Dave Lizewski is your average 16 year old high school student; he's not a sports jock, head of the class, class clown, or even a nerd. He's just an average guy with a hobbie, collecting comics. He soon becomes bored with his life and wonders how come no one has ever tried to become a superhero in real life. He likes the idea of just helping people for nothing. He dons an outfit and soon heads out into the streets with intentions on fighting crime. But he will eventually learn there's more to being a superhero than what he's read in the comics.
Dave Lizewski aka Kick-Ass survives his confrontation with a mafia boss. He continues his superhero antics by receiving physical training from Hit-Girl aka Mindy. However, Mindy is ordered by her step-father to never put on the costume again and to keep away from other superhero types. Dave takes the next step in his crime fighting by seeking out other superheroes in the city, which leads him to a group called Justice Forever. -summary
I'll mention from the jump that I really did enjoy the original Kick-Ass series written by Mark Millar. The concept was intriguing and bursting with potential. The idea of regular people donning homemade outfits in order to become local vigilantes, superheroes, all the while ignoring the potential danger of such a stunt was indeed an attention grabber. Especially in light of people dressing up as superheroes in real-life right here in NYC at one point. Millar saw that potential realized with that story; he made it a fun read with brutal action, dark comedy, social consciousness, and stark characterization, while putting the hazards of this lifestyle in full view. Although I thought the story was very good, I was among that very small group who didn't want to see a sequel. I felt the point was made, there was no way to follow up on it to where it could be believable, and the only thing left to do in regards with a sequel was deliver more blood and carnage taken to the third power. Kick-Ass 2 does not disappoint with that last part. This story is a shadow of itself completely lacking all of the depth that made it so special. People can claim this to be as deep and dark as they want to, but this story was done in completely bad taste and it feels more like a parody of its predecessor. This TPB collects Kick-Ass 2 issues 1-7, and is also written by Mark Millar and drawn by John Romita Jr.
The plot follows Dave as he joins up with this superhero outfit, and they run the city not only helping people, but dishing out street justice. Their mission hits a snag when the deceased mob bosses son by the name of Red Mist, assumes the role of a supervillain, and seeks revenge against Kick-Ass. His mission of vengeance is indeed a brutal one, as he takes advantage of knowing who the kid under the mask is. The results are brutal as it leads to a large body count.
There are plenty of characters introduced with the focus mainly on the main characters; Kick-Ass, Red Mist, and Hit-Girl. And I must say that none of them really moved me in the right way. Kick-Ass has become a better fighter, therefore he's not getting beat down as much, but that's probably where his progression stops. Red Mist is violent for the sake of it, with his actions just not really matching his motive and I'll leave it at that. Hit-Girl is about as static as they are, and nowhere near as charismatic or charming as in the original. I just couldn't invest in this batch of upstarts.
I have to point out that the thing about this series which aggravates me the most is how Millar abandoned his original concept. The point of the series was to provide a more down to Earth superhero story, by making it known that any person can put on a mask with intentions on doing good things. It's inside all of us and we can all be a hero if we have the drive; but things will not necessarily play out as it would in the world of comics. The hero may not get the girl, he may not be praised, and he may not survive because he doesn't have the Batman and Superman resources or abilities. This is some real shit here. However, Millar completely jettisons all of this in favor of classic superhero archetypes and cliches, in which he completely steps on what he sought so hard to examine in the first place. He does this all for the sake of mindless violence, and the whole,"look at what I can get away with!". It's pretty damn pathetic thinking about it when looking at some of the things he used to get attention.
JRJr's artwork has moments of being pretty good, but as the story unfolds it can be very inconsistent, such as characters heads being way too big for their bodies and overall clunky designs. The gore and violence can be fun to watch I will admit; with decapitations and vicious deaths by gunfire. There is plenty of detailed action with blows to the face. It has everything to satisfy the action junkies and then some.
I'm not going to bite my tongue here; I find it quite disturbing this sequel has been so well received. I have no choice to believe that some people did not see pass the action and violence of the original story, therefore, they just didn't get it. If they really understood it, but are willing to accept a changing of the guard like this and let Millar get away with putting out shlock. Then to each his own I guess. Personally, I'm done with this series. There's a Hit Girl series floating around with a planned sequel for it, as well as a Kick-Ass 3 on the horizon. I seriously doubt I will even give those a chance. If you love loads of gory action with little point to it, then you will more than likely love this.
Pros: -Lots of action, gore, high level of violence
Cons: -Bad joke of its thought provoking predecessor
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About the reviewer
May 22, 2011
Jun 15, 2013 08:21 PM UTC
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