In case you haven’t heard, Netflix just acquired Millarworld. This is the comics brand owned by Mark Millar, creator of Kick-Ass, Wanted, and The Secret Service, better known to movie buffs as Kingsman: The Secret Service.
If there were a line of comics that truly exemplifies the cliché that comics are no longer for kids, it’s Millarworld.
As you’ve already seen through films like Wanted, Kick-Ass and Kingsman, calling Millar’s stories “controversial” would be an understatement.
Most of his stories actually involve excessive violence, bad language, and brutal, sadistic and bloodthirsty characters, and some totally bonkers high concept stuff.
In other words, perfect material to be adapted into a Netflix series or movie.
A veteran in the comics industry with years of experience working for the likes of 2000 AD, DC Comics (The Authority, Superman: Red Son) and Marvel (The Ultimates, Ultimate X-Men), Millar created Millarworld in order to get the freedom to create his own stories without fear of censorship or corporate interference.
It’s safe to say that this approach has been a runaway success, with some of his creations getting the film treatment, and now with the Netflix acquisition.
With Netflix currently in the business of not only producing original series but also films, we go through the Millarworld catalogue to see which titles they should adapt, and how they should do it.
Forty years ago, Duke McQueen was the space hero who saved the universe. But then he came back home, got married, had kids and grew old. Now, his children have left and his wife has passed away, leaving him alone with nothing except his memories … until a call comes from a distant world asking him back for his final and greatest adventure.
TV or film?: This is the series that officially launched the rebranded Millarworld back in 2015, so it makes sense that it should be one of the properties that get the Netflix treatment first. The whole “old hero goes back for one last adventure” angle has been done to death in films already, though. So, we’re plugging for a TV series, maybe a short one, which not only focuses on Duke’s last hurrah, but also gives us more backstory on his glory days when he was younger.
Simon is a 12-year-old boy who has lost the use of his legs to multiple sclerosis. One day, an alien monkey (yes, really) appears and grants him his greatest wish – to become the fictitious superhero Superior.
TV or film?: The story is a little too simple for a long-running series, so we reckon this would make either a standalone film, or a miniseries.
Jupiter’s Legacy/Jupiter’s Circle
Jupiter’s Legacy is about a group of ageing superheroes whose screwed-up, spoilt children are trying to live up to their legacy … really, really badly. Jupiter’s Circle, on the other hand, is set before the family dynasty in Jupiter’s Legacy began, and is about the original team actually building their legacy.
TV or film?: Definitely TV. Imagine a show with all the back-stabbing drama of classic soap operas like Dallas or Dynasty, but with superheroes. The fact that Millar has already established two generations of the family through Legacy and Circle means there could be two parallel stories, one set in the past, and one set in the present day, which makes for a pretty compelling premise.
Fed up with superheroes foiling their heists all the time, a group of supervillains leave the United States to attempt one big score in another country. Their plan? To rob the greatest supervillain who has ever lived.
TV or film?: Definitely a film. After all, who doesn’t love a good heist movie, especially one about supervillains robbing supervillain?
What if Batman wasn’t a hero, and decided to use all his money and resources to become a villain instead? You get Nemesis, probably the most seriously depraved, sadistic, violently screwed-up villain ever created.
TV or film?: Ever heard of the phrase “everyone’s the hero in their own story?”. We’d love to see this become a series which explores that phrase more by delving into the grey area of a villain’s mind to see how they justify their actions. On the other hand, we’d also watch a show about the hunt for Nemesis, with lots of explosions and action.
Huck is a quiet man who uses his special gifts to do a good deed each day. The neighbours in his little town return the favours by keeping his abilities a secret. But that all changes when a newcomer to the town alerts the media…
TV of film?: We rather this be a film, to be frank. It’s a nice little feel good story that deserves to be wrapped up within two hours, not dragged out across one whole season.
The story of Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly, two scientific geniuses who are about to embark on man’s first, televised steps through the time-stream. This series kind of reimagines the space mission of Nasa by replacing it with the concept of time travel instead.
TV or film?: Space may be the final frontier, but time is infinite. This could either be an action comedy about two people bumbling about through time and ending up in all sorts of crazy historical situations; or it could be a more serious sci-fi series about the intricacies of time travel and the follies of trying to change the past. Since the first one kind of reminds us of Quantum Leap, we’re going with the second option instead.
A group of teens stumble upon a street drug called MPH and gain the power of super speed. Will they use it to save the world? Don’t be silly, of course not. Not when there’s money to be made!
TV or film?: Film. We’ve seen the whole “kids get powers and go rogue” angle before, but the super-speed angle should make this a lot more interesting. Let’s just hope the filmmaker makes an edgier Attack The Block-style film rather than one of those bland Young Adult adaptations.