Funnybook Babylon

April 18, 2010

Why Won’t People Stop Swiping Mark Millar?

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , — Chris Eckert @ 6:52 pm

There’s already been plenty of coverage elsewhere of Mark Millar’s hissyfit about getting his idea of Vampires vs. Superheroes “swiped” by the X-Offices. I think Mark’s onto something: just as he introduced the concepts of gay superheroes and “a superhero comic set in the real world”, I see no reason to think he didn’t also create the concept of superheroes fighting vampires. After all, wasn’t he the guy who introduced us to Marvel Zombies? So just how far does this swiping of Millar go? Look below and be horrified!


Shocking! Simply shocking! I’d expect some up-and-comers to rip off a master like Millar, but Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz? John Byrne and Art Adams? Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan? JACK “KING” KIRBY? I’m disappointed in all of them! Why won’t they stop swiping Mark Millar?


  1. Add to this Millar’s revelatory creation of a supervillain who is basically an evil Batman (or, as Millar himself awkwardly described it, “What if Batman were the Joker?”). Does anyone really think Nemesis is an original idea? Look back at Fantomas and older stories; the idea is literally older than comics. When you talk about specifically comic villains, the numbers are in the dozens. Nemesis isn’t even a well-written example of this kind of villain.

    I would say that Matt Wagner needs to show Millar some Hunter Rose stories to teach him how it’s done, but all it would do is give Millar more ideas to rip-off. Millar is a joke.

    Comment by Vogel — April 18, 2010 @ 7:48 pm

  2. Nemesis to me is the poor mans Irredeemable.

    Comment by Rick — April 18, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

  3. Irredeemable is the teenager’s version of the Mighty.

    Comment by Dan Coyle — April 19, 2010 @ 10:34 am

  4. Wait a minute, are you guys telling me that people pre-emptively swiped Nemesis too?

    Comment by Chris Eckert — April 19, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  5. I know, right?! The nerve of those pre-WWI French writers, and of everyone else who wrote about the same idea before Millar did. And of every other writer who isn’t Millar, in general. Those guys are jerks!

    Comment by Vogel — April 19, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

  6. Mark Millar is an assclown.

    He’s written some fun, neat comics in his day.

    But lately, more and more, he’s revealing himself for what he is:

    a self-obsessed, manchildish,


    Comment by TMarls — April 20, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

  7. there was also that time Captain America fought Baron Blood.

    Comment by craig — April 21, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  8. uhm i know this was meant to be funny. but millar wasn’t saying he came up with the entire idea of heroes fighting vampires. but that something he pitched five years ago for a story that’s coming out soon is being copied by the same company. i guess it’s easy to dismiss him due to all his claims to get attention. but in this case it does seem like he has a point.

    also it’s too early to judge what nemesis will ultimately be like until it’s over. comparing it to irredeemable, which has a completed story under his belt, is unfair.

    Comment by Rashad — April 21, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  9. Rashad: it’s precisely because when doing promotion in the past, he’s claimed he came up with the idea for gay superheroes, superheroes “in the real world”, the concept of a comic focusing on a supervillain and other things that are patently untrue, to say nothing of wink-wink self-promoting untruths about the sales of his books, the interest of movie stars/directors in his properties, and so on and so forth.

    So yes, there is something to the claim that it’s poor form for Marvel to run two “Marvel Superheroes Vs. Vampires” storylines so close together. Except it’s such a broad concept, I have no idea if any sort of confusion/dilution will occur.

    Bendis is famously far ahead in plotting Ultimate Spider-Man, and it seems to be going into a “Chameleon Replaces Peter Parker and Disrupts his life” storyline this summer. Amazing Spider-Man did the exact same thing late last year, and it’s entirely possible due to the way things are produced that Bendis “had the idea” first. But Bendis didn’t accuse Fred Van Lente or anyone else of “swiping” his idea, because it’s an incredibly generic idea.

    Had Millar focused on the poor marketing tactic, I might not have wanted to be such a jerk to him. But since this germ of a realistic critique was packaged in such a self-promoting and elaborate way about how he’s been talking of this story for two years — no, five years — no, since he loved the character of blade over thirty years ago!!! — he overstated his case to the point that he appeared to be taking ownership of the generic concept. Which would be nothing new for Millar.

    Comment by Chris Eckert — April 21, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  10. To continue with Chris’s point, during his pre-release promo blitz for Nemesis*, Millar stated, again and again, how “his” idea for an “evil Batman” was so amazing and revolutionary that he couldn’t believe no one had thought of it before. Millar tried brazenly, in multiple interviews, to co-opt that idea (or to use Chris term, the “generic concept”), not just a series starring the villain, but the “evil Batman” concept specifically, even though that specific idea – Batman-style wealth and genius applied to crime and mayhem – has been around for at least 90-some years.

    So, he is either 1) a shameless dip whose idea of promotion is to blow a lot of smoke to sell a book, counting on his audience to either not notice or not care, or 2) genuinely clueless, meaning he really doesn’t know this stuff, and his lack of reference points and context is not only staggering but counter-productive to the point of being detrimental to his stories and his relationships in the industry.

    (As a side note, Nemesis was promoted to hell and back, but I’ve heard literally no one say a thing about the book since the first issue hit stands. Is it doing that poorly? Or that spectacularly? Or that completely modestly?)

    Comment by Vogel — April 21, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

  11. good points

    but like i said before his tactics to get attention can sometimes be off putting to some. but honestly it’s worked so far. sam jackson is nick fury now, solely because millar had hitch draw him that way in the ultimates almost 10 years ago. sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t (especially recently) but to say this complaint is the same as some of the other things he’s said just seems like stretching it. and i see what you were saying about bendis, but it’s the chameleon. every story involves him taking peter’s place and wrecking his life, lol. it’s why he’s there.

    also he pointed out that the story is similar in more than just theme. so i can see why someone would get angry over something like that.

    i think in this case since it’s mark millar, it’s easy to dismiss as more shenanigans, and it still could possibly be lol. the whole point of his antics is to get people worked up.

    Comment by Rashad — April 22, 2010 @ 7:20 pm

  12. […] would ask Chris Eckert to write an article on how Morrison has swiped my ideas, but come to think of it I wish more comic book writers would pay attention to my quiet […]

    Pingback by Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Batman vs Robin: awesome-tations — May 17, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

  13. Mark Millar, the man that went on record to state that he is getting his inspiration in Real Life, something more comic book writers should do, while the only thing he ever does talk about in his stories are old comic books and his love for them.

    Mark Millar, the man most known these days for copying existing characters and vicious bloody mindless retribution at the end of his stories.

    Mark Millar, the man that stated on record that no-one had yet figured out the traitor and the ultimate plot-twist of Ultimates 2 at a time the traitor’s name was the second most often brought up suspect across the internet and the true twist was that there were no more plot-twists. Instead the story simple ignored the abundant hints at something great happening behind the scenes and “revealed” that everything was exactly the way readers expected them to be before the story arc even started.

    Comment by RandmThoughts — June 1, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  14. […] Speaking of Wolfman and Colan, their version of Dracula (and his supporting cast) popped up thirty years ago in Uncanny X-Men #159 by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz. This was far from the X-Men’s last tussle with vampires, though both Marvel and Mark Millar would try to convince you these books never happened a few years back. […]

    Pingback by Funnybook Babylon · Archives · 5-10-15-20: Comic Book History for April 2012 — May 1, 2012 @ 6:26 am

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