The Splash Page: Mark Millar Saves Fecund Fox Follies

News came down yesterday that Fox finally did something smart with their moribund Marvel properties. Y’see, the reason we’re not seeing Galactus, the Fantastic Four, or the X-Men in the current Marvel movie-verse is that Fox owns all of them. And currently they’re doing a craptastic job. Both Fantastic Four movies were nigh unwatchable (literally, I couldn’t bring myself to view any of the second). And the third X-Men movie (which was the last movie in that continuity…no one’s yet sure where “First Class” falls) – to say it was a mistreatment of the greatest X-Men story ever would be underselling it. It was a horror show. Now, the aforementioned “First Class” might redeem the X-Men property (and the fact that Patrick Stewart is going to reprise his role in the sequel, “Days of Future Past” has me giddy); but it’s far too late for the Fantastic Four. So then why did Fox turn down Marvel’s offer a few months back, they’d get to keep their licenses for Daredevil and FF, all they had to do was let Marvel have Galactus back. Seemed like a no-brainer; unless Fox had a plan after all.

Enter Millar.

If modern comics had a gonzo writer, Millar would be it. He’s enormously successful; mostly because he’s not afraid to let his characters get drunk with power. Hell, they don’t just get drunk on power, they get wasted on it, then puke it on to a little boy playing on the playground, then they laugh at him, then they pass out in their own sick. Edgy is what his superhero depictions pass on the way to the “Full Asshole” treatment where most of them end up. And despite the fact that sounds like the worse thing ever; it’s refreshing. In Millar’s hands, Captain America flips his middle finger at the apple-pie nostalgia over his generation; Reed Richards is the smartest nerd in the room and he’ll fuck your sister in the next room while the rest of him is over here solving the problem of nth-level dimensions just to prove it; Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver finally realize that their relationship is more than just special…it’s special. These are heroes abusing their power and behaving badly; because the stress of the changes they’ve undergone and the things they’ve had to do for the “greater good” push them to their breaking points on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Millar does superheroic realism better than most and it’s something that Fox needs if it’s going to make a break from its script-by-committee superhero movies of the past 10 years.

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