Review – Kick-Ass #1 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Mark Millar
Artwork: John Romita Jr, Peter Steigerwald
Release Date: 14th February 2018

As a fan of the original comic book series and its big screen adaptations, I was definitely looking forward to getting back into the Kick-Ass universe.

The original series was so good it almost felt like a true story put down on paper and, unlike other books that may have claimed to be be gritty, you could practically feel the dirt underneath Kick-Ass’s metaphorical fingernails.

Well, I happy to say that the dirt is still there, and is now thoroughly compacted in.

In this first issue we meet Patience, an ex-army badass who, upon leaving the army, gets screwed over by her husband and left to pay off his debts, keep a house over her head and look after her two kids.

In order to make ends meet, she decides to shake down the gangs ruining her neighbourhood using her special forces training. Part of her plan involves dressing up as Kick-Ass in order to throw suspicion on the motives for the shake down. The logic and brutality in which Patience executes her plans practically pulsates off the page and fits in so well with the tone of the previous series. I can see her, Hit-Girl and Bid Daddy being great friends.

It’s at this point however that I find myself levelling my main criticism at the book. The story feels like it was created first and then turned into a Kick-Ass book at a later date. It feels like a solid idea that needed something ‘extra’ so was shoe-horned into the existing Kick-Ass continuity

That said, the way the Kick-Ass costume is worked in does make a decent amount of sense and is done a whole lot better in than some other series.

It’ll be interesting so see how the story will continue, but I could equally have seen this story run as a separate series in the same universe.

Storyline niggles aside, the art is definitely the standout aspect of this first issue. Many of the action scenes feel chaotic and move at a blisteringly fast pace, but Romita Jr’s artwork is so good you never feel lost in in the carnage. His work on the facial expressions of Patience is also well done and you can definitely feel the different nuances in her mood.

Overall, as impressive as it looked, I can’t shake the feeling that this was another story first and a Kick-Ass continuation second. I only hope I am wrong and that this series goes on to be a classic like the Dave Lizewski era. It is a decent start and look forward to the next issue.

Rating: 3/5.

13012810_10209079779014221_9172740812625086955_nThe writer of this piece was: David Gladman
David Tweets from @the_gladrags

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