‘Kick-Ass’ Creator Mark Millar Under Fire For Rape Comments

Mark Millar Rape

Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar isn’t above using rape as a plot device in his stories. The guy’s recent comments on the matter have turned the writer into a lightning rod for controversy once again.

Fans of Millar’s work are painfully familiar with his use of rape in a number of his violent tales. Wanted, The Authority, Nemesis, and Kick-Ass 2 all employ the device. As former Comics Alliance editor-in-chief Laura Hudson points out, these scenes are usually there to infuriate a male superhero.

Mark Millar isn’t above using the “woman in the refrigerator” technique in many of his stories. Although he’s addressed the issue in the past, the folks at The New Republic decided to ask him about his penchant for rape and sexual assault.

“The ultimate [act] that would be the taboo, to show how bad some villain is, was to have somebody being raped, you know. I don’t really think it matters. It’s the same as, like, a decapitation. It’s just a horrible act to show that somebody’s a bad guy,” the Kick-Ass creator explained.

During a 2011 interview, Millar was asked about the way women are treated in comic books. According to the writer, the debate surrounding the controversial topic is nothing more than a “tiny storm in a tea-cup.”

“In ten years time I’ll copy and paste this again when the argument raises its head like it did a decade ago. The fact is that more women are reading comics right now than at any point in my life and they’re not picking them up because they feel they’re demeaning in any way,” he said.

Comics Alliance’s John Hughes believes that Mark Millar’s reliance on this plot device is “astounding, infuriating, irresponsible, and sad.”

“In the United States, where the majority of Millar’s comics are published and sold, one in six women has experienced an attempted or completed rape, only 16% of rapes and sexual assaults are reported to the police, and only about 5% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail,” Hughes explained.

The controversy surrounding Mark Millar hasn’t stopped him from becoming insanely successful. Not only has he written stories for Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four, he’s seen a number of his own creations adapted for the big screen. He’s also currently a consultant for 20th Century Fox.

What do you think about Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar’s thoughts on rape as a plot device? Do you think that women are still portrayed poorly in comic books?

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]