KICK-ASS 2, Issue #1

STORY: Mark Millar

ART: John Romita Jr.

PUBLISHER: Marvel (Icon)

REVIEW: Master Filmmaker Mark Mackner

Aloha, Ass-Kickers! Tis I, Poptards’ resident Spider-Man scholar and local indie horror icon MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER with a look at one of yesterday’s biggest releases, KICK-ASS 2 Issue #1!!!! Anticipation and expectations for this one are high, given the massive popularity of the original KICK-ASS series and, of course, the staggering success of the KICK-ASS movie. Do Millar and JRJR deliver the goods and serve us a smashing sequel?

Well, so far, they’re off to a good start. Instant icon HIT-GIRL (Now under the care of MARCUS WILLIAMS) has been skipping school in order to train KICK-ASS for further super-heroics. Their plan is to initiate “the next logical step” in their quest to rid the city of crime, being the creation of the world’s first super-team. Marcus spies Hit-Girl playing hooky, and suddenly Hit-Girl is GROUNDED. She is forbidden from fighting crime or having any contact with Kick-Ass whatsoever. Mm-hm. How long do you think THAT’S going to last?

Without the help of Hit-Girl, Kick-Ass is forced to seek partnership elsewhere. He aligns himself with another hero, an older (but not OLD) guy by the name of DR. GRAVITY. Kick-Ass persists in trying to get Hit-Girl to come out and join them, but she promises to play nice at home and help make her Mommy feel like they can live a normal life. Then Dr. Gravity introduces Kick-Ass to his other friends, possibly the world’s first super-team, JUSTICE FOREVER.

So that’s the condensed version of Chapter 1. It’s a solid beginning, filling you in on a little of what went on between the first series and now, and cleverly alluding to big things to come, like RED MIST accumulating an army of super-villain followers on Twitter, and leading them in an attack on an opposing army of costumed heroes in Times Square. The dialogue is sharp, the comedy is cracking, and Hit-Girl is as delightfully foul-mouthed as ever.

Kick-Ass’ Peter Parkeresque charm is endearing and totally relatable to all of us who spent more time reading comics than kissing girls in high school. As for the new characters, Dr. Gravity is instantly likable. He’s just a nice guy seeking more adventure in life. I love how he introduces himself as a physics professor at Colombia, but he’s actually just an English major there. And his super-creation, the gravity pole, described as being able to make something 20 times its own weight or to make it float? A baseball bat wrapped in tinfoil. Funny stuff!

Justice Forever looks like a mean bunch of characters, some appearing more villainous than heroic. Cool character designs on ‘em, though. I like ‘em. We’re only granted a brief glimpse of them at the end, which Kick-Ass dubs “The greatest thing I have ever seen”. We don’t know any of their names or personalities yet, but that’s what the next issue is for, presumably. Definitely enough to make me curious to learn more.

STORY: B+. Millar’s just laying the groundwork here, but it is undeniably compelling. If you love Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl, you’ll definitely be on board.

ART: A+. No need to go into detail here. It’s JRJR. I know he’s awesome. You know he’s awesome. ‘Nuff said.

And THAT is THE WORD, so sayeth THE MASTER!!!!

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(MASTER FILMMAKER MARK MACKNER is the resident Poptards Spider-Man nut, and the author of SPIDEY’S WEEKLY WEB-UP right here on this site! Also, true to his name, he is the creator of the locally made films DAISY DERKINS, DOGSITTER OF THE DAMNED!, EVIL BREW, EMBALMO!, and THE HALF-LIFE HORROR FROM HELL or: IRRADIATED SATAN ROCKS THE WORLD!)

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