Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Advance Review: Kick-Ass #3

Kick-Ass #3
Written by: Mark Millar
Pencilled by: John Romita, Jr.
Published by: Icon

I didn't enjoy the first issue of Kick-Ass. In my review of it, I wrote, "The central character is a cypher that bores me and the concept isn't new or handled in any real original manner" and that there wasn't a single reason I could think of to buy another issue save wanting something to trash. So, I skipped issue two and had no intentions on reading another issue, but, Mark Millar made the offer that anyone with a blog could request a .pdf of issue three for review purposes. Hey, free comic, who am I to refuse?

And, well, I liked the issue. I'm as surprised as the next guy, but this was a decent comic.

In issue two, it seems that Dave Lizewski recovered from his beating and managed to get his act together enough to beat up some crooks--with a camera capturing the whole thing. Now, "Kick-Ass" is a bonafide internet sensation and Dave is feeling mighty proud of himself. He's more confident and assured in his regular day-to-day life, which he thinks explains why everyone is treating him with more respect--even a hot girl who wouldn't give him the time of day before. The real reason is typical Millar crudity, but does allow for a more relatable situation where Dave finds himself firmly planted in the "friend zone," happy just to be near the girl he likes.

On the superhero side of things, Kick-Ass has set up his Myspace page so people can send him requests for his services rather than him patrolling the streets, hoping to randomly come across crimes in progress. It's a sensible-but-stupid solution that seems ripe for story possibilities, but Millar ignores that, mostly. My first thought was that Kick-Ass would get 90% fake stuff... or be set up for a beating that can be put online as "Kick-Ass Gets His Ass Kicked." Somehow, that seems more realistic than people actually asking for help with real problems. Why is that?

His first "mission" goes pretty much how you would expect until the unexpected happens--and that's where I suddenly became intrigued with the comic. Up until the final few pages, this was pretty much what I expected after reading the first issue: crude jokes, a few clever ideas that aren't fully explored, and some decent art. But, the end of the issue has me genuinely wondering what happens next.

John Romita, Jr.'s art is its typical high quality. I wasn't a fan of his more sketchy style in the first issue, but it's grown on me a little. If anything, it seems appropriate for the world Millar's created here.

Millar isn't doing anything really new or original here, but it is becoming an entertaining and, more importantly, interesting comic book. I'm not definitely on board for issue four, but I am considering it. That's progress, right?

Kick-Ass #3 will be available tomorrow in most comic shops.