Wanted and Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar has unveiled his latest Marvel Comics creation, and between the high concept and promotional image released, it's as if he's daring DC to think about legal action. Ballsy or insane? You be the judge.
Nemesis, a new series created and owned by Millar and his Civil War collaborator doesn't just look like the Joker's smile painted on an all-white-costumed Batman's face, it's literally "What if Batman was the Joker." Millar explained to Comic Book Resources:
Yeah, a lot of people who've read it have been coming up with hilarious tag-lines. "What if Batman was The Joker?" is the tame one. "What if Batman was a total cunt?" is maybe my favourite, although it's hardly going to be an ad. [It's] is a reversal of the Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark archetype. What if this genius billionaire was just this total shit, and the only thing that stood between him and a city was the cops? It's Batman versus Commissioner Gordon, in a weird way. Or maybe a super-villain version of "Se7en." A billionaire anarchist up against ordinary people. The Joker's the best thing in the Batman movies, so this guy is a bit of an amalgamation of all the stuff we like.
Consider it a psychological thriller with an unlimited special effects budget, if Millar's description of the series is anything to go by:
All the cops are needed to go up against a guy as formidable as this. He's almost supernatural, he's so good. But he happens to just be in a costume. Hopefully nobody's ever seen anything like it before. We're so used to supervillains fighting superheroes, I just thought, "Imagine if there was only one person on the planet like this, and he was actually a bad guy." How would cops deal with him, even though he has no super-powers? ...Very simply, I wanted to do a book about the world's greatest villain up against America's greatest cop. I just liked the high concept of that - the idea of a villain going around from country to country and having a battle of wits with the best guy that he can get his hands on. And he sends them a little funeral wreath with the date and time of when they're going to die on it, every one dying at precisely that time. All these cops in the Pacific Rim are dead, and then we come in at the American side of the story and see the struggle of this guy in just trying to stop him.
(As much as this is so-obviously-they're-admitting-it-right-off-the-bat a Batman rip-off, am I the only person who got to "All the cops are needed to go up against a guy as formidable as this" and "I just thought, 'Imagine if there was only one person on the planet like this, and he was actually a bad guy'" and thought that it was Death Note?)
The series will debut in 2010, and yes, Millar admits in the interview that there's already Hollywood interest in a movie adaptation.
"Nemesis" Asks: What if Batman was The Joker? [Comic Book Resources]