Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. return to one of their biggest hits in Image Comics’ Kick-Ass #1, a brand new volume that brings us a fresh story and new face under the mask.
Written by: Mark Millar
Art by: John Romita Jr.
Colors and Digital Inks by: Peter Steigerwald
Letters by: John Workman
Kick-Ass Created by: Mark Millar & John Romita Jr.
KICK-ASS IS BACK—ready to wipe out the city’s criminal lowlives, destroy its gangs, and save its communities from decay. But there’s a new face beneath the old mask, a new figure wearing that famous green and yellow spandex. Who is this new vigilante superhero? Who can fill Dave Lizewski’s shoes? WHO IS THE NEW KICK-ASS?
Kick-Ass #1 begins in media res, as someone in the familiar green diving suit is taken before a bunch of scary criminals. Millar wastes no time with this narrative, as the story quickly flashes back to give us information on our new protagonist, Patience. In a well-executed action sequence set in Afghanistan, we learn not only what Patience is capable of, but what brought her back home to Albuquerque, New Mexico as well. The issue also sets up her current situation and what exactly led Patience to put on a superhero suit (no spoilers, but let’s just say her some of her reasons are personal and do not seem so altruistic at the moment). Also Patience, unlike original Kick-Ass Dave Lizewski, is an adult (a single mother actually), a woman and a person of color; all of which does a lot to change up the dynamic of the character.
Millar has always excelled at this kind of tight, economical and well-paced storytelling. It’s cinematic and immensely entertaining too. He is also crafty enough to leave out information to keep us intrigued. This is obviously the same world as prior Kick-Ass books, but so far no direct connection has been revealed.
The art here is just fantastic. John Romta Jr. has always been one of the greats, but something about his work with Millar (particularly in Kick-Ass) really unleashes, energizes, and intensifies his line work. The fight sequences hit hard, with the punches and kicks almost genuinely felt. At the same time, the art here is a bit more polished than in previous Kick-Ass stories, which helps set it apart as a new chapter. This is one of the sleekest looking Romita books I have seen.
Peter Steigerwald digital inks and colors also bring a lot of life and energy themselves. The inking and coloring add a ton of weight to the art, giving it a look that is both a bit ‘grimy’ yet still clean and slick.
Kick-Ass #1 is a welcomed return. If you loved the world and style in these comics, this new volume seems like a good continuation. Millar and Romita Jr. together at the very least always offer a kinetic and fun comic book reading experience. The storytelling is strong and you’ll want to learn more about Patience and her plight at the end of this issue.