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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 4 August 2013
This is the third instalment of the Kick-Ass franchise, running through issues #1-7 of the Kick-Ass 2 mini-series (and according to the adverts at the back, there are another two instalments in the 5-volume series to come).

If you have read the previous two volumes, Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl, then you'll know what to expect, though with a higher body-count. The basic story, as with any good comic book, is the hero (Kick-Ass) is being trained by the master (Hit-Girl); something happens to remove the master from play (her step-father grounds her for having an AK-47 hidden in a teddy bear); a threat appears (the Red Mist, now with an Amazon-unfriendly new name) who attacks the hero's family and loved-ones (even if the loved-one thinks the hero is a stalker); hero gathers a team of other heroes and confronts the villain's team of villains in an epic battle, which ends with the hero and villain alone in a roof-top showdown above the mayhem below. Throw a massacre of children and passers-by that even the Joker would consider crass (the trouble with comic-book fans is they have no sense of taste or style), a shark tank, a female Russian super-assassin (though Olympic testing officials might question the gender) and more blood and flying body parts than a Monty Python tennis sketch, and it is business as usual for Kick-Ass, Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

Anyway, this is an entertaining comic book if you like well-told graphically violent comic books, though one has to wonder how long it will be before someone blames mark Millar for the next high-school massacre. I notice that the Kick-Ass 2 film has been shot (unintentional pun), and Jim Carey (is he playing the Russian?) has already distanced himself from it following the last massacre in the USA.

Stan Lee is reputed to have told Roy Thomas "never give the fans what they want" when be began writing for Marvel back in the 1960s. This comic shows what happens when you do, literally and figuratively. I felt embarrassed - by or for, I'm not sure which - the comic fans in the comic who went out and dressed up as heroes. I also started to feel tired of the incessant bloodshed in the story itself. Fortunately, I was reading a library copy, so I didn't spend money directly on it. I'll still read the next volume to find out what happened though.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2012
Now I really enjoyed the first Kick Ass, both as a book and a film, so was really looking forward to the next instalment; sadly I was really disappointed. The first Kick Ass book was an interesting take on the superhero comic with an ordinary kid questioning why there are no super heroes in real life; a thought than leads him to donning his own mask & costume. Sadly little of the witty insight to the superhero genre has passed into this book, instead replaced by an incessant need to shock and offend.

The friends and enemies he makes in the first book all make a reappearance in this however they somehow seem less developed than they were in the previous book. The Red Mist in particular has become a vessel for Mark Millar's most extreme depravities from shooting school kids to a completely unnecessary rape making this book seem more about causing offence than progressing any sort of story line. There are some clever jokes and insights but sadly these are mostly lost in a sea of gratuitous and pointless violence.

The art is as good as the original book and lord knows they haven't toned down the violence for the sequel but that alone is not enough to save this sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2013
The first book is fantastic, a great original story with great characters and situations. I'm also a hugh fan of John Romita Jr, but I must say I found the art in this book a bit of a disappointment, its not up to his usual standard in my eyes it all seems a bit rushed, and I found the way it was coloured not very pleasing to the eye. The colours in the first are much flatter and compliment the line drawings much more effectively than in this issue.

I found the story not that engaging either. It still has the violence and the shocks of the first but the story was kind of drab and boring and unoriginal, I get what they were trying to do but for me it just felt very uninspired.

I just expected more from the sequel to what was a great original comic book that indeed did KICK ASS!
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David Lizewski/Kick Ass is being trained by Mindy/Hit Girl to become a better superhero but when Hit Girl is dissuaded from putting on her outfit and bloodying up criminals by her new step-father and recently re-united mother, Kick Ass sets off to meet others who are dressing up and fighting crime. And it turns out there's a few, so many that they wind up making the first "real-world" superhero team, Justice Forever. But things are about to get shaken up by Red Mist who is gathering an army to exact revenge on Kick Ass for his father's death.

