Overview

Kick-Ass #1

Review

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Kick-Ass #1

Credits

  • Words: Mark Millar
  • Art: John Romita Jr.
  • Inks: Tom Palmer Sr.
  • Colors: Dean White
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics/Icon
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 27, 2008

Kick-Ass is an eye catching title but I think a more appropriate one would be John Romita Jr. Draws Pictures of People Getting the Crap Knocked Out of Them. Make no bones about it, the star here is decidedly JRJR. As much as I enjoy the work of Mark Millar and was looking forward to his latest addition to Millarworld, Romita’s art completely steals the show. If you enjoyed the brutal pencil work from last summer’s World War Hulk, you owe it to yourself to pick up Kick-Ass #1 based on the phenomenal artwork alone.

Those expecting a purely visual treat, however, will be pleased to know that the debut issue of Kick-Ass isn’t all style and devoid of any meaningful substance. Our protagonist is Dave Lozewki, a completely average teenager who exists in the "real" world. He can’t get a date, spends the majority of his time posting on comic book internet forums, and discusses the pros and cons of Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men with his similarly nerdy friends. Then, just for the hell of it, Dave decides to suit up and try crime fighting for himself.

This is an Icon book for good reason, and Millar and JRJR hold nothing back when Dave confronts three teens tagging a back alley. Predictably, things go badly. But what most fans probably won’t see coming is the shockingly graphic violence. Kick-Ass doesn’t pull any punches and the opening confrontation ends up how it probably would in the real world, with a knife to the gut.

Not everything in Kick-Ass is working just quite yet. The pace is painfully slow and it seems very evident even at this early stage that the book will probably be better enjoyed in the longer trade format. Plus, it doesn’t help that a decent sized chunk of the overall page count is dedicated to two separate prologues, one of which is almost completely unnecessary and another that looks into the near future of Dave’s career. Hopefully the present day of the comic book catches up to that point soon, otherwise the title will be a little low on tension considering that we know for a fact that the main character can’t die.

Despite these few shortcomings, Kick-Ass #1 is a really solid debut issue. Millar does a great job building a believable teenage world for Dave to inhabit, with the exception of the kid somehow still liking the Goo Goo Dolls, and John Romita Jr.’s pencils are utterly spectacular. Any readers interested in either Millar, JRJR or the concept of a superhero in the real world should definitely check out the first issue. At the very least you’re in for a visceral ride.

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