Kick Ass is a franchise that earned a lot of fame after Jim Carrey famously starred in, and then pulled his support of the movie after saying it was “too violent”. If you thought those were too violent…well, you’d better stay clear of these comics. Kick Ass is the original that sprung forth a legend. It sparked two movies, cult fandom, and it answers the age old question of why ordinary folks don’t try to be superheroes. In this Comic Corner, we’re going to be covering Kick Ass, or, the first entry in the series. If you plan on reading these comic books, and want to stay spoiler free, I’d recommend staying clear of this article, there will be minor spoilers.
To start, we follow young Dave Lizewski. Dave is a stereotypical nerd who reads comic books to avoid the realities of his terrible life. His mother passed away, and he lives alone in a small apartment with his dad, who he idolizes. One day, Dave gets the idea that he wants to be a superhero. He buys a scuba suit off Ebay, and tailors it so that it looks at least a little bit like a costume. What he doesn’t bargain for is just how terrible being a hero is. On his first night of stopping crime, he’s stabbed by some gang members and hit by a car. He ends up in the hospital, and the all too real situation of his injuries set in. A few months later, he throws the suit back on and stops his first successful mugging, and becomes a legend.
The amazing thing about Kick Ass is how grounded in reality it stays. It tries to do its best to show you that being a hero is not easy. Being a super hero is even harder. When folks without powers, without training, and with something to lose put on the costume, their lives are often in extreme danger. Not only does it tie in Dave’s story well, but it introduces us to the little bad ass herself, Hit Girl. Hit Girl is a legendary character in comic books. She’s a real life super hero whose exploits are often outrageous. Kick Ass is a hyper mature telling of a super hero story. Don’t let your kids pick this one up. These books are packed with gore, hyper violence, and lots of sex (and sexually explicit drawings).
In one fell swoop, Kick Ass manages to cover a broad range of topics. It covers the inner hero inside us, and the desire to be something more than we are. It covers the bonds between father and son, and the realities and consequences of doing the right thing. It hits the heart strings, and makes you love Dave, because he’s just a good guy trying to do the right thing. Most of all though, it makes you REALLY hate Red Mist. If you don’t know who that is…trust me, he’s what happens when you cross a nerdy kid with a real life super villain.
If you don’t mind the gore, and you’re looking for a great read, I’d suggest picking up the collected edition. After getting all the way through Kick Ass, you’ll want to jump to Kick Ass 2 and Kick Ass 3. It truly is a wonderful story of consequences, heroism, villainy, inner strength, and doing the right thing. While you’re at it, you may want to see the movies too. Kick Ass and Kick Ass 2 are both great movies, and two of my personal favorites.
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