KICK-ASS Creator Mark Millar Details His Possible Plans For A Public Domain "SUPERMAN" Comic In 2033

KICK-ASS Creator Mark Millar Details His Possible Plans For A Public Domain "SUPERMAN" Comic In 2033 KICK-ASS Creator Mark Millar Details His Possible Plans For A Public Domain "SUPERMAN" Comic In 2033

Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar suggests he's scrapped plans to return to DC Comics for a new Superman story and will instead wait for the Man of Tomorrow to enter the public domain a decade from now...

By JoshWilding - Apr 14, 2024 02:04 PM EST
Filed Under: DC Comics
Source: Bleeding Cool

Mark Millar is known for making some pretty bold claims on social media, but this might be his most audacious to date. 

As Bleeding Cool first reported, it was back in 2022 that the Kick-Ass and Nemesis creator revealed plans to one day return to DC Comics for a new Superman story. It's been a long time since Millar wrote for the big two comic book publishers, so a mainstream return like that would be a huge deal. 

Nothing appears to have happened since, though the Civil War scribe has found himself a very busy man thanks to a lucrative "Millarworld" partnership with Netflix (which, so far, has only led to the short-lived Jupiter's Legacy and the animated Super Crooks). 

Now, Millar appears to have changed his mind about writing a Superman comic for DC. With the early version of the Man of Steel set to enter the public domain in 2033, it seems the writer plans to bide his time. 

"I'd been thinking about writing a Superman story late summer," he said on X, "but Superman goes public domain in 9 years so I can write my stories in 5 years time & pay the best artists in the industry to draw them so it's all banked and ready for me to publish myself in 2033."

It's a good idea, but this Superman will still be quite different to the modern interpretation of the character. Millar also won't be alone in putting his own spin on the character, so his story is going to need to be something really special to stand out from countless knock-offs.

Of course, the writer might just be trying to negotiate in public with the powers that be at DC Comics!

DC Comics characters Superman and Lois Lane will enter the public domain in the early 2030s. Batman will follow in 2035, The Joker in 2036, and then Wonder Woman in 2037. The clock is ticking.

Ultimately, this could lead to a flood of unauthorised comics. Movie producers will also be able to put their own spin on these heroes, similar to how we see endless iterations of Dracula and Robin Hood on screen.

Initially, however, they’ll only be able to borrow certain characteristics; for example, when Superman debuted, he could only leap tall buildings in a single bound and was unable to fly.

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Malatrova15 - 4/14/2024, 2:06 PM
I dont think there is a 2033
philinterrupted - 4/14/2024, 3:58 PM
@Malatrova15 - no. 24 is the highest number.
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Ha1frican - 4/14/2024, 2:07 PM
Can’t you basically just do this at this point? Throw a rock and you’ll hit a Superman that’s not Superman story
clintthahamster - 4/14/2024, 2:31 PM
@Ha1frican - You know what's better than a Superman that's not Superman story? A Superman that IS Superman story.
WruceBayne - 4/14/2024, 7:24 PM
@Ha1frican - I mean Omni-man original name was Supra-Man but had to change do to it sounding exactly the same and their stories are pretty much the same.
kazuma - 4/14/2024, 2:11 PM
In 2033 the 1938 version of Superman goes into public domain. And the 1938 version couldn't even fly.
philinterrupted - 4/14/2024, 3:58 PM
@kazuma - but he could jump reeeeeeeeeeeeeeal high
Scarilian - 4/15/2024, 11:19 AM
@kazuma -
Personally, would just claim that because he's an alien his bone density is lower so he can 'glide' after his jumps and then also claim that him being an alien gives him his super strength and speed.
GhostDog - 4/14/2024, 2:16 PM
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S8R8M - 4/14/2024, 2:35 PM
I do admire Millar's work. It's just a shame he talks a lot of crap beyond his work.
Th3Batman - 4/14/2024, 2:39 PM
People need to understand that the majority of aspects that make the character and his mythology so popular were introduced well after 1938. These aspects will not be accessible to the public in 2033.
RolandD - 4/14/2024, 2:45 PM
That’s great. I can’t think of a Superman story with a rape scene in it.
Reeds2Much - 4/15/2024, 1:00 AM
@RolandD - I mean, you could probably argue the story where he and Barda were brainwashed and almost made a porno.
RolandD - 4/15/2024, 1:01 PM
@Reeds2Much - It’s funny. Just yesterday I was looking at some of the controversial things that Byrne has done and of course that story popped up. Supposedly, he was having a beef with Jack Kirby, and did this because Big Barda was based on Kirby’s wife. I knew about the story, but I didn’t know the backstory as to why Byrne did that.
ObserverIO - 4/14/2024, 3:10 PM
He's been wanting to do a specific Superman comic for a while, maybe this is it, just rewritten to avoid infringement. Hope he gets Bryan Hitch to draw.
ObserverIO - 4/14/2024, 3:16 PM
Also just a little contention, Josh:

"Ultimately, this could lead to a flood of unauthorised comics."

