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CSBG Archive

The Greatest Mark Millar Stories Ever Told!

Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest Mark Millar Stories Ever Told!

Enjoy!

15. Authority #22, 27-29 “Brave New World”

This was Millar’s swan song on the Authority, as the United State Government makes its move against the Authority by practically wiping the team out and replacing them with THEIR version of the Authority. Luckily, the Authority is more resilient than that, and they make a dramatic comeback. Frank Quitely, Art Adams and Gary Erskine drew the storyline.

14. 1985

In this mini-series with art by the amazing Tommy Lee Edwards, Millar tells the tale of a boy in the “real world” in 1985 who discovers that a portal has been opened between the “real” world and the Marvel Universe of 1985 (black costumed Spider-Man, leg warmers Dazzler, etc.). Misadventures abound as the boy and his father try to save the day.

13. Ultimate X-men #1-6 “The Tomorrow People”

The Kubert brothers join Millar in the opening arc of the Ultimate X-Men title, as Millar began a sustained and highly popular run on the title with this story, which introduced the world to Ultimate Wolverine, just in time for an epic battle between Magneto and Professor X.

12. Civil War

Millar turned the entire Marvel Universe up on end in this blockbuster mini-series that pitted hero against hero as a “Superhuman Registration Act” is passed after a tragic accident involving a superhero group. Steve McNiven drew the series which dramatically altered the Marvel Universe for years.

11. Authority #17-20 “Earth Inferno”

In his second arc on the Authority, Millar pitted the team against the Earth itself! You see, a mad scientist has turned the Earth into basically a weapon against humanity – the Earth is, in effect, rejecting the “parasites” who are “feeding off” of its body. Chris Weston and Frank Quitely drew the story.

10. Chosen

What if Jesus returned – but as a fairly typical American teenager? Millar and artist Peter Gross explore that idea in this mini-series that involves a teen boy who appears to have all the powers of Jesus Christ. This is apparently going to have a sequel soon.

9. Authority #13-16 “Nativity”

In his first storyline on the Authority, paired with soon-to-be-star artist Frank Quitely, Millar made a major splash by the Authority determining that they were going to right the wrongs of the world FOR the world. This was a bold gambit, and not one that everyone took kindly to, particularly Jacob Krigstein, an elderly genius who pits his personal heroes against the Authority (Krigstein is basically Jack Kirby, and the heroes he sends after the Authority are all pastiches of famous Marvel characters).

8. Wanted

In this mini-series, done with artwork by JG Jones, Millar shows what happens when an “ordinary” man discovers that he is the heir to one of the most powerful supervillains in the world. As our “hero” descends into the secretive world of supervillainy, things get more and more out of hand as twists and turns begin to pile about all around him.

7. Wolverine #66-72, Wolverine: Old Man Logan Giant-Size #1 “Old Man Logan”

Millar teamed up again with his Civil War artist, Steve McNiven, to do this dark and fanciful story of Logan (formerly Wolverine) living in a terrible future where super-villains have basically won and then divied up the country. After assaulting some people he really ought not to have, Logan is willing to agree to go on a bit of a “Smokey and the Bandit” trip with Hawkeye in the Spider-Mobile. To say that their journey is bizarre and more than a little sad is not saying too much.

6. Kick-Ass

Working with John Romita Jr on art, Millar crafts a tale of a teenager in the “real world” who decides to become a superhero. Hilarity ensues, but so, too, does some heavy duty violence and real dangerous repercussions to the young hero’s seemingly poorly thought out battle plans as a superhero.

5. Wolverine #20-31 “Enemy of the State”

You could split this up in Enemy of the State and Agent of Shield, but Marvel has released the whole thing as “Enemy of the State” and the first “part” ends in a pretty significant cliffhanger that I’m willing to go with it as a one story (and that’s how almost all of the voters voted for it, as one story). In any event, John Romita Jr. was the artist for this storyline that involved Wolverine being murdered and ressurected by the Hand as a super-villain who led a group of HAND villains as they killed OTHER heroes and resurrected THEM as villains, as well. When Wolverine’s rage takes him all the way to the X-Men’s doorsteps, Wolverine is finally rescued and once free of the Hand brainwashing, he dedicates his life to killing all of the bad guys behind this plot.

4. Ultimates #7-13 “Homeland Security”

The original Ultimates series, however, is two distinct storylines. #1-6 has a beginning, a middle, an end AND an epilogue! Then the next story begins, which ties in with some of the stuff from the first story, but is not a direct continuation in the least. In “Homeland Security,” the Ultimates learn that an alien race has been infiltrating Earth for decades and now the Ultimates are going to go up against their most difficult threat yet – can they manage to pull it off without the power of the Mighty Thor? Probably not, and in fact, they might need the assistance of the Incredible Hulk, as well! Bryan Hitch drew this epic action tale that introduced the “shadow” Ultimates team of Black Widow, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (the latter two who seem to have WAY too close of a relationship for a brother and sister).

