Gazing at Image's STARLIGHT With Mark Millar

Credit: Image Comics
Credit: Image Comics

Mark Millar is going back to Image Comics for the next phase of Millarworld, and is kicking things off with a new creator-owned sci-fi adventure, Starlight. The new series draws from old-school science fiction serials, bringing a character not unlike the space adventurers of the Golden Age like Flash Gordon to an unfamiliar place: retirement age. As the hero of Millar and artist Goran Parlov's new series has long been home on Earth and enjoying a normal life, he is called back into the stars for an all-new adventure.

To promote the new series, Image Comics hosted a conference call Thursday afternoon with Millar.

Image Director of PR and Marketing Kat Salazar started the call by introducing Mark Millar and his new ongoing series with Image, Starlight. The first issue hits stores March 5, 2014.

Matt at Comicvine started the questioning, asking about any specific Scifi serials that inspired the series.

"All of them really. I had an unusual childhood experience where I enjoyed things that the generations above me did. I grew up loving that stuff as much as Superman or Batman. It took me awhile to realize that no one but me was into those things. So it's a love letter to all those things, really."

Credit: Image Comics

David at Multiversity asked about the art by Parlov and what made him a great collaborator for the book.

"Sometimes an artist pops into your head and you can't imagine doing a project without them. Romita was that for Kickass and this is the same, it needed to have that European feel, that Moebius vibe. When I contacted him, he was a massive fan of that stuff and always wanted to do a project like this." Millar added that the art is so good "it seems a shame to vandalize it with my dialogue

From us: Mark, you work often with archetypes - What's the personal appeal about playing with characters that might remind readers of one they already know and love?

"It's funny because it's a legacy that runs back 5,000 years. you can trace Hermes and Mercury right up to The Flash. You can trace Batman to The Shadow, even Spider-Man can be kind of looked at as a combination of Superman and Batman. A lot of those things are interrelated.

Credit: Image Comics

"The people who grew up with Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers drew from John Carter of Mars. I think it's an interesting tradition that people have backed away from a bit, I think that Stan Lee was the last one to really do it."

Comicvine asked about the tone for the series.

"I don't want to say all-ages, but it's definitely skewing younger, a different tone from what people are used to from my writing. it's an homage to the old serials, but not laboriously so. I don't hang on to the cliffhangers and that stuff."

We asked what's new and what he's adding to the genre with Starlight.

Credit: Image Comics

"This type of scifi hero really hasn't been seen since I was a child. Star Wars kind of changed everything. The square jawed scifi character was replaced by the wry Han Solo type. I don't think you've seen a post-modern twist on this before. I love the idea of what happens to you afterwards, what happens when you start a family and you're looking up at the stars every night. There's a lot of those great kinds of ideas that I don't think I've ever seen before."

Matt Moore of the AP asked how Starlight fits into the Millarworld fold?

"I liked the idea of having an entry-level book. It won't initially feel like it's connected, but it will all eventually interconnect. I have 9 titles planned in a three year timeframe here. This opens the door to those."

Credit: Image Comics

Multiversity asked about why he's establishing a universe, and why he thinks it'll work.

"I think where a lot of them go wrong is having too many people writing it. I think that's what made Marvel work so well in the beginning, that Stan was basically writing all of them. I also am making sure people can enjoy any one of these books completely alone, outside of any of the others. I also made sure that they do click together, it's not forced. They all also fit in the real world. I always told people that I love Jaws and I love The Godfather, but I don't need to know they exist in the same universe - but that would actually be kind of awesome!"

That's a wrap, but check out the additional preview art below!

Credit: Image Comics
Credit: Image Comics
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