Just drop me anywhere, guys, I don't mean to be a hassle...watch my spleen there...
In Kick-Ass #2, Mark Millar’s new miniseries, protagonist Dave Lizewski goes through an exhaustive rehabilitation for his injuries in issue 1 (beat up, stabbed, hit by a car). Despite a pre-surgery hallucination of his deceased mother, and a ceremonial burning of his comics (“that…stupid, adolescent crap that had snatched six months of my stupid f**ing life”), as soon as he heals, he’s back on the streets, fighting crime.
Dealing with Mark Millar is like dealing with an intelligent, hyperactive nine-year old. You’re never sure which side of the person you’ll be dealing with-- the smart, promising youth, or the addlebrained, callously destructive imp. Millar’s done fantastic work in the past (his twelve-issue run on Marvel Knights Spider-Man, as well as The Ultimates 1 and 2), but he’s also produced garbage (Wanted). I’m not yet sure which personality is behind Kick-Ass.
The first half of issue #2 deals with what would most likely happen to a would-be vigilante-- he fails, and gets hospitalized. It’s the second half where the realism seems to fail: having been beaten up by three teenagers in the first issue, the hero (who’s had massive reconstructive surgery, mind you) somehow survives a fight with three full-size adults. Maybe I’m missing something here, or maybe there’s a rub Millar hasn’t introduced yet, but something is amiss.
There’s a subtly asserted, bleak view of human nature in Kick-Ass. In #2, a crowd simply watches while Dave defends a random man from being beaten to death by three thugs. Is Millar trying to say something with his portrayal of a crowd unable to do anything but gawk, record, and decide to put their discovery on youtube? Or is he just turning the mirror to a society increasingly enslaved to its visual media? This issue’s cover, which proclaims “SICKENING VIOLENCE: JUST THE WAY YOU LIKE IT!” may be a hint that Millar believes, we, the reader, are like the empty-headed crowd who tacitly watches Dave’s battle. Or, maybe he’s just screwing with us. Either way, it’s kind of ironic, coming from a writer who blew a guy’s head off in the opening of Wanted.
John Romita Jr.’s art continues to be good, though most of #2 provides nothing of interest to draw. No matter how talented an artist is, any comic that opens with ten straight pages of hospitalization is going to be visually dull.
Worth the money? Not this time. Skim it in the store.