3. Ultimates 2

People convinced me that Ultimates 2 is really one long story, so here it is, as Bryan Hitch and Millar tell the tale of how the Ultimates become SO effective as a tool of the United States government that other nations begin to formulate a counter to them, and when their plan springs into action, the Ultimates cannot even trust each other as the whole operation collapses around them and as the United States of America is stolen right out from underneath their noses! And is Loki involved or is he not? And who of the Ultimates is a traitor? All these questions answered and more in this 13-part saga!

2. Ultimates #1-6 “Super Human”

This initial six-part story introduced the world to Millar and artist Bryan Hitch’s envisioning of the 21st Century superhero. Their take on superheroics proved to be highly influential on the “real” Marvel Universe, particularly Hitch’s realistic art style and the widescreen heroics (that predated Ultimates, of course, as Hitch himself had already done it for Authority AND JLA, but he further popularized it here). Besides launching a popular animated film series, this story also more or less formed the basis for the upcoming series of Avengers live action films.

1. Superman: Red Son

Artists Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett joined Millar in depicting a world where, instead of Smallville, baby Kal-El landed in the Ukraine during Stalin’s reign in the Soviet Union. Naturally, the world is a much different place in the present and Millar explores these differences extremely well (alongside some brilliant character designs by the always wonderful Dave Johnson) in this prestige-format mini-series that was so popular that DC Comics put out a series of toys based on it! This was Millar’s last significant comic work for DC Comics, and one of his best (Millar had a strong run early in his career writing the comic book tie-in to the Superman Animated Series and Millar clearly has a great affinity for the character of Superman).

That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

And please vote for the lists that are still up for grabs here!

91 Comments

I’m glad that ENEMY OF THE STATE is ont there, but as and FYI his last Wolvie issue, #32, was a 1-shot that may be the best single issue MIllar’s ever written. And there’s a great text piece about Will Eisner in the back too.

Howard's Turn

May 27, 2010 at 7:32 am

Too bad the list didn’t include Millar’s brilliant run on Swamp Thing—co-written with Grant Morrison for issues 140-143, and then he wrote it solo from 144 to the final issue, 171 (this was the conclusion of the second Swamp Thing series, which, of course, featured Alan Moore’s legendary run). Millar’s amazing storyline concluded with Swampy taking command of all of Earth’s elements and deciding the human race should be exterminated for its sins against nature. If the actual ending was a little hokey, getting there was a wonderful, horrific journey.
THIS RUN SHOULD BE COLLECTED IN BOOK FORM!

red son was good but it was a knock-off. whether millar realized it or not, he got the story from planet of the apes. compare the two and the time paradox is exactly the same.

Hyung Suk Kim

May 27, 2010 at 7:38 am

Wow below ?….. For me, Mark Millar is a author who has distinct strengths (staging of spectacle action scenes, high concept) and distinct weaknesses (being excessive for the sake of being excessive, narrative cohesion).

was a book that highlighted his strengths. But, for me, is a book in which Millar really overcame his weaknesses. It really does not feel like a Millar book because it does not have his “ticks” in it.

While I am not a huge Millar fan (I hated Civil War and Wanted), he did write some good books, and is the crown jewel of his career.

Hyung Suk Kim

May 27, 2010 at 7:41 am

Oh the title I was talking about it my post above is Marvel 1985. Some tag problem…. I think Marvel 1985 is Millar’s best work I have read so far

Wow, no Flash, Swamp Thing, Superman Adventures, or JLA? I’m surprised at least some of his early stuff didn’t make it. “River Run” in Swamp Thing was great.

yes, his Swamp Thing run was fantastic. A more innocent Millar if you will, before he got all w*nkfestish, as is the case with almost all his current work.

Joe: The time paradox is more a footnote than anything else. (And I know no one will believe this, but I actually thought of that ending when I was a kid, and then I was told it was scientifically impossible. I couldn’t believe it when I read it.)

I blame Mark Miller for almost singlehandedly turning comics into an R&D division for Hollywood, much, much, much moreso than it ever was before. The few comics I’ve read on this list support my point, with the exception of Superman: Red Son.

I hate Enemy of the State with a passion. It’s everything I dislike about Wolverine as a character and nothing I like about him. Undead revenge fantasy on a large scale that completely ignores that the center of Wolverine’s character, the worthwhile stuff, the stuff with heart, is his humanity and restraint.

Actuallly I hate most of this list with a passion and really don’t like the rest. I don’t mind Red Son so much but Millar writing about Superman is so much better than Millar writing about characters he didn’t idolize as a kid (namely all the others).

