Well, after years of toiling away on this blog, I finally managed to snag some free stuff! W00t! In exchange for a free advance copy of the Marvel comic Kick-Ass #2, I am hereby obliged to review this book, available today in comic shops everywhere.
There's been lots of buzz on the out there in comic-book land about Mark Millar's new series. Kev, you'll remember that he wrote Wanted and Red Son, both of which we liked and talked about previously here. Kick-Ass takes place in our world, where there aren't any real superheroes, and the main character, a nerdy high school kid obsessed with comic books, decides to try and become one. He buys a wet suit, straps a baseball bat to his back, and goes on patrol. In his first fight, he finds some guys spraying graffiti, smacks a dude in the face with the bat, and, well, it doesn't go well from there, as issue #2 opens up with him in the hospital, and undergoing months of rehabilitation and counseling. He renounces his superhero ways, burns his comics, and then 1 page later is back in costume, on the road to redeeming himself - this time strapping on two baseball bats.
The reality of the world is the strong point of the series, so far. People assume that a dude running around the city in a wet-suit is a weirdo pedophile. There's a brawl in the middle of a city block, and it ends up on YouTube. The violence is brutal, chaotic and scary, especially knowing what happened the last time he got in a fight. The only quibble i have so far is that we still don't have a good sense of the motivation of the kid, and why he wants to dress up like a superhero and fight crime. This is especially jarring, as on the top of one single page he's feeling guilt and burning his comics, and at the bottom of the page he's in costume. Huh? But we're only two issues in, and maybe things get more clear later?
In any case, Kick-Ass is a great, fun read. Go buy it, since I didn't have to. Suckas.