First Look: NEMESIS #1 by Millar and McNiven

Ever the one for controversy, when Mark Millar and Steve McNiven announced their latest creator owned project, Nemesis, they got a lot of attention with Millar's one line description, "What if Batman was the Joker?"  Well, I think some lawyers had some issues with that, but the book is rolling on regardless, scheduled to hit stores on March 3, 2010. 

Today on, they offered up a preview of the first 6 pages of black and white artwork to Nemesis #1.  If you're a fan of McNiven, you're going to want to check out these pages, and see his pure black and white pencils.  Regardless of what you think of Millar and his bluster, you can't deny that he and McNiven make good comics, like Civil War and Wolverine: Old Man Logan and personally, I loved Kick-Ass, his last creator owned project, so when issue #1 comes out, you know I'll be reading…

Here's the first page, but go to to check out the rest!


  1. Awesome! Millar and McNiven together again. This is sure to be goos stuff. I just hope the issues are released in a timely manner.  If not this may be better in trade.  How many issues is this supposed to be?

  2. Same old nihilistic sh!t from Millar.  The man loves to write about villians..can’t do heroes.  I know there’s a built in audiance for his stuff ( WANTED, etc.) but count me out.  I have had my fill of villain stories from Marvel.

  3. Silly gimmicky crap.

  4. Mark Millar is on the oppsite point of Garth Ennis. He works best when he’s unrestricted. 10 year olds drop c-bombs, Superman becomes a communist, Captain America drops a motherfrigin’ tank on the motherfrigging Hulk.


    Also, people who think Millar only writes about villians should be slapped with a copy ofd Superman:Red Son. or MK Spider-man. or The Ultimates.

  5. This should be a blast, but I learned my lession with Old Man Logan and am waiting for the trade on this.

  6. Wanted is in the running for the worst comic I’ve ever read. I can’t bring myself to be excited about another Mark Millar superhero work.

  7. * supervillain work. Damn it.

  8. Cool. I’ll be there every 3-6 months when it comes out sporadically!

  9. I"m with drake.  It looks amazing and I’m a fan of each but I’ll be trade waiting this one.

  10. I was supposed to be dropping books this year – goddamn it!!!

  11. I am curious, but definitely trade-waiting this.

  12. Trade for me.

  13. Apparently, according to early numbers, this will be the biggest creator owned book ever, or somin

  14. I really want to just wait for the trade on this one, but I work in a shop so I pretty much HAVE to read it or else it will get "spoiled" for me. 

  15. My problem with Mark Millar’s last creator owned project, Kick-Ass, wasn’t so much with the story as was how quickly it got made into a movie. I have no problem with a creator wanting to make movies out of their work and I have no problem with Kick-Ass which seems like it’s going to be a really fun movie, but after issue two of Kick-Ass they started announcing casting for the movie. I was told about plot points and characters who wouldn’t appear for another two issues and at that point it seemed like there was no point in continuing the story. I can avoid Previews and Wizard because they are all in one place but the fact that it was on both comic and movie sites made it very hard to avoid.

    The reason I bring this up at all is because the first time I heard about this project I heard the "What if Batman was the Joker?" pitch followed by how much of a buzz this had in Hollywood. I’ll pick up issue one but if the same thing happens to Nemesis that happened to Kick-Ass, I don’t think I’ll be as forgiving and keep buying the book. If Millar wants to write movies he should just do movies… unless it’s a sequel to Wanted.

  16. Agreed with @eog.

     He is a niche writer. but his stories have always entertained me. So i’ll be there. 

  17. DCBS had (has?) this first issue on sale for $0.74 so I picked it up. I’m looking forward to reading it, but I wasn’t going to make the plunge without that massive discount.

  18. Does the question mean what if Batman was the Batman and the Joker or does it mean what if a guy like Bruce Wayne/Batman was the Joker?

    If it is the former, it is basically the Sentry/Void duality.

  19. Hmmm, DC has a book coming out also called Nemesis.  That won’t get confusing.

    Evertything I’ve read by Millar (Wanted, Ultimates, the first three Ultimate Avengers, Red Son) have all been kinda sucky.  Red Son was the best, but it’s not something I’m glad is on my shelf by any means.  And yet, all his ideas sound interesting enough to pull me in.  I really want to read Old Man Logan and Kick-Ass.  Will I like them?  More than likely not.

