SAN DIEGO -- Every year, Comic-Con is awash in costume players - or "cosplayers" in the parlance - so you're liable to see lots of Wolverines, Deadpools, Star WarsStormtroopers and Slave Leias running around.
This year, though, might be the year of Kick-Ass cosplay, with many folks donning the green tights of the young hero Kick-Ass from Mark Millar's comic-book series and film franchise as well as slipping on the purple togs of Hit-Girl and rocking the red of a supervillain who's name isn't quite fit to print due to language. (Let's just call him the MFer.)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who plays that bad guy and forms his own evil supergroup in Kick-Ass 2 (in theaters Aug. 16), thinks it's awesome their middle finger of a superhero movie is inspiring people.
"Obviously Captain America and Thor have been around for decades, and people have probably dressed as them ever since the first Comic-Con" in 1970, the actor says.
"Now that Kick-Ass has made an impact, it's cool to see people bring it into the world and see them scattered throughout Comic-Con. Right next to a Spider-Man is a Kick-Ass."
The main appeal of the title character for Mintz-Plasse is that everyone's thought about being a superhero at least one time in their life, and the Kick-Ass movies bring that idea to life, he says. "I had that thought when I was 7 years old, so it's something you can relate to."
The superhero stuff aside, Aaron Taylor-Johnson says his character of Kick-Ass - who juggles being a teenager by day and crimefighter by night alongside Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) - is universal in the sense that he's a teen with no identity who just wants to fit in somewhere. "He's the person who gets knocked down and just gets up again."
But, Kick-Ass is also wild, mad and wholly "out there" in terms of its attitude, according to Taylor-Johnson, so fans immerse themselves in the fantasy of it, too.
"Listen, you watch like Superman and frickin' Iron Man and all the others, and you want them to act a little bit more risque like we do. But you don't see that," he says. "It's done really well, I love watching all the Marvel stuff, but we're trying to play with reality.
"We're walking on the street and some crazy (stuff) happens and it's got a lot of emotion when someone dies. It's such a melding of this humor and then the heart and soul and emotion and this mad fantasy where they all dress up, and it's just funny the imagery of these people in gimp masks thinking that they're really cool."