Mark Millar claimed in a recent newsletter that he had "just nicked Marvel's best artist". And also that "in the interest of fairness, we've stolen's DC's top guy too!!"
"In a Reservoir Dogs style smash and grab, Millarworld has snatched the two greatest artists in comics right now, but we're actually going to save the announcement until next month when we can show you exactly what they're drawing. One of them might involve Nemesis, by the way, and you're going to love it. More on this in July."
This suggests that creators who have exclusive deals with Marvel or DC have left Image Comics/Netflix/Millarworld comic book deals. And in his latest newsletter, Mark Millar gave snippets, one for Nemesis Returns, and another for an unnamed book.
"Below you'll find the preview of next week's big Magic Order launch plus a couple of teasers for our August 2nd ads where we reveal the two big projects I'm doing with the shameless Marvel and DC steals we just made. "
But gossip at San Diego Comic-Con's late-night sessions in the Westgate, Mariott, Hyatt, Omni and Bayfront reveals that comic creators who know more of what is going on state that, rather than stealing the creators, Marvel and DC Comics have agreed to temporary carve-outs in exclusive deals for specific work-for-hire projects like Nemesis Returns, in a similar fashion that Dan Slott recently got after years of trying from Marvel for Doctor Who. And it's a sign of a slight ease of control of late at both Marvel and DC, to keep favoured creators happy. And to expect to see signs of this approach all over. Still, when has that ever stopped Mark Millar from claiming daylight robbery?
As for Nemesis, this is the first time we have seen such art for a long time. In 2009, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven published a Millarworld book through Marvel Comics called Nemesis about a super villain being hunted by cops. The series was then supposed to return in 2012 as Nemesis Returns or Nemesis 2. Then it was delayed until 2013. Then nothing.
We were told ten years ago, "In order to help facilitate the timeliness of the Nemesis Returns, Steve has teamed up with two exciting new talents and opened a new studio endeavour, Carbon Sun Studios" and that "Nemesis means a lot to me and I want it to be the best of my stuff out there," said McNiven. "I want it done right, and we'll make sure Nemesis gets his due."
The comic book saw the charismatic supervillain Nemesis target Chief Inspector Blake Morrow ostensibly over what Morrow did to his father. He hijacks Air Force One over the District of Columbia, and takes the United States president before crashing the plane into Washington D.C., killing hundreds – and then tens of thousands with poison gas, simply to taunt the conservative Morrow. He kidnaps Morrow's family, forcing them to reveal his wife had an affair, his son is gay and that his daughter had a secret abortion before artificially inseminating Morrow's daughter with his son's sperm, with her womb rigged to collapse if abortion was attempted. It was a different time. Or something. It's eventually revealed that the Nemesis identity is one owned by a company that arranges for rich people to become supervillains. And that a new one will arise.
The rights to make a Nemesis film were optioned by 20th Century Fox. Tony Scott was set to direct it before his death, in conjunction with his Scott Free production company. In 2010 Joe Carnahan was reportedly working on the screenplay for the film and was confirmed as the director two years later, also as a writer of the script with his brother Matthew Carnahan. However, the rights lapsed, and in 2015 Warner Bros. acquired them to adapt it. In May 2021, Millar stated that Emerald Fennell had written the latest draft of the screenplay. And now… more Nemesis ten years late? Hell, if Miracleman and Fables can do it, why not?