Robot 6

Is Mark Millar sexist and racist?

from Kick-Ass by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

from Kick-Ass by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

According to blogger Erin Polgreen, the answer is yes. Making the case at (of all places) Spencer Ackerman’s national-security blog at the progressive website FireDogLake, Polgreen alleges that in books ranging from Superman: Red Son to Wanted to Kick-Ass, Millar portrays even strong female characters like Lois Lane, Wonder Woman and Hit Girl as inveterate second bananas to their books’ male protagonists. She also gets some shots in at what she sees as the dubious racial politics at play in Wanted and Kick-Ass, where the ethnicity of various non-white minor characters is played as a punchline.

It’s interesting to see an argument against Millar’s treatment of “minority” groups (women are, of course, the majority, but you wouldn’t know it from comics) hinging on something as comparatively innocuous as his female heroes not proving as heroic as his male ones, given the far more violent and ignominious fates he frequently doles out to his characters. For example, if I were in one of his comics, I’d take out a big fat life insurance policy on any gay and/or black people I knew in-universe the second he came aboard. And with regards to women specifically, you’d think the treatment of rape in books like Wanted and Ultimate Comics Avengers would have at least raised Polgreen’s eyebrows, if not her ire. But hey, we report, you decide.



Clearly, Polgreen has never read anything by Garth Ennis.

I haven’t read the article, but I’d be suspicious of an argument that starts out by saying that female supporting characters are being treated as secondary to male leads. Well, yeah. Drop the words “female” and “male,” and what you have left is simply an acknowledgment that supporting characters are secondary to the leads.

Is Lois Lane treated as secondary to Superman in SUPERMAN? Probably, but then, he’s the star. If Jimmy Olsen and Perry White are regularly being presented as more important than Superman and Lois isn’t (or even if Jimmy is consistently portrayed as more important than Lois), that might be a situation worth investigating, but “supporting cast member secondary to lead character” isn’t a shocker, really.

If Wonder Woman gets treated as more important than Steve Trevor or Tom Tresser in WONDER WOMAN, that’s not really a sterling sign of anti-male thought, either. It’s just the way starring roles work.

There may be much stronger arguments in the article itself, but at least on the face of it, that particular argument strikes me as kinda weak.


Ridiculous. People hate on Millar cause he writes fun, over-the-top, bombastic comics. Of course Wonder Woman is gonna be second-banana in a book called SUPERMAN. And it’s not racism to mention people’s nationalities, as is done in Kick-Ass.

Yeah, blaming Millar (whose writing I am not a particular fan of) for Lois’s status as as a secondary character in Superman is like blaming Barack Obama for the the design of the Presidential seal.

Sean T. Collins

March 22, 2010 at 11:07 am

It’s worth reading the article for the specifics about Lois and Wonder Woman, for example, Kurt. She’s not simply they’re not as important in the story line, she’s saying their historic strengths are diluted.

Polgreen’s complaint doesn’t appear to be that ‘secondary characters are treated as secondary’. Rather, that’s how this article has represented her point. Polgreen seems more concerned with the thin, caricatured representation of women and minorities in Millar’s comics. I haven’t read the books she discusses, but it does seem to be a common feature in his work. If you’re not straight, white and male in Millar’s stories, you’re often a novelty at best and a deviant grotesque at worst.

“… she’s saying their historic strengths are diluted.”

Cause the version of Superman in the book, he’s a shining example of all that’s good about SUPERMAN.

Terrible blog (cause that’s all it is, a poor rant). It is so easy to poke holes in all of the examples she lists, at least from the titles I’ve read.

I’m happy that the “hippy liberals of lefty land” have come out to prove that drama is an equal opportunity politician. Warner Todd Huston, the “cantankerous crier of conservatism”, spent far too long alone on the right side of the rubber room. At least now he has someone who will yell back at him. I imagine it would be like forcing Ann Coulter and Al Franken to agree on a pizza order.

I could go on about how Millar’s works are socio-culturally and politically multi-layered, do in fact hold a mirror up, not just to fanboys, but all of society and how this one aspect of Kick-Ass suffers the same assault as many of Clint Eastwood’s Westerns (including his best-picture winning “Unforgiven”) — but I’m not going to bother because Polgreen has already poo-poo’d these arguments. Instead, I’ll simply state the obvious thing that she missed.