He’s never written anything better than his Superman Adventures run and he never, ever, ever will. It’s impossible. He had creative restrictions then that made him use his imagination and actually come up with stuff. Now he not only can take the easiest most LCD solutions possible for every problem, but he’s rewarded for it by the readers. It annoys me because he has the talent to do more but knows it’s actually not in his interest to do it and Millar is so good at doing what’s in his interest.

I don’t think I hate any comics more than Authority 13-16 though. That’s my least favorite story ever. I’m not big on censorship or anything but I just don’t need to see Captain America raping someone in the butt on Jack Kirby’s orders just to make some sort of point. Actually, what was the point of that again?

Apparently, 1985 is supposed to have taken place primarily in the Kick Ass universe.

Also, boo for leaving out Aztek.

Matt D: I agree completely. I was at a seminar a couple of weeks ago where a local creator was trying to get some kids to read some comics, and he said he had to think about what Avengers stories to recommend. Some asshat came out and said “The Ultimates.”

TO KIDS. KIDS.

Just not a fan.

I haven’t read much of this list. I sometimes love Millar (Superman: Red Son) and sometimes dislike it (Wanted). I think he does too many things over the top. I don’t know why that didn’t bother me so much with Red Son, but I really enjoyed Red Son, in fact it is one of my favorite comic books.

Red Son was not that good

otherwise – the list was pretty good. I think Wolverine Agent of SHIELD was much better than Old Man Logan

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

May 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

I’d argue that Millar’s creative nadir was his non-Ultimate Fantastic Four run, which even Millar fans don’t seem to defend much. He’s been giving diminishing returns since the first half of Ultimates 2, IMHO, with each subsequent project having less and less reason to exist. Yeah, I include Kick-Ass, which plenty of people will now leap to defend; I’ve tried it and I just don’t see much to it beyond 1986-vintage superhero deconstruction filtered through Millar’s now-trademark adolescent obsessions.

Red Son is quite clever, and while the ending may have Been Morrison’s suggestion — and was also Siegel and Shuster’s first idea for Superman’s backstory — Millar does an excellent job of positioning it in the rest of the story so that his Luthor wins *and* loses in one stroke.

I was under the impression that Grant Morrison had significantly contributed to Millar’s “Authority run”. There is no way in Hell someone as dim as Millar could have come up with a concept like “religimon”.

ArrestThisMan

May 27, 2010 at 9:38 am

Certainly, the concepts looming in/around his Authority run are a big part of it’s success as a series. On the other hand, those “widescreen” action scenes contribute just as much or more to what made Authority a great series.

Those poo-pooing the Ultimates are just haters. Come on, that gatefold in ultimates 2 was insane.

Red Sun a bit overrated IMO. would put the best authority stuff, Enemy of the State, and all of ultimates above it.

His Authority run is a guilty pleasure. Not great comics work, but better than I’d expect from him. Red Son was really well done. Everything else I’ve read from this list was awful. I mean, Kick Ass and Old Man Logan? Really?

Davey Boy Smith

May 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

Millar is an intelligent and creative writer, who, more often than not, manages to come up with entertaining stories. What I dislike most about his writing are the more outrageous plot elements as well as the numerous and superfluous pop cultural references, as most of the time they come across as akward instead of enhancing the story. He’s not as aware of cultural trends as he believes himself to be, or rather, he lacks the restraint to present them in a compelling fashion. Those who doubt his ability to craft intelligent comic book tales, though, look no further than The Ultimates volumes 1 & 2. The evolution that the team goes through and where they end up by the end of volume 2 makes complete sense, and is a great commentary on the ending of Civil War.

I’ve only liked Red Son and Civil War from this list. Everything else is either incredibly overrated (Ultimates, Authority) or just plain shit (Old Man Logan, Kick-Ass).

Actually his Spider-man run wasn’t too bad, either.

CF: That entire issue with Religimom was ghost-written by Grant Morrison. Notice how the writing is suddenly full of wit and verve and the characters don’t all speak in trashy, rude run-on sentences. Also, nobody gets turned into a chicken and raped by hillbillies, like in the issue after that.

Who keeps buying this shit?

I love Enemy of the State. It’s a good fun adventure taking in large ammounts of the Marvel Universe.

Any comments on Old Man Logan ? I’ve not read and the trade is coming soon ….

People have opinions about Mark Millar.

@Davey Boy Smith: I like both volumes of Ultimates, but I would call them highly entertaining rather than intelligent. That to me was his best comics work and I still had issues with it, particularly with the fact that all the characters were obnoxious as hell. His Captain America was a mindless thug.

