With the recent news that his comic series Nemesis is going to be adapted to film by director Tony Scott, and the release of Kick-Ass on DVD, today we’re going to focus on Mr. Mark Millar, the writer of the comics behind films like Wanted and the previously mentioned Kick-Ass. But for all of you nerd-noobs out there, the “Michael Bay Of Comics” hasn’t ONLY written original creator-owned comics. He’s actually crafted some very cool and unique stories for both Marvel and DC, many of which would make absolutely bitchin’ comic book movies. So let’s take a look at some of Millar’s storylines from the big two, and dream about living in a world where comic characters aren’t owned by different movie studios.
Superman: Red Son
Superman lands in the Ukraine instead of Kansas. This simple premise is the start of one of Millar’s most widely known and celebrated works, and one of the absolute best Superman stories out there. Taking full advantage of DC’s “elseworlds” imprint, Millar paints a very different world for the heroes of the DC universe, all from having the ship that sends baby Kal-El land on the other side of the world. Superman becomes the symbol for the Soviets, causing our country to turn to Lex Luthor to stop this “communist threat”. Unfortunately its one of the only stories Millar did for DC, as he and the company had a brief falling out before the book was published. If Warner Bros. was serious about taking their Superman film rights in bold new directions, this is the place to start.
Wolverine: Enemy Of The State
Much like Red Son, Millar’s first stint writing the mutant known as Logan (er, James Howlett) is based on a simple premise: What if Wolverine was a villain? The Enemy Of The State storyline has ‘ol canucklehead “killed” by the Hand ninja clan and resurrected as a brainwashed assassin. Many times comic fans have wondered what would happen if Wolverine ever lost control of his “beserker rage”, and Millar and artist John Romita Jr. give us the answer: a lot of people will end up dead. While the follow up, “Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” isn’t as good as the opener, the What If special based on this storyline that Marvel released a few years ago is PHENOMAL, and needs to be hunted down after you read the original story.
Marvel Knights Spider-man
Back in 2004, Millar launched a new Spider-man series under the “Marvel Knights” banner. Taking Spidey in a more “adult” direction, Millar had the web-slinger go up against many of his classic enemies, all the while trying to decipher the villain who has not only discovered his secret identity, but has also kidnapped Aunt May. Terry Dodson’s artwork is AMAZING (pardon the pun), and the arc also features many cool updates for some of Spidey’s classic rogues. If only Sony Pictures could’ve read this before they pulled the plug on Spider-man 4 for a reboot. But then they would’ve had to replace Kirsten Dunst with someone attractive.
Wolverine: Old Man Logan
Old Man Logan was one of the biggest events in comics in the past few years, and ranks as one of the definitive Wolverine stories. Set in an alternate future where the superheroes have all been wiped out due to a collective assault by their enemies, Logan is one of the last heroes left. Living on a farm in California with his wife and children, the now nearly 200 hundred year old Logan is a pacifist who hasn’t “popped” his claws in 50 years. However, when he needs money to pay his landlords (who are the Hulk’s inbred grand kids!!!), he accepts a job from the now blind Hawkeye to deliver a secret package across the country. Over the course of the storyline we learn what happened the night the heroes were killed, and more importantly, what happened to Wolverine (which was jaw-dropping, to be completely honest). There are so many cool little things peppered throughout the story for Marvel fans, from the breakdown of the super villain territories of the United States, to the numerous “trophies” belonging to “President Red Skull”, that you’re bound to be entertained by this story, regardless of how big a Wolverine fan you are. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have had X-Men Origins: Wolverine last May, we would’ve had this, starring a pre-crazy Mel Gibson as the one and only Old Man Logan.