Imagine the melancholic charm of Paper Moon, but instead of a father/daughter pair of bible-selling con artists, you have a father/son team of galactic bounty hunters that traverse planets inside their ice cream truck spaceship. I know, you’re already sold. I should just stop typing.
Sharkey The Bounty Hunter is the third Millarworld property licensed by Netflix as part of their new rather absurd and ambitious comic book universe. With the cancellation of Iron Fist and Luke Cage and the impending terror that is Disney+, Netflix is looking to fill a potential void when all The Defenders jump ship. The streaming platform is not even bothering to see how the actual comic is received, as the first issue of Sharky doesn’t come out until February 20th of next year.
Mark Millar has been in the comic book game for decades, but his Hollywood takeover officially began with loose adaptations of Wanted, Kick-Ass, and Kingsman. Since receiving a little cheddar from those properties, his brain has exploded with comic book concepts. In the last five years alone he’s cranked out Chrononauts, Empress, Huck, Jupiter’s Legacy, MPH, Reborn, Starlight, Superior, and Super Crooks. All of which, by the way, have been optioned at some point or another.
Will all of those adaptations see the light of day? Probably not, but a bunch of them will, and at least three other of his ideas will land very soon on Netflix. The Magic Order will fulfill the needs of The Lord of the Rings set. Prodigy is an occult-based take on National Treasure that dips into the world’s greatest mysteries while still delivering a proper dose of action set-pieces. Now, we’ve learned that Sharkey The Bounty Hunter will take to the stars and deliver the extremes that Millar promises Marvel and Disney cannot hope to replicate.
Along with the press release announcing this upcoming series, Netflix cut together a little teaser trailer hinting at the adolescent frivolity we can expect from Sharkey and son. The guns will be bigger, the planets they explore shittier. The demographic Netflix is hunting in this clip suggests a tried-and-true one for last century, but are there still enough 13-year-old boys to squee over this salacious spectacle.
I have to admire Millar’s showmanship. He took all the cash he got from various deals, managed to concoct his own company, and jam it down all our throats. He’s loud and proud. There is a possible future in which we look back at this decade the way we do at the 1960s with Stan Lee and Marvel Comics. If half of these properties land with audiences then Millar will have an empire on his hands.
Now, let’s go back to that ice cream truck spaceship. Sharkey The Bounty Hunter and his 10-year-old kid are looking to score their biggest job yet, and that’s going to take a whole lotta violence to accomplish. The parent and child, Gods of War dynamic is not new to Millar. It’s actually one of his key obsessions:
“I like the parent/kid dynamic from movies like ‘Paper Moon’ or ‘Leon: The Professional,’ and, of course, Big Daddy and Hit-Girl. This is all the things ‘Star Wars’ or Marvel can’t get away with. We start where they kinda draw the line and I love this freedom creatively as we’ve never seen space done this way before.”
As with Stan “The Man” Lee, Millar loves his bold proclamations. Make mine Millarworld. Don’t buy into the band echh of the MCU and Star Wars. That’s kiddie stuff. You like adult content, you want what we’re selling.
However, right now, Netflix and Millarworld is all talk. We don’t have any actual content to go on. The output and salesmanship are impressive, but the jury is out until 2019 rolls around with some killer programming. I was sold with the ice cream truck spaceship, but I’m just a 13-year-old boy at heart.