Kick Ass – Mark Millar and John Romita Jr

David doesn’t understand why his brilliant idea hasn’t been carried out before, why has no-one seen the superheroes from comic books and thought; “I can do that.” He’s going to change it, he will become the worlds first real superhero. He gets the costume and starts his rounds, where he gets his ass kicked. But that doesn’t stop him, he comes back and this time he fights back and fast becomes an internet sensation. But one night he meets pint-sized lethal weapon Hit-Girl and her monstrously scary Big Daddy, and things suddenly become very serious indeed. 

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Having seen the movie Kick-ass and loving it I have wanted to read the comic its based on for a while. The urge to buy it has been sat nagging away at me for ages, then on my birthday I was gifted a fair few Amazon gift vouchers and though, why not check out the graphic novels. There I found Kick-Ass, not intentionally looking for it but coming across the amazing Hit-Girl cover version, I knew I needed to invest. 
The story is pretty damn close to the film, Dave is a nobody comic book nerd who decides he wants to make a difference and become a superhero. He gets his butt kicked, laughed at, leered at, and thats only on his first trip out! He soon gets a little more into it but circumstances bring about a change in him and he hangs his costume up just after he realises Hit-Girl and Big Daddy are the ones who were meant to do this thing. Enter Red Mist, a copycat that goes too far and basically steals all of Kick-Ass’s limelight. I loved the introduction of the other characters in this and how Dave was pretty much inflicted with the very relatable feeling of thinking he will never be as amazing as they are. He joins forces with Red Mist and feels better about himself but its still not all there at all. 
What I love the most about the story and its outcomes, which I’m trying not to give away too much of here even though I’m sure many people would have watched the movie at least, is the realism behind the characters. I don’t mean that I could don a cape and mask and go out tackling my local criminals… no, I mean the real characters under the masks, Mindy and her father have a special bond and although I know the whole thing is going to completely mess with Mindy and her future I liked the connection her and her father have. The completely surreal aspects of the story are the parts where Mindy shows this real character in situations you just cant believe co-exist, when she looks up at the reader looking like a cute little girl and yet theres blood and brains everywhere in the image. This is emphasised by one of the comics’ covers, which I didn’t see until the end of my copy as I had a collected volume rather than the individual issues. I believe it’s issue 6 when she is actually dressed as her normal self and yet she’s covered in the blood. 

Red Mist is another character who is very real underneath it all and although he isn’t nice under the mask he was still an interesting character to read and look at in the comics. I wasn’t convinced his sneering came out as well in the comics as I had hoped but I still picked up on it. 
I loved the art in this and think it obviously added to the books overall feeling. I am pretty new to comics and I don’t even know where to begin when talking about art but I thought the colours throughout this volume were all fantastic, the use of darker shades meant that the blood and gore, which comes about a lot, doesn’t seem to stand out as much or appear as, well, gory. There is a lot of that in Kick-Ass though and a lot of swearing, including the c-word so I really wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers, I was pre-warned and all I can say is that it’s a hell of a lot worse than the movie, which was a family-fun movie night kinda movie. 
As you can tell I really did enjoy this and I can’t wait to read more about Kick-Ass, the volume I read was left on a bit of a climax and I am just dying to know what happens next! 
Kick-Ass ran as a series from 2008-10. The volume was published by Titan in 2010. My copy was purchased via Amazon. 
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  • I recently watched the film and it really surprised me just how much I enjoyed it. So I’m looking forward to finding myself a copy of this at some stage! I’m intrigued.

  • I loved the film – glad to hear that this is as good. I would love to see the artwork to go with it!