It's like watching for the Stan Lee cameo, or the Pizza Planet Truck. Every Mark Millar comic book launch of something must come with a deception of some sort. He has talked about doing this deliberately to garner double the publicity but now that he is an employee of Netflix, does it still have to continue?
The lies that Eminem was to star in a movie version of Wanted, fake videos showing a real life Kick-Ass, a fake elderly comics reviewer getting a tattoo of Starlight on her back, a fake ad for Nemesis on Times Square, a fake copy of Superior in Obama's hand, fake visits to Detroit to research MPH …As for The Magic Order, he has claimed this was the best indie comics launch since Jupiter's Legacy. However that included a hundred thousand orders by Reed Pop Expo in exchange for Mark Millar attending a number of their shows. And then there was repeatedly claiming things like twice winning the GLAAD Award for his work on The Authority – when he didn't, he'd only been nominated.
So what would it be for Sharkey The Bounty Hunter? They kept most media from covering the story under embargo and official announcement, despite being in Image Comics solicitations and on the back of the Diamond Previews catalogue. But most everyone aside from Bleeding Cool played along. But this wasn't deception. So where was it?
The answer lay in the Sharkey The Bounty Hunter press release from Netflix. Where it claimed amongst some pretty impressive and backed up accolades for Mark Millar's career, that
Red Son, remains the best-selling Superman graphic novel of all time.
Now, sales of Red Son have been mighty impressive. And the animated adaptation only helped boost sales of this high concept 'what if Superman landed in Russia as a baby' series by Mark Millar and Dave Johnson. But the Superman bestseller of all time?
No. I checked. And that title goes to The Death Of Superman, the story in which Superman dies at the hands of Doomsday and formed the basis for the Batman Vs Superman movie.
On top of that, All-Star Superman by his nemesis Grant Morrison and Jupiter's Legacy artist Frank Quitely looks like it has now also sold more than Red Son. As has the constantly-reprinted John Byrne collection Man Of Steel. There may be others but these I have been able to identify and clarify. And certainly, Red Son deserves to stand on the podium with them. Just not on the top podium. Yet. It is the best-selling on Amazon right now, but that's all.
Prodigy by Millar and Rafael Albuquerque is published by Image Comics tomorrow. Who knows what publicity stunt Millar has planned for that launch?