When I walked into the comic shop this week I had no intention of picking up a new book, even one with as snazzy a title as Kick-Ass. (I actually got two new books, this one and Ed Brubaker’s Criminal #1.) But it’s action packed cover and bold title caught my eye. When I saw that it was written by Mark Millar and drawn by John Romita Jr., I thought I’d give it a shot. Millar wrote some of my favorite stories including Civil War, Ultimates 1 & 2, and the amazing “Enemy of the State” arc in Wolverine. Romita Jr. has been a Marvel mainstay for years and always done quality work.
Kick-Ass is an Icon book, which is Marvel’s creator owned imprint. That means it doesn’t take place in the Marvel universe. In fact, it happens in a world not unlike our own. Kick-Ass asks a question: With all the crazies in the world why has there never been anyone to put on a costume and fight crime? In this book, Dave Lizewski does just that.
What’s so special about Dave Lizewski? Nothing at all. He’s a high school student. He loves comic books. Other than that, he’s a pretty nondescript guy, just sort of fading into the background of life. He decides to become a costumed hero not because he has any special ability or anyone to avenge, but just because he’s bored. He spends a few weeks in the gym then buys a wet suit and a ski mask and heads out to fight crime. He has no combat training, no name, and no idea what he’s getting himself into. Needless to say, it does not end well.
The main character doesn’t seem particularly smart or likable, but he’s the right kind of crazy to make you wonder what he’s going to do next. And when the first issue ends with the hero bleeding to death in the middle of the street after being stabbed in the chest and hit by a car, you have to wonder what issue two will bring. I’ll stick around for that, at least.