R-Rated Reads features the best in Comics and Graphic Novels that you’d normally hide underneath your mattress. Now, what the F%*# are you waiting for!? READ the G@&-D*%$ thing!
by Jason Knize
Today’s R-Rated Read:
Mark Millar (W)/John Romita, Jr. (A)
Soon to be a major motion-picture directed by Matthew Vaughn, starring Nicholas Cage, Aaron Johnson, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse!
In Kick-Ass #1, crazy-Scotsman Mark Millar (with renowned funny-book artist John Romita, Jr.) introduces us to a realistic, present-day New York City, albeit one with costumed-adventurers plummeting from the sky.
But that’s not our titular hero. He’s busy getting his nuts jump-started as if they were an old Chevelle. The Mob apparently hasn’t taken too kindly to his do-gooder ways.
Let’s take a journey back in time, and see just how Kick-Ass found himself in such a prone position, shall we?
Enter Dave Lizewski; Teenage Dirt-Bag. Lizewski is the type of awkward, bespectacled kid that you might find hanging out inside the Drama room at all periods of the day, certainly not a member of the “cool kids” table, but not such a social outcast that he’s actually noticeable to the naked eye. He daydreams of his milf-y Biology teacher, innocently stalks his puppy-dog crush, and eats dinner alone with his widowed father. Despite discovering his mother dead on the kitchen floor from a brain aneurysm at the age of 14, and his immersion in comic book and nerd culture, there’s nothing to suggest this punk kid would ever be any kind of hero.
Dave yearns for something more. But, instead of dismissing those feelings, beating off to adult fanfic and slipping into an orgasm-induced coma like any normal geek, Dave follows the path that Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, and other fictional characters have taken before him.
He becomes a super-hero.
Seeing himself in the mirror all suited-up made his blood rush. Initially, he posed and preened on rooftops, getting the feel for his ebayed wet-suit turned super-hero get-up. He wore the suit underneath his “civilian” clothes, and grinned like an idiot all through Geography. He beefed up at the gym, kept a high-protein diet, and instead of spending the late afternoon perusing internet porn sites, he feverishly scribbled possible names for his alter-ego.
However, the time came to put up or shut up, and do some actual crime-fightin’! Dave spied a trio of vandals, and while racking his brain for some good opening banter, the three spot him, and sh– is ON!
He pulls the billy-club from the sheath on the back of his costume, and introduces it to Vandal #2′s jaw.
The ensuing dust-up doesn’t go entirely according to plan, and although he gets a few good shots in, Dave ends up with a cold blade just nearly missing his vital organs.
Dave, beaten and stabbed, but with adrenaline still coursing through his veins, stumbles out into the road, and is flattened by an oncoming car.
This first ish really came out swinging, no punches pulled. The realistic setting only amps up the level of excitement when Dave finally gets into his first knock-down-drag-out. The contemporary nerd references from Millar (such as the Galactus cloud, Heroes) help the reader to humanize and identify with the boy who would become Kick-Ass. As shown in the opening sequence, we’ve only gotten a taste of what’s to come in regards to the apparent copy-cat crimefighters that pop up in Kick-Ass’s wake.
I highly recommend reading Kick-Ass. It’s violent, it has naughty words, but the story and characters are compelling. Don’t think you’re too far behind, because you do indeed have time to catch up, as the series is only on issue #5, while the feature-length film directed by Matthew Vaughn is already in production!
To be continued in Kick-Ass #2, next time on R-Rated Reads!