The book’s protagonist is a YOUNG, WHITE MALE. It’s thus written from that viewpoint. What sense would it make to write it from the point-of-view of a 30-year-old or a girl? It would never resonate with the audience.

The issues addressed, though perhaps not dissected with the same academic precision as Hit-Girl’s knife-handling, are still real and true. There is an increasing trend among young men in America, perhaps moreso among whites, of feeling a lack of empowerment. What Polgreen refers to as “Fanboys”, George Will calls “The Basement Boys” in his article of the same title in the March 8 issue of Newsweek. What are the trends? Feelings of racial marginalization as whites’ majority in the population decreases, the pervading disciplinary philosophy that restricts the healthy exploration of assertiveness out of fear that kids will become violent, and a feeling of impotence when, as a consequence of never having developed methods of asserting oneself, they are faced with bullies or thugs. This isn’t some racially motivated or mysogynistic lament for the death of “good ‘ol fashioned American manhood”, this is an observation of statistics indicating that more young men in America are directionless in their gender role.

It’s only messy because Millar’s work explores it on an all-too-personal level. Dave Lizewski is a character who’s not defined by his “Kick-Assery”, but rather the conditions of his alter-ego. Right at the mention of his name, you can tell this guy has problems. He’s Peter Parker for the 21st Century. It’s not that he wants to be a superhero, that’s just an outlet and a vehicle for action. What he wants to be is anything other than what he is– a puny, pimpled white kid with a Jewish name. On one side he’s diminished and beaten down by an element of society (thugs and bullies, not racial minorities) who do in fact assert their manhood. On the other side he’s held back from responding in kind by another element of society (teachers, police, parents) who demand that he not “stoop to that level”. Dave cannot hope to follow the rules written down by authority figures without getting his own ass kicked. Meanwhile, he can’t hope for vindication if he plays by the unwritten rules. He is a Soldier stranded in a no-man’s land. This is a conflict that resonates loud and clear on a deep, instinctual level with the audience Millar aims for.

Look at it from a different angle– why have the ‘Twilight’ books and movies met with so much success? It’s not the guys, that’s for sure. Most men that I know that have read the first book say that it’s an okay story, but they can’t stand the way it’s written. Women love it because it so closely resembles the thought patterns of a teenaged girl. What man on the planet (of any age) can survive very long in an environment as chaotic as the mind of a teenaged girl? The answer is that it doesn’t matter, because the book wasn’t written for men and thus would fail if it approached that viewpoint. On the racial level, characters like Luke Cage and the Black Panther demonstrate that comics can “keep it real” and come out of the X-Men-as-racial-allegory shell. Heck, Northstar is gay and Ben Grimm is Jewish. Let’s not act like the content hasn’t evolved.

No one assails Twilight for the androgynous physicality of Edward or the way he’s eviscerated by the fickle passions of Bella as some kind of uber-feminist power trip. And why should we? It’s a melodramatic chick-flick. We only need Taylor Lautner around when we need to steam up the theater with his bare torso. And that’s why we send Hit-Girl on her way so quickly. Once she’s done kicking ass, she doesn’t matter to the point-of-view character anymore. What, you want to see her grow into a 24-year-old as she cathartically dispels her past as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa? I don’t think so, the show must go on, and the show is about a young boy dealing with his inadequacies. So why is Polgreen trying to erect (no pun intended) a strawman phallus out of Millar’s work so that she can burn it down? It’s obvious from the start that this thing isn’t meant to be some grand Watchmen-esque narrative on our society. Millar took something that is intuitively obvious to him through observations in his every day life. Again, the Will article demonstrates that Millar isn’t the only one seeing it, or that it’s all in the heads of those that do.

Polgreen makes the same mistake as any guy that goes to see ‘Twilight’ for the vampire vs. werewolf action. As we say, there’s a time and a place for everything. For the “fanboy” wanting to see battle royale, “Underworld” was the correct answer. For Polgreen, Jessica Drew, Wildcat, and Power Girl are out there. But to read something and then lambast it for not being what it never intended to be, well, that’s kind of like coming up into the boy’s tree house and hollering about the “no girls allowed” sign. Wrong argument, wrong place.

