Looks like Mark Millar isn’t quite done with his “real-life superhero” concept quite yet.
Announced via Entertainment Weekly, Millar and artist John Romita Jr. are teaming up again to launch a new Kick-Ass book, this time published by Image Comics as opposed to Marvel’s Icon imprint as with the previous series.
As Millar explains, both Kingsman and Kick-Ass are not part of the Netflix/Millarworld deal.
“When we sold Millarworld to Netflix, two properties weren’t part of the deal. Kingsman and Kick-Ass both had unique arrangements with Matthew Vaughn and it made sense for these to continue, so in the year or so where we were preparing the sale I came up with this great idea for a whole new take on Kick-Ass,” Millar tells EW. “The entire story was all completely written in that year and it’s a monthly book, launching in February for the title’s 10th anniversary. It’s crazy to think that in the 10 years since it was created, Kick-Ass has spawned two Hollywood movies, video-games, toys, key-rings, PEZ dispensers, and even an upcoming board game. So the idea of it lying dormant was just insane and to be honest it’s the most fun I’ve ever had writing anything. I really love that world.”
But there’s bigger changes than simple publishing through Image Comics. Looks like following Marvel’s strategy of the last few years and introducing a new character named Patience Lee to take up the Kick-Ass mantle. Unlike the original Kick-Ass character Dave Lizewski, a white teenage boy, Patience is black military veteran with young children.
Millar has written a lot of superhero stories over his career, and he tells EW he’s fascinated by the “legacy” characters, heroes who inherit the mantles of predecessors. Millar elaborated on the creation of a new minority character in the role-
“The original four volumes of Kick-Ass, the Dave Lizewski story, got tied up a couple of years ago and this is a brand new character. I’d always wanted to do what Doctor Who or The Flash does and create a legacy character, Kick-Ass being designed for that. The idea is that he inspires other people to do what he did, just putting on a costume and cleaning up their neighborhood, and that’s what happens here,” Millar says. “I wanted to shake up the setting a little and shifted the whole thing to New Mexico. The lead is a woman this time, a mother in her early 30s with two young kids. She’s also a military vet who came home to find her life in a completely different setting from the way it was when she went to Afghanistan so the actual dynamic of the book is really different, but at the same time the flavor is identical.”
Let’s see if readers will be accepting of this new Kick-Ass, or if readers will “turn their noses up” at this new diversity legacy character as certain people in the comics industry may be inclined to believe.