I do think that Mark Millar is a good writer, and I actually defended his writing during Civil War. But after that everything he released got dumber and dumber. Today I have no doubt that he stopped giving a shit about his comics. Why put any effort in them when they still are best-sellers and get made into movies no matter how bad they are?

Also, I agree with the general sentiment that Old Man Logan and Kick Ass don’t belong here. But his Superman Adventures run does.

[...] CBR counts down The Greatest Mark Millar Stories Ever Told! [...]

Mark Millar’s ideal reader would be a 15-year old male full of adolescent rage and obsessed with coolness.

Sometimes I’m in the mood to indulge my inner 15-year old, and then I can enjoy Millar. Other times, not so much.

DetectiveDupin

May 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

A lot of Millar’s older stuff I don’t count because it’s more Morrison than Millar. I thought 1985 was lame, and I think Old Man Logan should have been #1.

regardless of whether i like it, i at least think most of the stuff on this list can be defended in some form or another… but old man logan is the worst comic story i’ve ever read. first of all, it’s a complete rip off of clint eastwood’s “unforgiven,” just transplanted into the age of apocalypse/hulk: future imperfect universe, so there’s no creativity whatsoever. and second of all, it just spends a few hundred pages indulging in the worst stereotypes people have of comics. there’s no emotion, characterization, or interesting dialogue to speak of, just giant bombastic pictures of obscene violence disguised as “coolness.” anyone that actually cares about comics as a medium should hate old man logan on principle.

Ultimate X-men was desperately trying too hard. He peaked with Ultimates, ‘American Jesus’ and Civil War (with some near-misses in there like Wolverine, Spidey and others). Then, Kick-Ass, 1985, Ultimate Avengers and now Nemesis tell me he doesn’t give a s*** anymore.

A lot of Millar’s stuff, especially in the Ultimates universe, just reads like a Michael Bay flick to me, but I did like Red Son.

River Run and Trial By Fire were both really talented pieces of writing that had an edge of nastiness that bothered me. (Though I loved the fact that River Run was a journey through the pre-Crisis multiverse at a time when DC was absolutely religiously never mentioning that there had ever been such a thing.) Of course, that’s been Millar’s trademark ever since. I find Wanted a very guilty pleasure, but it’s got so much energy to it that it carries me along as a awful piece of demented guilty pleasure. (And I’ve never looked at Clayface the same again.) And I could get caught up in The Authority in the same way.

I think how I end up with Millar is: when he’s doing pastiche of superheroes in some other universe with other characters– however thinly veiled the references are– I can go along for the ride. But when he’s doing the same kind of thing in-universe (even, as with River Run, when it’s fictional-in-universe) or using characters who don’t have even a thin veil of disguise over them (Red Son, Ultimates– same characters albeit on other earths), the obnoxious edge bothers me too much to enjoy it.

@ Jeff I demand proof and footnotes and sources cited!

Like HELL Civil War is a great story. Do you know how many holes it has? The main scene, between Steve and Hill in #1 that sets everything up? Is 2 different parts of 2 ENTIRELY different conversations. Frankly, I think Millar is a hack. He can write Ultimates, but any other version the the Marvel characters he gets his hands on ends up being written as Ultimate versions of the characters. This is unacceptable. There is next to nothing redeeming about this author.

Regarding “Red Sun”:
besides providing the ending, did Morrison do anything else?

“CF: That entire issue with Religimom was ghost-written by Grant Morrison. Notice how the writing is suddenly full of wit and verve and the characters don’t all speak in trashy, rude run-on sentences. Also, nobody gets turned into a chicken and raped by hillbillies, like in the issue after that.

Who keeps buying this shit?”

People who enjoy his work

A better question is, who keeps coming in a Millar thread if they hate Millar??

“Regarding “Red Sun”:
besides providing the ending, did Morrison do anything else?”

not really. The book was OK – but just another bland, generic Elseworlds story.

Benjamin Moore

May 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm

What, no “Trouble”?

I’m pretty happy with all these suggestions. I loved Red Son so that definitely deserved the #1 spot. I must say, though, it would’ve been nice if Ultimates 1 was included as one so a spot could’ve been opened for something else. Personally, I enjoyed his Marvel Knights Spider-Man run, too.

I love Millar’s work. I can’t think of a single story on that list that I didn’t enjoyed in some way. I like the “widescreen style of his narration. I also have to defend his handling of mainstream characters. I have a hard time thinking of ANY writer that does not make the charatcer their own in some way, and Millar is no exception.

I regret that he is such a polarizing writer, but everyone is entitled to their opinions. Attacking his fans however is pure ignorance. I hate Loeb’s work with a burning passion, but I would not think of characterizing his fans negatively based purely on their love of his writing.

I do regret that his MK Spider-Man run was not on here. I enjoyed it very much.

