Movie writer and sometimes-comic-author Mark Millar recently revealed his next project to be a comic entitled "Nemesis," where the concept is, "What if Batman was the Joker?" My complaints of Millar as comic book traitor aside, and although this is VERY early on in the whole process, this sounds laughable to me.
Aside from the comparisons between the concept behind "Nemesis" and Mark Waid's fantastic "Irredeemable" - which is already being published - the idea of doing a book where you simply make the hero into his or her biggest villain seems almost too...simple.
Sure, there are great dichotomies between heroes and villains, and a story of a hero turning villain can be considerably dramatic and engaging, but Millar isn't writing a comic where "Batman" becomes the "Joker;" he has taken the archetypes, and is going to write a comic for ICON, the Marvel imprint that allows you to cuss and show boobies.
What, exactly, is my problem with this idea? As I stated earlier, the simplicity. I don't doubt Millar's writing ability. When he bothers to complete a project it has at least a 50/50 shot of being good, although this is under the caveat of it being published on time. It took almost an entire year for the third issue of "War Heroes" to come out, immediately canceling out any good story Millar may have written (in my eyes at least).
Maybe this is in fact a bias I've developed after his comic "Kick Ass" was optioned for a film before the story within the comics was even more than 1/4 of the way finished. Hell, not only optioned, but MADE. There's viral marketing campaigns, clips, trailers, an entire advertising machine for the movie, and the comic book series is not even finished yet.
Perhaps the movie will get someone to pick up the comic, but I'd say it's just as likely to not. Anyone who watched "Wanted," then READ "Wanted" probably got a huge freaking surprise.
So I guess I'm still mad at Mark Millar for abandoning comics, in a sense, and for coming up with simplistic concepts that make it that much easier for me to yell "Sell Out!" at him.
It's a definite now, though: I will have to read the first issue of "Nemesis" when it comes out in order to find out if I'm right. Who knows, maybe he'll have written something I really like. If not, then I can write a whole bunch of other words about how right I was.