Steven R. Stahl

March 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm

A comment on Polgreen’s blog entry — — includes:

I find a lot of what is said here to be enlightening and interesting but I must respectfully disagree, a little. I enjoy Millar’s writing the same way I enjoy Grant Morrison’s writing because Millar likes to play with the peculiar nature and physics of comic book universes. A lot of his material, for instance (this would include Wanted) is based on the notion that due to the conventions of monthly publishing, there has to be multiple villains for every solo superhero book, to the point where there are like 20 Spider-Man villains for every Spider-Man. So Millar wrote several books asking the question, well, wouldn’t it make sense if all of these villains teamed up and killed all the superheroes around?

In the same vein, I view a lot of his work as taking the insane and rather retrograde conventions of superhero material and amplifying them to both their most logical and absurd conclusions. In the case of Kick-Ass and his treatment of women, I agree with Wolk that he isn’t race-baiting more than he is pointing to a long fanboy tradition of doing the same. It all comes down to the male-oriented universes that Millar is a part of, so wouldn’t it make sense that, in these universes, men would act appallingly.

There are a lot of aspects of Millar’s work I find silly (he claims that a book with a ten-year old assassin who lays waste to dozens of mobsters is the “first book about what superheroes would be like in the real world”–not likely), but frankly the amount of Internet hate I see directed toward him and Bendis reflects a rather retrograde, fanboyish view of comics in itself.

A writer that ridicules the genre he’s working in or that panders to the tastes of the least intelligent and/or close-minded readers isn’t writing to entertain people. Even if someone thinks that superhero genre conventions are ridiculous as a group, he doesn’t have to use them all, or even one, in a given story. The plot material and the characters can be as serious and literary in a single story as one would find in any literary magazine. The conventions can be used appropriately and intelligently.


The conventions of the superhero genre are ridiculous. Writers like Johns treat them as serious business, as things that wouldn’t seem out of place in the real world. It’s completely normal for a man in red tights to breeze around town catching bullets at near light speed.

Millar, otoh, revels in the ridiculousness of the conventions of superheroes. We are reading about grown men who dress up in tights and fight other grown men for control of the world. It doesn’t always work as serious business. Hell, half the time, it shouldn’t.

To say that it isn’t an intelligent application of the conventions is judgemental and wrong. Seriousness varies from person to person. Alan Moore stories are serious business, but often feature men and women embroiled in sexual scandals, ideas that others would consider silly and juvenile.

If I happen to enjoy a mark Millar comic, does that make me less intelligent than someone who enjoys a Geoff Johns comic? I don’t feel like some is pandering to me.

Sean T. Collins

March 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Obviously I didn’t communicate Polgreen’s point about the women characters very well. What I meant by “inveterate second bananas” isn’t that their status in the narrative places them in a subordinate position to the protagonists — as is the case with all supporting characters — but that their status as women places them in a subordinate position to the male characters.

Steven R. Stahl

March 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Millar, otoh, revels in the ridiculousness of the conventions of superheroes. We are reading about grown men who dress up in tights and fight other grown men for control of the world. It doesn’t always work as serious business. Hell, half the time, it shouldn’t.

That’s partly due to Marvel and DC continuing to try to capture children as readers, for the sake of merchandising, when they should be writing for YA and adults, and partly due to continually coming up with serialized stories. The underlying conceit of the ULTIMATES line was that superheroes were going to be done better, but the line wound be being rebooted.

If superhero stories were done to any extent as close-ended prose novels, the costumes wouldn’t matter, genre conventions would rarely apply, and the situations the heroes faced could be as serious as desired. The results would be indistinguishable from SF/fantasy novels.



With a close ended paradigm and a lack of (true) serialization it would be a new genre and medium. The serialized comic would be obsolete. These new OGN from DC covering new origins for Batman and Superman are a push toward finding the adult collector in bookstores who just saw a movie.

But I think genre conventions would always apply, in some fashion. They’d have to, as the reader or writer would demand it. Mostly because they don’t know any better. The conventions of every genre are applied when the writer is trying not to, simply because they don’t know any better. At least in my experience.


