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Old 07-03-2003, 07:34 AM   #1
MattBrady
 
YOUNGBLOOD-A-TROIS II: MARK MILLAR

by Benjamin Ong Pang Kean

click on the thumbnails for full pages

Youngblood: Bloodsport, 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.

Newsarama: Let’s go back to your reason for signing on to this particular project - did you grow up being a fan of Youngblood?

Mark Millar: 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.

Bloodsport 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.

NRAMA: How did you get approached for the series in the first place? From The Authority to Ultimate X-Men, Ultimates, Superman: Red Son to Arcade's Youngblood: Bloodsport, what is it about the latter that you want to add on to your resume?

MM: 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.

NRAMA: So who did you include in the storyline for Bloodsport?

MM: 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.

NRAMA: What is the team's mission in this limited series?

MM: 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.

NRAMA: 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?

MM: 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.

NRAMA: 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?

MM: 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.

NRAMA: Since you're already taking on Bloodsport, why not take a shot at Genesis yourself?

MM: Only so many hours in a day, my friend.

NRAMA: 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?

MM: 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.

NRAMA: 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?

MM: 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.

NRAMA: Given the choice to write whatever you desire, what would this comic work be? Superman with Bryan Hitch, perhaps?

MM: 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.

NRAMA: I just have to ask this question: The Authority vs. Ultimates: What would the outcome be like?

MM: You know, The Authority versus Ultimates 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.

NRAMA: Same last question for Rob, now addressed to you. Rob Liefeld, Mark Millar and Brandon Thomas: Who'd win an Eisner first?

MM: 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.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 08:08 AM   #2
Greg O
 
This Youngblood Africa art looks great!
Anyone (Rob, Jimmy?) know when Youngblood Africa or The Assembled might ship? Why no pages from Bloodsport accompanying a Bloodsport piece though?

GOD
 
Old 07-03-2003, 10:43 AM   #3
stlfan79
 
Newsarama is spoiling me! More Youngblood goodies in two days than I have had int the last 6 months.

Can't wait
 
Old 07-03-2003, 10:54 AM   #4
stlfan79
 
A Zombie Malcom X huh? Sounds pretty interesting to me.

What about the rumors last year about the gay felatio page is that still in here?
 
Old 07-03-2003, 10:55 AM   #5
TTROY
 
AGAIN PROVING HE HAD NO IDEA HOW TO WRITE THE CHARACTERSON AUTORITY... "while apollo eyes up THOR?"


please learn the characters you are writing for.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 11:59 AM   #6
IanZL
 
Mark Millar: 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.

-what a great quote.



Why do you say that TTROY, especially with a character that Millar helped create?
 
Old 07-03-2003, 12:08 PM   #7
Chris Hunter
 
Oh God, let there be The Ultimates vs. The Authority!!

Listen to me, Marvel!! You made JLA/Avengers happen, make this happen!!
 
Old 07-03-2003, 12:08 PM   #8
MadPiscus
 
Quote:
Originally posted by TTROY
AGAIN PROVING HE HAD NO IDEA HOW TO WRITE THE CHARACTERSON AUTORITY... "while apollo eyes up THOR?"


please learn the characters you are writing for.

What is this supposed to mean?

I mean, I suppose there's a gay reference in there but I read it as more "eyeing his opponent" than anything else.

Even if it was the more social version of "Eyeing up" I don't see what the problem is... straight men check out women even if they're married... even if the woman isn't usually their type sometimes. Why not Apollo? Ever heard of tongue-in-cheek moments, introducing a slightly more light moment into a serious scenario?

Chill.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 12:09 PM   #9
notmertz
 
AGAIN PROVING HE HAD NO IDEA HOW TO WRITE THE CHARACTERSON AUTORITY... "while apollo eyes up THOR?"


please learn the characters you are writing for.



Why wouldn't Apollo eye up Thor? Apollo might stick with his man Midnighter, but doesn't mean his eyes might go wandering. Plus, how do we know Ulimate Thor might not be down with that (or if not playing for that side, maybe he'd at least take it as a compliment)?

