Peter Milligan

Peter Milligan is an Irish writer most known for his work for 2000 AD, Marvel Comics and DC Vertigo. He has also produced screenplays for some films and TV shows.

His early career included work for the British comic 2000 AD, but Petewas too interested in character develppment and literary allusion to be tied down to 'straight' science fiction. With artist Brendan McCarthy, he pulished the seminal UK anthology Strange Days which featured a number of the most important British comics of the 80s including Freakwave (which readers might find oddly reminiscent of a major Hollywood turkey) and Johnny Nemo (a pulp noir fest featuring a hero who regularly has his organs transplanted to survive their sustained abuse). Milligan and McCarthy continued to collaborate after the demise of Strange Days, notably on SKIN, a controversial graphic novel which tackled the scandal of thalidomide and the fantasia Rogan Josh (for the short-lived magazine Revolver) a mind-bending ramp from pederasty and Kipling to an East End curry house via various Hindu gods, and (with Jamie Hewlett took a shot at a post-modern Tank Girl via Homer and James Joyce.

His greatest success came in the US, with his longest work to date Shade, The Changing Man, a DC Vertigo revamp of an old Steve Ditko character. In this, the title character changed bodies several times in a dark reflection of Doctor Who, and travelled with two bisexual women, one of whom was also his lover.

Around the time Shade began, Milligan also took over DC's Animal Man title from writer Grant Morrison. Milligan's six-issue run on the magazine saw Buddy Baker awaking from a coma in an unfamiliar, somewhat fascistic world where his beloved wife Ellen was a bored adultress.

In the DC universe, Milligan has also written several adventures for Batman. He was the regular writer on Detective Comics for a few months in 1991, and has written two Batman one-shots since then.

In 1999, Milligan wrote a four-part Vertigo miniseries on the Human Target, a non-powered detective and master of disguise, created a quarter century earlier by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino. While the story ended in issue #4, Milligan returned to the character in 2003 with an ongoing Human Target series, a sophisticated, Borgesian take on the crime genre.

Milligan reached a new level of popularity in the early 2000's when he took over X-Force, a second-string X-Men book published by Marvel. Working with Madman creator Mike Allred, Milligan introduced a bevy of new characters, including Mister Sensitive, the Anarchist, U-Go Girl, Phat, the Vivisector, Venus Dee Milo, Dead Girl and Doop, who resembled a dill pickle. The X-Force characters were eventually spun off into a new series called X-Statix, which ran for 26 issues before Milligan pulled the plug. He is set to take over Marvel's X-MEN comic starting with issue #166. A JLA graphic novel for DC called JLA: KID AMAZO will be released sometime in the future. In additon to that he has an upcoming arc in the JLA CLASSIFIED monthly from DC. Once again, he is following Grant Morrison.

In film, he wrote the screenplay for Pilgrim (a 2000 movie sometimes shown as Inferno) which stars Ray Liotta, as well as the 2002 adaptation of the Melvin Burgess novel An Angel for May.

External Links

| Kangaroo Curry: A Tribute to Peter Milligan (


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