Matt D:
I think you are extremely right about Millar doing his best work on characters he idolized as a kid. That explains why his Spider-Man run was good, as well as his Superman Adventures. I never thought of it that way. It’s funny that people voted for his flashy, character-deprived blockbusters over his actual good, lower-selling work though (Superman Adventures, Spider-Man, Aztek, Swamp Thing, Flash… I could go on, but basically anything he did under the tutelage of Morrison).

By the way, I actually liked his FF run for the first 8 issues. Then it just SSSLLOOOOOOOOWWED down ridiculously and the fill-in writing was unbelievably bad. I was pleasantly surprised by the finale, though. Another example of Millar actually caring about the characters – particularly Reed, and making him far more relatable, less of a wimp, and less of a cheesy super-brain.

P.S. Although I guess all those traits were effectively established by Waid and then bulldozed over by Millar in Civil War anyway. At least he restored them.

His run on SUPERMAN ADVENTURES is probably the best thing he’s written. Followed by ULTIMATES 2 and then KICK-ASS.

Civil War? Really? After Clor it went downhill fast. Such potential wasted. I’ve never read his Authority or Swamp Thing, and completely forgot about Red Son. Here was my list:
1. The Ultimates: Homeland Security: This, to me, is the perfect “widescreen” super-hero epic. Here we have huge alien warships, big explosions, and also some great character work. The Captain America/Giant Man fight is still one of my favorites.
2. Wolverine: Prisoner Number Zero (Wolverine #32, right after Enemy of the State): This story is much more intimate than most of Millar’s work. It would have been my #1, but I feel that Homeland Security gets points for being the best he’s done (that I’ve read) in his normal style. This is an amazing, moody story, and one of the best “Wolverine from someone else’s POV stories”.
3. Wolverine: Old Man Logan: This story was just balls to the wall fun. I love distopic future stories, and this Mad Max homage is one of my favorites.
4. Ultimates 2: Gods and Monsters: I didn’t think it would be OK to vote for Ultimates 2 as one entity, so I separated it not realizing no one else did. This is, to me the better half. The Hulk “execution” and funeral were amazingly emotional, and the Thor fight was also just cool.
5. The Ultimates: Super Human: A great “getting the band together” kind of story.
6. Ultimate X-Men: Return of the King: The finale of Millar’s run was one of my favorite Magneto stories. The only reason it didn’t make my Magneto stop ten was because I feel that Ultimate Magneto is too different a character to split the list between them.
7. Ultimate Fantastic Four: President Thor: This alternate universe, time travel tale is one of my favorite Thing stories, and an immensely underrated tale, not even getting the title on the TPB it’s collected in along with Frightful. Ben as the only normal human left on Earth is a really cool take on the character, and his actions show a lot about why The Thing is such a great and selfless hero.
8. Ultimate X-Men: Return to Weapon X: I really enjoy Weapon X/Wolverine’s past stories, and this was a good one. Millar’s takes on Rogue and Nightcrawler were well done, and in general it was just really well handled.
9. Ultimate X-Men: The Tomorrow People: The introduction of the Ultimate X-Men was a good story, just not quite as good as the one right after it.
10. Ultimates 2: Grand Theft America: I really enjoyed this story, but I think it’s hurt by it’s Deus ex Valhalla ending.

I never got the impression that the various Marvel pastiches from Millar’s Nativity story were meant to resemble the original Kirby characters outside of their power and skill sets and costume elements. Of the few who appear on panel long enough for us to get a sense of their characters, they have no personality traits in common.

Actually, I quite like Millar’s run on The Authority. While the violence and dialogue was often gratuitous, there were some interesting subversions of genre-conventions: A villain defeated by a sudden experience of compassion, another threat ended when the big-bad accepts an invitation to join the good-guys, et cetera. I also think it was good that Millar was trying to address the human rights abuses that were going on in the world at the time he was writing: genocide, ethnic cleansing, rape as a military strategy, et cetera.

It’s funny to see some series that so many people moaned about, like Old Man Logan and Wanted, get into the top ten. I didn’t like Wanted at all, personally, but it just goes to show you how little the people who actually SPEAK on the internet really factor into the majority opinion. Maybe that’s how it should be.

Still, I’m so glad Red Son made it to #1. Greatest Superman story ever told, bar none.

I was surprised to not see UFF “Crossover” in the top 15, given that it led to the whole Marvel Zombies phenomenon. And, frankly, it was very well plotted and characterized; in fact, his entire 12-issue run w/Greg Land was notable for density of plot.

Barney Miller

May 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm

“Greatest Superman story ever told, bar none.”
Wha—bu–na—I—pf—spu—-ckkk——-ffffffffuuuuuuuu—how the—-who——I don’t even——my g—–well. Huh.

