Catching Up with the Fastest Man Alive

Heroes & Dragons chases down an interview with new FLASH co-writer Mark Millar

Appropriately enough, THE FLASHís new writers are both fast talkers. Maybe itís their Scottish accents, or maybe itís the level of excitement Mark Millar and Grant Morrison generate when they talk about the Scarlet Speedster.

In June, we talked with Grant Morrison about JLA, FLASH, and his other projects. This month, we ask Mark Millar how he went from being "a Vertigo guy"—he was the last writer on the long-running SWAMP THING series—to co-writing the adventures of the Fastest Man Alive. (And in the meantime, we found out a lot about some upcoming projects, particularly for you Elseworlds fans.)

Interviewed by SCOTT SIMMONS on September 4, 1997


Did you get that stuff I sent you?

Yes, I did. The RED SON pages looked terrific.

Oh, yeah, Dave [Johnson]ís a god, you know. [Laughs.] We love him.

I was really impressed—all the classic Superman poses—

Yeah.

—taken completely out of context.

[Laughs.]

It looks like such a fun book.

Oh, yeah. Iím really having a great time doing it, and itís even better seeing the pages come in. Itís so good.

Sometimes, you know, an artist doesnít live up to what you imagine yourself. You kind of—you picture it one way, and an artist doesnít do it well.

But Dave actually makes it ten times as good as what was in your head. The guyís great. I just wish there were ten of him so that we could actually ... get the book out on time.

Yeah. What time period is the book set during?

Well, the first one, the one that youíve got there, is set in—1957? Or 1958. 1958. And itís like Superman landed on Earth in 1938 in the story. In Russia, you know. And 1958 is when he makes his first appearance, which is what youíve got there.

1978 is Book Two, and 1998 is Book Three, with a 60-year-old Superman.

Oh, wow. That should be fun.

Oh, yeah, itís like a real hoot. Iíve really had a great time.

The thing is, Iíve spent about two or three times as much time on each one of these as I normally would on something, you know? I think Iíll be pleased with the result when itís all out, and itíll be nice to have it in a little book and everything, you know? Iím glad DC seemed to be really getting behind it, promotional-wise, like for next year. So hopefully the money that I lost spending so long on this I can make back in royalties. Hereís hoping.

Itís going to come out in November, didnít you say?

Well, it was going to be November, but now DC has— Because Daveís taken a while, itís actually worked out nicely for Supermanís 60th anniversary. Theyíre launching this as one of the two big books of the year [1998]. At Easter theyíre going to bring this out, and in the fall theyíre going to bring out Alex Rossís Superman book.

Easter? Thatís ominous.

I know; I know. [Laughs.]

Well, I guess I should warn you: I just turned my tape recorder on; Iím going to start taping the conversation so I donít miss anything.

O.K. No problem. If you have any trouble with the accent or anything, just tell me, Ďcause Iím so used to it dealing with overseas. The Scottish people tend to talk not very clearly and very quickly.

[Laughs.]

So if you want me to repeat anything, just say it, you know. [Laughs.] Itís O.K.

I donít think it should be a problem, but keep in mind that Iím calling you from the Deep South, so—

[Laughs.]

Between my questions taking 14 minutes and your answers taking about 12 seconds, we should kind of even out.

[Laughs.]

I was one of these people that went to Florida on honeymoon, you know. Itís like—I think all Americans laugh at Florida as a vacation, but British people tend to think itís luxurious. So I had a really good time. I really enjoyed it.

Yeah, weíre probably 3 to 4 hours from Atlanta, if you really drive fast.

Right. Do you know Dave Johnson, then? Do you ever have him up to your shop or anything?

Iíve never met him.

ĎCause heís from that part of the woods, you know.

Oh, really?

Yeah.

Where is he from?

Well, he lives in Georgia.

Oh, I didnít know that.

Yeah.

I did not know that. There are a lot of people [in comics] who have moved to the South. Roy Thomas is here. Steve Epting, who used to work on AVENGERS.

Right, uh-huh.

Greg Adams, whoís a fabulous inker, operates out of this area too. So weíve got a few people coming through [from] time to time, but Iíve never met Dave. That I know of.

[Laughs.] Well, Grant [Morrison] and I are the only people out here. In Scotland, thereís me or Grant. [Laughs.] If you donít like us, thatís it, you know?

[Laughs.] You could do worse.


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