KICK ASS 4
Written by Mark Millar and Drawn by John Romita Jr.
Published by Icon/Marvel Comics
Young David Lizewski has continued putting on his costume and playing superhero, despite all the horrific injuries he has sustained. And now he’s reached a point where he has genuinely done some good. But there’s a flip side to doing those goods; David had hoped to inspire others to do positive deeds and make the world a better place. Instead, he has begun to inspire others to become costumed vigilantes. Two of those vigilantes pop up in the middle of his latest case, however, and they are something else entirely; one is a large man whop stays masked and behind the scenes, calling himself “Big Daddy.” The other is a ten-year old girl who packs a pair of swords and is unafraid to bloodily dismember those she feels are evil and need to be removed from living.
I genuinely want to like KICK-ASS better than I do. It isn’t that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with the book; Millar’s story and script are actually quite palatable, his work here leaps and bounds above the godawful WAR HEROES. Romita Jr’s art is phenomenal, really- the pages look absolutely brilliant, and he is one of the rare artists who can really make a sword-wielding 10-year old look dangerous and scary. But there’s something about this book that nags at me. And that’s weird, considering it’s technically a fine effort, and the most readable thing I’ve seen out of this writer in ages.
Perhaps it boils down to David as a character. In this issue, he spends a great deal of time on the sidelines, watching what is happening, and even when he tries to pursue something, it doesn’t go anywhere- he’s outclassed by what he’s dealing with. In his personal life, he’s helping his father write a personal ad and faking being gay to get closer to the girl he likes. In short, David doesn’t really come across as a protagonist the way you’d like in order to make him a compelling person to read about. Perhaps the ultimate point of the story is to get him to a point where he truly stands on his own two feet, but reading this singular issue (my first since issue one), that doesn’t appear close in the rearview mirror. And it hampers the book a bit, considering the amount of merit it possesses otherwise.