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Mark Millar wants The Secret Service to do for the spy genre what his Kick-Ass comic books did for superheroes.
Service hits stores this Wednesday, written by Millar, the Marvel Comics author whose creator-owned books include Wanted, which was adapted into the hit Angelina Jolie movie. And the art is by Dave Gibbons, forever known as the man who co-created and drew Watchmen.
“This is James Bond meets My Fair Lady,” said Millar in an interview, describing a book that is centered on a young London rioter who ends up being trained by his uncle to be a gentleman super-spy.
The idea came about when he and Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn discussed how fans of the hero genre never learn how to become someone like Bond. (Vaughn has a co-creator and co-plotter credit on the book.) And Millar said he has two friends in special forces whose real-life training informed the book in many ways.
Millar also loved the idea of fusing two British classes portrayed in cinema – the Trainspotting and Attack the Block inner-city youth culture and the sophisticated, urbane class seen in movies by director Terrence Young (who incidentally helmed several early Bond movies).
“This fuses those two archetypes together and hopefully creates something very new,” said Millar.
Like every Bond movie, there is an opening action sequence, and Heat Vision is proud to present an exclusive first-look. It features Mark Hamill, Star Wars‘ Luke Skywalker, as the kidnapped victim of a set of international spies. The plot of the book, in keeping with a certain Millar penchant for fusing pop culture and over-the-top ideas, involves the snatching of actors from various sci-fi movies and television shows.
Millar said he reached out to Hamill to see if he would play himself in the sequence.
As opposed to some of his other Star Wars cohorts, Hamill is a fanboy of the highest order. He has been attending Comic-Con since its early beginnings, he’s written a comic, he has a fascination with comic-book history, and he launched a successful second career in as a voice actor primarily off of his work as the Joker in the 1990s animated Batman cartoons.
In an interview, Hamill said he had some initial reservations about appearing as himself—part of it stemmed from being self-conscious—but being immortalized by Gibbons in a story by Millar swept his concerns to the side.
“They sent me the pages and all the stuff about ‘self, of ‘being Mark Hamill,’ that went out the window,” he recalled.
Millar and Vaughn are developing Service for a big-screen adaptation with the goal of Hamill playing himself when the time comes.
“(Secret Service) is such a great mash-up of fantasy and relatable reality that my participation is almost superfluous when you take the long view of what a great concept it is,” said Hamill. “I can’t wait to read issue #2.”
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