Knew that was gonna bust a few circuits somewhere :)

Still, it is a belief that I hold.

How did his Marvel Knights Spider-Man run not make it onto this list?

Red Son is extremely overrated. The only reason people think it’s good is because when you compare it to all the other Superman stories since Alan Moore left DC proper, it shines like a bar of gold in a sea of turds. Red Son is just the least suckiest Superman story.

I’m interested in Chosen…what did you all think of it? I’d like to see what Millar can do when he’s not just deconstructing superhero genre tropes.

It should be noted that the “obnoxious” ultimate characters are often way less obnoxious than their golden and silver age counterparts. Superman used to torture his friends to teach them lessons like “Don’t litter” or “Try to be less nosy.” Hippie Thor, a Cap that genuinely feels like he’s trying to make the jump from 1940s attitudes to the present day, swagger-y rich drunk Iron Man, who all still manage to come together and risk their lives to save the world are all much more accurately the spirtual descendents of the new flawed hero of silver age Marvel than the perfect Christ-figure that some fans seem to want, and that gets represented well in the blandest Superman stories.

Wolverine #32 was a fantastic story, one of the best by Millar. Unfortunatly most people only remember Enemy of the state, which also was good but nothing like #32.

The only problem I have with one of these storylines is “Enemy of the State.” Does anybody remember that the idea to have Wolverine killed and then resurrected as a master assassin of the hand was an idea that Chris Claremont discarded in the late 80′s? Just an observation.

I have enjoyed some of Millar’s work (Ultimates, Enemy of the State in particular). While some of his current stuff has come across as more than a little smug and self indulgent (Kick-Ass and especially Nemesis) his stories are rarely boring and damn if he doesn’t have a way with cliffhangers that make you want to come back issue after issue.

Dave -

I agree. But then again, ULTIMATES is one of the few Millar stories that I really liked. I think the classic Avengers really lend themselves well to deconstruction.

I’m gonna be tremendously laughed off, but The Unfunnies deserved a high place on the list.

-Runs into hiding-.

Like John pointed out, Millar’s “Enemy of the State” storyline was a straight up rip off of Claremont’s rejected “Dark Wolverine” storyline from the late 80′s/early 90′s. Of course Millar denies ever hearing anything about CC’s “Dark Wolverine” story.

Old Man Logan was pure fanboy and therefore one of the worst stories I have ever read. Red Son, however, is one of the greatest. I do love Millar….

Dr. Fleming: Count me as one laughing. The Unfunnies was not only one of the worst comics Millar has ever written, it’s one of the worst comics EVER, period. I guess that’s a fairly impressive achievement?

Mike Loughlin

May 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Old Man Logan started off fun, then turned awful. The level of violence toward the end was too extreme, without ever being enjoyable in n over the top way. It was just depressing.

Red Son was good, I think I had it at #2, but my favorite Superman stories of the last few years were Secret Identity and All-Star Superman. Both were well-plotted and heartfelt, whereas Red Son was just entertaining. Nothing wrong with that.

When I saw this category I asked myself, “are there actually ten good Mark Millar stories? In fact, is there even one?” This list answered the question for me. No, there are not.

” Like John pointed out, Millar’s “Enemy of the State” storyline was a straight up rip off of Claremont’s rejected “Dark Wolverine” storyline from the late 80′s/early 90′s. Of course Millar denies ever hearing anything about CC’s “Dark Wolverine” story. ”

How can it be a rip off of a story that was never written? Intentionally or not, Millar took an idea that Claremont submit in a work-for-hire job and never actually used. Without execution, comparisons between the two are meaningless.

I’m very pleased to se Red Son as number One :-)

I loved Enemy Of The State because it was balls to the wall nonstop mayhem. Wolverine using frickin’ Sentinels to stomp mutants was just priceless. I enjoyed Kickass too for what it was -better than the movie at least- but a big part of that was me being a huge Romita Jr fan.
His Ultimate FF run with Land was pretty good too, particularly the first and last parts with the Zombie FF and Doom. I havent read much else that Millar’s done tho, mainly because the previews rarely intrigue me enough to buy them.

Does Civil War really count as a Millar story? It was made up of a bunch of editorial decisions made by Quesada and Co to push forward the Marvel’s agenda, that Millar then had to assemble into one coherent narrative, which he did only partially successfully. He accomplished what he was set up to do but a lot of it was an awful mess.

I know many hated it, particularly Spidey fans, but my favorite work that I’ve read of his is still his Marvel Knights: Spider-man run. I too am surprised it didn’t even rate a spot in this poll..

