In this day and age of endless streaming content, it may seem as though new series on Netflix appear by magic. But when the incoming wave of comics-based shows arrive on the giant media service, it'll be because of what Mark Millar and his Millarworld team are doing behind the curtain.
And that journey begins in June with The Magic Order.
As the first Image-published Millarworld series since the imprint became a Netflix subsidiary, the comic also marks the first collaboration between Millar and the art team of Olivier Coipel and colorist Dave Stewart. To top it all off, The Magic Order's story of a hidden family of magicians keeping acient hellish threats at bay launches what the writer calls "Phase Two" of his own ever-expanding story universe.
CBR spoke with Millar ahead of The Magic Order's release, and aside from sharing an exclusive first preview, the writer opened up about how Netflix has changed his creative process, the ways in which both Shakespeare and modern fantasy franchises have influenced the new book's outlook and what Millarworld series from Chrononauts to Empress may make it to your TV first or whether they'll crossover in comics instead.
CBR: The word "magic" has a lot of possibilities, especially when it comes to comics. There's the wonky field of superhero magic stories like the Doctors Strange or Fate and also more full-on fantasy stuff. But I get the impression the roots of The Magic Order are in the kind of classic Houdini-style prestidigitation. What made that world an interesting story platform for you?
Mark Millar: I love jumping around genres. Civil War and Kick-Ass are superheroes. Kingsman is spies. Chrononauts is sci-fi. Reborn fantasy. This is my magic project. I hesitate to say horror because it’s not got that sudden fright or gore tropes in the comic or our eventual show. It’s more like for the kids who enjoyed something like Harry Potter or that kind of genre growing up now having something that appeals to their adult sensibilities.
Tonally, it’s actually closer to The Sopranos in that it’s about a patriarch in an underworld family and his concerns about his children. King Lear is the basic structure, if that doesn’t sound too pompous, but with magic wands. And it’s dirty. It opens with a shagging scene, so you immediately know this isn’t Hogwarts.