Mark Millar

From Academic Kids

Mark Millar (December 24, 1969 - ) is a Scottish writer of comic books and motion picture screenplays. He is a resident of Glasgow, City of Glasgow.

He is currently best known for his work on Marvel Comics' Ultimate X-Men, Marvel Knights Spider-Man and the Ultimates. Millar has been a professional comic book writer for over a decade.


Millar began his career with British indie publisher Trident, writing the critically-acclaimed horror title Saviour, as well as the less-popular Shadowmen. With the assistance of fellow Scotsman Grant Morrison, with whom he co-wrote Janus: Psi Division and Big Dave as well as various other features, his career continued as he broke into popular British science fiction title 2000 AD, and contributed to Sonic the Comic. Millar broke into the American market with an assignment on DC Comics' Swamp Thing (initially again with Grant Morrison). He went on to work on other DC titles such as JLA and Superman Adventures before succeeding Warren Ellis on DC imprint Wildstorm's The Authority.

On The Authority, with artist Frank Quitely, Millar established his trademark style of over-the-top violence, humour and the use of mature themes. It proved a popular but controversial title for DC, and editorial interference eventually prompted Millar to leave the publisher. Millar's handling of the situation within the fan community was skillful, using it to build a reputation as a controversial, anti-establishment figure. His subsequent relationship with DC has been strained, with Millar launching online attacks at the current publisher, Paul Levitz (including once commenting on how much Levitz looked like a rapist), while complaining that he has been blacklisted at the company. It is largely due to the public relations disaster that resulted from Millar's depiction of an Avengers-esque superteam, whose Captain America archetype raped and beat Apollo. Millar would later write a more violent, edgy version of The Avengers in the Ultimate universe, simply titled "The Ultimates".

Millar left DC for Marvel Comics, where he has become a fan-favorite writer, writing characters such as Spider-Man, Wolverine, and relaunched versions of the X-Men and the Avengers. His attempt to branch out into other genres for the publisher, the romantic comedy Trouble was both a sales and critical failure, and has been practically disowned by Millar in recent interviews.

In 2004, Millar tried to launch a creator-owned line called Millarworld, named after his website, through four different comic book companies meant to capitalize on his mainstream popularity. One book, The Unfunnies, was never completed, apparently due to legal troubles. Another, a series of one-shots, was solicited without the actual agreement of Ashley Wood, his initial proposed artist, and was subsequently cancelled. Only Wanted and Chosen are completed, both months after their promised completion dates.

He has also attempted to forge a career as a screenwriter. In the late 1990s he reportedly almost got a vampire television series called Sikeside produced on UK television. Currently he is involved in producing a movie based on his creator-owned comic Wanted.

As of 2005, Millar has relaunched the Marvel character Wolverine with artist John Romita, Jr. He is also currently writing the second volume of a streamlined Avengers comic called The Ultimates. He is a practicing freemason and is known in the industry as both a practical joker and an occasionally effective manipulator of the mass media for his own self-promotion, including a lost bet for $5000 with Harry Knowles regarding the casting of Superman in the upcoming movie of the same title, and an attempt to link Eminem to the movie version of Wanted that resulted in strong denials from Eminem's management and Millar's denial that he had ever suggested such a link. Critics have noted a recurring use of rape and sexual violence in his work, and complain about his weak dialogue and tendency to recycle plots from other media, whereas fans enjoy his brand of action movie stylisation. He makes no attempt to hide his left-wing political beliefs and has come under fire in the past for putting liberal-based plots in his comic books, namely The Ultimates.

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