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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 May 2010
This proved to be one of my most favourite reads of recent times, very irreverent, self-knowing, clever and just plain daft at the same time. Very enjoyable all round. There is one of them "c words" used at one point that seem to dreadfully irk certain portions of the populace so if you have sensitivities in that direction, you most likely won't be happy. But I laughed out loud and had a warm silly grin throughout so if that's the kind of thing you like to happen to you, go for it. Great fun.
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on 19 July 2016
Fast delivery but I didn't really enjoy the comic, I didn't think the art work was very good and the story line is different from the film but that was a good thing about it, I was shocked at the part when they find out what was in the suit case. I wasn't expecting that. If you are a fan of the film I recommend this but if you have read comics like the walking dead or out cast you might not enjoy it as much.
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On its most basic level this is the story of a school student who, inspired by his comics, decides to dress up as a superhero and go out into the city and make a difference. But Kick-Ass is much more than that, although it may be a far-fetched story it still manages to capture a reality which makes the central character one easy to identify with.

Putting on a costume is a chance for David to stand out from the crowd and stamp his influence on the world, he considers himself to be a non-entity as he lives his life at school generally unnoticed and overlooked. There's no way that his alter-ego can slip under the radar though, and the genius of this book is how it constantly grounds itself in reality. After stepping out from the shadows to reprimand a gang of hooligans David doesn't engage in a series of ninja style moves which leave his opponents beaten - he is mocked, beaten up and left for dead. Instead of basking in the glory of vigilante justice he spends weeks in hospital and cries for hours thinking about the medical bill his exploits have left his dad with.

It's easy to identify with Dave as he narrates events, he shares his thoughts and regrets with us. We aren't just seeing the story, we're hearing his account of things and understanding his motives to the extent that you feel as though you're living out the whole saga along with him.

This is a comic for a modern age, it's full of modern cultural references such as 'Star Wars Kid' and of course various comic book characters. It also mirrors modern life with its frequent references to online social networking sites such as MySpace and Youtube. In fact, Kick-Ass becomes a cult phenomenon after a chance encounter with local thugs is captured on video by onlookers and uploaded to YouTube.

As it turns out, David isn't the only masked vigilante in town - and it's only a matter of time before he crosses paths with Hit Girl and Big Daddy - in many ways the real deal. Perhaps less heroic is Red Mist, another have-a-go costumed superhero with similar interests, but David has an identity Crisis when the new superhero starts to get all the media attention. We get to understand his desire to be Kick-Ass, it's given his life a new energy which has spilled into his normal life - he becomes more confident, he interacts better with people and evens becomes close to the hottest girl at school - but that's because everyone assumes he's a rent boy and she finds the gay David interesting and non-threatening! But by seeing how enriched his life is with Kick-Ass, we see how he can't bring himself to put the suit away and call it a day, something he sums up perfectly when he observes that "Dave Lizewski had eight friends on MySpace and Kick-Ass had thousands".

I read Kick-Ass after seeing the film and it's interesting to see how faithful the film was to the book, but there are still enough differences to make this feel quite different in places. The film successfully made efforts to look visually cool and also managed to inject a great emotional edge, the book instead feels less hyperkinetic and more gritty. The two complement each other perfectly and both have characters which defy logic to be incredibly believable. There are lots of superhero comics out there, but it's rare that a costumed crime fighter is shown involved with violence which has real consequences. Here there is lots of violence but it isn't mindless cartoon punches, there's real pain and moments which will have massive repercussions. The book has some great humour (I chuckled to myself seeing "tunk" make an appearance towards the end) and David's friends have the same sort of conversations I had as a teen (and still have now in my early thirties!).

The artwork in Kick-Ass is real enough to bring everything to life but slightly 'cartoony' to give it a unique style. Detail is great and the gangly limbs of Kick-Ass hint at the scrawny kids beneath the suit. The characterisations are perfect with faces conveying the thoughts and feelings of the full ensemble well. This hardback compilation of the original 8 books also features some displays of alternative cover art from the original releases.

In a nutshell: In the end he might not have been a superhero - but Dave did make a difference, the world was a little different and a bit more interesting because of him. Kick-Ass is ultimately a story about an 'average' kid who became an inspiration. Perhaps he was a super hero after all.
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on 23 July 2011
I was a huge fan of the movie as it was a fantastic change of pace to the usual superhero movie. I knew a bit about the book and knew that there were some large differences between the movie and the book. The ending, which I won't go into detail about is far different in tone, but I think each ending works for their respective mediums. The book ending would have not worked on film and vice versa.

The story, written by Mark Millar is generally well told. I was a big fan of Millar's work from Marvel's Civil War which was a superb tale and one of the best I've read. While the overall story is fresh, I can't help but feel that Millar, knowing he had free reign on his own story with original characters, just decided to throw profanity in as much as possible. Sometimes it just feels too shoehorned in. It is, in my opinion, forgiven by its interesting premise though.

The art, by John Romita Jr. is fantastic and compliments the high octane plot with extremely violent scenes and more than a little splash of red here and there. There are some inconsistencies with the art however such as costume pieces changing colour and a criminal with a disappearing tattoo.

