Friday, December 4, 2009

Millar's & McNiven's Nemesis Revealed

Comic Book Resources has the exclusive interview with Mark Millar and Steve McNiven regarding their next big project, Nemesis, which we speculated on several weeks back when the teaser images were released.  The project is set to be a creator owned title that asks the question of "What if Batman was the Joker?" and features a billionaire super villain with unlimited resources doing as he pleases with his city and challenging the best cops in the world to stop him in a role reversal of the Joker/Batman dynamic.  There's even a Commissioner Gordan analogue.  I've included a brief quote from the CBR interview describing the title after the jump with my own thoughts on it, but be sure to check out the CBR link for the full details and interview.

Nemesis is the world's smartest man, and the bad news for us is that he's the world's only super-villain. That means he's got freeze guns and jump-jets and all these James Bond gadgets and he's using them against us. To entertain himself, he picks a different cop every year and makes his life a misery. The book opens with him fucking over Japan's top cop, and then our story, the mini-series, takes place as he shifts his attention to Washington and his first American attacks. The visuals we've released here are just single panels from the Japanese segment. It's the best stuff I've ever seen Steve do. - Mark Millar describing Nemesis

Sounds like a pretty simple concept and, aside from the odd Elseworlds or Earth-2 depiction of an evil Batman, I can't really recall anyone going the evil Batman route with a comic before.  I like it so far and it's definitely a "Mark Millar story", which is to say that it'll be filled with a lot of cool moments and ideas in a sort of comic book version of a summer popcorn flick.

One thing that concerns me with a project like this, aside from the obvious delays seeing as Kick-Ass still has yet to conclude, is that it runs the risk of simply being 'Knock Off Evil Batman' and never really establishes itself as a story in its own right.  Even the main character looks like Batman with the ears on his cowl cut off, which I guess is the point.

Comparing it to how the Authority are simply JLA substitues, while that is true for the Authority, they also established the characters as unique individuals outside of their obvious analogue positions.  You can describe it as a "JLA meets real world" type story and people get it, but Midnighter isn't Batman either, despite his being the Batman stand in.

We don't know enough about to judge Nemesis just yet, so this will hopefully not be a problem when the book launches, but I'm interested in it and it should be entertaining at the very least.  What do you think?  Must buy?  Trade wait after the delays for other projects from Millar and McNiven?  Don't care?  Sound off in the comments below.

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Matt Ampersand said...

This sounds really interesting. I know it's not going to be Shakespeare, but I would bet my house (note: I don't own a house) that is going to be entertaining and look really good.

Also, Millar assured people that this book would be 2.99, which is great.

Anonymous said...

I will buy anything McNiven illustrates.

Lucho said...

I will buy it, but it´s not an original idea,

Nemesis looks a lot like Fantomas.

Flip The Page said...

Looks like if Guardian from Alpha Flight dressed in white but still that's not the point this sounds interesting and I'll probably buy the inevitable oversized HC

Ryan K Lindsay said...

Meh, Millar is the greatest fanfic writer and he only sets up any story so he can hit a few moments of "wouldn't it be cool if?" Millar is the M. Night Shyamalan of the comic world, he's got good concepts, sure, but he rarely exactly delivers what you think it should be. Old Man Logan being my ultimate bug-bear for him. A cross country trip across destroyed America as an excuse to see 'cool' moments of fallen Loki or Thor's hammer as a tourist trap (cos no one would ever be able to move it) and other such tripe. Sure, it's entertaining, but it's also what's wrong with comics. We need real ideas, like we get from BKV, not just cool moments of wow that have nothing to dow ith the actual arc of the story, hence Old Man Logan had no real reason, in the story, to go cross country and just ended up back where he started when he never really needed to leave in the first place
*Be warned, I haven't actually read Old Man Logan, just skimmed from websites, and that was more than enough.
So, what does this mean for Nemesis? Yeah, Millar is able to do 'simple ideas' and make some cool moments, but he'll never give me great character work and that's what I'm after. Others may enjoy it, and this idea seems to have some merit, but I know it'll just be a set up for Millar to go "Oh, cool, this BatJoker can mess with one cop by doing this! Yeah, then he'll do this, oh man, this will be so cool...?!?!"
Just not for me.

Steve said...

I don't need all my comics to be thought-provoking or cerebral. "Holy Shit!" moments are fine, as long as they're laced together with a plot that demonstrates at least a working understanding of basic storytelling. Millar's got that, so this should be at least a fun read.

What I find more exciting about all this news is that Marvel is finally putting something out using the Icon imprint, which is criminally (see what I did there?) underused. Marvel has got some crazy talented working for them nowadays, and I'd kill to see what sort of books we'd get if more of them were able to use Icon to put out some creator-owned properties. I definitely understand Marvel wanting to save their top-selling talent (especially the artists) for Marvel books, but as a fan I'd love to see Icon get more love. Hopefully this thing will sell six million copies and somehow get more Icon books off the ground.

PMMJ said...

Hmmm. Well, fingers crossed it turns out as good as it sounds. Of course, if it *is* any good, Nemesis will eventually show up in mainstream 616, much like the Sentry and Marvel Boy. Here's hoping they can resist the temptation, though.

Kirk Warren said...

@Steve - Icon is mostly an imprint to keep high profile talent happy; not for a diversified line of creator owned books like Vertigo. Marvel only created it for Bendis to move POwers to and later added Brubaker's stuff.

@PMMJ - It's creator owned, so unlikely it will ever be in the main Marvel line, similar to how Criminal and Powers are creator owned and not their yet.

brandon said...

My reservation is the long delays. Kick-Ass will hit two years old soon and it's only shipped seven issues.

He claims the comic comes first and that the movie pitch wouldn't factor in which is easy to say until they come knocking on the door. Then those delays will hit....

Andrenn said...

Honestly I've never been a big fan of Millar or McNiven. I think they both are a tad overrated. Still like some of their work and McNiven is a good artist no doubt but I've seen better and I don't see why they are seen as 2 of the biggest names in comics.

Old Man Logan was the first Millar story I honestly loved. I've liked some stories here and there but this was the first story that blew me away and i loved it.

So now that they are working together again, this time on a creator owned comic, I'll probably at least pick this up and check it out. Sounds cool.

nature_boyHH said...

Nemesis will not be worth your time and money.

Millar thrives in pure hype and shameless self-promotion. He invents concepts, but he does not deserve to be considered a top-tier writer.

What do I have against him?

a. Wanted wasn't even a good comic, and the movie was worst. But he's citing Wanted as if its a modern work of genius.
b. It was through hype that he got me buying the first overly decompressed issues of Old Man Logan. I sold my issues to some poor sap who thought OML was going to be an important Wolverine story.
c. I also bought into the Kick-Ass hype, but it didnt take long for Millar to lose sight of the concept and resort to shock value to progress the "story".

McNiven's work is amazing, and I hope he finds a better writer to work with.

nature_boyHH said...

BTW, Millar seems to be glossing over his other high concept work 1985, which started out well until the middle part when it felt like just another comic book. Millar is all concept but no execution, and I'm glad I was smart enough to stay away after Old Man Logan.

if you want to see how Millar dims in comparison to top-tier writers, compare his run on FF with Hickman's current run. No one would think Hickman is revitalizing FF if Millar didn't drain life away from it in the first place.

Trust me, Nemesis will probably hit some high notes in issues 1 or 2, but will dwindle into just another Millar drivel in the end.

Daryll B. said...

HA! Greaaaat Neewwwwsss (taste my sarcasm) I'll wait 4 years for when it is finally completed in a discounted trade from Amazon.

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