I remember really enjoying the first book and Mark Millar is usually an interesting writer so I was surprised to find myself not falling for this book as completely as I did the first. It might be because of a couple of things: there's a lot less humour and fun in the book, and it's very dark. Whereas the first book contained some of the thrill of a buttoned-down boy finding freedom of self through a secret identity, here he is beset by tragedy again and again. Kick Ass learns that like many costumed vigilantes, he must endure great personal suffering for his choice of putting on a mask. And these tragedies are very dark and graphic so be warned; Millar has always had a tendency to shock and he doesn't pull his punches here.

I think the irony of the series is that Millar presented Kick Ass as a semi-plausible story of a young boy setting out to be a superhero without superpowers and thus becoming a different kind of "hero" journey not seen before, and yet time after time in this book the story falls back on comic-book archetypes and clichés. The way the hero loses close friends and family mirrors numerous superheroes; the way the bad guy plots to blow up the city and does any number of heinous things including murder and rape; the way the hero is perceived as a villain by those he protects; by the end of the book it's no longer a singular post-modern superhero story but just another superhero story, indistinguishable from a Batman or Spiderman book.

That said, while I found the plot a bit predictable, I began thinking about the meaning of the scenes and wondering why they were included. I think at its core, Kick Ass is a way of looking at superhero comics and their meaning on a broader scale. It could even be said of the world presented in Kick Ass that we are in the post-superhero age; where everyone wants to be and is a superhero but no-one truly is - at least not in the comic-book sense.

Millar makes a point of defining what he believes a superhero is: it's not just putting on a costume and beating up criminals (although that is part of it) but it could also be as simple as helping out at a homeless shelter or donating blood. The fact that they wear a mask when they do these things is irrelevant. In that definition, like many things in Kick Ass, Millar is saying we can all be superheroes if we want - a better world is within our grasp even if we need to re-phrase the actions with the help of colourful outfits.

I'm divided in my view of the book. On the one hand I feel the series has become a product of the thing he sought to parody and in the other I have the nagging suspicion that this is all designed to appear that way and that this is a truly post-modern superhero comic with many layers. On a purely superficial level, did I enjoy reading it? Sure, it's good, bloody, fun and while not all fans of the first book might like this second as much, there's enough here to make it worth your time and the fact that the book has left me pondering its meaning this much is something few comics manage. So I tentatively recommend it with the caveat that you go in with lowered expectations and with both eyes open for the meaning in the spaces in between the panels.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2012
OK. I've never written a review before but looking at the other reviews on this page made me do this just to balance out all the hate.
So the mantra chanted in these reviews is: There is not enough character development and too much gratuitous violence which has been included solely for shock value. Now I must admit that I can totally understand why people say these things. Too bad I disagree.
Let's be honest and admit why we are fans of the first one. Ludicrous characters, witty dialogue, dark humour and of course hyper-violence. All these things were present in the first and they are present here. Kick Ass 1 never had a very deep story. It was short and sweet and so is this one. How do you top a hyper-violent comic book? You write something even more weird and twisted and that is what Millar and Romita Jr were trying to do in this book.

Now the sequel is rarely as good as the original but this is still very much a Kick Ass book and it has a very distinct style which only Millar has the audacity to write. Many of the scenes will make you uncomfortable yes, but that is their function. They make you totally hate the antagonist and genuinely fear for the characters as you know that in this nihilistic world of Kick Ass no one is safe from a gruesome death. Honestly if you've read any of Millar's previous independent work you should not be surprised. Other scenes are just plain awesome. The final showdown at the end is very cool and I can't wait to see that in the movie adaptation.

In closing, I would say that if you liked the original you should like this one. It doesn't have the novelty factor that the first one had so of course it's not going to have the same punch. This is something the author and artist tries to remedy with extending a middle finger to everything that is holy in western society...and that is the number one reason I like it. It might seem a bit contrived but it is refreshing that in an age where everything is politically correct and tamed down to increase commercial success some one has the courage to trample all over that.
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on 28 June 2013
The success of Kick-Ass has meant that everyone wants to be a super-hero. Dave and Mindy are trying to live normal lives, trying to put their glances with death and Mafia behind them. But the public seem to be filled with a 'if they can do it, why can't I?" attitude. So out of the shadows come more and more Super-heros who are less 'super' and less 'hero' than they would have imagined.