For the contents of this book - the story and the art - I would give this a 4 star.

The reason I've taken a star off though relates to this particular product; the Collector's Edition. I had to have two replacements sent to me because the quality of the book just wasn't up to scratch. The first book I received apparently had a problem with its printing plates because numerous pages had its images doubled meaning it was blurry and unreadable. The second book had a problem when the pages were being cut because a sizable number of pages had diagonal cuts across the corner of the pages. Fortunately the third book I received is fine and I thank Amazon for their swift service.

All in all, Kick-Ass is a great read though I prefer the film. Unless you really want a hard back copy like I did, I recommend the paperback which is half the price and one version offers extra pages about Hit Girl.
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on 24 July 2013
Really bloody, really naughty and really, really funny. John Romita Jr's claret-splattered artwork is perfect for Mark Millar's lean, punchy storytelling. Arguably, the film adaptation upped the ante and created yet more iconic images, but this is a short, sharp burst of brilliance that's a must-read for any self-respecting comic lover. And even un-self-respecting ones. Probably especially those.
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on 22 August 2016
Finally got my hands on it. Loved the film and was curious how the source material looked. And man, it indeed delivers some weird and funny sheeeet. Coarse and brutal. Not for everyone but this book is just pure awesomeness if you are a sucker for this kind of over the top stories.

Also, it looks like the film and book have some very distinct plot differences. It adds more pleasure to watching/reading as now it is clear both media had creative people involved.
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I bought this after seeing the film. I'm not a comic book fan really, this being he very first I have ever bought but I liked the film and I liked this too. It is ULTRA violent though from beginning to end. Not one for the kids to see!
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I lied about the sex, but there's plenty of blood and terror. I picked up the collected edition of this comic book in my local library, having seen the film a couple of years ago. I have been reading comics since the early 1960s, so I am not just a casual browser of comics, but I never felt a great need to read this one before, which probably does make me a casual browser today. The basic story is that one day, a comic nerd asks the question - why has no one tried to be a super-hero before? So he buys himself a costume off of EBay and goes out into the night to be a vigilante, quickly ending up in hospital. Outfitted with metal plates in his head, and a deadened sense of pain, he has another, more successful go, and ends up as a You-tube sensation. Seeking to help out a young lady with a stalker ex-boyfriend, he is witness to a visitation from Hit-Girl, another, but more serious vigilante, who, with her crime-fighting partner, Big Daddy, is destroying a drug baron's network. Anyway, traps are laid, heroes are captured and tortured, rescues are effected, and revenges are had. You've seen the film, you know the body count.

The comic book had a different target audience than the film, and so the more extreme comic-related references were toned down in the film, as was the graphic violence - no entrails or brains flying about if you want a `15' rating, and Big Daddy does not look like Batman in the comic, though he does look like Nicholas Cage... And the comic version is probably more `grounded' in reality, though the comic is a good comic story, and the film is a good action/adventure/ superhero film. By comparing the two, you can probably draw a good lesson in how a story works best when told in two different media, and how different elements should be expanded or edited to suit the different requirements of said media; unlike Watchmen, for instance, where they tried to follow the comic faithfully, only making tiny adjustments which - to me - changed Rorschach's character and motivation.

Anyway, this is an entertaining comic book if you like well-told graphically violent comic books, as well as if you enjoyed the film.
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on 9 September 2010
A lonely young man decides to right the wrongs of the world the only way he knows how - by dressing up as a superhero called Kick Ass and wandering the streets for crime! News of his exploits spreads via YouTube and Facebook and soon he is a celebrity but not before he's beaten nearly to death during his first encounter with crime. He soon finds other "superheroes" though - the Red Mist, another young man with a costume but no real powers, and Hit Girl, a 12 year old girl with mad martial arts skills and a masked gun toting father. All roads lead to a mafia boss and Kick Ass soon finds out what it means to be a superhero.

It's an excellent concept and Mark Millar writes a fun, witty script with dark overtones of a disenfranchised society. The characters are excellent and the story barrels along at a fast pace. Millar is quick to point out where comics heroes ends and real world heroes begins which adds to the overall strength of the book. John Romita's drawings are also top notch with a lot of gore to offset the cutesy "kids in costumes" concept.

The book is almost the same as the film but with one notable exception - Hit Girl's father's motivations. They changed it to fit a more mainstream cinema crowd but Millar's original idea is fascinating and speaks volumes about the idea that grown-ups are supposedly grown up.

An excellent comic book with a great script and fantastic art, forget any preconceptions you may have, this is as good if not better than Marvel and DC superheroes. Can't wait for the sequel.
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on 3 June 2016
Good graphic novell/comic book. But it was not as funny as the movie.

This is a much darker an violent story. Hit-girl is 10 years old, and that makes the violence a bit wrong and unlikely. Kick-ass is more driven by narcissism than idealism and naivism. And big daddy is more of a hybrid of the punisher and a red neck (not that being a red neck is a bad thing) than a bat-man. This were some of the things I loved in the movie.

How ever. This is a well written and well illustrated comic. And if you liked the movie, you will probably like the graphic novel too. I got all four books a month ago, and I have read them twice.

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