  20. @Scorpion – Do you remember Grant Morrison’s JLA Earth 2 book? Basically that Owl Man premise, but with an anarchist (as opposed to professional criminal/personal vendetta) skew. No altered-alter egos ala The Sentry/Void, just Bruce terrorizing Gordon.

  21. Thanks for the clarification.

  22. I look forward to buying the sixth issue of this right around when I finish up my PhD.

  23. (I am yet to start my PhD).

  24. @OttoBot – can’t remember the Morrison story you’re talking about, but the Owl Man persona is basically a criminal Batman. That’s not the same thing as The Joker. The Joker is sadistic, cruel, insane. The confluence of those ideas is what made me stop and think and take notice of this.

    For those that rip Millar for gimmicky storytelling, I would say that yes, Millar tends to have a big hook that he hangs his stories on, but more often than not, he follows through with something that is layered, complex, and meaningful, despite an outwardly flashy veneer. 

    FYI, if you’re checking the Marvel site, the gallery loads the pages in reverse order, so if you’re trying to make sense of it, that’s why. 

  25. Fool me once Millar/McNiven, shame on–shame on you.

    Fool Me—You can’t get fooled again!

    I don’t even think I will read this in trade, doesn’t sound remotely interesting to me.

  26. I’m totally in for this. Love both creators, and McNiven’s pencils above look FANTASTIC!

  27. @patio – …what I said makes the same differentiation. Also in the G.Mo story, Owlman is both sadistic and cruel.

    Millar has always read as an uneven storyteller to me, as he’s a great ideas guy who has problems putting a satisfying climax together. 1985, Wanted, Civil War, Old Man Logan, and most recently Kick Ass all ended on notes decidedly less grand then their first 3-4 issues. Not saying they weren’t ok or even great, but still just didn’t compare to the joy of reading when he first unpacks his high concept for you. That said, he is a great ideas guy, and I can’t think of a Millar project that I didn’t enjoy to some degree. I’ll definitely pick the trade up if the reception is good.

  28. "Apparently, according to early numbers, this will be the biggest creator owned book ever, or somin"

    Uh, basically every title that Image did in the ’90s sold more than anything Millar will ever do.

    I like some of Millar alright, thought Kick-Ass and OML was fun overall, but he’s got to stop doing such gimmicky sh-t.

    "What if Batman was like the Joker?" Only Mark Millar and his die-hard fans would think that was an original concept. And, at this point, can anyone really trust Millar to actually write something thoughtful that would investigate such a comic? No. Instead it will be all hyper-violence and "f— off"-type one-liners. But McNiven draws pretty pictures (of human beings getting treated like cows in a slaughterhouse), so people will like it. Roman Collisium anyone?

    Millar has shown that he’s a better writer. He doesn’t have to be the go-to violient-gimmick guy. I wish he and his loyal audience would grow up just a bit.

  29. Nothing against Millar, but I feel like I’ve read this a couple of times already. Meh.

  30. Yeah the concept isn’t really new at all is it? I mean DC has been doing it for years and he’s called Owl-Man. (I know some have brought that up already). I think this is another case of people loving a series for the art. I will admit just this pencils alone are very gorgeous. When McNiven can put a book out it is very good. But Millar just seems to be doing things for a paycheck and not for the fun of it.

    Morrison makes up wacky ideas cause he loves his job, Johns loves his job and it shows with Blackest Night…..Millar? He’s trying to get his ideas put into a film project before the comic is even released. That, to me, doesn’t mean dedication to your job. Your just trying to make a quick buck.


    After reading wanted I thought I hated Mark Millar, but Kick-Ass, the Ultimates, Superman red son, and Old Man Logan changed my mind. This looks to be in the vain of his better comics, I can’t wait to read it.

  32. Let the delays begin.

  33. I just wonder how Millar & co. can go so long between issues of books. With all that movie money you think they could afford for the artist to work full-time on the book and get it out.  That way, you could do more books.

