When Mark Millar announced in 2018 that a new Kick-Ass book would be focusing on a female protagonist, fans were skeptical. They were accustomed to Dave Lizewski's adventures since 2008. However, after a decade, Millar wanted to bring something new to the franchise with writer Steve Niles and artist Marcelo Frusin, by telling a fresh story of female empowerment with a black lead.
With that in mind, he subverted the green-suited hero that Dave and Hit-Girl put into the spotlight by making the new Kick-Ass something more than a hero. Let's look at how Millar and his team turned this character, a war veteran, Patience Lee, into a queenpin, flipping the script on everything we associated with the vigilante costume.
WHO IS PATIENCE LEE?
Patience fought in the Afghanistan with a squad known as the Night Stalkers before coming back home to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sadly, she ran into several problems in America, suffering PTSD and her husband, Frankie, leaving her alone to take care of their kids. Reeling from him running off with a younger girl, Patience found the going tough with mounting bills to pay, and resorted to working as a waitress.
This was a remarkably true snapshot to how many veterans struggle to settle back in after coming home from war, and in Patience's case, she lost patience with life in general. Her town was overrun by disrespectful young people, criminals, gangsters, and toxic males, all of whom she decided to punish. And when Patience went after Hoops, one of the main crime-lords, she robbed him with a Kick-Ass costume, twisting that hero's legacy in to something else.
WHAT DID THE NEW KICK-ASS DO?
When Patience went after Hoops, it was meant to be a one-time robbery. The money there was used to help her mom and sister, Edwina, and to mostly pay bills. But with college tuition being so expensive, other criminals fell into her gaze. The likes of Santos and Violencia were taken down, with Patience actually co-opting the former's empire and using it as an army of her own. She'd go after rivals and use their money for what she deemed to be good, acting as a community leader of sorts.
Sadly, her brother-in-law, Maurice, suffered burns in an explosion as he was working with these criminals. But after going into a coma, he'd end up recovering and blackmailing Patience, threatening to out her. She already had a couple of close calls with her daughter and couldn't afford any more heat, so she agreed. Coincidentally, the big boss, Cortez, also sent his lead assassin, Rosa, after her. While Patience was coming from a place of good, it became perfectly clear as of the latest chapter, Kick-Ass #16, she was losing herself in the belly of the beast and painting an ever-growing target on her back.
WILL THERE BE A KICK-ASS 3?
In 2018, Millar said that he'd like to see Tessa Thompson portray Patience Lee in a prospective third Kick-Ass movie. While Thompson is known for playing Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Millar said that he felt that she was the right person for the job and could handle the more personal aspects of the role well as well.
After Millar made his comments, Thompson said that she was "highly interested" in the role, adding that she would brush up on her comic book knowledge. Nothing has happened since then, but Thompson's star has only grown thanks to her non-Marvel roles in Westworld, Creed and Men in Black: International. While she's set to return to the MCU in Thor: Love and Thunder, there's still a chance to Kick-Ass in the franchise's next potential installment.