Due to the nature and content of the comic, there is some use of crude language in this review.
Wow, it doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago that I heard about Kick-Ass, the bloody gruesome and foul mouthed comic book that was being turned into a Nic Cage movie. Except that it was over four years ago. Damn, how time flies.
For those of you that don’t know, Kick-Ass is the story of your plain, less than average, high school comic book nerd Dave Lizewski who decides to become a super hero in the real world. Then things get f*@#ing crazy.
As some of you may know, the first book of Kick-Ass was about Dave becoming the hero, Kick-Ass, getting his bearings and going after a crime boss, John Genovese, with the assistance of two other super heroes, Hit-Girl and Big Daddy. They try to recruit another hero, Red Mist, who ended up being Genovese’s douche bag of a son Chris. Things get hairy when Big Daddy dies, followed by Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass end up getting revenge on Genovese in an incredibly gory and badass way. Then Red Mist ends up swearing vengeance upon them.
Kick-Ass 2 was the sequel to that and the next part of the story; the Super Hero Revolution. This time Dave and Mindy, Hit-Girl, went against Red Mists’ (now known as The Mother Fucker) army of super villains. However, they didn’t do it alone, they had the help of their own team of super heroes known as Justice Forever. And things got even more crazy. I believe we did a review of that as well. (We did!)
Kick-Ass 3 is the continuation of Dave’s story and like before, is written by Mark Millar with art by John Romita Jr., his pencil wielding partner in crime. Kick-Ass 3 picks up immediately after the events of Kick-Ass 2; Dave’s dad is dead, Hit-Girl is in prison, and Super Heroes are on the run from the law.
Unlike Kick-Ass 2, we don’t get a bunch of flash backs to tell us what’s happening. I was quite thankful for this since I didn’t quite understand what was going on and there were some continuity issues in the flashbacks from the first issue of Kick-Ass 2 and the others later on in the series. This time we see Kick-Ass trying to be what he’s never been able to be; a leader.
In the first book Big Daddy took charge of the heroes actions and in 2 Colonel Stars led Justice Forever, and with Hit-Girl gone it’s up to Dave to round up the heroes, train them, and attempt to break out Hit-Girl from prison. However, like before, we are forced with the reality that regular people are not as brave as heroes in comic books.
The majority of the first issue is really about catching up with Dave and dealing with the aftermath of the battle in New York. While there is no fighting or bloody beat downs in this issue, there is still plenty going on. What Millar does is show us really what we might tend to forget about this story, and that is that Dave Lizewski is kind of a horrible person.
No. Scratch that…he is a terrible person.
Despite the fact that Dave is a super hero who is trying to help and keep citizens safe, we are reminded that he’s really only doing it because he gets a thrill out of it. Along with that we also see what the real world repercussions of masked vigilantes would be and honestly it brings back the brutal honesty of our world that Millar showed us in all the blood and gore of the first book.
Romita’s art is spot on as always with Kick-Ass. It’s gritty and makes the heroes out to be the plain and slightly unattractive people they would be. It’s always great to see Romita and Millar’s team up on the pages, but in this book Romita does a truly great job at making the heroes look like what they are, which is jerks with masks.
The bottom line here is that while there is a definite lack of action (although I’m certain it’ll come) there is a lot in Kick-Ass 3 that brings back what we loved in Kick-Ass. Brutal honesty, realism, and that subtle hate for what we don’t like in our society. Honestly, I can’t wait to see what Millar does with this story and I know that it’ll be the first thing I read out of my pull list.