    But hey, if you can sell an option after one (Wanted) or two (Kick-Ass) issues, I guess there is no incentive to get the books out on time.

  34. great creative team…i cant wait!!

  35. muddi900-never read SUPERMAN: RED SUN, or MK SPIDERMAN, but ULTIMATES is simply Millar turning the Avengers into a$$holes.  Ok maybe he writes more then just villains..he writes heroes as unlikable jerks ( yes I read Civil War..)

  36. Psyched for Mcniven.. Millar…not so much

  37. Millar’s in a meeting with a film producer about this concept as we talk

  38. … the costume design isn’t really appealing. The colors should clash like the Joker’s white, green, and purple design.

  39. I will probably read the first few issues, as I did with Kick-Ass, but if it is prone to massive delays, I’ll probably drop it…just like I did with Kick-Ass.  The art looks great though.

  40. @OttoBot – misread your post the first time, so yeah I was agreeing by disagreeing. I hear what you’re saying about endings. But I thought Kick-Ass ended pretty well. As did the first two Ultimates. Comic-book endings are often hard.

  41. @patio – Agreed. Ultimates 1 might be one of the most satisfying comic finales I’ve ever read. Everything just felt so right at the end, and Ultimates 2 wasn’t too far behind, either.

  42. I was going to post something but @tazz already summed up my thoughts nicely.  (Second post from the top.)

  43. So, between the track records of Miller and McNiven, you’d have to be insane to buy this in issues, right? ‘Cause there’s no way this will *ever* ship on time. 🙂


  44. Like many here, I am incredibly excited, but there is no way I’m trying issues with this one. Waiting for the trade on this one.

  45. I won’t mind paying $3 every 5 or so months. Count me in.

  46. The second this was announced my very first though was ‘we’ll never see this’

  47. This has caught my attention.

  48. This looks good, but I’ll never buy a McNiven book in issues again. I don’t have the patience. Trade waiting for this one. 

  49. This should be interesting, I love the Old Man Logan story arc! I trust that this book is going to be a sure hit!

  50. Just checked out the 5 page preview.

    So the main character looks kinda like Batman but with no costume ears.

    And in the preview, the cops are tricked into busting into a room with barrels of oil/gas rigged to explosives — not what they were expecting. Reminds me of "The Dark Knight" movie. Ron’s right, cue the lawyers.

    The art looks great though.

  51. I was real curious about the Old Man Logan story, maybe I will try that in trade.  The whole evil Bruce Wayne doesnt do it for me.  It’s like saying Lex Luthor goes over the top evil, he already is over the top evil.  The hero going evil schtick is getting old, and the shelves are jammed with good ones like Irredeemable right now too.  The delays between issues  on this one, hell we should al ljust buy the trade.

  52. I liked Ultimates 1 and 2, and I was okay with Civil War (but seriously…"Book of the Decade"?).  I’ve not read any of Millar’s other stuff, come to think of it.  I’m not a big fan of villain protagonist stories, though, so unless this Nemesis character gets destroyed in the end, I probably won’t be interested.  Therefore, I won’t just wait for the trade, I’ll wait for the trade so I can pick it up and flip to the end.

  53. I thoroughly enjoyed both Red Son and Wanted. But I’ll definitely be waiting for the trade for this one. However the statement "CIVIL WAR… book of the decade" just makes me ask if anyone has some mouthwash i can borrow? Cause I just threw up a little.

  54. @tazz: Ultimates was Millar turning the Avengers into Bad-asses. If you clear your head and accept that these are not the Avengers and that this is not serious storytelling. Don’t think Dark Knight, think Iron Man(the movie).

    Yes, Millar has proved that he’s a better writer than "Flash! Bang! Boom! RATATATATATA!", Like Red Son and his initial run Marvel Knights Spider-man. But this is what makes money goddammit. He might not be the largest comics creator, but he is one of he richest. Wanted brought in tons of money, despite being mediocre, and so will Kick Ass. These types of comics work great for pitching to hollywood.

    Also, acording to Millar, WB legal asked him nicely to stop mentioning their characters in his marketing and he has complied.