THIS IS THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, NOT THE MOVIE.
I have mentioned this before (see Mars Attacks Judge Dredd Review) for it’s art but Kick-Ass, the lovechild of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., has so many other strong qualities going for it. The writing is witty yet realistic, the violence, oh the violence, will have a paragraph all to itself and the characters are all fully fleshed out enough for you to attach to them.
The story centers around one Dave Lizewski who is a “stereotypical teen” (I loathe that phrase) that, one day, decides to become a superhero, or, more accurately, a vigilante. However, he finds that it aint too easy to kick ass. He learns this the hard way, the way where you end up with metal plates in your head. He gives up until he finds that some guy, “The Red Mist”, is becoming a bigger sensation than he was. After confronting him, he realises he’s pretty darn cool. When a father-daughter crime murdering duo blackmail the two into working with them, Red Mist doesn’t show up, only to be revealed as a double agent working for the crime lord that they are hunting down. The three are captured and, after interrogation, the father is killed. Long story short, big, fat, bloody vengeance.
As a character, Dave isn’t very likeable, I thought. He poses as gay to be close to a girl, he cost his dad thousands in hospital bills and, when he confesses to the girl that he’s straight, is confused when she’s offended, angry and scared. The other characters, however, are a slice of alright. My favourite, though, is Hit-Girl, easily. Although I’m aware that it’s a cheap gimmick, I can’t help but be charmed bootless by her potty mouth and insane murder skills.
Her dad/crime killing partner, Big Daddy, is a mysterious man of few words. He doesn’t do a lot but is obviously the brains behind the operation. It is later revealed that he too is a comic book nerd, funding his daughter’s and his vigilantism with valuable back issues. Until he is revealed to be the villain, I wanted The Red Mist to be my best friend. A stoner superhero with a sweet car, hello? Come ON! Who wouldn’t?
Now, before I get carried away ranting about the violence, I’d like to take a minute to discuss the artwork of John Romita Jr. I mentioned before that the bright colours contrast the gore. There is a slight overuse of shadow, but this isn’t a Batman comic now, is it? This guy knows how to make you cringe. With a stunning knowledge of human anatomy in various states of distress, this is the masterwork of a dark genius.
I promised a paragraph of gore and I will deliver. As highlighted before, there is a cheerful colour scheme that almost parodies the gruesomeness of some scenes. There are various panels that feel like they’re straight from Mortal Kombat, let me give you a few examples in the form of an easy to use round up of violence;
Electrified Testicles: x2 Punches: x10 Kicks: x15 Stabs: x8 Car Hits: x4
Baton Hits: x12 Injury Detail: x12 Tackles: x1 Trash Can Hits: x2 Graphic: x11
Testicle Kicks: x3 Pepper Sprays: x1 Disembowelments: x1 Decapitations: x2
Bottle Hits: x3 Desmemberments: x2 Face Chrushes: x1 Headshots: x7 Burns: x1
Mallet Hits: x3 Ballshots: x1 Cleaver Hacks to the Head: x1
Hopefully, this can give you an idea of the kind of violences we’re talking here.
Overall, I can honestly say that each page of Kick-Ass entertained me. It isn’t long and is well worth your time investment.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations,