Writing the greatest comic book characters might be a dream come true, but even Marvel icon Stan Lee didn’t recommend staying forever. In fact, he advised Jupiter’s Legacy creator Mark Millar to remove his. Several comics and a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix later, theis here to challenge Marvel’s on-screen adventures.
Based on a comic book by Millar and artist Frank Quitely, Jupiter’s Legacy is an eight-part series airing on Netflix now. It features superheroes like Utopian, Lady Liberty, and Skyfox that offer a character-focused version of archetypal heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman.
Jupiter’s Legacy is coming to a crowded market. We have the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and TV series, the DCEU and Arrowverse, Venom, The Boys, Watchmen, Invincible, Project Powers and Thunder Force… the list of superpowered series and sequels goes on. Millar thought of this crowded market even when he designed the original comic. “I had just done the greatest Marvel books,” he recalls, “I had done Kick-Ass, and if I had to do another superhero story, it had to be the greatest superhero story. hero of all time. “
“I was aware that I was never going to own Marvel and DC stuff,” Millar told me on a Zoom call from his home in Scotland. From the early days of comics, where writers and artists weren’t even credited, until today, when their chapters spawn multibillion-dollar media franchises, “hiring” has always been. a thorny subject. Most recently, writer Ed Brubaker lamented that he saw no compensation for creating Marvel’s Winter Soldier, even after the character made headlines..
Millar worked on the Ultimates and Civil War comics, both of which explicitly laid the groundwork for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he feels he got something out of the deal. “After writing Marvel’s greatest books, I had an audience I could siphon off,” he notes – and the success of his own creations like Kick-Ass and Kingsman led to ain 2017.
It turns out that Millar’s work for Marvel and DC was good practice in creating the world of Jupiter’s Legacy. This vast superhero superhistory spanned from 1929 to the distant future, encompassing a large number of characters across multiple timelines. “I just thought I was going to treat everything I’ve done so far as a training exercise,” Millar says.
Millar was involved in the adaptation of Jupiter’s Legacy through the writing process and then, after filming, six months of editing. Lockdown filming restrictions would have blocked The Magic Order, Millar’s other show in development with Netflix, but Jupiter’s Legacy had largely finished filming in Toronto when the coronavirus hit, with the exception of the January reruns.
The pandemic meant Millar could be involved in the assembly from his home in Scotland without having to shave, dress or travel to Los Angeles. In fact, he was able to view the work in progress – moving the TV to the garden due to COVID restrictions – to gauge the reactions of family and friends. “The problem is, most of Glasgow saw it,” he laughs.
Originally, Millar was considering adapting the comic book series into a movie, but Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn pointed out that it was more suited to a 40-hour TV series. In fact, Season 1 follows two storylines: today’s superheroes and their 1929 origin story told in flashbacks. This origin story is presented very quickly in the first few pages of the comic, and when Millar crafted a movie version, he would have quickly sent that plot before the credits. But for the TV version, showrunner Steven DeKnight suggested expanding the backstory instead.
Millar compares the result to Steven Spielberg’s film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It’s a risky move and could alienate readers who know where the storyline is going, but Millar says he couldn’t be happier with the decision – and notes that Season 1 only uses elements from the first two issues. comic book. “We have a ton of things we could do if we do a season 2,” he says.
Despite the competition, Millar doesn’t think we’ll get bored of superheroes anytime soon.
“When times are tough, people turn to superheroes,” he says. “Superman was created by two Jewish children in the Depression as World War II was imminent, and then during the Cold War the Marvel Universe was all about radioactivity as atomic war loomed everywhere. … When you see terrifying information on the news. , you want to see Spider-man save everyone. ”
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