Not understanding what you are saying. Please tell us more.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 12:13 PM   #10
Graeme McMillan
 
IanZL - Warren Ellis created Apollo. Millar "helped create" him in the same way that, say, Joe Kelly "helped create" Superman...

Although TTroy's comments didn't make sense to me, either.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 01:23 PM   #11
jawaplumber
 
Re: YOUNGBLOOD-A-TROIS II: MARK MILLAR

Quote:
Originally posted by MattBrady
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. [/b]


I'm sorry, I love Mark Millar and everyone has a right to enjoy whatever they want, but...I don't need any help admitting how I feel about Rob Liefeld. I think he's a hack and has delusions of grandeur. The reason why Liefeld rose to prominance in the 90's is because his style was different and fresh from the majority of lackluster art that filled mainstream comics at the time, and he was fortunate to be displaying this style on an X-book when anything with an X or related was selling like hot cakes. If any of his contemporaries had been in his place (Larsen, Valentino, etc..), they would have soared to the higher level he reached, too, simply because they were just as new and unique. The reason why Liefeld fell from grace was not just because of his screwy behind-the-scenes antics. It was because the style that was fresh for all of 5 minutes was quickly expanded upon and evolved by far more talented artists. Liefeld pales in comparison to those who have taken "his" style and done greater things with it. It isn't like with Jack Kirby. He influenced many an artist in his wake, as well, but Jack was able to hold his own and continued to evolve himself for many, many years. Liefeld was out of date by the end of the first year of Image. Mark is right; fashion has dictated it cool to rank on Rob, but that doesn't mean it isn't warranted. Again, if somebody digs his work, that's fine. I like plenty of stuff people think I'm an idiot for enjoying. I just don't think this "underground" of Liefeld fans is as vast as Mark thinks it is.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 02:36 PM   #12
Beyerstein
 
It's easy to look at the past and say oh that sucked but not many comics that come out today are exciting in the way Liefeld era New Mutants/X-Force was while it was happening.

If anyone's a hack it's Millar
 
Old 07-03-2003, 03:20 PM   #13
Franklin Harris
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Beyerstein
If anyone's a hack it's Millar


I'm probably more critical than almost anyone of Millar, but even I wouldn't compare him unfavorably to Liefeld.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 04:20 PM   #14
musclebound
 
Thing is, I will buy the Youngblood stuff when it comes out. BUT, I won't "wait" for the next issue. I know better than to expect anything on a timely basis from Liefeld. I'll buy it, enjoy it, and IF another one comes out within 6 to 7 months, I'll buy it. That's how one should take Liefeld. You all know the past, don't expect anything more, and you won't be disappointed.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 04:46 PM   #15
TTROY
 
The way Millar wrote those characters.... the eyeing up is a rather childish way of putting it like he was going to do something sexuality with Thor...


Ellis handled the characters with tact ---Millar made than over the top characurures Ap[ollo's character before Millar never would let his eyes wander --- devoted the Midnighter in the fullest.

Knowing Millar he was talking a sexual inuendo and not a fighting stance....---again he really never shopuld have written that book..
 
Old 07-03-2003, 05:16 PM   #16
JackHoff
 
When was the last time Liefeld released ANYTHING? If past history repeats itself this book will never ship.Liefeld is a cycle of Solicite a book,Take out full page ads in Previews and then cancel or leave the book in limbo forever.Don't get too excited about it you'll NEVER see it.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 08:03 PM   #17
jawaplumber
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Beyerstein
It's easy to look at the past and say oh that sucked but not many comics that come out today are exciting in the way Liefeld era New Mutants/X-Force was while it was happening.

If anyone's a hack it's Millar


You are misinterpreting what I said. I said that, yes, what he did back on New Mutants/X-Force was fresh and different...for the sake of argument, we can say "exciting". My point is that Liefeld never grew as an artist past a certain point, was far surpassed by those who came in his wake, and NOW he's just a hack with delusions of grandeur.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 08:32 PM   #18
Derek Ruiz
 
Question

Quote:
Originally posted by jawaplumber
and NOW he's just a hack with delusions of grandeur.


