Early this morning the surprising news that Netflix had made its first ever acquisition by purchasing Millarword broke.
The funny thing is that…nowhere in the announcement did it really say what that meant. In the PR statement it was announced
But Netflix and Millar will bring Millarworld’s franchises to life through films, series and kids’ shows available exclusively to Netflix members globally. Millarworld will also continue to create and publish new stories and character franchises under the Netflix label.
And Millar wrote:
Netflix is the future and we couldn’t be more thrilled to sell the business to them and buckle up for all the amazing movies and television shows we plan to do together.
A nice sentiment but what about the COMICS, Mark?
So what’s next? Well, we’ve been in these talks for many months and a lot of planning has been going on. We’re flying to LA to strategise the next steps and you’ll be hearing about each fascinating turn when I’m allowed to share it. Jupiter’s Legacy and Reborn both concluded in the last few weeks and I’m going undercover between now and Spring as I stockpile all the new projects we’re putting together, but you’ll hear about them very soon.
Keep an eye on our website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages for details as they happen where Millarworld editor Rachael Fulton will be giving you daily updates.
So our basic question: who will publish the Millarworld books going forward and what happens to the backlist? Wanted was from Top Cow. Kick-Ass, Nemesis and Kingsman were published by Marvel Comics under the now mostly defunct Icon line. So it’s a pretty big hodgepodge of publishing deals.
However, a new Kingsman books was announced for fall, to tie in with the movie, Kingsman: The Red Diamond , complete with a Taron Egerton-inspired cover, but it turns out to be by Rob Williams and Simon Fraser. Co-creator Dave Gibbons did a variant cover, though.
AND, a “collector’s edition” of the original Kingsman: The Secret Service GN is coming out from Image in September, marking its move from Marvel to Image. But, as Millar noted, both Kick-Ass and Kingsman are tied up at other studios, so they aren’t part of the Netflix deal.
We reached out to Image regarding upcoming plans and both Image Central and Millarworld gave us a “no comment.”
Which suggests to me that publishing wasn’t really a big part of this deal, or else hasn’t been decided. Image puts out several boutique lines, and could, in theory continue to distribute the Millarworld books.
Or Netflix could get into the publishing biz. Which…I’m sure they think they can do everything, but I’ve seen comics boutiques at giant studios generally flounder about or change directions many times. Legendary is still around, but I’d hardly call it a major imprint at this part.
Most likely: the line will become an imprint at some other mainstream publishing house. Millar will never get as good a deal as he did with Image, but given all the money he’s doubtless rolling in now, I’m sure he’s okay with that.
At the very least, Netflix probably has an opening for a comic book liaison now, so you might want to get your resumes ready for that.
On last year’s Bookscan numbers, these are the top 20 Millarworlsd books. This is from an expanded list I have access to. Only the first four titles made the 750 top titles list, which cut off at about 4000 copies sold. Basically, even allowing for all the Marvel stuff, Millar has a big backlist that would make a tidy imprint for someone.
|CIVIL WAR: A MARVEL COMICS EVE||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS GROUP||4/1/07||39,446|
|OLD MAN LOGAN||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS GROUP||9/1/10||13,994|
|SUPERMAN: RED SON (NEW EDITION||MILLAR MARK||DC COMICS||4/1/14||8,936|
|CIVIL WAR||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS||4/1/16||6,216|
|THE FLASH||MILLAR MARK||DC COMICS||4/1/16||xxxx|
|CIVIL WAR||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS||4/1/16||xxxx|
|HUCK||MILLAR MARK||IMAGE COMICS||7/1/16||xxxx|
|JUPITER’S LEGACY, VOLUME 1||MILLAR MARK||IMAGE COMICS||4/1/15||xxxx|
|CHRONONAUTS||MILLAR MARK||IMAGE COMICS||9/1/15||xxxx|
|MARVEL ZOMBIES, VOLUME 1: THE||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS GROUP||11/1/13||xxxx|
|JUPITER’S CIRCLE, VOLUME 1||MILLAR MARK||IMAGE COMICS||10/1/15||xxxx|
|KICK-ASS||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS GROUP||7/1/11||xxxx|
|JUPITER’S CIRCLE, VOLUME 2||MILLAR MARK||IMAGE COMICS||7/1/16||xxx|
|KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS||1/1/15||xxxx|
|KICK-ASS 3||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS||9/1/14||xxxx|
|KICK-ASS, VOLUME 1||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS GROUP||5/1/13||xxxx|
|WANTED||MILLAR MARK||IMAGE COMICS||11/1/07||xxxx|
|KICK-ASS 2||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS GROUP||4/1/13||xxxx|
|ENEMY OF THE STATE ULTIMATE CO||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS GROUP||6/1/08||xxxx|
|MILLAR & MCNIVEN’S NEMESIS||MILLAR MARK||MARVEL COMICS||9/1/12||xxxx|
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.