Red Mist returns and poo-poos these heroes. What is the new black is Super-Villain. And Red Mist targets Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl's families. It's time to get the scuba on and kick ass.

Millar's tales of Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl are much fun with bright, colourful artowkr to boot. I think the books get better with every outing and Millar seems to be hitting a successful stride which I hope he will continue.
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on 23 June 2015
This is a good continuation of the story and the themes of the previous issues. With a returning villain and a clear plan the stakes are definitely raised here.

Romita’s art is excellent. Children, animals, and graphic violence are all handled with style. A strong colourist capable of great lighting effects and a confident panel structure make this a visual feast.

Millar puts out his social soapbox but there is less of him pimping his own products so the delivery of his moral message is smoother than it has been previously. The seven issue length also makes a big difference allowing room for the story to breathe and the emotional beats time to resonate.

Thumbs Up!
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on 26 September 2013
The price of the books was cheap and the delivery was rather fast as well, the product turned up with in a few days of purchase.
The only issue i had with this product is that i ordered the hard back editions and the sleeves on all three kick ass books turned up damaged. They were torn and scrunched up. I was very disappointed with this. The actually book its self was perfectly fine though, but with out the sleeve cover the front of the book is blank so you really need to sleeve on and it isn't looking nice with a damaged and torn sleeve. over all i decided to give it a 3. it would have been a 5 if they came in better condition.
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on 6 November 2013
The first book wasn't half as good as the film.

This one is much better.
I still loved the film but of course there are scenes that needed to add more humour and take away so much distress and anguish and general erm, well just trust me ok?

But of course the book has all the scenes in all gory detail.
So can't complain.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2012
When I first saw the film version of Kick Ass I completely fell in love with the world of Dave Lizewski. Matthew Vaughan and Jane Goldman managed to create something special at a time when superhero movies were everywhere. Like many people at the time I decided to check out the comic the movie was based on. I did enjoy the comic but nowhere near as much as I enjoyed the film. The changes made to the story for the film gave the story real heart which I found lacking in the comic. Maybe I'm just a sucker for a happy ending which the film provided and was largely lacking in the comic. There were a few things I found unpleasant about the original comic and I approached this sequel with much trepidation. Originally I wasn't going to bother but then a sequel to the Kick Ass film was announced and I'd heard some worrying things about the comic and not wanting to be one of those people that judges something without experiencing it I decided to take the plunge. And it wasn't as bad as I was expecting...

I'm not going to spoil the story for anyone so I'll keep it brief. Kick Ass 2 pretty much carries on from where the last volume left out. Hit Girl is back living with her mum and step dad Marcus trying to adjust to life as a normal little girl whilst Kick Ass continues his war on crime. This time out he's joined by a whole group of fellow superheroes who fill the hole left by Big Daddy and Hit Girl. Also returning is villain Red Mist who's been building a team of his own. He's even decided to take on a new moniker (an incredibly immature name I can't really type in an Amazon review and I'm not sure whether the name is used to show just how immature Red Mist is or whether Mark Millar actually thinks it's funny). The basic story here is Red Mist trying to get revenge on Kick Ass and Hit Girl for killing his father. There are a few unpleasant scenes most famously the one involving Dave's "girlfriend" which I'm not really convinced was needed for the story to work.

So far I'm making it sound like I didn't enjoy the book at all which really isn't true. It's far from perfect but there's still plenty to enjoy. Once again the art by John Romita Jr. is awesome and Mark Millar is a good writer whether I appreciate all the material or not. Though she's largely sidelined in this volume Hit Girl steals every panel she appears in and remains one of the most vivid and controversial characters in popular comics. The cliff hanger ending leaves you desperately awaiting the next volume in the series and there is a lot of good story development. But overall there is just something missing. The book feels slight there's just not enough there for me. Three stars doesn't mean it's a bad book for me it was an okay book. If you're a massive fan of the first volume then you can probably add at least one more star to that rating.
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