Overview

Kick-Ass 2 #5

Review

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Kick-Ass 2 #5

Credits

  • Words: Mark Millar
  • Art: John Romita Jr., Tom Palmer
  • Inks: Tom Palmer
  • Colors: Dean White, Michael Kelleher
  • Publisher: Icon/Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Nov 23, 2011

Kick-Ass finds that there's always more to lose in superhero war, and villains might not play fair in this over-the-top sequel series.

The issue opens soon after the events of the last one, with Dave's father being arrested, having lied and said he was Kick-Ass. As Dave tries to save his father from jail time, Mother-Fucker decides that he might as well be relentless in ruining the true Kick-Ass' life. The rest of the issue moves fast, showing how things can quickly escalate and time can fly by in the midst of trauma. Mark Millar manages to be unnaturally haunting in a book where he's traditionally more over-the-top. Even an integral page without words still carries weight.

John Romita Jr., aided by Tom Palmer, continues to have a distinct visual style that doesn't pull any punches, and yet deals with the grim reality of a world that tries to do the same with super heroics. Mother Russia isn't sexualized, Dave is rather weak-chinned and largely weak-bodied, and the crux of the issue is dealt with in gruesome detail, urine puddle, blood stains,snapped neck and all. That's before the actual action of the issue begins; as soon as the staples hit, signifying the middle of the book, the world goes to hell in an action sequence that stands out in its cinematic nature. This scene almost seems written and drawn for use as initial storyboards for the inevitable theatrical adaptation.

The issue bounds from long stretches to rapid beats, but never seems to bore. In fact, the "boring" dialogue scenes only underscore the violence that comes soon after, and make the surprise turns in the book all the more notable. The benefit of the book being so tightly controlled, with the two co-creators working largely independent of most of the comic machine, continue to show that a little freedom can go a long way. Kick-Ass 2 has so far been surprising with every turn, and enjoyable for most of them. The only non-issue is the visual concept of how this would be played out with the actors from the movie. Is Garret M. Brown, Dave's father from the movie, strong enough to pull the roll that this story calls for? Would Chloe Moretz aging work for the restricted lifestyle that Hit-Girl now enjoys? These are no problems for the book, they're just simple questions that come out of wanting to see this story on the big screen, which it deserves to be. Millar and Romita Jr. know how to deliver a cinematic appearance to what could be static images.

Before the pages go to the reels, we have to look at this book as a whole. Kick-Ass continues to live up to its name; it is not high-brow or full of pathos, but there's a fun ride to be had.

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