Despite online outcry for more female superhero representation on screen and in merchandise — just try to find T-shirts or action figures dedicated to Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow —Hollywood has been less than obliging. While it may take time for the the movie business to get with the times, look no further than the source material of these blockbuster hits for your girl power fix. Comic-book author Mark Millar is rebooting his 2008 breakout hit Kick-Ass, which saw two big-screen adaptations in 2010 and 2013, and replacing the dorky white teen Dave Lizewski (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the films) with a Black woman as the titular hero. In an exclusive interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Millar spoke to the importance of featuring women, and especially women of color, in comic books.
"I don’t think many blonde white guys around 30 feel under-represented when they pick up comic [sic] or watch a movie. Being older or younger or female or African-American just seems more interesting to me as a writer, because this character is quite unique and opens up story possibilities that haven’t been tried in almost 80 years of superhero fiction." Millar — whose other works include Empress, Kick-Ass spin-off Hit-Girl, as well as Wanted and Kingsman: The Secret Service, which both received the Hollywood treatment — joins the ranks of other authors fighting to put the 'hero' in heroine. The past few years have seen the monikers of both Thor and Hawkeye taken up by women. And the update of Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager, as Ms. Marvel is perhaps the most significant effort toward inclusivity in comics. Not to mention the slew of other recent titles starring female leads: A-Force, Saga, Rat Queens, and Bitch Planet (trust me, it's definitely worth a read) to name a few. It's great to see the comic-book industry not only acknowledging the desire for more and better female characters, but also meeting that demand, and revamping a popular title like Kick-Ass is another big step forward. No word yet on when the revamped Kick-Ass will debut, but for those expecting a rehash of the original with a gimmick, never fear. Millar had this to say: "This woman has a completely different take on Kick-Ass."