I think I addressed this in my previous post. The nature of the protagonist establishes the viewpoint, and the nature goes way beyond the X/Y chromosome. Take, for instance, the circumstances of Yorick Brown in “Y: The Last Man”. Being the last man in a world of women, the “secondary” characters assert very strong positions. Meanwhile, in “Twilight”, Edward necessarily has to be the kind of distraught, beleagured character who is torn and insecure about his place in the world so that he can’t steal the show from Bella, who is herself insecure. If she wound up dating the captain of the football team, we’d either have to beef up her character presence or make the jock a mummy.

I would say one of the best executed series in which women are constantly placed in subservient roles yet remain incredibly strong characters is “Samurai Executioner”. While Hit-Girl going to play with dolls at the end probably isn’t a nod to anything like that, it may fall in the same vein– an affirmation of the power within accepting who you are. Regardless, the argument of the sexist tendency of that decision falls away because her own reasons for making the decision are irrelevant. We care only what the point-of-view character thinks about it.

As for Lois Lane in Red Son, her relationship with Lex Luthor exists to demonstrate just how evil he really is. Lois is a long-standing symbol of innocence and fortitude in the pursuit of justice. That Lex fools her, betrays her, and abuses her is just as if he clubbed lady liberty herself to death. It’s the Clint Eastwood rape victim allegory all over again. Once more, some characters are there to contribute, and some are there to symbolize something. If she wants stronger women, there’s always “Strangers in Paradise”.

The Ugly American

March 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Is he a sexy racist or a racy sexist? You make the call!

It seems to me that the political subtext of Millar’s first story arc on The Authority is about the the great military and economic powers of the world, including the United Nations turning a blind eye to genocide throughout the world (which was just as much a historical reality at the time he wrote it as it is now.)

It opens with the Authority intervening to halt a genocide in SE Asia that the rest of the world was ignoring. I don’t want to generalize about Millar’s work, but at least in this instance, I thought I was reading an anti-racist story.

I am not a fan of Millar’s writing. I think the guy is over rated and relies way too much on shock in order to sell his (IMO) crappy comics. I also think that the guy is a lying braggart who takes credit for other people’s ideas. So yes, I’m bias against Millar.

As for whether or not Millar is a racist, I don’t think so. However, I do think that most of his knowledge of non white minority’s (especially black people of African descent) comes from movies and TV. He also seems to put the black (and other non white minority characters) in less important and less popular stereotypical background roles, as well as use them as cannon fodder. Here are several examples of what I’m talking about.

1. In CIVIL WAR #1, Night Thrasher (who is an intelligent and very competent and capable leader) is shown taken orders from Speedball (who is the exact opposite of Night Thrasher). Thrasher (along with Namorita and the craptastic Z list Microbe) is killed off in CW #1. FYI, Namorita has been recently resurrected, while NT is still dead, but I digress.

2. Black Goliath dies off in a predictable and Hollywood cliche “kill the black man” death scene in CW. And yes, I predicted that he would be the one to die a week before the issue came out over on the comixtreme forums.

3. Ultimate Nick Fury is the stereotypical no nonsense black commander who spends MOST of his time behind the desk and who sends the more important/more popular and mostly white heroes on their action packed missions.

4. In his Dark Wol……er……I mean in his “ENEMY OF THE STATE” WOLVERINE story arc, he killed off Hornet (who is Latino). And even though he is white, he also killed off Northstar (who we all know is gay) in that same story arc.

5. Ultimate Wasp, who is Asian, is almost killed by her white abusive husband. And IIRC, she later defends him and get’s pissed off at Cap for kicking his butt. She was also portrayed in a demeaning manner when in order to distract the rampaging Hulk, she flashed her boobs at him.

6. All of the heroes in KICK-ASS are white. Which I find very funny since KA is based in the multi racial NYC and since Millar is trying to show how superheroes would really be like in the real world. I also hear (and I could have heard wrong) that there is a black detective in this series who feels the stereotypical non important and boring Hollywood cliche role of trying to figure out all of this superhero stiff.

7. And now we come to Ultimate black Hulk who seems to be a refugee from Bian Azzarella’s racially stereotypical and offensive CAGE mini series from the MAX imprint. He even has a 4 finger bling ring with the word “HULK” on it.

