After a seemingly endless bout with the movie-fueled hype machine based on his comic book, Mark Millar returns to Kick-Ass with his sequel “Balls to the Walls”. This issue quickly updates readers to where the characters are at now and gives some hints as to what Kick-Ass is going up against this time around.
His fame has now spread and fledgling superhero Dave Lizewski is taking steps to up his game by training with everybody’s favorite child vigilante Hit Girl. She sees potential in Dave but it’s obvious that it’s time for him to replace the haphazard and blunder-ish style of fighting he uses with the actual combat skills that Hit-Girl has shown to be all too proficient with. But getting Dave legitimately battle ready is proving difficult for her; not because he isn’t a good student, but because her new life as “Mindy the normal and well adjusted schoolgirl” has made her promise to stop all of her vigilante socializing activities.
Dave, on the other hand, is blasting forward down the rabbit hole as fast as he possibly can.
Kick-Ass 2 has every bit of the weirdly charming characteristics that the first series had; Or, if you’re on the other side of the fence, “weirdly charming” may just mean “low-brow pandering”. There are plenty of people to be found on both sides of the issue and they’re even more entrenched by whatever their feelings are after seeing the movie. But the book has a charm that the movie kind of missed a bit and the characters are a little more fleshed out here. That’s not to say that Millar is serving up any game changing drama here, but Kick-Ass has a charisma to it and that charisma is back in the new story.
Sure, there were what I found to be low-brow pandering moments, but once I eased up a bit and got over myself, I found that Millar’s cuss-heavy and calculated “FTW style” just plain works here. Other books of his have used this same style and I’ve hated it, but with these characters and this setting everything just lines up and it’s entertaining (despite the snobbery I want to smother it with).
That’s not meant as a backhanded compliment, either: Mark Millar has created a good book here with good characters and he’s writing it well. That’s his job and he’s succeeding at it, and with the partnership of John Romita Jr and Tom Palmer doing the artwork, Kick-Ass 2 is a fun book that’s only $2.99! Granted, when you see exactly how much Tom Palmer added to the look of the wonderful interior art, it seems kind of like an injustice not to have his name proclaimed on the cover like Millar and Romita’s are.
Kick-Ass 2 positively reeks of exploitation and action. Most of the guys that read comics might not admit it, but a lot of them wish there was a cologne that they could buy so they could reek the same way.
Kick-Ass 2 #1 is fun, has great artwork and it’s only $2.99 (while on the same shelf as many other more expensive books). This gets a solid B.