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As the lack of racial and gender diversity in debated in pop culture, Mark Millar is taking steps to bring both to his publishing line.
Millar, the comics author whose works have been adapted into hit movies such as Wanted and Kingsman: The Secret Service, is relaunching his breakthrough franchise Kick-Ass and its spinoff Hit-Girl with the former getting a very 2016 update.
This time, instead of Kick-Ass being a story of a nerdy teen named Dave Lizewski who becomes a real-life superhero, the new comic does a 180-degree turn with the introduction of the new character who is female and black.
“Comics is not short of white males aged around 30; that demographic seems pretty well catered for in popular culture,” Millar said. “I don’t think many blonde white guys around 30 feel under-represented when they pick up comic or watch a movie. Being older or younger or female or African-American just seems more interesting to me as a writer because this character is quite unique and opens up story possibilities that haven’t been tried in almost eighty years of superhero fiction. This woman has a completely different take on Kick-Ass.”
Millar didn’t reveal details, character or plot, but said the story was set in a different city with a new supporting cast joining the new lead. He also said he saw the title as featuring a legacy character, where who dons the suit matters less than the story being told.
“Kick-Ass is like James Bond or Doctor Who, where with a new face and a new situation and it suddenly feels very exciting,” Millar said. “Every four volumes or so I want a different person in the mask. Sometimes it might even only last a single volume or even a single issue.”
Kick-Ass debuted in 2008 to big sales and big buzz as Millar struck a chord with fanboys the world-over with his wish-fulfillment tale (the over-the-top violence also helped). Two movies, the first one directed by Matthew Vaughn, the other starring Jeff Wadlow, followed.
Previously, the books coming from Millar’s Millarworld imprint have been published as mini-series and later collected into trade paperbacks. This will be the first time Millar puts out monthly titles.
Kick-Ass will be drawn by Kick-Ass co-creator John Romita Jr. who has committed to work on the book for three years, according to Millar. Hit-Girl will be drawn by Rafael Albuquerque. Millar will write the first story arc and then Daniel Way, best known for his work on Marvel comics starring Wolverine and Deadpool, will take over as the regular author. Both books are expected to launch in January.
Millar says part of the desire to return to the character was just simple longing. The author has spent the last several years working on sci-fi comics such as Empress and Starlight and superhero epics such as Jupiter’s Legacy.
“I really just missed Kick-Ass. It was a funny book because it was about a guy who had no powers, no gadgets and wasn’t very good and yet it was massive. We had two movies in our first five years, games merchandise and so on. It’s been three years and Johnny and I both just really missed the concept. It’s fun to write and after all the fantasy and space opera and vast budget superheroes it’s actually been amazing to get into something grounded again.”
Photo courtesy of Millarworld Ltd.
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