Technically the DC published Superman comics will also be unauthorised at this point, because their would no longer be any legal authority of officialdom, once the character is public domain. They will own a version of Superman and Millar will own another, but no-one will own Superman.
ObserverIO - 4/14/2024, 3:30 PM
Best comparison I can make here is Universal Monsters.

Dracula in the Universal Monsters franchise is no more official than any other Dracula out there. But the original Universal Pictures Dracula was the official Dracula.

This is what DC Superman will be like. A Superman from a company that once had the rights to Superman.
EarlChai - 4/14/2024, 4:43 PM
@ObserverIO - If I remember right, the Universal Dracula will also become public domain within the next ten years.
bcom - 4/14/2024, 5:11 PM
@ObserverIO - DC will still retain the rights to the 'current' Superman we know today. It's the earliest iteration of the character that will be up for grabs to the public. DC will still be able to carry on with modern Superman but the 'public' version will only be allowed to be based on his very earliest appearances meaning he can't fly and doesn't have the full power set or mythology that current Superman does. It could still get messy though with those playing in the grey areas.
0bstreperous - 4/14/2024, 3:25 PM
I remember Millar saying he had a Superman film like LOTR but DC wasn't hiring the competition
Doomsday8888 - 4/14/2024, 3:55 PM
Good luck.
NicolausCopernicus - 4/14/2024, 4:08 PM
You could use Superman but not all of the concepts related to the character that were created after wards, like brainiac, supergirl, metallo, etc etc
Scarilian - 4/15/2024, 11:19 AM
@NicolausCopernicus -
Honestly, most those concepts are so poorly handled that you can do better.
ModHaterSLADE - 4/14/2024, 4:11 PM
As edgy as a lot of his material comes off, Super Crooks was pretty good.
HermanM - 4/14/2024, 4:17 PM
He's right. Superman as public domain will be awesome, even using just what appeared in issue number one is more than enough, and will take the character back to his roots where Clark creates the S, the suit, and doesn't even know he's an alien until many years into his career as Superman/well into adulthood. It will help stop people from over emphasizing the alien aspect and keep them from turning him into the Martian Manhunter like they keep trying to do, where he's a fish out of water character, first contact story, unlike what his creators intended.
JDL - 4/14/2024, 6:27 PM
I would have expected DC to have protected their IP with trademarks and Tradenames like Marvel has done. Why not ?
Kozmik - 4/14/2024, 6:52 PM
You missed one.

Netflix has adapted three Millarworld titles, not two. Jupiter's Legacy, Supercrooks and The Chosen One (it's pretty good though a bit rushed at six episodes), based on American Jesus.
ObserverIO - 4/15/2024, 1:37 PM
@Kozmik - I had no idea that was even out. Netflix marketing has failed me. Thanks for picking up their slack.
Kozmik - 4/15/2024, 3:45 PM
@ObserverIO - No problem though considering that Millarworld was the most expensive purchase the streaming channel has made, their light touch toward adapting their IP into movies and series is really odd.

What's stranger is that Millarworld has a proven track record of successful adaptations (Kick-Ass, Kingsman, Wanted) outside the Netflix space.
ObserverIO - 4/16/2024, 4:32 AM
@Kozmik - That's true. Super Crooks was good, but Jupiter's Legacy was excruciatingly cheap and poorly produced, designed, written, directed, shot, acted, structured etc.
Reeds2Much - 4/14/2024, 7:26 PM
Hey, umm Mr Millar, you already wrote a public domain Superman. It was pretty decent.
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I swear Mark Millar is the comic book equivalent of shovelware.
Kozmik - 4/15/2024, 3:51 PM
@Reeds2Much - No, that's not what Millar means.

'Huck'– which I admit to not having read – appears to adapt elements of the Superman mythos into a entirely new character.

Mark Millar is talking about adapting Superman himself when the copyright ends, seeing that there would be no need to alter the character at all.

Not the same things.
Reeds2Much - 4/15/2024, 6:49 PM
@Kozmik - which I admit to not having read

You should. Everyone should. And not as a cynically snide "So you know what you're talking about way," but because it's short and worth a read. It's pretty heartwarming, though it falls a little flat at the end. Which is pretty much standard for everything Millar writes: A transparent pitch for a Netflix shows. The easiest way to describe it is "What if Superman was nicer?"

I get it, Millar was being literal but Huck is about as much an entirely new character as the kid from Brightburn was. I'm just saying that if you change a couple of nouns Huck is pretty much what a public domain Superman would look like, and he wasn't really even trying to hide it.
DemonTweeks - 4/15/2024, 6:43 AM
so 2023 will be the year of Superman rip off horror movies? Winnie the Pooh: Bloody and honey......and Superman

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