When it comes to his creator-owned books, Mark Millar has trouble slowing down.
Since turning fully onto his own projects in recent years, the writer of "Kick-Ass" and "The Secret Service" has been releasing new series such as "Jupiter's Legacy" at a regular clip, and now the Millarworld label of creator-owned series is ramping up for a new phase as Millar and artist Duncan Fegredo prepare "MPH" for launch.
Announced last summer at Image Expo, "MPH" will be the first of a new universe of superhero stories written by Millar. The writer revealed today to The Hollywood Reporter that the book will be set in Detroit and focus on super speedster teenagers powered by an illegal street drug. "What comes next is kind of 'The Fast and the Furious' without cars and a completely new way of doing super-speed in comics," Millar told the trade. "I've actually been trying to nail a super-speed project for a number of years and finally pulled it off with this one…And setting a high-speed story in the place where they used to build America's best cars seems especially poignant."
"The idea behind MPH is the beginnings of an entire Millarworld Universe," Millar told CBR News. "Marvel kicked things off in the sixties with 'Fantastic Four,' and we want this book to be as significant for the Millarworld line. This is the first of many books planned over the next five years or so with the biggest artists in the comic-book business and it's a superhero book set right here, right now in the real world. It's not Marvel or the DC Universe or any of the worlds we know and love from cinema these days. This is about what happens when four nineteen-year-olds from Detroit get their hands on a derivative street-drug that allows them to move at the speed of light for seven days. There's no costumes or code-names or any of the things we've been conditioned to understand from superheroes.
"The idea is a fresh approach to the concept and the notion of these essentially very powerless individuals in America's most forgotten city suddenly getting a bite at the cherry," Millar continued. "Over half the street-lights in Detroit don't work. Police stations and hospitals have been closed and politicians are talking about using chunks of the financial district as FARM-LAND to make money. So as a concept, these kids from this neck of the woods suddenly having super-powers seemed tremendously exciting to Duncan and I. The concept of speed as a power is also incredibly simple and universally understood, but we have a take on this that makes it so completely unlike anything people have ever seen before. I like the idea of a seismic in the way superheroes are done and this is the beginning of a big plan I have for the next big period in my career as I build, I guess, the Twenty-First Century version of the Marvel Universe. 'Kick-Ass 3' wraps in February and, as you know, is set here in this world where nobody has super-powers, and that final issue of 'Kick-Ass' is going to provide the launchpad into 'MPH' and all the other books I've got planned. It's an ambitious undertaking, but I'm very excited about it and already have the first four or five books mapped out over the next two years. I've been working on little else over the last twelve months and doing twelve hour days getting all this together. I really can't wait to see what people make of it!"