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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Comic Book Review : Kick-Ass Book #1

Issues: 8
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: John Romita Jr
Published by Marvel Comics under their Icon Imprint

My girlfriend and a co-worker of mine has been telling me that I should watch Kick-Ass - you know the movie starring Nic Cage. Well, I figured that I should read the source material first before watching the flick, so after 2 hours of reading eight comic book issues with about 30 pages in each, I am finally going to review it for ya'.

Written by Mark Millar and one of my favorite comic book artists in John Romita Jr, Kick -Ass  is a simple story of what could have been if a guy like me decides to go on vigilante/superhero mode just because I'm bored as hell and because I wanted to satisfy my inner fanboy. Admit it, we all have dreamed of becoming a superhero at one point in our lives (I still want to become one actually. No kidding), and thought of doing all these crazy stuff that comic book characters do. This book manifests that.

Is being a superhero cool? Yes maybe, but definitely not easy.

A 16-year old high school student named Dave Lizewski decides to become a superhero without any formal training in martial arts or whatever. He's just your ordinary guy. A nobody who just wants to live life to the fullest while satisfying his comic book nerdasm. After his first attempt at crime-fighting fell completely out of place, he continues his saga and for the 2nd time he succeeds. He becomes a Youtube and national sensation, inspiring a legion of wannabe-superheroes wearing masks and spandex costumes, all the while being christened as.... you guessed it: Kick-Ass. The new guy in town ready to uphold his own brand of justice.


But then the quickly finds out that trying to be a hero, saving people's (and a cat's) ass(es ) and helping them resolves their issues/beef with others is not that easy. To add to the pressure, he also realizes that he is not alone. Oh no, absolutely not. He meets father/daughter tandem of Big Daddy and Hit Girl, who is planning on to take out the big mob syndicate, and they recruit him. These guys are sooooo bad-ass, especially the latter - only 10 and 1/4 years old (according to Millar), a martial arts and weapons expert, and kills bad guys like she was the freaking Punisher. She puts bullets in the skulls of thugs, and chops their limbs and heads off like she was just playing with plastic knives and vegetables.  How many little girls get to do that in their lives? Sick.

The lovable purple wearing Hit-Girl

Were they able to defeat the mob? I won't tell you the answer to that because that is definitely spoiling the whole thing for you. You've got to read the book to see all the happenings in between those things that I mentioned because there are so much - and I repeat - so much to discover as our "superheroes" go on their crusade. Putting them all here would be a complete waste of my and your time. But for sure, there are plot twists, 'aw-shucks' moments, and 'holy crap' stuff  that you would never thought would see in a comic book that features a sixteen year old teen and a ten year old Barbie chugging along with his Dad. Its absolutely crazy-insane.

"Big Daddy". Sounds like a wrestling moniker. Cool.

Millar is at his best again with this book, he shows off his simplistic story telling that captures the imagination with that fast-paced writing style. He gets to deliver everything in his arsenal in a span of 8 issues, which is remarkable because he was able to give almost anything you want from entertainment, violence, gore, drama, action, profanity, a lot of witty humor and an all original story in just -  more or less - 250 pages. His characters are easy to like, which makes the death of one character (yes someone dies towards the end) very very dark and sad. If you don't feel yourself feeling gloomy after you read that panel, then something's vert wrong with you. 

On the other hand, Romita's excellence in illustrating the gory details of Millar's story is nothing new, but I still can't help but be amazed with his very cartoonish-yet-powerful art. I have seen his work on Daredevil before with Frank Miller and I have to say that he totally upped his game in this book, giving it a more modern feel for the new generation of readers. I loved the way he told the story with his pencils, as he totally captured Millar's script and gave the original characters true justice. It is a nice thing to see.

If this is disturbing to you, wait till you get your hands on the book.

Kick-Ass is a fun, easy and a very enjoyable read, and one comic book that should include in your collection because it is that good.  By the way, go check out the tagline on the cover page above:

The greatest superhero comic book of all time is finally here!

You know what? For a minute I actually believed that line. And in all fairness... Kick-Ass almost lived up to that.

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