Just FYI, there is no need to put the word minority in quotes in your post. Understood in a political and sociological context, “minority” isn’t about numbers. Its about the share in status and power. One can be a part of a numerical minority and yet still be in the majority (or dominant) group.

It’s this aspect of Millar’s comics that I tend to find most distasteful (apart from his overly mannered dialogue and the fact that his sense of “cool” seems to be that of a middle-aged dad at a “discotheque”) – not because I think he’s a racist or a sexist, but because he seems to think I (the reader in general) am and I get the impression he’s taking the piss out of me. If his comics had a face, they’d be smirking.

She puts together an interesting and passionate article that offers some good points about stereotyping but comes across a little overly sensitive to a genre that’s meant to raise more than a few eyebrows, but let’s face it writing stories with overly stylized and caricatured characters in situations of hyper violence doesn’t make your racist or sexist.

There is one line in the article that I found ironic.
For all his costumed prowess and good intention, Dave can’t get laid because women are just bitches who want a big dick.

She writes this in the second to last paragraph and is referring to Katie’s black boyfriend.

Steven R. Stahl

March 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

She writes this in the second to last paragraph and is referring to Katie’s black boyfriend.

Read the sentence within the context of the paragraph. Polgreen is being sardonic. The difference between sexism and misogyny in fiction is that sexist writing distorts the characterization of the female characters; they’re not written as normal people. A misogynistic writer punishes his female characters for being female by writing them as insane or evil, and/or by having them killed.


Right, but she didn’t have say “big” to have that mocking tone. It plays into the stereotype of how black guys are well endowed. She goes on and on about stereotyping but does so herself.

Considering the nature of the stereotypes about hypersexualized black men, that is almost certainly what Millar was implying in that scene. Dave is shot down, shamed, and emasculated by the fact that his love interest, who is insanely vindictive and cruel, is dating a black guy. Her texting him a picture of oral sex in revenge plays up the stereotype. It’s not irony so much as knowing exactly what the text is implying.

I think what he’s trying to say is that with the way the majority of the article was written up to that point the author is careful in handling the examination of each example up until the aforementioned paragraph when she herself assumes that black men are well endowed and that is ironic because you don’t expect her to fall prey to stereotyping having been so fervent in analyzing it objectively.

I think there is an air of racial insensitivity from a lot of the British writers and I think a lot of that has to do with nationality. Regardless of how intelligent or quasi-intellectual/metaphysical many of the British writers set themselves up to be (Ellis, MIllar, etc.) when they approach stories set in America there is simply a cultural reality of American racial and sexual politics they simply don’t understand. Its not their culture, they feel around clumsily when trying to assimilate our culture for the sake of writing an “American” comics story. Take Millar. He’s a Scot. There are fewer people in Scotland than in all of NYC combined, and far, far fewer black people in Scotland in total than there are in Queens alone. What the hell does a Scot know about African Americans he didn’t learn from Pulp Fiction, New Jack City or some rap music video? Not much. I’m guessing there isn’t much African American studies in Scotland.

If Millar is holding up a mirror its to himself and we’re looking over his shoulder at his reflection as he says “Hey this is how the world really thinks PC bullshit aside. This is how people talk when you PC types ain’t listening, and how we act when you’re not watching. You don’t like it tough shit, its reality. And I don’t have to pander because I don’t have to care. You keep buying my comics anyway and cash is king.”

If here is anything the Brit writers do have correct is that there is a difference between true social equality and using PC buzzwords to appear that we’re all one big happy American family. What they don’t understand is that a lot more Americans believe and genuinely live in accordance with concepts of gender/racial/religious equality than most foreigners think. Its comfortable for them to lampoon us as moral buffoons because they don’t get it. Because they’re not trying this hard in their home country for things to work out in terms of racial equality at least.

Great Britain has a bad report card when it comes to race relations. There are members of the BNP (British National Party) sitting in the European Parliament. That’s like the Klan sitting overtly in our Senate. (BNP affiliated punks in the 70s used to go around violently beating up minorities in London).

From a cultural perspective, I think British writers are quite unconcerned with appearing to appease any racial group. they’re too busy thinking their smarter than you because they’ve read some bullshit by Crowley or some space-time-continum matrix mumbo jumbo.

