Kick-Ass 1-8

David decides to become a superhero!

The first three pages of Kick-Ass no. 1 establishes the absurdity of donning a costume and playing hero by showing a would-be Falcon or Nighthawk basically dive to his death. I interpret this as Millar saying that for the rest of the story we are in a world every bit as real as our own. This is the basis going forward - later on he'll stretch reality a bit with the introduction of High Five and Big Daddy; but in this opening issue, wear a costume = get hurt. Ok. Fine.

Now we come to David. David fantasizes about his teacher. He is awkward around women but brave enough to try. The following panel is particularly painful to read.

Kick Ass : david getting brutalize by what's her name enlarge

Kick Ass : david getting brutalize by what's her name part 2 enlarge

God, that was rough.

We are shown David's home life. Middle class. Nothing weird. Loving and kind father - always a nice thing to see. David likes playing video games and he loves comicbooks.

Kick Ass : david reading comics with his friends

I don't know if this is true about you, but when I see someone into comics I feel an automatic kinship with that person. By the time Millar and Romita finish with the pages introducing David I feel I am David and this story is happening to me; to David/me. This is when Kick-Ass starts becoming magic.

Kick Ass : david wears his kickass costume for the first time

Ha! Look at that! David buys a wet suit off the Net, creates a costume out of it and is going out on the streets to do the hero rounds. No powers, just . . . something . . . you can see it in his face sitting on the bed. And if you've enjoyed enough comics, you can understand it.

But the first three pages of this issue comes to haunt us and David. It's the real world out there and it doesn't care about your intent, you better bring some level of capability.

Kick Ass : david lies beaten

First of all, don't worry, he's alive - more on that in issue 2.

So with the end of issue 1 what's the attraction of Kick-Ass? Millar and Romita Jr. have defined a weird space here - a meeting place of the superhero comic with our reality. It clearly is not the world we know because of certain twists that happen later but it's not the superhero worlds of Marvel and DC either. The lure of Kick-Ass to every comic book lover is that it is near enough to our experience of everyday that it gets to answer the question: What if I went nuts today, bought a suit, went outside and tried to become a superhero? The answer is irresistible and it comprises the core of the Kick-Ass story.

Posted by  Pete Albano - October 2010

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