Last week, the prolific writer released a page of art on his Millarworld forums, along with a set of clues as to what the art was from: The page depicted "huge superheroes," two of which Millar said he had written previously in a past major series/special project, and the last time he worked with the artist was the "gift that keeps on giving."
Today, CBR has the exclusive first word that the series Millar fans have been mulling over for the past several days is an as-yet untitled, ten-issue "Jupiter's Legacy" prequel. Featuring covers and character designs by Quitely, the interiors are being illustrated by Wilfredo Torres. Described with the tagline "Even Your Parents Were Young Once," the story takes place in 1958, when the Utopian, Lady Liberty and their friends and foes were in their prime.
The series is scheduled to launch in early 2015, allowing Millar to continue to flesh out the world while Quitely takes some time off and gets ahead on the second volume of "Jupiter's Legacy." Millar is already working on the script for issue #5.
As for the specific answers to the hints that Millar provided with the initial art release, the writer provided the following answers:
1 & 2: These are huge superheroes, and I have written TWO of these characters before.
Mark Millar: Obviously, I was having a little fun here, picking a page that had a distinctly "Red Son" vibe and having two characters that looked a little familiar too in their retro '50s secret identities. However, these are The Utopian and Lady Liberty from "Jupiter's Legacy," the story set when they were young. The other superhero in the frame is the father of Hutch, Chloe's love interest in "Jupiter's Legacy." As we find out in the sister book, Hutch's father was a hero who went on to be the world's greatest supervillain, but this is back in the time when they were all still friends.
Are these huge characters given we're only on issue four of the series, waiting for Señor Quitely to finish the double-sized finale? Well, issue one was the number three book in the industry when we launched last year :)
3: It relates to a very major series (or is that special project?) I have written in my past.
Millar: Quite naughty, I know, but that book is of course "Jupiter's Legacy." :)
4: The last time I worked with this artist is the gift that keeps on giving.
Millar: That artist is Frank Quitely and he's going to be providing covers and all character designs for the prequel as well as drawing the companion book. The plan is to have the final issue of "Jupiter's Legacy" out before Christmas, launch this book in April and then when book one concludes, launch Volume 2 of "Jupiter's Legacy" itself. Wilfredo [Torres] was hand-picked by Frank and I from a list of brilliant suggestions by our friend Jenny Lee. We've been massive fans of his work for a while and so pleased to have him, especially as he's so fast too. So we'll probably have book two of this prequel series running around the same time as Volume 2 of "Jupiter's Legacy." The reason we're waiting until April to launch the prequel, even though the first issue is almost completely finished, is because all Millarworld series going forward will be completely drawn before the first issue comes out. It's an expensive thing to do, as our rates for each artist are higher than they get at Marvel or DC, but it's important to me that they hit a monthly schedule for every series.