This week sees Mark Millar turn up phase two of his relaunch of the Kick-Ass franchise by taking everyone's favorite preteen assassin on an international crime-stopping spree.
The i-new Hit-Girl #1 arrives in stores today from Image Comics, presenting the first part of a story from the writer along with artist Ricardo Lopez Ortiz. And while the first arc of the ongoing series follows up directly on the twist ending of Millar and John Romita Jr.'s Kick-Ass 3, future stories will see an all-star lineup of comics talent take the foul-mouthed Mindy McCready on solo adventures across the globe.
CBR caught up with Millar on the eve of the launch for an inside look on how he chose to reinvent Hit-Girl in a different way than his brand-new Kick-Ass series, how he approached talent like Kevin Smith and Jeff Lemire to rocket the character to new environs and why readers will learn that cocaine and cheetahs just don't mix. Plus, the writer shows off exclusive new art from Eduardo Risso and Rafael Albuquerque.
CBR News: So there are scant few things we know about this first arc of Hit-Girl. We know it follows up on the Paul McQue finale of Kick-Ass 3. We know that Mindy is off to Colombia. But in what way did you think of this arc as the beginning of a new series? What about this story sets a whole new status quo for Hit-Girl?
Mark Millar: This new Hit-Girl ongoing series, to me, is essentially our fucked up version of Tintin. I remember as a kid here in Scotland looking at my Tintin and Asterix graphic novels and seeing all these other books set in different countries that made up this enormous collection. That’s precisely what I’ve set up here. It’s all four-issue stories, all with A-list writing and art and each one set in a different country. So we have Ricardo and I doing Hit-Girl Colombia, Kevin Smith takes her to Hollywood, Rafael Albuquerque takes her to Rome and so on. I want this to run for three or so years and have nine different graphic novels set in all these different countries and, like Tintin, I want people to gawp at the back and wish they had them all.
The new Kick-Ass series is very much a brand new start with a new character inspired by Dave to go and put on a rubber wet-suit on the other side of America. Hit-Girl is actually a direct continuation from the old Kick-Ass series. As readers will know, we left off with Paul McQue picking up the mantle and being trained as the new Kick-Ass, but it doesn’t quite work out. We have a lot of fun with this, and I love playing around with traditional expectations, but all I’ll say is Hit-Girl is back on her own and looking for a partner. She loved Big Daddy, she loved Kick-Ass, and she loves Batman and Robin comics. She’s after someone new to watch her back and that’s the beginning of Hit-Girl #1.
You've got a killer lineup of talent for future arcs from Jeff Lemire and Eduardo Risso on through Kevin Smith, Rafa and newcomer Kim Jung Gi. But tell me a little more about the back and forth between y'all. What high concept do you offer them when you ask them to do an arc? Do you do any kind of story editing to make each arc connect, or is this more like having each new story be a self-contained James Bond movie, so to speak?
Yes, each arc is self-contained. Our editor, Rachael Fulton, keeps a close eye and makes sure the stories are all very different, but the location has meant that each four issue arc has a unique identity. Pete Milligan, for example, is just wrapping up a story set in India, which is amazing, with Alison Sampson on art, and it really couldn’t be more different from Jeff Lemire and Eduardo Risso’s brilliant arc in Canada. We’ve got Russia, China, Hong Kong -- you have to see Goran Parlov’s Hong Kong artwork. I’m honestly just putting these books together as a fan and hiring all my dream creators to do the best run on any book ever. I really just want these for my own shelves.