by Benjamin Ong Pang Kean
click on the thumbnails for full pages
, written by Mark Millar with art by creator Rob Liefeld, is set to thrill, excite, and perhaps upset and titillate comics readers in July. Finally.
Millar is one of today’s biggest names in the comics scene. Fame and success do not come by without controversies. If Rob Liefeld was the bad boy in the comics industry, Millar should have the honor of being the former’s sidekick and perhaps successor in spirit. Fresh from a successful run on Marvel’s Ultimate X-Men
and previously part of the creative team which rocked the face of the comics world with DC/Wildstorm’s The Authority
, Millar has a few high-profile (and as usual, controversial) titles set to hit the shelves on July: Trouble
, the continuation of Superman: Red Son
and of course, Bloodsport
In part one of the Youngblood
feature, Newsarama talked to series creator Rob Liefeld. In part two, Millar sat down with Newsarama for a chat to get a little more on Bloodsport
and a few other things on his mind.
: Let’s go back to your reason for signing on to this particular project - did you grow up being a fan of Youngblood
: No, I kind of missed Image. I was just reading other stuff at the time, being slightly snobby and British. I was aware of what was happening though and watched with some envy as these twenty-something dudes became overnight multi-millionaires to the point where they just didn't even need
to work past issue three or whatever. It was quite fascinating from outside the biz and all the praise and venom I detected from reading all the trade magazines at the time has been channeled into the story here.
is really a reaction to that particular period and a comment on both Image and the industry itself. That said, I did pick up the occasional issue for the art. I did the same with [Marc] Silvestri and Jim Lee too because it was just great superhero art. No, people don't look like this at all, but people don't look like Buzz Lightyear either and I still like him.
: How did you get approached for the series in the first place? From The Authority
to Ultimate X-Men
, Superman: Red Son
to Arcade's Youngblood: Bloodsport
, what is it about the latter that you want to add on to your resume?
: Rob had been reading my books and just called me up. It was really that simple. I've always appreciated what he does and I love the niche he's carved out for himself as the bad boy of comics. The name we keep batting back and forth is Travolta because people actually love Rob just like they loved Travolta. The trouble was it took Pulp Fiction
to allow them to admit it and I'm hoping Bloodsport
does the same thing. This guy sold more comics in the 90s than any other single creator so there must be something magic in there.
However, the faster the rise the harder the fall and so fashion dictated that the golden boy had to become the scapegoat. My feeling is that there are an awful lot of people out there who want to admit that they get off on this art. I could be completely wrong, but seeing Shaft
fighting Zombie Malcolm X
and drawn by Rob Liefeld really is quite something to behold.
: So who did you include in the storyline for Bloodsport
: Every character who appeared in the various incarnations of the team these past ten years appear in this comic. Their strengths are the same as people will remember. Their weaknesses are probably fame, sex and money.
: What is the team's mission in this limited series?
: I'm keeping that quiet until it appears. It's a surprise for the end of the first issue, but needless to say this is pretty much as low as super-people can possibly go.
: It’s probably fair to say that your and Rob’s storytelling styles are quite different in both content and approach. Why should fans of Liefeld's original Youngblood
check out your version of the team?
: Because it's the logical conclusion to something they loved. It's the last word on the Image-style hero. It's a hymn to the 90s as I bury them in the naughties.
: Going back a little, as Rob mentioned, you had a little to do with his signing Brandon Thomas to write Genesis
. What did you see in him that made you think he'd do well on the book?
: I think Brandon's got a brilliant, cool, kinetic style that brings the best elements of an action movie and combines them with a genuinely fresh perspective on comic-book characters. He's cool and funny and that's good enough for me.
: Since you're already taking on Bloodsport
, why not take a shot at Genesis
: Only so many hours in a day, my friend.
: Well, much have been said about Liefeld, but in your own personal experience, what makes working with Rob a milestone in your professional career as a comics creator?
: Rob's a superstar, plain and simple. I've been lucky enough to work with [Bryan] Hitch, [Adam and Andy] Kubert, [Frank] Quitely, [Terry and Rachel] Dodson, Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett, Chris Bachalo (plus three guys you'll find out about on 11th July) these last couple of years. All things considered, these are pretty much the biggest names in the industry and Rob is another great name for my little black book. Like you, I've heard all the stories. Most of them are probably true, but then most of the stories about everyone
are true. If you refused to work with someone because some people didn't like them, the entire industry would fall apart.
I only judge on my own experience and my experience with Rob has been fantastic. He's been endlessly accommodating, patient, friendly and delivered what I think is the work of his career. He knew I came into this treating it as a satire. This is a book aimed more at people who like Marshall Law
as opposed to Sandman
or whatever. I've played to his strengths and done my best to reinvent him for a whole new audience.
: The controversy that is Trouble
is coming out in July. Superman: Red Son
is selling out all over the planet. Ultimates
is already branded as the best comics-related movie in the funnybooks. Wanted
is still being worked on. What else is cooking in your mind?
: Keep your eyes peeled for a major announcement on the 11th July. This is the biggest thing that's ever happened to me and an announcement will be made on the 11th of July.
: Given the choice to write whatever you desire, what would this comic work be? Superman
with Bryan Hitch, perhaps?
: Right now, it's Ultimates
at Marvel. I love
writing that book and we have a brilliant relationship with Marvel. Working with DC at this stage would be like cheating on your beautiful wife with a skanky old crone.
: I just have to ask this question: The Authority vs. Ultimates
: What would the outcome be like?
: You know, The Authority
would be the 21st century version of the superhero team-up. I'd actually like to write that. I know, I'm pathetically easy to get excited about something but, if Marvel were handling the editing side and protecting me from all the madness, I'd love a shot at that. JLA/Authority
made no sense because you'd have to tone down everything Authority
was and that was ultimately why the project never happened. Ultimates
vs The Authority
actually has me quite excited. Imagine Cap versus The Midnighter while Apollo eyes up Thor. This could actually be really good.
: Same last question for Rob, now addressed to you. Rob Liefeld, Mark Millar and Brandon Thomas: Who'd win an Eisner first?
: Rob. I want to see him as the toast of the indie crowd. In my own perverse way, I'd actually find that very amusing indeed and so would he.
Thus ends part two. If you missed the first part with Rob Liefeld, click here
. Come back tomorrow to find out who Brandon Thomas is and why is he Millar’s sidekick.