First, an apology. Some weeks ago we reviewed Hit Girl, the prequel to Kick Ass 2, and wrongly stated that it was the filling to the Kick Ass sandwich – when in fact Kick Ass 2 is itself the middle portion of a trilogy that will be completed by Kick Ass 3 sometime in the near future (although my understanding is that the movie version of Kick Ass 2 incorporates Hit Girl so it’s all a bit fuzzy).
Any road: where were we? Oh that’s right. Hit Girl is being a good girl for her dad, her own adventuring on hold in favour of training Kick Ass himself. Red Mist is back, all growed up and renamed the Motherfucker (you’re picking up the level this is pitched at, right?). And Kick Ass has teamed up with about a dozen other amateur masks. Amidst a blitzkrieg of violence (Kick Ass’ superteam crashlands a crooked poker game and all manner of horror ensues, Red Mist and his crew descend on … well, that would be spoiling a big twist in the film – you shouldn’t read this yet if you want to keep the movie spoiler free), Kick Ass and his dad fall out, people die left, right and centre, children die left, right and centre (Millar has always aimed for the oh no you ditn’t) and the reader reads with both an impending sense of doom and a tentative, exciting reluctance – just how far can you take a still relatively mainstream comic without drawing the ire of, say, The Daily Mail?
If you’ve been reading up to this point (both the review and the Kick Ass series), and enjoying yourself, you’ll continue to enjoy yourself in Kick Ass 2. The reader’s relationships with both Kick Ass and Hit Girl continues to develop (the climax has wow factors galore, ranging from a ferocious battle and vicious decapitation to a sombre, downbeat set-up for the final book) and the tongue in cheek allusions to other comics (it will spoil nothing to know that Kick Ass gets in one or two Justice League cracks) still work (when according to every law of knowing what you’re going to get they should be eliciting eye-rolls and groans by now). We said Millar’s work is for the unrepentant comics fan and we stand by that. But as we continue to read (and, yes, semi-shamefully re-read) we become even more convinced that Kick Ass is a damn fine addition to the history of comic books.
Any Cop?: Not for you, perhaps (or you, you and you) – but for those who it is for it is most definitely a blast.