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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

The Graphic Novel


Author: Mark Millar
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Titan Books
RRP: £9.99, US $12.87
ISBN: 978 1 84856 535 7
Available 01 March 2010

Dave Lizewski is just another ordinary American teenager. He likes girls, video games and comic books. But sometimes an ordinary life isn't enough. His transformation into Kick-Ass, the world's first real-life superhero, makes him an overnight Internet sensation. The public loves him. The underworld fears him. Then he meets pint-sized lethal weapon Hit-Girl and her intimidating partner Big Daddy, and things start to get really serious. And very, very violent...

Kick-Ass is an ongoing comic book series published through Marvel Comics's Icon Comics label. This graphic novel, released to coincide with the live-action movie adaptation, explores the origins of the Kick-Ass superhero. Just why would a geeky school kid want to put on a tight fitting costume and attempt to fight crime? Okay, the tight fitting costume thing is a bit of a sexual fetish. In fact the whole idea of dressing up as a vigilante and having a hidden secret identity is the main driving force behind Dave Lizewski's transformation. Tackling thugs is not really something he's properly prepared for.

So we see Lizweski create his costume, come up with his superhero name and getting ready for his first night on patrol. This pokes fun at all of the superhero origin stories you've ever read, by making this much more believable. On his first attempt to jump across the rooftops, Kick-Ass suddenly realises just how large that gap is and comes to his senses.

It's not long before Kick-Ass discovers that he's not the only costumed vigilante in the city. His first encounter with Hit-Girl and Big Daddy is something of a shock. Here are two heroes who think nothing of killing the bad guys. But how can Kick-Ass fit into this world - he's no intention of killing anyone, just beating them up and leaving them for the police to deal with. But when he realises that fighting real villains isn't like in the comic books, Kick-Ass must come to a decision - allow himself to kill or hang up his costume for good.

This is one of those collections that is almost impossible to put down once you start reading it. It also builds well, so that when Hit-Girl appears and starts slicing up villains it's a truly shocking moment.

A complete joy from start to finish - just lets hope that the rest of the series will be make the transformation to graphic novels in the near future.


Darren Rea

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