If there's one comic creator known for marrying high concepts with heavy promotion, it's Mark Millar. Over the past several years, the writer has found creator-owned success with his "Millarworld" line of comics, each expanding a bite-sized action premise into a A-list comics collaboration. And at this weekend's inaugural Kapow! Comic Con in London, Millar announced plans to add four more titles to a list of comics that already includes names like "Wanted," "Kick-Ass" and "Nemesis."
"There are four new Millarworld books I'm planning on writing over the next year. I've actually written some of them already, and others I'll be writing over the next few months," Millar told CBR in an exclusive first interview on his upcoming slate of books. "The first is a spinoff from 'Kick-Ass,' and it's called 'Hit-Girl.' It's going to be drawn by a guy named Leandro Fernandez. He's an amazing artist, and he kind of works in a style similar to Eduardo Risso. So this is Hit-Girl in her own ongoing book because I found that as I was writing the 'Kick-Ass' comic, Hit-Girl would almost take it over because she was so much fun to write. When I was writing 'Kick-Ass 2' I found myself just desperate to write Hit-Girl, but I had to force myself to give Kick-Ass as many scenes as possible because it was his book. So since I had so many ideas for Hit-Girl that I couldn't fit into one book, so I've just spun it off into a solo title. It made perfect sense. Everyone coming out of the movie or reading the comic just wanted more Hit-Girl, so you needed more stories of her. The first issue of that will be out in September from Icon."
And pint-sized assassin Mindy McCready won't be the only Millarworld title to hit this fall. "There's also a book called 'Supercrooks,'" the writer explained. "I've always loved supervillains, and I had an idea to do a trilogy of supervillain projects. The first one was 'Wanted,' which was all about a guy becoming a bad guy and then becoming a bad ass. The second was 'Nemesis,' which was my evil version of Batman. And I've always wanted to do a heist story with supervillains. So 'Supercrooks' is a thing I'm doing with Leinil Francis Yu at the end of the year.
"The idea behind it is that a bunch of supervillains get together and say, 'You know what, we keep getting beat by the superheroes. We always end up in prison. This is terrible no matter what we try to do. Let's go to a country where they don't have any superheroes, and then we can kick ass.' So they leave America and head over to Europe where there are no superheroes, and it's like 'Ocean's Eleven' meets the 'X-Men' where seven supervillains head to Europe to pull the biggest job of their career where there are no supervillains to stop them. So it's a fun heist story."
Millar also followed up on the expected news of his collaboration with artist Dave Gibbons. The comic is in progress and set to be released towards the end of the year, however plans for a full announcement of the title and premise have had to wait while some legal hurdles are cleared. "Dave and I have been working on a book together for a little while. It's funny because now that's the one project I'm a little unsure of talking about in advance. We have to get a trademark issue resolved before we can announce the title of the book, because we want to make sure we can call it what we want. We've got the first issue's cover and some interior art ready to show, but we can't do it until we know that we can call the book the title."
Also on the mystery front is an expansive new project with one of the writer's former collaborators. "Frank Quitely and I are doing a new project – a huge, 12-issue superhero epic for Image," Millar said. "We're not giving all the details yet because it's not coming out until around January [2012.] It's going to be a massive, massive series – probably the most ambitious thing I've ever tried. Frank Quitely's a guy who you don't always get to work with. He's not just an average artist, so it should be something special when you work with him, and it's been ten years since he and I worked together. So I wanted to give him something really, really good. I created this thing that was a huge superhero epic with a mythology as rich as 'Lord or The Rings' or 'Star Wars' but along the lines of 'Crisis On Infinite Earths.' It's a whole cast of 100 characters in a big epic together. It'll be like a Marvel or DC summer event but with new characters and with the gloves off. All the things you can't do in Marvel and DC books, we'll be able to do.
"This is our magnum opus, this big superhero book. We won't announce the title until San Diego."
Stay tuned to CBR News today and tomorrow for a full slate of announcements from Kapow! Comic Con 2011.