Mark Millar has a lot going for himself: He’s one of the biggest names in the comic world, and he has a mile-long list of project ideas people are just salivating to see come to fruition. So it boggles my mind why Millar would write such a ho-hum continuation to his insanely popular “Kick-Ass” series.
We catch up with Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl and Red Mist as they each deal with the events seen in “Kick-Ass.” Red Mist has gone off the deep end and is now called The Motherfucker. He runs with a gang of purchased thugs and causes mayhem everywhere he goes. Kick-Ass is trying to be normal, and more responsible, but can’t resist the superhero lifestyle. Hit-Girl is kind of the same way: She can’t truly adapt to “normalcy,” and is soon seen donning her outfit and swords once again.
Kick-Ass, having inspired others to take up the mantle for good and justice, joins a superhero group that eventually goes to war with The Motherfucker’s gang. In the end, the heroes prevail but at the cost of innocent lives and being branded criminals by the New York City police.
“Kick-Ass 2″ has been a jumbled mess of gore, sexual violence and harsh language. When those things are used appropriately to build drama, I don’t mind them. But when they’re done in the name of sensationalism, it all puts a bad taste in my mouth.
The second series just ended with today’s release of issue No. 7, which resembles the series as whole: fast reads with little substance. All Millar gave us were some gruesome deaths and an “epic” good guys vs. bad guys battle. Frankly, John Romita Jr.‘s talents are going to waste on this book. It’s good art, some of the best he’s done this year in a technical sense, but it’s boring. Like Millar’s writing.
Millar’s writing has been lazy with this series. It started off fine, and I was genuinely excited to see what hijinks Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl would be getting into this time around. But the level of laziness was astounding. Millar is an accomplished writer, and I can almost guarantee he didn’t spend much time on the book’s dialogue or character development. The former is lame throughout, and the latter is nonexistent.
When Kick-Ass’ dad was murdered by The Motherfucker, I expected Dave Lizewski (Kick-Ass) to have a longer grieving period where he spends time growing into an adult. There are hints of it, and beginnings of it, but it never fully develops. And that’s a damn shame because Dave is a likeable character who could benefit from such a development.
Instead we see Dave become vengeful, especially after his love interest is savagely raped by The Motherfucker and his gang, which was another completely unnecessary part of the story. We get it, Millar: Chris D’Amico (The Motherfucker) has gone nuts and is now a violent, violent person. But since the rape of Dave’s friend never amounts to anything, then that entire event is moot. It does nothing for the story or the characters, and only serves to be outrageous and extreme.
Millar can definitely do better than what’s seen in “Kick-Ass 2.” I’ve seen it happen before. No doubt the adventures of Kick-Ass and his friends will continue (Millar is releasing a Hit-Girl miniseries this year), so I can only hope Millar spends more time on some of his more likeable and memorable characters.
The foundation of the Kick-Ass mythos are there. Millar just needs to build a nice property on top of it.