Um Liefeld has continually said he is only doing the Youngblood Bloodsport comics for his own enjoyment. Where exactly did you get his delusion of grandeur. All I see is lots of people who hate just to hate. I'm not saying you jawaplumber i'm just saying lets judge him on what he does now not what he did before.


Derek
 
Old 07-03-2003, 09:08 PM   #19
QCCBob
 
Quote:
Originally posted by jawaplumber
My point is that Liefeld never grew as an artist past a certain point, was far surpassed by those who came in his wake, and NOW he's just a hack with delusions of grandeur.

Somebody check the temperature in Hell! That's the first statement you've ever made that I agree 100 percent with.

The funniest part of this whole debacle is that NO retailers fell for Liefeld's crap this time and the orders were so low that he has to peddle them himself at the shows or online. No one cares about Youngblood with or without Millar because no one is darn fool enough to believe Liefeld will deliver. Hopefully, he'll print a million copies, sell a couple hundred, stiff whatever idiot he found to bankroll him this time, and crawl back under the rock where he's been the last couple of years for good.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 09:25 PM   #20
Wolverine
 
Rob Liefeld is a Genius! I love his work! This will be Great!
 
Old 07-03-2003, 10:11 PM   #21
jawaplumber
 
Quote:
Originally posted by QCCBob
Somebody check the temperature in Hell! That's the first statement you've ever made that I agree 100 percent with.


Well, don't get used to it, Bob, I'm sure I'll say something tomorrow to get us back at each other's throats
 
Old 07-03-2003, 10:13 PM   #22
Chris Hunter
 
Quote:
Originally posted by QCCBob
Somebody check the temperature in Hell! That's the first statement you've ever made that I agree 100 percent with.

The funniest part of this whole debacle is that NO retailers fell for Liefeld's crap this time and the orders were so low that he has to peddle them himself at the shows or online. No one cares about Youngblood with or without Millar because no one is darn fool enough to believe Liefeld will deliver. Hopefully, he'll print a million copies, sell a couple hundred, stiff whatever idiot he found to bankroll him this time, and crawl back under the rock where he's been the last couple of years for good.


Such piss and vitriol, Bob. I thought that you might have let it die by now, but you're still going strong.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 10:17 PM   #23
jawaplumber
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Derek Ruiz
Um Liefeld has continually said he is only doing the Youngblood Bloodsport comics for his own enjoyment. Where exactly did you get his delusion of grandeur. All I see is lots of people who hate just to hate. I'm not saying you jawaplumber i'm just saying lets judge him on what he does now not what he did before.


Derek


You're right, he may not have said anything in this particular interview, but Liefeld has made plenty of statements in both recent history and years past to show just how out of touch he is with reality as it pertains to both his talent and the comics medium/industry. He didn't say anything here to make me think otherwise.

Anyways, if you dig Liefeld, that's cool. I hope Bloodsport reads well for you
 
Old 07-03-2003, 10:25 PM   #24
jawaplumber
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Hunter
Such piss and vitriol, Bob. I thought that you might have let it die by now, but you're still going strong.


I'll be the first to admit Bob is way too bitter towards comics. It clouds the majority of his judgment (IMHO) and makes it tough for most of us to take him seriously, but the truth is, he makes valid points in the case of retailers and fans' lack of faith in Liefeld. When someone drops the ball as many times as Liefeld has, how can anyone be expected to trust him? Maybe Liefeld will redeem himself with these new Youngblood comics, but it's tough to have faith after all the broken promises over the years.
 
Old 07-03-2003, 10:29 PM   #25
Chris Hunter
 
Quote:
Originally posted by jawaplumber
I'll be the first to admit Bob is way too bitter towards comics. It clouds the majority of his judgment (IMHO) and makes it tough for most of us to take him seriously, but the truth is, he makes valid points in the case of retailers and fans' lack of faith in Liefeld. When someone drops the ball as many times as Liefeld has, how can anyone be expected to trust him? Maybe Liefeld will redeem himself with these new Youngblood comics, but it's tough to have faith after all the broken promises over the years.


Oh, I can understand completely. I'm looking forward to the two series when they come out, personally. Just ribbing Bob is all.
 
 
   

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