I think Mark Millar is extremely over-rated. Civil War was nothing short of embarrassing. It was over-hyped nonsense where the characters were portrayed however the writer wanted them to be. He clearly didn’t have the capability to write the story he proposed and now whenever a person reads Iron Man they have to read about a guy who got people killed and perhaps the same for Captain American. These aren’t heroes, they don’t even resemble their own characters in many cases. It has led to years of non-resolutions and message board messages of ‘why don’t they explain this’ or ‘that doesn’t make sense’. Now everyone is suppsosed to be happy again. People were promised big things, now they’re promised that there will never be proper explanations and ‘everythings fine’.

Still waiting for that Unmasking story.

What a disaster.

There is a large amount of Millar’s body of work that I have little interest in ever reading. Only a few appear on this list.
Red Son is probably my favorite Superman story of all times. I really enjoyed it.

i think it’s safe to say that mark millar is the nickelback of comic writing: widely loved by the idiotic masses for his banal and easily digestible hackwork, widely hated by the intelligent majority that values things like “artistry.”

How can it be a rip off of a story that was never written? Intentionally or not, Millar took an idea that Claremont submit in a work-for-hire job and never actually used. Without execution, comparisons between the two are meaningless.

_______________________________________

Because so several of the elements that CC talked about in detail in an interview published several years before “ENEMY OF THE STATE” was published, happened in EOTS.

Wolverine getting killed CHECK
Wolverine being resurrected by the Hand CHECK
Wolverine becoming a mind controlled agent of the Hand CHECK
Wolverine fighting the other MU heroes in his own book and theirs CHECK

It’s still a ripoff of another creator’s idea, regardless if CC submitted his idea for work for hire or not. This is SOP for an over rated writer like Millar. NEMESIS,CIVIL WAR,and KICK-ASS are all unoriginal ideas that Millar has falsely claimed to be his original ideas.

He is the best writer of this decade. All his stories are my favorite. Eons better than the pervert Grant Morrison which is high on concepts and low on story content. Morrison just sucks. Millar rocks.

Blade X:

Neither of those ideas are staggering in their creativity. I find it completely plausible that two people could come up with them independently.

Which is exactly what Millar said was the case, that it was a coincidence. And while obviously we really can’t explicitly prove it one way or the other, I tend to believe him, as it’s both realistic that he (nor his Editor Axel Alonso, nor pretty much everyone else on staff, as there were basically two holdovers from Marvel from the time Claremont was planning to do his story, and neither of them worked in the X-Offices) did not know about the unpublished story idea of Claremont’s and I don’t think it would be that big of a deal if he did base it on the unused idea of Claremont, so I don’t see him particularly gaining much by lying.

Yeah, and hadn’t Elektra’s arc pretty much established (in the eighties, no less) that the Hand, an admittedly evil organization, could bring people back from the dead? It seems weird to assume that applying that to Wolverine, a man with ties to the Hand and Marvel’s second or third most popular character, is a totally unique idea that no two people could have thought of independently.

Howard’s Turn:

Too bad the list didn’t include Millar’s brilliant run on Swamp Thing—co-written with Grant Morrison for issues 140-143, and then he wrote it solo from 144 to the final issue, 171 (this was the conclusion of the second Swamp Thing series, which, of course, featured Alan Moore’s legendary run). Millar’s amazing storyline concluded with Swampy taking command of all of Earth’s elements and deciding the human race should be exterminated for its sins against nature. If the actual ending was a little hokey, getting there was a wonderful, horrific journey.
THIS RUN SHOULD BE COLLECTED IN BOOK FORM!

I absolutely agree. There is some nut on the Bleeding Cool forums though who is convinced that Mark Millar’s Swamp Thing run was a DELIBERATE attempt to sabotage the title.

Jeff:

People have opinions about Mark Millar.

Ha!

third man:

i think it’s safe to say that mark millar is the nickelback of comic writing: widely loved by the idiotic masses for his banal and easily digestible hackwork, widely hated by the intelligent majority that values things like “artistry.”

When you’re trying to set your self up as being intellectually superior it helps to use capital letters.

Oh and my votes:

1 – Superman: Red Son (1)
2 – Ultimates (2 – Super Human, 4 – Homeland Security)
3 – The Authority – The Nativity (9)
4 – Ultimates II (3)
5 – Swamp Thing: Swamp Dog
6 – Ultimate X-Men: The Tomorrow People (13)
7 – Big Dave
8 – Swamp Thing: River Wild
9 – Wanted (8)
10 – The Chosen (10)

[...] CBR counts down The Greatest Mark Millar Stories Ever Told! [...]

The extreme Miller hate cracks me up.

I think it has more to do with the massive amounts of attention he has been receiving in the last few years moreso that the books he is putting out.
What I am saying is basically that people seem to turn against anything they feel gets to much Hype.

