Along with Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Millar has been one of the key writers for Marvel Comics in the 21st century. After proving himself in the '90s as a talent to watch while writing for DC Comics and the UK comic 2000AD, his arrival to Marvel came at a time when Ultimate Spider-Man had just shot up the sales charts. It was in this environment that Millar made his first major contribution to Marvel with Ultimate X-Men, as Millar integrated forty years' worth of X-Men history, characters and lore into a solid two-year run, making the companion title to Ultimate Spider-Man every bit the creative and commercial success. Next up was The Ultimates, a new rendering of the Avengers that was to continue building on the success of the Ultimate line. He and artist Bryan Hitch pulled it all off in spades: The Ultimates and its sequel, Ultimates 2, were ensconced at the top of the sales charts every month; what's more, they were critical successes, as well. Meanwhile, Millar was invited to enter the regular Marvel Universe to take a stab at two of its most iconic characters: Spider-Man and Wolverine. Paired with industry heavyweights to draw his stories -- Terry Dodson on Marvel Knights Spider-Man and John Romita Jr. on Wolverine -- Millar brought the same fast-paced and cleverly constructed plots with which his Ultimate fans were already familiar. Amid building a small library of Millarworld indie comic books -- including the titles Chosen and Wanted, the latter of which was turned into a Hollywood blockbuster starring Angelina Jolie -- he managed to write Civil War, the epic seven-issue miniseries that definitively reshaped the landscape of Marvel's heroes. Kick-A**, a Marvel Icon project done in tandem with John Romita Jr., made an impressive impact on the sales chart before also being adapted for a major motion picture. In addition, Millar has reunited with Civil War artist Steve McNiven in both the pages of Wolverine and their creator-owned book Nemesis.
Small Town America, 1985: Toby Goodman is a thirteen year old boy who weathers the storm of his parent's seperation, his mother's choice of new boyfriend and his father's indolence by immersing himself in the minituae of the Marvel comics universe. Fast becoming kind of kid who can tell you in which issue 'The Hulk' first encountered 'The Leader', Toby's humdrum existence takes a turn for the bizarre when he spots a creature that resembles 'Captain America's' arch-nemesis, 'The Red Skull', gazing out from an upper storey window of the local nexus of suburban folklore, the abandoned Wyncham house. Before long, more characters from the pages of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's fictional universe begin showing up in the flesh. Who or what is responsible? What is the connection with the Wyncham house's notorious past? and what can an isolated teenage boy really do when confronted with the likes of 'Modok', 'The Lizard' and 'Fin Fang Foom'?
Mark Millar and Tommy Lee Edward's "Marvel 1985" was a comic book that I wanted to like a lot because of the intriguing premise - but after reading it, I found myself strangely underwhelmed.
Drawing heavily from the concept of films like The Last Action Hero and playing fast and loose with the concept of fictional versus real violence should have been a lot more effective in the hands of a writer like Mark Millar. Sadly, in the case of this book, it wasn't. I couldn't engage with the characters as anything other than cyphers and cliches and whilst TLE's artwork was suitably lurid and vaguely reminiscent of the artwork of comics like ...Read more ›
Like Wanted or The Ultimates, Mark Millar's 1985 takes place at the meta-intersection of comic books and reality. However, whereas the previous two take place in the Marvel, comic book universe, 1985 takes place in our own.
Happily, Millar never gives in to the temptation to explain anything. There's a big portally thing (a glowing plothole, essentially) and a bunch of Marvel villains dive through it. Ostensibly there to 'take over', the villains immediately devote themselves to acts of senseless and horrifying destruction.
Our hero is a kid who, alongside his deadbeat dad, realize that there's something very wrong going on (First hint: Ultron blowing up the mall). Thanks to their geeky knowledge of the Marvel universe (plus some courage + purity of heart stuff), they save the day.
1985 probably isn't the best juxtaposition of comics and reality - but there aren't many better. By setting aside his need for 'big sweeping plot arcs' and world-building and focusing on the minutiae of life, Millar has written a solid piece of horror fiction. Not only does he use many of the genre tropes (little kid, estranged family, nobody who believes, creepy house in the woods), but he also successfully channels the fanboy wantonness of Wanted to create some fairly terrifying bad guys.
As Millar says in an interview with Comics Bulletin:
"In the Marvel Universe a guy like Stilt Man is a joke, but here in the real world he would be terrifying. He could take on an entire police precinct. Somebody like Sandman could take on the US Army. We all kind of forget how scary these guys could be in the real world. That's the origin of the series: the real world vs. the Marvel Universe.Read more ›
This book tells the story of a young boy who loves comics, especially Marvel comics, someday he findout that all the villians from the Marvel Universe is in this world, our world, and that is totally scary, cause like Mark Millar once said, sandman is regular villian in Spiderman universe, but in our world he can defeat an entire army, or Modok can kill hundreds of people in a minute, just force them to kill themselves. Mark Millar writing is awesome and always has this greats plots twits that leaves you in the edge of your seat, Tommy Lee Edwards' art is not my favorite cause he is not constant, but he traslate the terror in evey pain. This book is must have for Marvel and comics fans.
I bypassed this mini-series initially. Wish I hadn't--"1985" is Mark Millar's best Marvel work, surpassing "Civil War". Marvel lumped it in with Millar's somewhat lackluster "Wolverine" and "Fantastic Four" runs, although it stands on its own.
"1985" is a magical coming-of-age story that's also a love story to comic book readers. When Marvel villains begin invading "the real world", it's up to one boy to stop them. How cool is that?! Very cool.
Tommy Lee Edwards's artwork is perfectly suited to the script. I've never seen a fight between the Hulk and the Juggernaut look so REAL; when Galactus appears, you get a real sense of what it would be like to experience. This is an amazing, awe-inspiring work that will stand the test of time as one of the great graphic novels.