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An Era Ends as Mark Millar Leaves Marvel for Creator-Owned Work

Comic book writer Mark Millar completed this week what he claims was his final script for Marvel Comics, presumably an issue of Ultimate Comics Avengers Vs. New Ultimates. Millar has enjoyed uncommon commercial success with many of his creator-owned properties, most notably Wanted and Kick-Ass, and he intends to pursue more work along those lines. While not especially prominent at Marvel in recent years, Millar has written or otherwise contributed to some of the company’s biggest successes in publishing and media, including The Ultimates, Civil War and the Iron Man film.If Millar is truly leaving Marvel Comics behind then it truly is the end of an era. Known affectionately (and sometimes unaffectionately, it has to be said) for his memorably bombastic dialogue and penchant for ultra-violence, the writer was part of Marvel’s incredible resurgence in the early 2000s with hits like Ultimate X-Men. Especially successful was The Ultimates, a reimagining of the iconic Avengers team as a modern and decidedly cinematic superhero squad that heavily informed the direction of not just the Marvel Comics line but also the Marvel Studios films (particularly Iron Man, whose producers Millar advised). Perhaps most auspiciously, Millar was the architect of the massively popular Civil War event that defined the nature of Marvel’s superhero line for years. Other notable Millar Marvel works include a brief run on Fantastic Four and the Wolverine story “Old Man Logan.”

As Millar was producing best-selling comics for Marvel Comics, he was also building what he’s characterized somewhat jokingly as a media empire with creator-owned material, a feat that’s fairly unusual in the American comics industry. Created with JG Jones, Wanted was a major achievement for Top Cow Productions and was loosely adapted into a successful action film starring Angelina Jolie. Kick-Ass, created with John Romita, Jr. at Marvel’s Icon imprint (where creators own the entirety of their work, including the lucrative media rights), was extremely popular and also yielded a major motion picture. Following the pattern, Nemesis, Millar’s “What if Batman was the Joker?” project with Steve McNiven, is in development with filmmaker Tony Scott.

Given his success with creator-owned material, Millar announced earlier this week that his most recent script for Marvel Comics would be his last and that he will release in the next year a number of sequels to his previous creator-owned hits as well as new titles. The writer’s remarks came via Twitter, but were missed by us in the fury of DC Comics’ ceaseless announcements concerning its relaunch. Millar’s announcement is as follows:

Well, I just finished the dialogue on my last ever script for Marvel. It was a lot of fun, but I’m full-time on Millarworld as of today.Huge thanks to all the guys I worked with on Ultimates 1&2, Civil War, Old Man Logan, Enemy of the State, Ultimate X-Men, 1985, etc, etc. It’s been an amazing experience and I’m stealing all the best ones to work with my on creator-owned anyway :) In the next 12 months: Kick-Ass 2, Nemesis 2, Supercrooks, Superior, the Dave Gibbons project, the Frank Quitely project and HIT-GIRL!! I’m going to miss the lads, the best editorial team in the biz, but there comes a time when every boy needs to start his OWN media empire!!

Mark Millar’s final Marvel Comics release is presumably issue #6 of Ultimate Comics Avengers Vs. New Ultimates, presently scheduled to go on sale in July.

[Via The Beat]

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