OUR FINAL STORY
Millar and Hitch on 'Ultimates'
By Danny Spiegel
Posted October 15, 2007 9:35 AM
Mark Millar: The 26 issues took about five and a half years [2001-2007] to come out, which is an incredible length of time. But the weird thing is if they had come out every month, it wouldn’t have been as good.
Bryan Hitch: Seeing the responses to what I was doing kind of threw me off the deep end. When people like Neal Adams, Alex Ross and Dave Gibbons are telling me that they think it’s one of the best comics they’ve ever seen, there’s an awful lot I feel I’ve got to live up to. I think I got stage fright, and it paralyzed me for a long time.
Millar: I was rewriting the whole time Bryan was drawing. It’s not as if I wrote 26 issues and put them in a drawer. I was reacting to what Bryan was drawing on one page and then a few pages later tweaking little bits of dialogue and so on.
So even though Bryan had been drawing [the last issue] since October of last year, I probably just finished my final dialogue about a week before it went off to press. It was a constant work in progress. I was quite sad [writing the final pages]. These characters took up a huge part of my life.
Hitch: Up until last Christmas, my wife had never known me not working on Ultimates. Neither had my children. It’s a horrifying thing to think that when I was drawing issue #1, I hadn’t even met my wife, let alone had my first child. [The book] has done a lot of good [for my career], but I think it’s also done it a bit of harm, too. My reputation for delivery is not at its best, and there’s certainly some justifiable criticism about that. But at the same time, I lost a lot of money doing it because I was working at about half the speed I should have been. One could argue that it might not have been as good if I hadn’t been fueled by all of the neuroses. We’ll never know.
Millar: Bryan and I both said from the start that we’d love to come back some point in the future, but it’d have to be years down the line. Our idea was to do it for the 10th anniversary of The Ultimates. It started in 2002, so we’d do it in 2012 maybe. We had an idea for a book set 10 years on from where we started with The Ultimates and where they all are.
Hitch: There is one big story we haven’t done, and we might have done it in Ultimates 3 if we’d stayed on.
Millar: I’ve already started putting notes together for it. I look forward to coming back to it at some point. But I’d only do it with Bryan now.
As late as the book shipped, Millar and Hitch at the VERY least finished the series (unlike some other series which just ended prematurely *cough*Battle Chasers*cough*). And the series was well worth the wait...heck, because it was so long in between issues, I could hardly remember what had happened in issues past. So I was forced to re-read the old issues again...and reading everything at one go makes the series all the better!
I do hope they come back to The Ultimates again in the future. Perhaps Season 5, after Joe Madureira and Ed McGuinness have finished their runs!