Thursday, August 29, 2013

[BOOK REVIEW] Kick-Ass by Mark Millar

Title:  Kick-Ass

Author: Mark Millar

Artist: John Romita Jr.

Genre: Superhero / Action / Adventure

Year Published: 2008

Year Read: 2013

Series: Kick-Ass #1

Publisher: Icon Comics

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Strong Language and Gory Violence)


Now, I will admit that I honestly have not heard about Mark Millar’s famous series “Kick-Ass” until I heard about the movie that came out.  Even though I have not seen the movie yet as of this review, I was interested in checking out the comic book it was based off of before watching the movie and I must admit; I was TOTALLY blown away by this really creative concept of a comic book!

What is this story about?

Dave Lizewski was your average high school teenage boy who is not that popular, but is not that unpopular either.  He also happens to be a huge fan of comic books in general and he loved the fact that the superheroes in the comic books would always save the day in the end.  So, when Dave decided that he would like to become a superhero himself, he became the legendary crime fighter “Kick-Ass” and would go out into the city to save the citizens from the various criminals that pop up.  Unfortunately, Dave will soon learn the hard way that being a superhero is not all that easy when he becomes famous and he ends up meeting with other masked vigilantes who may or may not be a threat to him.

What I loved about this story:

Mark Millar’s writing: I have read Mark Millar’s works before (his run on “Ultimate X-Men” and “Old Man Logan”) and so far, I had enjoyed most of his work. Now that I finally read “Kick-Ass,” I really appreciate Mark Millar’s unique storytelling even more! I loved the way that Mark Millar wrote Dave Lizewski as being a teenage boy who is genre savvy enough to learn that being a superhero can be a dangerous and risky job, but he goes through with it anyway since he has a strong desire to become a superhero.  I also loved the fact that Dave Lizewski became a superhero, not because he was affected by some kind of radiation that gave him powers or because he came from another planet, but because he was bored and he just wanted to be a superhero.  This motivation really gave a more creative spin on the superhero genre and I loved the way that Dave mentioned so many fictional superheroes that inspired him to become a superhero.  I also loved the way that Mark Millar mentioned so many Marvel superheroes in this story, especially Spider-Man and Wolverine. My favorite mention of the Marvel superheroes was when Dave mentions about how Joss Whedon’s run on “Astonishing X-Men” managed to surpass “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which he happens to be a big fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer!”  I also really loved the character Hit-Girl, who Dave meets later on in the book as she seems to be the opposite of Dave, as she would kill anyone in an extremely gruesome manner while Dave, still trying to get used to being a superhero, refuses to kill people (not only that, but Hit-Girl is only TEN YEARS OLD and yet she is able to kill absolutely anyone with ease)!

John Romita Jr.’s artwork:  Now, I am a little fifty-fifty with John Romita Jr’s artwork in this comic as I have seen his artwork before in the 1980s issues of “Uncanny X-Men” and they were pretty stellar in those issues.  However, there were some problems I had with the artwork in this book, which I will explain in the cons section.  But, what I did like about John Romita Jr.’s artwork in this comic is that the action scenes where the characters get bloodied up are extremely vivid in detail and I actually cringed whenever the characters are getting killed or tortured.

What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:

For anyone who does not like gory violence and strong language, this comic definitely has lots of gore and language that might offend anyone who does not like reading such material.  Also, one of the issues I had with John Romita Jr’s artwork was that the characters look a bit too noodle-like in appearance and it distracted me a bit from the story.  Since this is a dark and gritty story, I would have expected to see the characters look a bit more realistic to really convey the darkness of this story.  Also, I felt that the characters look a bit too old for their respective ages, such as Hit-Girl being only ten years old, but yet, she looks to be close to twelve or thirteen years old.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Kick-Ass” is a truly brilliant graphic novel that really details the realistic side of being a superhero and I am definitely looking forward to the second volume of this series!

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