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Comic-book series Kick-Ass aims for more realistic superhero

by Matthew Price Published: April 16, 2010

Comic book writer Mark Millar sees the second film based on one of his comic-book series hit the big screen this weekend with “Kick-Ass,” a film partially inspired by the “real-life superheroes” trend, in which everyday people dress as superheroes and patrol the streets of their towns.

“Wanted,” the first film based on a Millar comic book, was released in 2008.

The new film stars Aaron Johnson as Dave Lizewski, an everyday high school student who decides to become a superhero without any powers or special abilities.

The comic book series on which the film is based was drawn by John Romita Jr. (“Daredevil”) and was published by Marvel’s Icon imprint, for creator-owned comics.

“This isn’t a fictional Gotham or Opal City or whatever. He isn’t up against any kind of animal-themed super-villain and there’s no robots or mutants or aliens,” Millar said in a 2007 interview with the Web site Newsarama. “This is a normal person in the real world putting on a mask and getting into trouble. As unbelievably simple as that sounds, I don’t think that’s ever been done before.”

The complete Icon series has been collected in a hardcover edition that retails for $24.99. The comic book series and collection are suggested for mature audiences.

Fans who want to dig further into the creation of the project can check out the Titan Books behind-the-scenes book “Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie,” which features interviews with Millar, Romita Jr., film director Matthew Vaughn and others behind the comic book and movie.

“’Kick-Ass’ is my love letter to superhero comics,” Millar says in the behind-the-scenes book. “And I’ve taken little parts of my own life and the lives of friends and shoved it all in there to make the characters as real as possible.”

Screenplay writer Jane Goldman said in the book about the film that it was important to make Dave not a comedy nerd, but a normal, relatable kid.

“We wanted to take that more modern attitude that he’s not a loser, he’s just a normal kid,” Goldman said. “He loves comics, and, as I think we all do at that age, longs for adventure. But he doesn’t always think the consequences through.”

The film also stars Christopher Mintz-Plasse (“Superbad”), Nicolas Cage (“Leaving Las Vegas”) and Chloe Moretz (“[500] Days of Summer”).

- By Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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