Mark Millar Weighs in on The Avengers and How It Borrowed from The Ultimates
Posted 05.06.12 by BrentJS
If you've already seen The Avengers — And who hasn't, really? Marvel's super-team movie had the biggest opening weekend ever, smashing the record previously held by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 by more than $30 million — than you're likely singing the praises of writer-director Joss Whedon, whose masterful use of humor and character development struck a perfect balance with the action-heavy plot. However, what many of you might not know is that The Avengers owes quite a bit to comic book writer Mark Millar, who, in addition to creating the comic books that inspired Wanted and Kick-Ass, created (with artist Bryan Hitch) The Ultimates, Marvel Comics' "reimagining" of The Avengers that helped launch the Ultimate Marvel imprint and served as a "template" for the movie.
Is the comic book creator miffed that he doesn't receive much credit for the phenomenal success of The Avengers? Not at all. In fact, in a recent interview with The Scottish Sun, Millar said that he had been adequately compensated by Marvel for his work and that it was "enormously flattering" to see elements of The Ultimates in the movie. He elaborated further on his contributions to the movie and on the movie itself in a forum post on his personal blog, reminding his loyal fans that he didn't create The Avengers, he merely gave them "a lick of paint," and said that Marvel is "quite within their rights to use anything" he was paid to write.
JUST BACK FROM THE AVENGERS MOVIE...
...and it is 5 star awesome. As in my favourite superhero movie since Christopher Reeve got the ball rolling for me in 1978 [with Superman]. I could not have loved it more and am going back this week. My whole gang loved it too.
It's funny the number of people who have contacted me in the last two weeks asking how Hitchy and I feel about the stuff from Ultimates in the movie, but as I've said all along — Anything they've used is just FLATTERING. We didn't CREATE these characters. We just gave them a lick of paint and it was work for hire. Our job going in was to update the Avengers idea for a mainstream audience and we were paid well for it at the time. In the words of [Savage Dragon creator] Erik Larsen, decorators who come in and paint your house or rip out a staircase and re-roof the place do not expect to own the house after they've been paid. That is exactly the philosophy of Hitchy and I throughout and we just enjoyed this flick as fanboys, happy for Marvel this has worked out well for them and our total congratulations. Our only regret was that neither of us could make it out for the set-visits they booked for us last year as a little thank you.
The movie has also put a book we did a decade ago back in the charts. So it's win-win. Absolutely none of my Millarworld books from Wanted to Supercrooks would have happened were it not for the audience The Ultimates gave me. Absolutely one of the highlights of my career and something Hitchy and I look back on with much fondness. They're quite within their rights to use anything from the second book [of The Ultimates] in the sequel or even Civil War for the third movie. It's not like we weren't paid at the time for our stories.
But my short review of the movie is 5 stars. Like you weren't going to see it already :)
The Avengers stars Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Clark Gregg as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson, Cobie Smulders S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill, Samuel L. Jackson as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig and Academy Award-winner Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts.
Next Showing: The Avengers
is in theaters now