Monday, August 13, 2007

A "Civil War" Memorial in Chicago

More on Mark Millar, including his upcoming comics and more artwork of Bryan Hitch's Fantastic Four!

Mark Millar reflects on the ramifications of registration and touches on a handful of new Marvel projects, including Fantastic Four with Bryan Hitch and 1985 with Tommy Lee Edwards
By Brian Warmoth
Posted August 11, 2007 3:05 PM

Mourning was not on Mark Millar’s to-do list Saturday at Marvel’s “Civil War: In Remembrance” panel. The writer who scripted the superhero clash that rocked the Marvel Universe in 2007 accompanied Joe Quesada and Jim McCann at Wizard World Chicago to look back at Civil War and respond to audience questions about the event—as well as spring a surprise look at his upcoming Fantastic Four run with Bryan Hitch and 1985: Haunted with Tommy Lee Edwards.

“I know this is the Civil War panel, but I think we’ll get started on time,” joked McCann, kicking the program off with an allusion to the title’s shipping delays. Quesada went straight to a question-and-answer session—though Millar interrupted with an important disclosure.

“I’d just like to point out to you that I’m naked from the waist down,” the writer pointed out, punctuating Quesada’s welcome.

Leading the long line of fan queries, one attendee asked if the rest of the world’s reactions to registration and Civil War would be addressed. “From the Scottish perspective, anything said outside America—even I’m not interested,” Millar said.

Asked both if he had any regrets and if there was anything he would have included given a second chance to write Civil War, Millar didn’t miss a chance to jest. “I wish we’d made them $4.95,” he smiled. As for extras he would have included in hindsight, he only shrugged, “When you killed Goliath, there was nothing left to do.”

Millar segued to a quick anecdote about a disturbing response to Goliath’s death in Civil War that he received from a reader who asked, “Did you realize you had a [Norse god] taking down a black guy?” Millar assured the room that he had no intentions of framing the death in that way, though he hypothesized sarcastically, “Three guys in Kentucky were like, ‘Yeah!’”

Millar and Quesada explained the role “Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ creator Joss Whedon played in planning Civil War at the meeting where the final confrontation between Captain America and Iron Man was outlined. Quesada said that Whedon suggested most of the key details surrounding how the climactic end played out.

Elaborating on a comment Millar made about Whedon showing up magically during times of crisis and indecision, Quesada corroborated the assertion with the story of Whedon’s agreement to write Astonishing X-Men. “San Diego [in 2002], it was that convention where Grant Morrison announced that he was going exclusive to DC,” Quesada explained.

The Marvel editorial head said that he had been surprised by Morrison’s move and was nervously pondering who would he would assign to write X-Men. “Then I looked and there is Joss Whedon,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Hey, would you like to write X-Men?’ He said yeah.”

Marvel saved their big surprise slideshow for the end of the panel as Millar, Quesada and McCann all looked at each other and premiered a trailer announcing Millar’s next big Marvel run, which will see him re-team with Ultimates collaborator Bryan Hitch on Fantastic Four.

“Bryan Hitch and I for five years have been doing The Ultimates, and it’s finally finished,” Millar began, introducing the video. The writer said that their enthusiasm for FF has already produced several complete issues. “We’re already on writing the 10th issue,” he stated.

Millar also expressed a great deal of pride in his upcoming project 1985, which he said he is “most proud of” out of his entire body of work at Marvel. Tommy Lee Edwards will team with Millar on the sequel to Jim Shooter’s Secret Wars, where Millar said Marvel’s supervillains will discover existence in a world without superheroes.

“I think this is the book where he becomes a superstar,” said Millar of Edwards’ work on the story.

Millar forecasted a number of Marvel stories he will be writing in 2008, including a cagey hint: “Steve McNiven and I are getting together for a secret project.”

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