Ten years ago this February, two of the biggest names at Marvel Comics took a chance on a cuss-laden comic with no superpowers. On Valentine's Day, the pair celebrate the unprecedented success of Kick-Ass by turning their hit into a legacy character.
As part of the build up to the upcoming Image Comics reboot of their character, writer Mark Millar and artist John Romita, Jr. have shared an exclusive variant cover for issue #1 by longtime Millar collaborator Frank Quitely, who he teamed with on Jupiter's Legacy. The image shows Kick-Ass' new identity -- military mother Patience Lee -- in the field in the now-iconic green uniform.
"To mark 10 years of Kick-Ass in February we wanted to do something special," Millar explained. "You’ve seen Johnny’s cover and Olivier [Coipel’s] amazing picture of Patience kissing her kids goodnight [before] she heads out to fight crime. But we thought we really had to push the boat out here, so we’ve gone for two more covers, one by my dear pal Frank Quitely, who’s just amazing, and the other from Johnny to mark the 10th anniversary."
The writer added that the creator's decision to move their character beyond the hero's initial secret identity was both exciting and bittersweet.
"The Johnny cover with Dave Lizewski is a very special, limited-edition cover and actually makes me feel quite misty-eyed when I see it," Millar, who sold his Millarworld to Netflix in a deal announced last August, told CBR. "Kick-Ass changed our lives. This was such an important book for us and was the moment I was able to focus on Millarworld and leave Marvel, which was transformative. Without Kick-Ass, I’d never have gone on to do all the other franchises and the company would never have been sold to Netflix. We’ll always have a special place for this series, and that’s why the reboot has been so fun for Johnny and I."
But the ride is just beginning again, and Millar expects that the second generation of Kick-Ass will strike the market with as much force as the original did a decade ago. "We knew the Kick-Ass reboot and this new number one was going to be big, but we had no idea things were going to catch fire like this. Final orders don’t combine until Monday, but this looks like it’s easily going to be the biggest launch out of any of the three Kick-Ass volumes, or the Hit-Girl book Johnny and I did before."
The all-new Kick-Ass #1 ships Feb. 14 from Image Comics.