Kerpow! Comic book writer Mark Millar’s greatest hits

Comic book writer and filmmaker Mark Millar with his honorary degree. Picture: PA
Comic book writer and filmmaker Mark Millar with his honorary degree. Picture: PA
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AS comic book writer Mark Millar is awarded an honorary degree from Glasgow Caledonian University, we look back at some of the Coatbridge native’s finest works, some of which have been adapted into hit films


One of two film adaptations of Mark Millar’s work, the comic book was released back in 2008 and tells the story of teenager Dave Lizewski, who becomes a viral phenomenon on the internet after rescuing a man from a beating, the video of which is then uploaded onto Youtube. Lizewski, as Kick-Ass, then meets fellow vigilantes Hit-Girl and Big Daddy. The film adaptation received a similar level of critical acclaim to that of the original comic book.


Another one of Millar’s creations that was adapted into a film, starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie, Wanted tells the story of a world where supervillains rule the world under a veil, having erased the world’s memory of superheroes and supervillains altogether. The story is told through the eyes of office drone Wesley Gibson, whose dreary life is transformed upon meeting a secretive supervillain faction called the Fraternity, who train him to hone his killer instinct.


Putting many of Marvel’s most recognisable faces into a single canon was always going to be a risky move, yet Millar carried this one off with his customary panache. Moreover, it was massively successful, ending up as one of the biggest-selling comic books of the past decade. Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, X-Men and the New Avengers are flung into all-out war between superheroes and the public when Americans demand superheroes be regulated by the state after a confrontation between the FBI and a group of rogue superheroes ends with an explosion near a school, killing 900.


Mark Millar realigned the traditional narrative of Superman as all-American hero and made him a Communist: instead of crash-landing in Kansas, Superman finds himself raised in the Ukraine, and grows up to become a socialist under Joseph Stalin’s rule. Set at the height of the Cold War across several decades, Superman: Red Son is widely agreed to be one of Millar’s finest works.