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Kick-Ass 3 Paperback – March 17, 2015
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About the Author
Mark Millar is a Scottish comic book writer, known for his work on books such as "The Authority," "The Ultimates," "Marvel Knights Spider-Man," "Ultimate Fantastic Four," "Civil War," "Wanted," and "Kick-Ass," the latter two of which have been adapted into feature films. In August 2007, he won the Stan Lee award at Wizardworld in Chicago.
John S. Romita, Jr. is an American comic book artist best known for his extensive work for Marvel Comics from the 1970s to the 2000s. He lives in New York City
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John Hughes never dreamed of something like this in his high school flicks. The central figure is comic-book-reading 16-year-old Dave Lizewski who doesn't boast that tragic a past; no radioactive insects bit him; he wasn't exposed to a magic word; and he's not an orphan from an exploded planet. To quote Dave Lizewski, his origin is he was bored. But under Mark Millar's insanity, Dave's story takes on this dark, outrageous, ultra-violent turn while still staying somewhat in the periphery of what's realistic.
This trade collects the first eight issues and lets you into an urban bloodbath. Because when you put on a wet suit and start looking for trouble, odds are you're gonna end up bumping against some seriously hard mothereffers. And when your only super powers are perseverance and some talent for soaking up punishment, you'll most likely end up hitting the floor really hard. Dave gets severely pounded his first time going up against some thugs, and then he gets bowled over asss over heel by a hurtling car.
Months of recovery from his injuries, and you'd think Dave's learned his lesson. But then Dave puts on the costume again and resumes his night patrols. And then, while bracing some muggers, Dave becomes an overnight online sensation, the first real-life superhero. The Internet even gives him his superhero code name. And soon other costumed freaks are following in his footsteps, including a badasss ten-year-old girl expertly wielding swords. Go throw your hands in the air for the lethal and potty-mouthed Hit-Girl. And, okay, with Hit-Girl, Millar does wander past what's believable. But she's such a cool character that we have to, have to give her a pass.
Despite the Rob Liefeld intro, this trade is a jaw-dropping read, but it's horribly suited for children, nuns, and perhaps Armenians. Profanity and nudity are a healthy presence. Let me say that KICK-ASS is bloody and brutal and subversive and simply in your damn f----- face, and Millar shows you why no one's actually gotten away with putting on a costume and stomping on amoral lowlifes in real life. Artist John Romita, Jr. comes in with some of his best stuff and there's even that smidgen of that Frank Miller vibe in his art. Saying that this series is violent is to understate matters, kinda like suggesting that Big Daddy exhibits questionable parenting skills. I've already said that Mark Millar is insane, and I'm sticking to that. But the guy is also a master of his craft, and so we eat up his dish of bloody visceral bombast, and I also relish how Dave and, later, Red Mist go about on their new careers (Meanwhile, Big Daddy & Hit-Girl's relationship is really too dysfunctional to be relatable). So is this an unflinching, credible look at costumed vigilantes in the real world? Probably more so than not. The dialogue, by the way, rings true, as does Dave Lizewski. And the story is funny as well. I laughed my titmice off at what happens when Dave arrives at the moment in which he feels he ought to start leaping rooftop to rooftop. Dave Lizewski is a compelling character, but I think the kid is seriously disturbed. Still doesn't keep me from saying that his alter ego absolutely friggin' rules!
As you might have guessed, it follows Hit-Girl (aka Mindy McCready) in the events shortly after the first Kick-ass novel. Without giving any spoilers, it is the story of Mindy trying to live a normal life for her mother's sake. Seeing her struggle to fit in at school just like any other kid her age is great and adds to the dimensionality of this character.
Don't worry though - there is still plenty of Hit-Girl kicking ass.
Readers who first have seen the movie will get a few surprises. Much of the dialogue in the movie is lifted directly from the Kick-Ass comics without modification. Many of the scenes are shot to look nearly identical to various illustrated frames. Yet, there are distinct and interesting differences, no doubt because, as Dave Lizewski (aka Kick-Ass) says in issue #1, "What works on the page doesn't always work on the screen." The backstory of the character Big Daddy takes an unexpected turn, for example, though I'll leave it for the reader to discover or other reviewers to reveal. Dave's relationship with Katie Deauxma is far less pleasant in print than in film, and more credible.
For all its darkness, the book is funny. "How does a ten-year-old girl get her hands on a flame-thrower?" Dave asks. Hit-Girl answers casually, "eBay." This graphic novel is not for everyone, and definitely is not for the squeamish. If you're the type of reader who is likely to show up at a Comic Con convention, however, it probably is for you.
However, this seemed to lack some of the magic. While the first series felt more human, and gave me more of an emotional impact. This was just over the top and seemed to go more for shock value. In addition, John Romita Jr,'s art seemed VERY inconsistent. At times he draws Hit-Girl as if she is 8 or 9 years old. Then other times she looks like she is 4 or 5 years old! Maybe he was rushing, or was working on a lot of projects at the time. But either the way the art was not as good or as consistent as the first series.
Still overall, it was entertaining and a good read. Just not a 'GREAT' one.