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Marvel's Civil War writer has a solution to "save" Marvel & DC Comics: pay creators more for successes

Mark Millar says if Marvel & DC paid more, there'd be better stories

Image credit: Marvel Comics/DC Comics

Comics writer (and Netflix division president) Mark Millar has a solution for Marvel and DC's current state: Marvel and DC Comics should pay creators more for successes. Millar, best known in Marvel & DC circles for Civil War (which a movie was based on) and The Ultimates (which much of the MCU was based on) says it all comes down to better pay for bigger creators such as him. Not upfront - but in the backend based on if (and when) a comic book is more successful than expected.

We're talking royalties.

Millar, who has an imprint at Image of books he created for Netflix, says in a social media thread that "the comic market has collapsed in the past 5 years," and that other comic companies such as his are "hurting because nobody's coming in for Marvel or DC books anymore."

"[Marvel and DC] don't have the money at the moment to jack up their page rates, but it would cost them literally zero if they revolutionised their royalty deals," says Millar.

According to Millar, Marvel and DC will pay creators "around 2%" in royalties if a comic sells over 50,000 copies. These days, roughly about 10 to 15 titles each month from Marvel and DC sell at that level.

"My suggestion is that if ONE of these companies swaps that 2% royalty for a FIFTY-FIFTY split with the creative team on all sales over, say, 60,000 copies they will send a bolt of electricity through the industry and bring in the most commercial freelancers in the biz again," Millar suggests.

While Millar doesn't suggest he would return to Marvel or DC (although he has pitched a Superman story to DC recently), he does suggest some of his artistic partners on his creator-owned books and they would "help super-charge both freelance deals & the corporations themselves..."

"Imagine where Greg Capullo could take X-Men numbers or Frank Quitely on Spider-Man," says Millar. "These books would easily clear 150K an issue. Also, excitement is contagious. Big names on big characters is a very fun idea."

Millar, putting on his fantasy editor-in-chief hat, pitches this for Marvel: Uncanny X-Men by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and X-Men by James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez.

And for DC, Millar had even more dream teams:
  • Superman by Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen
  • Batman by Joss Whedonand John Cassaday
  • JLA by Jason Aaron and Oliver Coipel
  • Teen Titans by Donny Cates and Simone DeMeo
  • Green Lantern by John Byrne
  • The Flash by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
  • Aquaman by Philip Kennedy JOhnson and Esad Ribic
  • Wonder Woman by Brian K. Vaughan and Ryan Sook

"The beauty of this is that it would cost the Big 2 nothing as it's zero fiscal outlay upfront. The double-win is that they're getting 50% of a potentially HUGE number instead of a spiral to the depths where they are right now."

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