Millarworld / Leinil Francis Yu
Monday is getting off to an interesting start with the announcement by Netflix that they have acquired Mark Millar’s comic book publishing imprint, Millarworld, with plans to transition the company’s extensive portfolio of characters into new films, series and even children’s programming.
Comics writer Millar may be best known from the films based on his comic book series, including Wanted, Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Society, the latter two having led to sequels.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle, starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Halle Berry, Channing Tatum and more, is scheduled for release on September 22 by 20th Century Fox, following the $414 million earned by the original movie globally in 2014.
Millar’s extensive comics work included working on The Flash and Superman for DC Comics, before moving over to Marvel and writing pivotal storylines like Civil War and Old Man Logan, which were influential on last year’s Captain America: Civil War and this year’s Logan.
In 2008, Millar began exploring his own creator-owned superheroes, creating Kick-Ass with artist John Romita, Jr, for Marvel’s Icon Comics. It spawned three mini-series and a Hit Girl spin-off, the first series which was adapted by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman into the first Kick-Ass movie in 2010. Vaughn famously funded that movie independently with his own money before selling it to Lionsgate, and it helped launch the careers of Chloe Grace Moretz, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Evan Peters. The 2013 sequel, Kick-Ass 2, was written and directed by Jeff Wadlow, but it didn’t fare as well.
Other series created by Millar during this time included Nemesis, Superior and eventually The Secret Service, and it didn’t take long for Millar to create his own spin-off company, called Millarworld.
Millar has been running Millarworld with his wife Lucy Millar for the past few years, while releasing comics like Jupiter’s Circle and its follow-up, Jupiter’s Legacy, Reborn, MPH, Huck and more, through Image Comics.
The amount paid by Netflix in their first acquisition has not been made public, nor has it been revealed how this deal affects the rights of Millar’s artistic collaborators, who are all presumably considered co-creators on their respective books, as Romita Jr. was on Kick-Ass and Dave Gibbons on Kingsman. It’s also unknown how this might affect previous deals like the sale of Huck to Studio 8 in 2015.
Even Millar realizes the magnitude of this deal. “This is only the third time in history a major comic book company has been purchased at this level,” said Millar. “I’m so in love with what Netflix is doing and excited by their plans. Netflix is the future and Millarworld couldn’t have a better home.”
One can expect that more announcements will be made over the next few months as Netflix decides how to bring some of Millar’s characters onto the streaming service, particularly the ones that haven’t already transitioned into other media, like Kingsman and Kick-Ass.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor