Kicking and screaming!
Writer: Mark Millar Artists: John Romita Jr and Tom Palmer
NOT since the announcement of Star Wars Episode 1 have I been so anxious to catch a movie sequel. The astonishing level of “comic-ism” by the Kick Ass movie impressed me. It definitely has my vote for this year’s best comic book movie and possibly movie as well (unless Ip Man 2 changes my mind). As the Kick Ass sequel is only scheduled for 2012, some temporary kicks can be had in this six-parter, with this premier issue showing a lot of potential (especially with Nic Cage not expected to make any cameos).
While Vol 1 focused on Dave Lizewski’s quest in becoming a hero (and to win the heart of fellow classmate – Katie Deauxma), the gloves are off now as Dave is already a hero and he now needs to survive the experience!
In continuing where the movie left off, changes are aplenty in Dave’s life as he learns to fight (and not just rely on luck). He also never had Katie (unlike the movie’s deviation from the plot) and his dad is in a coma (a tale to be told in future issues). Only two things remain unchanged – Dave’s voyeuristic tendencies and the Kick Ass euphoria that is gradually influencing more “self-made” heroes.
What about Mindy McCready @ Hit Girl?
She was the actual star of the movie but is now ... a pale shadow of her femme fatale persona. This resulted from a promise made to her step-dad (Marcus) that she’ll distance from crime fighting to prevent her mum from having a mental relapse. Obviously, the withdrawal symptoms are not only evident in Mindy’s daily life but also Dave’s modus operandi. He now walks the street alone, sometimes.
Nevertheless, Dave’s heroics have inspired a fair share of copy cats and some really serious characters like Doctor Gravity.
While Doctor Gravity is certainly not gifted like Magneto, the English major, who highlights as a superhero by night, has the resources and connections to walk the heroic talk. His first “team up” with Kick Ass was a total disaster as they were simply outnumbered by a gang of thugs but he makes it up by bringing Dave to his “secret hideout” to meet the world’s greatest group (and it’s not the Beatles!).
Amidst all this confusion, Red Mist is missing-inaction – with the exception of some recap on his involvement in a “big showdown” at Times Square. Movie fans would recall his “promise” of continuing the family business and hints are dropped that he is very much on his quest of becoming a megalomaniac-type villain. Anyway, Red Mist’s absence is barely missed as there is all-round action and humour in the plot and sub-plots.
On the creative front, Millar’s penchant for over-the-top stories seem a little subdued here. That is probably because he is channelling his enthusiasm on Nemesis and Superior. Don’t get me wrong, the plot is still enjoyable, but with Dave a lot better at defending himself as well as throwing a few offensive moves, the scenes of him on the receiving end don’t evoke much humour or sympathy as they used to.
As for John Romita Jr, even without his fullfledged involvement (the man does the breakdowns, while Tom Palmer finishes and ink washes it), his presence is still evident and should be the selling point for newcomers who have never watched the movie.
Overall, the beginning to the sequel was worth the wait and if the reviews and forum talk can be counted on, this could be very much the The Empire Strikes Back template that we might have in the works. Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Artist: Sebastian Fiumara and Michel Lacombe If Megamind has got you rooting for the dark side, this four-parter should suit your taste buds. After Loki’s role in Siege, where he shared a huge blame for Asgard’s destruction, it comes to light that Thor’s stepbrother does have some redeeming points. Case in point, he was at the forefront when Surtur invaded Asgard ( Thor #350-353) and indirectly helped form the Avengers.
Hence, in Loki we have a complex and misunderstood character, which in many ways help brings out the hero in Thor. While the last Robert Rodi and Esad Ribic Loki mini-series beautifully addressed the “What If ?” scenario where Loki ruled Asgard, this new mini-series tackles the cause(s) behind the sibling rivalry between Odin’s sons. Since this is Loki’s recollection of the events resulting in the start of his eternal-long squabble with Thor, there is some logic albeit in a twisted sense. While Thor may say “Nay!”, Loki attributes their feud to a prankgone-awry on the Lady Sif.
Apparently, Loki too had affections towards Sif. His distasteful sense of humour involved snipping her golden locks, which led to a host of redeeming acts that resulted in the ultimate regret for him. While Esad Ribic’s absence is a letdown, replacement artists (Sebastian and Michel) do deliver, particularly in outlining a down-and-out Loki. The script may seem a bit complex at times, with flashbacks, hence a detour down Wikipedia would prove helpful. Overall, this series offers the perfect characterisation build up for Loki in next year’s movie. n Comics courtesy of Earth 638 (Lot 2.13J, 2nd Floor, Atria Shopping Centre, Jalan SS22/23, Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor). Hotline: 03-7729 6380. Email: (earth638@streamyx. com).