The real problem is that we like this stuff…myself included. Since the line has been crossed…hell I’ll take the mass destruction of today’s comics over the corny Marvel Team Ups of my childhood. The sickness is that we all love this crap readers and writers alike…but that’s another story. So thats the thing. When I approach comics, I’m pleasantly surprised if there is anything intellectually stimulating…but that’s not why I read comics. I do want to see shit blow the fuck up. If I want something more intellectually satisfying Mark Millar ain’t gonna be it. Its a comic book. God bless the child seeking redemption in funny books, for he/she is an idiot.

Ultimately Millar’s work does seem racist and sexist for no good reason. His kill rate of non-whites is astonishing, the un-likability of his black characters that do survive (even his Fury is more scoundrel than hero). But its a trend of British writers I think where its almost like they’re trying to one-up each other. Ennis’ references to raping the corpses of children in Crossed to Millar’s bloodfests in, well everything….if there ever was a message its lost in the blood and tits. I mean you can put a stripper pole in the temple, and it might make things more interesting…but eventually all meaning is lost and it all just goes to shit.

So what next? Batman goes berserk and rapes Betty & Veronica? Why not? You know you’d buy it….and that folks is the real problem….cuz I probably would to.

Jenny Sparks and Ultimate Nick Fury. That is all.

@fanboy d — Millar didn’t create Jenny Sparks, Warren Ellis did. And Millar came on the book AFTER she died.

@Darius, you hit exactly what’s always bothered me about Brits writing American culture. Yes, we have race issues, and we know it. But they are far more complex than anyone from outside the US could possibly imagine. We have a black president with a Harvard Law degree whom protesters across the country depict as a witch doctor for trying to effect healthcare reform. The layers of racial politics in this country are STAGGERING. The ways that racism, sexism, classism, and all other -isms overlap in this country is far too complicated for anyone who hasn’t lived here for years to depict with any degree of accuracy.

no he’s not. he’s from coatbridge. we’re all a bit mad! The boy’s done good as far as i’m concerned…

I think everyone’s missing the real point here; MARK MILLAR IS A TERRIBLE WRITER. I mean, does anyone actually READ his work?

He had Captain America, while in the process of beating someone to death, scream out “DO YOU THINK THIS ‘A’ ON MY HEAD STANDS FOR FRANCE?!”.

I’m personally leaning towards the belief that he is racist, but I’m reserving my final judgment until he inevitably addresses this issue himself.

Kick ass action is in New York… City of Multi-Cultures… For Zeus Sake… Gang wars? Hip Hop Rule… about 70% of the Gangsters nowadays are Afro-Americans. They beat the Russian-Americans and the Italian-Americans, and try to live in Subs and don’t like Hip Hop… It’s Chaos dude.

Every single black guy in Kick-Ass is portrayed negatively. There is no option: or he is a thug, or a violent boyfriend, or a bully, or the black woman that his father is fucking…there is no scape. The first thing i thought when i finish reading whas this: that book is awesome, but why deliberately so racist? The racism is not even hidded, you don’t need to look for it, it’s on your face. (sorry for my bad english, i’m brazilian).

I don’t really think Millar, personally, is racist, but his books are complex constructions that contain, depict and reflect racism.
I’ve written a lengthy review today
and I think there is a fascination with that kind of thinking in his work because its so close in rhetoric and tropes to the world of comics, no?


June 16, 2010 at 7:35 am

For anyone reading this thread, make very sure to read Shigekuni’s article, linked in the post above. It may be one of the most insightful analyses of Millar’s work that he’s ever going to receive, as well as providing some very honest observations of the raw nature of the comics industry itself.

Did you know Scots had a nation once? After being colonized by the English, these poor blokes have suffered from massive inferiority complexes. Millar is a clear example of the type of person this backwards country produces: A hateful, interbred, misogynist bigot who needs funny drawings to endorse his half-assed attempt at writing.

