“Kick Ass” was one of those comic mini-series that proved so innovative and bold that I knew it was only a matter of time before Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. “Kicked Out” its sequel called “Kick Ass 2”. I really wanted to finish this entire new mini-series of the “Kick-Ass” saga before I reviewed them, but seeing as how the series had experienced delays, I mean issue one was published in October, 2010 and issue two was published March, 2011 with some spin-offs seen elsewhere; Marvel had finally announced to re-publish issue 1 and 2, and then publish the third issue in August-September 2011, as well as the remaining issues following after.
Please keep in mind that this review is about the first and second issues of “Kick Ass 2”. I usually don’t like reviewing comics issue per issue as it is easy to sound redundant and with comic mini-series, it is much easier to sound so repetitive. Who really needs a repetitive statement about its many themes? But I think I should do the issue per issue thing now after "Scarlet". Anyway, “Kick Ass 2” is actually issue number nine since it is a direct sequel to the groundbreaking hit “Kick Ass”. Yes, I am one of those who thought that the movie did not do the source material justice by becoming more upbeat and energetic.
Dave Lizewski always wanted to be a super-hero and now he is living the dream; because he is now one. Mindy (Hit-Girl) is training Dave with the art of ‘kicking ass’. They work out after school almost everyday in the hopes of organizing a super-hero group (using MySpace, Twitter and Facebook to recruit). But when Marcus, Mindy’s step-father finds out about her activities, Mindy is forced to give up her identity and stay in school as her loss would cause her mother more unneeded heartbreak. This leaves Dave doing his own thing as “Kick Ass” in preparation for an encounter with the hero turned villain “Red Mist” and the group called “Justice Forever” which is made up of several misfits including Dave’s friend Marty Eisenberg…
Mark Millar’s and John Romita Jr.’s (with Tom Palmer as inker) creation is as violent as ever and the series is almost everything Frederic Werthem warned Congress about (wonder if this was the reasons for the delays). “Kick Ass 2” is as cuss-heavy, immersed with WTF innovation, reeks of exploitation and explicit awesomeness. It does feel that the series have gotten an upgrade. This new series is as graphic as ever and is part hilarious and part stomach-turning. The art by Romita Jr. (fresh from his work in “Avengers”) is just outstanding in expressing the right mood and tone to its premise.
We’ve all been introduced to Dave and Hit-Girl in the first series and this time, it feels like their destiny is about to come full circle. Hit-Girl is trying to live a normal life of an eleven year old while Dave is just embracing this new “thing”. The narrative is as usual told through the eyes of Dave, and I got the impression that he had an encounter with the Red Mist prior to the events of this series. He seems to be more eager, focused and less depressed, although he still has feelings for the girl he never got (unlike in the movie), this Dave is much more confident and better able to fight. The commentary as to how some people are insane to want to be superheroes are still there, and the story never makes no glorification of this idea. You know these guys aren’t really in their right mind, but they are doing their part (so it seems). Issue # 1 sets the tone and the groundwork as to where the story is going to.
Dave and the group called “Justice Forever” are folks who have their own ‘supposed’ reasons to taking part and issue # 2 is the introduction to them. We meet Doctor Gravity, an English teacher who have taken up a secret identity. Colonel Stars and Lt. Stripes are ex-mafia who are ‘born again Christians. There is Night-Bitch, “Remembering Tommy” duo, and the Insect-guy who had their own tales as to why they are playing the hero; whether the stories are true remains to be seen. Marty made up his own identity as “Battle Guy” and this has put him under Dave’s “must-partner-up” list. The way the dialogue goes is pretty realistic and Millar knew how to incorporate and express his characters by the manner they talk. The comic is full of profanity and so this is no comic for kids, parents. It clearly says “Explicit Content” and “adult reading material” in the packaging and the cover.
The violence doesn’t really pick up until issue two, as the “Justice Forever” guys take on a group of gangsters headed up by Mr. Kim. The main guys here are the “Colonel” and Lt. Stripes as they seem to really know their stuff as with “Big Daddy“ and “Hit-Girl” in the original mini-series. There is also the introduction of “Sophia” which is a nice surprise near the end of issue two. As twisted as it seems, this may well be how the “Justice League” may form in real life; after they do their chores, their work in a fruit store and their school; these are normal men and women….somewhat twisted and their sanity in question, but they seem to be more than a ‘focus group’. I expect some surprising turn of events as soon as the series kicks into high gear by issue # 3.
Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. are back with one of my favorite comic books. The world will never be the same. So, go ahead pick up those DC comics with all the marketing ploys, I’ll stick with Icon and Marvel who continue to come up with innovative and original works.
Highly Recommended! Issue One and Two are [4 ½+Out of 5 Stars] Too early to give it a perfect score.
Sign of things to come: I will now review the series issue per issue.
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