 54-59)
Red Razors Series One (in Judge Dredd Megazine vol.1 #8-15, 1991)
Red Razors One-Shots (in Judge Dredd 1992 Special & 1992 Judge Dredd Yearbook, 1991)
Streets of Rage (in Sonic the Comic)
(sorted by year of publication, when available)
Skrull Kill Krew (Marvel, 1995) 5-issue miniseries (co-written with Grant Morrison), also trade paperback
issues #140 - 143 (co-written with Grant Morrison)
issues #144 - 171
The Flash #130 - 138 (co-written with Grant Morrison)
Superman Adventures # 16, 19, 22-38, 41 & 52.
DC Tangent: The Superman
The Authority #13-20, 22 & 27-29 (Wildstorm). 12-issue run.
Jenny Sparks (Wildstorm, 2000). 5-issue miniseries.
Ultimate X-Men #1-12, 15-33 & Ultimate War #1-4 (Marvel, 2000-2003). Issues #13-14 were a fill-in 2-issue story written by Chuck Austen introducing Ultimate Gambit.
Volume 1: The Tomorrow People (#1 - 6)
Volume 2: Return To Weapon X (#7 - 12)
Volume 3: World Tour (#13 - 20)
Volume 4: Hellfire & Brimstone (#21 - 25)
Volume 5: Ultimate War (Ultimate War #1 - 4)
Volume 6: Return Of The King (#26 - 33)
The Ultimates #1-13 (2002-2004) & The Ultimates 2 #1-13 (Marvel). With artist Bryan Hitch.
The Ultimates, Volume 1 - Super Human
The Ultimates, Volume 2 - Homeland Security
The Ultimates 2, Volume 1 - Gods and Monsters
The Ultimates 2, Volume 2
Superman: Red Son (DC, 2003). 3-issue prestige miniseries.
Wanted (Image/Top Cow, 2003-2004). 6-issue creator-owned miniseries with artist J.G. Jones.
Chosen (DARK HORSE, 2004). 3-issue creator-owned miniseries with artist Peter Gross.
The Unfunnies (Avatar Press, 2004). Unfinished 4-issue miniseries, only the initial issues were published.
Ultimate Fantastic Four #1-6 (2003-2004). 6-issue story arc initially co-written with Brian Michael Bendis, who wrote most of the later issues of the story. Collected in trade paperback, UFF: Volume 1: The Fantastic
Marvel Knights Spider-Man #1-12 (Marvel, 2004-2005). 12-issue run with artists Terry Dodson (#1-4,6-7 & 9-12) and Frank Cho (#5 & 8).
Down Among the Dead Men (#1-4)
The Last Stand (#9-12)
Wolverine vol. 3 #20-32 (2004-2005). 13-issue run with artists John Romita Jr. (#20-31) & Kaare Andrews (#32). Collected as:
Wolverine: Enemy of the State (hardcover)
Wolverine: Enemy of the State Volumes 1 & 2 (paperback)
Ultimate Fantastic Four #21-32 (2005-2006). 12-issue run with artist Greg Land.
Volume 5 - Crossover
Volume 6 - Frightful
Civil War #1-7 (2006-2007). With artist Steve McNiven.
Stories in 2000 AD
"Silo" (in 2000 AD #706-711, 1990)
"Robo-Hunter" (in 2000 AD #723-734 & 1991 Sci-Fi Special, 1991)
"Robo-Hunter" (in 1992 2000 AD Yearbook & 2000 AD #750-759, 1991)
"Tales from Beyond Science" (in 2000 AD #774, 776 & Winter Special #4, 1992)
"Robo-Hunter" (in 2000 AD #792-802 & 1993 2000 AD Yearbook, 1992)
"Robo-Hunter" (in 2000 AD #813-816, 819-822 & 825-827, 1992-93)
"Purgatory" (in 2000 AD # 834-841, 1993)
"Tharg's Terror Tales: The Tooth Fairy" (in 2000 AD # 839, 1993)
"Maniac 5" (in 2000 AD # 842-849, 1993)
"Tharg's Terror Tales: The Uncanny Dr. Doctor" (in 2000 AD # 860, 1993)
"Canon Fodder" (in 2000 AD # 861-867, 1993)
"The Grudge-Father" (in 2000 AD # 878-883, 1994)
"Robo-Hunter" (in 2000 AD #881-884, 1994)
"Babe Race 2000" (in 2000 AD # 883-888, 1994)
"Tales from Beyond Science: The Man Who Created Space" (in 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special, 1994)
"Tharg's Terror Tales: Milk & Honey" (in 2000 AD #895, 1994)
"Babe Race 2000" (in 2000 AD 1995 Yearbook, 1994)
"Red Razors Series Two" (in 2000 AD #908-917, 1994)
"Maniac 5" (in 2000 AD #956-963, 1995)
"Red Razors: Rites of Passage" (in 2000 AD #971, 1995)
"Janus: Psi-Division" (in 2000 AD #980-984 & 1024-1031, 1996-97)
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