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Marvel’s “Civil War” Press Conference With Mark Millar

by  in Comic News Comment
Marvel’s “Civil War” Press Conference With Mark Millar
Cover To “Civil War” #2

Marvel Comics has just completed a “Civil War” conference call, to update the comic book press in regards to their big event this summer, and of course, CBR News is in attendance. Mark Millar, core writer of the core “Civil War” series discussed the series and answered questions, some which may be familiar to fans of CBR’s Civil War Forum. So while we treat you to some new images, and a full report, feel free to check out the forum and chat with your fellow fans about Marvel Comics’ next event, where you must answer one question: “Whose Side Are You On?”


For those not in the know, “Civil War” is Marvel Comics’ big summer event, which finds heroes clashing with other heroes, after a Superhero Registration Act is put into place. The event has already somewhat begun, with a few “Road To Civil War” tie in issues (as evidenced by CBR’s preview of “Amazing Spider-Man #531”, but writer Mark Millar will let the real explosions begin in this summer’s mini-series. Acclaimed writer Paul Jenkins is also writing a companion series, “Frontline,” which he recently discussed with CBR

  • “This is like a bad sex chat line,” laughed Millar as he began the discussion.
  • “It’s like the wild west” said Millar, of the tone of the series, and what it’ll be like with superheroes working for the government.
  • “Nobody is right and nobody is wrong”,” says Millar, regarding the fact that heroes will be conflicting with other, citing Iron Man and Captain America as representative of the ideological conflict. Iron Man genuinely believes in working with the government and Captain America believes in the altruism of simply fighting for what’s right. Neither will be completely right or wrong.
  • “I don’t think dark is a bad thing,” said Millar of “Civil War’s” tone and cited a desire to find a balance between darkness & light. “It’s very old school, I’m a fan of secret identities and the old school Marvel approach. Some people who looked at the scripts have been surprised by that.”
  • “Marvel has never been light,” added Millar, mentioning the drug addiction issues of Spider-Man and the alcoholism affecting Tony Stark. He also mentioned love of big superhero fights and how cool it is see to a walking nuclear weapon like Iron Man fighting a tough guy like Captain America.
  • There is no mastermind controlling heroes, revealed Marvel, hoping to quash Internet rumors. There is no one pulling strings or controlling their minds. This will be a legitimate philosophical debate between heroes.
  • “This kind of thing only comes along once every generation,” said Millar of “Civil War.” He said that it’d be hard to do another big crossover of this level, since this project will change Marvel in the same war “Secret War” did in the eighties and “Infinite Crisis” is changing DC right now.
  • “I can’t help but be affected by the world around me” said Millar when CBR News asked if this kind of book would resonate so strongly without the current political climate. The series is not meant to be a political statement, but is relevant to changes in the sociopolitical framework of the world.
  • Captain America was initially planned to be pro-government in the series, but Marvel said that as debate went on, it didn’t make sense for Captain America to support to Registration Program.

  • For those worried about the series being too political, Millar believes he has sidestepped the problem by making everyone sympathetic and providing everyone with legitimate stances. But if you liked Captain America before, you’ll still like him: he isn’t going to be too polarizing, at least politically.
  • When asked about how he writes so many characters, Millar quipped, “I write them all with a Scottish accent.” He mentioned working hard to get it right and nearly scrapping scripts if they didn’t work. “You have to take it seriously.” If he found a character too hard to write, he’s probably in the background, drinking coffee, and not interacting with the main characters.
  • Millar is “evolving” the secret identity and all Marvel staff, including John Dokes and Tom Brevoort, said that they love the secret identity. They all love that superhero convention and want to explore it in all its facets, but not destory it.
  • Millar was asked which characters were most like him and replied, “Cap is who I want to be, but Tony is who I am: a drunk and a letch.” Everyone erupted into laughter.
  • Millar mentioned that when Marvel first mentioned wanting to do a crossover, he and writer Brian Bendis groaned, but had the seeds of “Civil War” the next day. The initial idea was “SHIELD vs The Marvel Universe,” but it evolved into “Civil War.” Interestingly, the upcoming Millar/Bryan Hitch project was initially named “Civil War,” but will come out under another name. Apparently writer Jeph Loeb originated the phrase, “Whose side are you on?” and Millar’s wife is buying thirty copies Of “Civil War” #1-3 to sell on E-Bay. His Mother-In-Law is following suit. Seriously. Millar laughed while explaining whether or not he should be shocked or happy.

  • Of artist Steve McNiven, Millar laughed and said, “He’s great. Don’t let him being Canadian turn you off.” He and Steve had planned to do an Ultimate Captain America mini-series, but “Civil War” worked out to be more appropriate right now.
  • Wolverine will not have a huge role in the core “Civil War” series, though his titular series will feature connection to this huge event. “We thought it was a good idea to show how cool some of the other characters are,” said Millar. He loves Wolverine, but wants to show that there are other cool characters in the Marvel Universe. For example, Tigra may be your favorite character and if Millar writes her, he wants to make her look cool too, and not to a disservice to her fans.
  • “Cap is all about personal freedom. He smells of 1776” laughed Millar, who said he had a great time writing Captain America in the “main” Marvel Universe.
  • “I still don’t know who’s right,” said Millar of the series’ divisive dichotomy. He says the series won’t take sides: it’ll just present the different perspectives of the main characters and let readers decide who is “right.”
  • There won’t be a huge number of deaths in the series, as Millar wants the deaths to resonate with readers. He’ll show the families reacting, people talking about these deaths and the series being directly influenced by these tragedies.

“Civil War” #1 Cover Pencils Only Cover to #1 “Civil War” checklist


Now you can discuss this story in CBR’s Civil War Forum.

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