Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Kick-Ass 2

Okay, so tomorrow, we'll be taking a look at issue number 1 of Secret Invasion, but before we do, let's take a look at issue number 2 of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr's Kick-Ass.

As previously discussed, I enjoyed the first issue, but wasn't blown away. My problems with the comic are with the main character, and my dislike for him. When we last saw Dave, he was beaten to a bloody pulp, hit by a car, and left in a hospital. What will he do next after his disastrous first attempt at being a superhero?

We meet up with him in the hospital, and he's almost in a coma. He wakes up and his dad is there, and he's scared that his dad now knows everything, but before he blacked out, apparently, Dave took off his tights and just got nekkid in the street, leaving everybody to think it was a mugging. So for six months, Dave goes through a whole bunch of operations, rehabilitation, and r&r. When he finally goes back to school, he becomes angry at superheroes. He cost his dad a lot of money in medical bills, and in time, all for something stupid like wearing a mask. Dave tells us he cried from the guilt. But then, he puts on his costume again and goes back out on the street. Some kids think he's a flasher, but when a gang of Puerto Ricans are beating up on a dude, Dave takes them all on. And wins. A crowd gathers while Dave brutally beats on the gang and the gang beats on him. Once the gang departs, the crowd is completely in love with Dave. A man takes a video with his cellphone and announces that it's going up on YouTube. To be continued.

Okay, so the drawings are great. The brutal bloody fight at the end of the issue has that same fluid motion that JRjr is able to do so well. Of course, the sheer amount of blood helps too. Here's one problem with the artwork though: when Dave is not in costume, he appears much different: smaller neck, smaller chin, bigger forehead, eyes spaced out a little bit more, giving him a geeky appearance. But when in costume, he looks like Icarus from Neil Gaiman's Eternals series. I'm not sure if this is done on purpose because I could see it happening, but still, it's moderately distracting.

The story is still a problem for me. Even though he goes through six months of terrible physical and obvious mental pain, he still puts the costume on, and for what? Excitement? What a horrible person this Dave is. I still can't get into this character if only because he is a horrible son and obviously an idiot. He burns all his comics, and says "f*%& that" but he's wearing the costume on the next page. He rationalizes the behaviour by saying the beast is inside him. Really? That's your excuse?

Also, Millar's tendency to use real world, current references can be sort of distracting. YouTube? Really? This reminds me of the single worst panel in the Ultimates series, in which Tony and Shannon Elizabeth are in a space shuttle giving an interview on camera. Not only is the dialogue terribly obvious, but putting Shannon Elizabeth (who is up to nothing now) in a comic
dates it. I know now that the Ultimates are a product of the early 2000s when Shannon Elizabeth was actually relevant.

Millar's comics will be stupendously dated very soon, and the references will be like Snapper Carr's slang in Justice League of America: very distracting.

So Kick-Ass 2 was well-drawn, but the story getting even more frustrating. The only way that this can be resolved is with a very specific ending in which Dave learns a f*%&ing lesson.

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