What you got offended? I’m just being satirical…

Wait a minute… Brits are too ignorant to understand the complex layers of race relations in the States? That’s just bullshit, sorry. Think about the British Empire, colonialism, the current storm over immigration, the struggle with the far right that is taking place RIGHT NOW and the fact that for the right-leaning British press race is a continual source of angst and recrimination… this stuff is constantly in the forefront of British thinking and it all adds up to a far from straightforward situation. Having said that, Americans should perhaps think about the KKK, Rodney King, Malcolm X, the Tea Party, their own (apparent) problems with Islam and inflammatory jerks like Glenn Beck before they place themselves above other ‘less enlightened’ nations.

Kilamuk, the United States could have a million tea parties and not be half as racist as the average British citizen or inflict as much racial hatred as the British Empire did. Deal with it.

In Kick-Ass 8 Hit Girl wanted to retire from being a superhero. The book says that she “never raised her hand in violence again.” But Hit Girl became very well received in the film. In Kick-Ass 9, instead, Marcus Williams (stepdad) is forbidding Hit Girl from being a hero.

felipe said “Every single black guy in Kick-Ass is portrayed negatively.”
The exception is Marcus, *but* he’s not introduced until the conclusion of Volume 8. Marcus is more significant and more a product of the film.

Apparently the influence of the film adaptation corrects what was wrong in the comics…

Watch movie kick-ass again. With atention!
All bad guys – stranger or american whith accent
All good guys weapon or machine – american
even all weapon used by bad guys – not american


kaz: Uhm, no. We are talking about the comic, not the movie.

Quite a few of the bad guys (Frank, Red Mist, Rasul, the mobsters) were as American as apple pie.
There was maybe a Russian mobster, but that’s it.

Norman Prevot

June 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm

“I pitched this to DC for a laugh years back. The idea was that, like Death of Superman, we had Rape of Wonder Woman; a twenty-two page rape scene that opened up into a gatefold at the end just like Superman did.” (Mark Millar)

He’s a idiot.

“A misogynistic writer punishes his female characters for being female by writing them as insane or evil, and/or by having them killed.” Steven R. Stahl

I agree about your definition of misogyny

Of course there are some women who are insane and/or evil. just like there are men are as well. Not all women in Miller’s works are insane or evil.

Personally, I would say… no. The reason being, your (and many others’) arguments for why he seems to ‘hate’ these minority groups is flawed, since it hinges on the idea he kills them, bad things happen to them, or that they’re portrayed as unlikeable.

Here’s the flaw with that: All of those things are applicable to virtually every single character he writes. Millar loves to explore the absolute worst aspects of humanity, to a sickening and frustrating degree. He portrays any character (with the rare exception like Superman) as douchebags, or idiots, or people out of their league. Hit Girl is a violent sociopath, sure… but then so is her father, and she’s a victim of his horrendous brainwashing, meaning he’s actually a much worse human being than her on every level.

Wonder Woman? In Red Son, she’s presented as someone who deeply cares about people on a fundamental level, who wants nothing more than to protect everyone and have peace in our time, regardless of whether she has to break some moral codes along the way. Hell, she (more than once) is responsible for saving Superman when he’s out of his depth. And as for her being a second-stringer in the story? Umm, yeah, she’s a supporting character, so duh she’s not gonna be the main focus, I’m not even sure what your argument there is.

I can’t really comment on whether or not he’s racist. The only time I’ve seen him try to represent any race other than asian or white, it was in Kick-Ass with some random thugs. And given we also see frequent white thugs and murderers in that too, I don’t see any reason to pick that particular group to point at and say “that’s racist!” since they neither say nor do anything racially insensitive. Unless you’re saying there are no violent black people on the entire planet, which would be pretty silly.
I did find myself feeling a little awkward when I read Kick-Ass and the number of times the main character said “I was the one who saved them from the puerto-ricans” rather than just calling them gangsters. That was a bit weird, but I don’t think it’s something to read too deeply into.

Basically what i’m getting at is that the idea of Millar being racist and sexist because his female and black characters are presented as unpleasant, stupid douchebags etc is a bit of a flawed one given that almost all his characters are dickish morons, regardless of race and gender.

That said, I still despise a great deal of his work, and I think he’s an awful writer a lot of the time specifically because he cannot help but write his characters to be the most frustratingly unlikeable sort, and his stories bend over backwards to force moronic crap masquerading as ‘dark edgy storytelling’ without actually having a decent plot to back it up.

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