Overall I think the list is pretty solid. I have greatly enjoyed a majority of those books and feel that Miller actually introduced some great concepts.

In Ultimates, he just took what either already existed about a character (Pyms personality, Caps complete dislike for the modern world) Or things he felt should BE a part of the character like (Hawkeye being a black ops agent)

CIVIL WAR which was really just a blatently topical play on our recent political outlook did a good job of throwing things into disarray.

Kick Ass – I felt it played out what it would be like for some shlub to decide to play superhero.

His Wolverine stories overall fit the character very well.

1985 – To any haters, Sorry but this book is a love letter to comics fans. Who hasn’t ever imagined what it would be like to be able to enter the world that our favorite characters exist in or what would happen if they were in our world.

Chosen had a great twist ending that was in no way telegraphed.

I am pretty positive that if millar didn’t get the Hollywood attention that he is getting, that he would be looked upon better by many fans.

An example that works is AVATAR the film. It was superhyped. Built up like no film before it. Yes it delivered a solid (if unoriginal in basic structure) adventure with great Ideas and some emotionally gripping moments (the destruction of old tree) Yet because of the hype, people immediately went in with their little notebooks trying desperately to find anything they could term negative about it just to tear it down.
The best they could come up with were Ferngully comments and Cameron is a Tree hugger(which I never understood what was so bad about caring about the environment we live in)
All of the negatives did not have an affect on the film, because the vast majority of the people (not the vocal minority) found the film to be a great escape from reality and dumped tons of money into it.

The internet has made this worse between the instant information and instant feedback. Usually the most vocal responders are the most negative.

Just read this thread to see that.

So, in the end, I feel that Millar is one of the better and more consistent writers in comics. Not the best and not even close. But he is definitely one of the top ones.

Well “Red Son” was interesting to read. Tough something was off. Cant explain it further. It just wasnt clicking the way it could have…The rest of Millar i wont touch. All very much drivel.

Anyway, “All Star Superman” completely blows it out of the water.

I really don’t know how to put into words what I want to say about Civil War but, the sides Cap and Stark were on made sense. I could just never see either character saying the things they said the way they were written in Civil War. Something about ALL of the dialogue seemed off.

I enjoyed the Punisher parts though.

I think jjc has something there. Even in Millar stories that I do enjoy, I often find that the dialogue often seems extremely out of character in cases where the characters had been previously well established by other writers.

I have the same problem with Civil War. The characters were just shoehorned in to fit an agenda. There’s still a lot of fans who can’t stand Tony Stark or Reed Richards because of it. They should hate Millar, not the characters. ;-)

Which is exactly what Millar said was the case, that it was a coincidence. And while obviously we really can’t explicitly prove it one way or the other, I tend to believe him, as it’s both realistic that he (nor his Editor Axel Alonso, nor pretty much everyone else on staff, as there were basically two holdovers from Marvel from the time Claremont was planning to do his story, and neither of them worked in the X-Offices) did not know about the unpublished story idea of Claremont’s and I don’t think it would be that big of a deal if he did base it on the unused idea of Claremont, so I don’t see him particularly gaining much by lying.

________________________________________

Well considering the fact that Claremont has publicly talked about his “Dark Wolverine” story a couple of times in interviews several years before Millar’s “Enemy of the State” it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that Millar or Alonso (or some other Marvel staffer) read those interviews and got the idea for “Enemy of the State” from CC’s “Dark Wolverine” story. Which is NOT to say that this is indeed what happened. Like you said, we have no way of proving it either way.

Of course, we do know that Millar has been known to either stretch the truth or out right lie, in the past.

I’m glad “Red Son” was #1.

I enjoyed the Punisher parts though.

Those were the best bits in Civil War (much as I normally hate seeing Frank in spandex)

[...] Comics Should Be Good, um dos blogs do Comic Book Resources, relacionou as 15 melhores histórias de um dos maiores expoentes dos quadrinhos modernos: Mark Mill…. E ae? Concorda com a lista? Achei bem digna,e com uma “campeã” merecida. [...]

Swamp Thing and Aztek should have made it.

no f’ing nemesis???!!! Easily Millar’s best.

[...] fost luat în vizor de DC Comics cu care a început o colaborare . Millar a început s? lucreze la “The authority” creat? ini?ial de Warren Ellis.  Intervenind cu unele schimb?ri în scenariu, au crescut astfel [...]

Surely one of the most over-rated writers in comics. He hasn’t half the wit, style or imagination of those whose shadow he so clearly stands in. Jupiter’s Legacy is undoubtedly the most boring re-hash of superhero tropes yet committed to the market, and a waste of Quitely’s talent.

Oh, and the man is making a tidy living out of glorifying mindless violence (while, strangely, denying that he does so). Kick Ass? A comic for morons.

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