Sequential Wednesdays #19 – A Letter To Mark Millar


This is a letter to Mark Millar (Superman: Red SonKick-AssWolverine: Old Man LoganWanted)

Dear Mark (may I call you Mark?),

I would like to thank you for your contributions to the comic world – you’ve made some interesting, redefining, and important works over the years.  I will always love your examination on the Superman tale in Superman: Red Son where the last child of the long-lost planet landed in Communist Ukraine instead of Kansas, I was floored by your post-apocalyptic take on Logan’s life after the X-Men were demolished and the United States was divided into supervillian-run territories in Wolverine: Old Man Logan, and I have been enjoying your deeply pained examination of the lives of generationally-separated superheroes in Jupiter’s Legacy.  And Mark, just look around, you’re setting up some crazy-ambitious projects for yourself – the multi-series Image superhero universe you’re about to helm was exciting when announced, though a tad overzealous, one could say.  You’ve carved a nice corner of the comics industry out for yourself there, buddy.

But you have to step back for a second and widen your gaze.  Ever get tired of those double-page spreads of sexualized and abused women?  Ever get bored of covers featuring the sad, downtrodden looks of the parodic characters you drag down into the muddy dredges of “humanity”?  Do you sometimes look down at the pen in your writing hand (I assume you write most of your works by hand) and consider the lives you’ve destroyed through your narrative machinations?  I hope so.  Not that I think you should feel bad for what you’ve written, that’s not for me to decide.  That responsibility is for you to determine alone; but I want you to consider the audience.

“Who?” you ask?  The people who read comics and specifically, the people who read your comics, Mark.  You know – men, women, children, whomever else in-between: fans.

I’m not saying you should be censoring yourself, but try asking yourself some different questions when writing, it could do you some good.  I don’t think we’ve run out of deconstructionist material and there’s always interesting ways to spin the magnificent hyper-fast mythology of superheroes and their archetypes; but having them rape, murder, tyrannize, and terrorize their way through faux Gothams and Metropolises is getting old.  Old and disinteresting.

As it stands now: I love a small portion of your work, like some, and don’t read the rest.  Why?  Because if someone asks me what I’m reading and why, I’d rather tell them how cool the story is than how aggressive and edgy the male protagonist is; because, and let’s be honest here: that’s what most people think comics are exclusively about and that’s just not true.

There are thousands of titles available that are not just about big muscle-bound men flying around saving impossibly thin-waisted damsels falling out of windows, being thrown off of flying scooters, getting shoved off of bridges, and so on.  There are stories about women who fight crime wearing a cape or a mask (or even both) to help people in need, there are stories about desperate families trying their damnedest through thick and thin just to catch a breath to raise their newborn, stories about terrified boys fighting monsters on an alien world, about fantastical, radiant, and wholly human things.  Sure: some of them are violent, shocking, and bleak – but there’s an art to it.  An art you’ve abandoned.  I know you had it once: there was a finesse to the slow rise to Kal-El’s corrupt global grip in Superman: Red Son and a remarkable beauty in his realization in his wrongs, and now it’s all but a glimmer in your body of single-minded work.

Mark, what I’m getting at is you’re an influential creator in the industry and no matter how damning some of your statements are: people still listen to you and buy your books.  So, please take a responsibility for the impact your titles have on the rest of the industry and leave the rape in the past, when comics were dark and without hope.  Until you do – I think I will be leaving your new releases on the shelves.

There’s a good future for comics ahead of us – and you’re holding us all back.

Until forever,




My pulls for 8/14 are:


(top image contains cover art of Batman #23, Infinity #1, True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys #3, and Saga #13)
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  1. I haven’t been paying attention to who writes the comics I’ve read. There does seem to be a pretty wide consensus that Saga is good. Should I start at the beginning? ^,^

    1. Saga is the bomb, one day I’ll make a gigantic post about it. The first two trades are out (25 bucks in total!) and are stellar. Issue 13 dropped yesterday and I enjoyed the change of pace. What other comics do you read?

  2. Glad you agree Morgana, I felt like this was the best approach to address my concerns with him.

    And yes, I am totally buying 3 copies of Saga. I usually buy two (one burner, one bag), but…I’m excited.

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