Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Kick-Ass #2 Comic Review

By Zak Edwards
April 4, 2008 - 18:44

Kick-Ass #2 falls from the beauty of the first issue.  It is moving away from what made the series so believable and is instead heading towards what Millar had managed to balance on, but not fall into: the absurd.  The issue continues after the 'hero' in question, Dave Lizewski, has been hospitalized because of his encounter with three teenage vandals and a speedy Mercedes that causes him to be hospitalized.  As promised on the cover, this comic book contains “sickening violence” as well as some language that may not be appropriate for the younger readers.  Buyer be warned.

Millar does falter this issue because of his reliance on his past experience with super-hero comics.  The whole concept of the series is a real-life super-hero, no powers, no anything, up to and including a really interesting origin.  But the series steps over the realistic line by page 6 with the appearance of Dave's dead mother.  This small scene, lasting about a page and a half, moves Kick-Ass away from the believability this whole series is relying on.  In the first issue, protagonist Dave Lizewski, apparently named Kick-Ass according to the script in the back, is taken out by a few teenagers.  Now Dave, despite having surgery and six months of rehabilitation, fights fully grown adults and manages to scrape by.  Apparently his upgrade from one baton to two has more than doubled his power level.  Millar has dropped back into the realm of traditional super-hero.  Just because a fight sequence is loaded with blood and gore does not make it believable, it is the scenario which does.  I can see Dave taking an adult by surprise and winning, but having three men repeatedly kicking him and hitting him with trash cans, to me, does not seem like a chance at victory.

Despite this, there are moments of realism that reflect what the first issue had accomplished.  Being accused of being a flasher is one of them.  “Then why are you wearing a mask?”  Such a simple line of logic that would happen much more quickly in this world than, “A guy in a mask, must be a super-hero!”  Dave’s transition from repentant kid to adult is quickly disposed of with his feelings of regret and pity for his father being taken over by his selfish stupidity.  But herein lies one of a few points of interest within this second issue.  Is this selfishness intentional, meaning is Millar exploring the individuality and selfishness of society, or is this a poor attempt at page filler before Millar can allow Romita, Jr. the pleasure of beating the crap out of people?  Another, is the paralyzed crowd at the end.  Is the crowd’s lack of intervention a commentary on our indifference as a society?  Does the want to put a video on YouTube and the fifteen minutes of fame along with it surpass saving a fellow human being?  Whether Millar intended this or not is perhaps inconsequential because these questions come to mind.  Where the first issue could be seen as the fringes of the comic book reading psyche, the “I want to be Superman" idea, the second expands to more general society and its willingness to sacrifice the happiness of those around for personal gratification.

As for the art, John Romita, Jr. sure can draw blood, which is a good thing, the last half of the comic book is filled with it!  But I found I enjoyed the art in places where I didn’t enjoy the writing.  Dave’s hallucinations have an eerie, disturbing quality to them that is quite enjoyable and reflective of what Dave may be going through.  The fighting felt stiff with little fluidity with the characters looking like they were frozen in various positions instead of moving.  Judging by the bonus script in the back of this issue, Millar gave Romita plenty of room to flex and some of it is great.  The use of the garbage can for not only the can itself, but also the lid as a weapon just works well within the fight.  These moments add to the believability when the script falters.  So judgement of the art comes down whether one wants to look at the art as supporting where the script needs work or as poor collaboration.  I for one, am divided, but I still am enjoying the series.

A drop in quality because the story begins to rely super-hero elements that take away from it’s believability.

Rating: 7 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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