Mark Millar previews new Kick-Ass comic with new black female hero
The writer tells EW about Patience Lee, his newest superhero
The news keeps coming out of Millarworld. The comic company founded by prolific scribe Mark Millar was recently acquired by Netflix, and earlier this month Millar announced The Magic Order, his first new comic under the Netflix banner. But that doesn’t mean Millar is done with his older, established properties. Next year, Millar will launch a new Kick-Ass comic, 10 years after the original run first began. This one will be published by Image Comics instead of Marvel’s Icon imprint, but even more importantly, it will also feature a brand new character underneath the green-and-yellow costume.
“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.”
In this new Kick-Ass, Dave Lizewski (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the two film adaptations) has given way to a new character in the title role: Patience Lee, a black military veteran with young children. “I don’t think I’ve ever created a better [character],” he says. “I love mom heroes. I did it in Empress and I’ve done it again here.”
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.
“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.”
One thing the new Kick-Ass series will have in common with the previous version, however, is art by the legendary John Romita Jr. Romita most recently contributed art to DC’s blockbuster event series Dark Nights: Metal, but Millar does have a way with artists.
“We’d missed each other so much,” Millar says. “I’d honestly missed his daily insults and pages and just his little Italian face. I love him. We did Kick-Ass right after a Wolverine run back at Marvel and just love working together. Getting him back [at DC] after his big run was just the most incredible coup. We’re really proud of this book and have a lot of big plans for the launch ten years on from the very day when we released this little very simple superhero idea absolutely nobody knew what to expect of.”
The first issue of the new Kick-Ass will hit stores Feb. 14, 2018. Check out an exclusive preview of early pages below, and get your first look at Patience Lee.