Tag Archives: kick-ass

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Joe

Top Picks: Daredevil #601 (Marvel) – The Mayor Fisk arc has been wonderful, and with the twist from last issue I am waiting what this one will bring. This is turning into one of the best runs on Daredevil I have read in years, and Soule and Garney keep rolling!

Infinity Countdown #2 (Marvel) – The Adam Warlock issue and the first issue of this event that is leading to another event (but don’t call it an event!) was filled with great set up. I am more than excited that Logan is back, and the characters they chose to have the infinity stones is very interesting and should lead to some great fun.

The Avengers #689 (Marvel) – Every week this comic delivers classic Avengers action while jugging many team members and creators, and I can not recommend it enough.

Action Comics #1000 (DC) – A landmark moment for comics, superheroes, and the one to spawn generation after generation of heroes. This is the guy who made it cool to wear the underwear on the outside (wait that’s not cool?). One thousand issues is insane!

The Black Monday Murders Vol. 2 (Image Comics) –  I love this creepy detective occult series and this volume is just as wild as the first. Hickman is one of the best writers around today, so do not miss this!

 

Shay

Fight Club 2 TP (Dark Horse) – I am fangirling pretty hard for this soft cover version of my signed never taken off the shelf hard cover copy. Finally a copy that can come with me and an excuse to reread it.

Harley Quinn #42 (DC Comics) – I’ve been warming to the new team behind Harley and I am a sucker for seeing what the future holds my favorite villain.

John Wick #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – More of the John Wick origin story and it should keep me going until the 3rs installment comes out next year.

Kick-Ass #3 (Image Comics) – Patience Lee is taking names and kicking ass so obviously I am all the way here for it.

Runaways TP Vol. 10 (Marvel) – Teens being teens and trying to save the world the way teens would.

Calexit #1 (4th Printing) (Black Mask Studios) – Because it is the start of an amazing series!

 

Brett

Top Pick: Fence #5 (BOOM! Studios) – BOOM! has been killing it with sports series that bring the popular manga genre to the west and this series is one of the best out there. Great characters, interaction, and stories.

Lucy Dreaming #2 (BOOM! Studios) – A fun start that seems to blend the magical girl genre with sci-fi.

Mister Miracle #8 (DC Comics) – One of the most intriguing comics out today. The second half of this series has me excited to see where it all goes and what the creative team has in store. A brilliant maxi-series and will absolutely be on many best of lists.

James Bond: The Body #4 (Dynamite Entertainment) – An intriguing series that has explored Bond in a new way and really breaking down the character in various aspects. A must for any Bond fan.

Transformers: Optimus Prime #17/Transformers: Optimus Prime #18/Transformers: Lost Light #17 (IDW Publishing) – Any week with Transformers comics I’m happy, but three in one week makes me beyond excited. So much more than meets the eye.

A Relative Newbie Review: Hit-Girl #1

Hit-Girl #1 2018 CoverNow it’s time to continue my journey into the Kick-Ass world with Hit-Girl #1. Now my first journey into Kick-Ass was pleasant so let’s see how this goes. I am a little familiar with Hit-Girl but that’s because of other snippets of Kick-Ass I’ve seen. Consider this another review for the new readers entering the Kick-Ass world. No real expectations going into this outside of I hope this turns out to be a good read. There’s only so much of an intro I can give for this one. It’s Kick-Ass, it’s a new #1 for Hit-Girl so enough hemming and hawing here. Let’s get into the grand Kick-Ass adventure once more with Hit-Girl #1. Will it be fun, will it be great, or will it be disappointing? Well only one way to find out as we get on with the show.

Note this as I said in the Kick-Ass review, I like Mark Millar’s writing but I am still hit or miss on him. Okay, let’s start into Hit-Girl #1.

Now if you are unfamiliar with Hit-Girl going into this #1, you’ll be okay for the most part. For the most part all you need to know is she’s a young lady who saves the day with extreme violence. I do know she once worked with her Dad a.k.a. Big Daddy but now he’s gone. She’s now on her own after the original Kick-Ass retired and looking for a new adventure. Onwards to Columbia thanks to request from a lady there and that sets us into the story. Which also ties into a hitman named Fabio Mendoza who’s on his way to jail until certain circumstances happen. I’m trying not to spoil but this story gets weird and fast. As I now get to explain more as to what works and what doesn’t work now that I’ve summed up certain beats of this comic. As wow, this book is strange to say the least.

This could be one of the more negative leaning reviews I have written in a long time.

Okay before we start, I’m relatively fair but if I lean more and more negative, you’ve rubbed me the wrong way. As a newish reader to Kick-Ass, this book goes all over the place for me. The hitman introduction was a great action movie spectacular setup. That’s a plus for this and the quick cuts to his gang work fairly well. It’s splashy with a sense of humor so I can appreciate that. You get to learn about the larger potential supporting cast along with the hitman so it works. I was invested at this point as I was intrigued as to what role this would play in the larger story. Then the larger story began and it went from interesting to, well here comes the comical ultra violence with little substance. Yes, I know Mark Millar and I know how he operates but this is middle of the road to borderline bad Millar. You’re all going to love the next bit of this after that sentence.

Hit-Girl #1 2018 Preview Page

Wow, this Hit-Girl review is leaning way more negative than I thought it would. Sometimes you just have to let the cards fall where they may.

First off as we’re catching up with Hit-Girl she’s actually pretty likable in a weird way. She’s lonely and she’s looking for a new sidekick to work with. She’s feeling a little lost so she’s fighting crime on auto pilot so to speak. I did like that aspect of it. She’s lost her partner in the original Kick-Ass so now she can’t find anyone to replace him. Oh she’s still the same extreme violence creates great results person but not everyone is the same way she is. When the adventure to Columbia gets set up is when the story takes a really odd turn. Any sort of heart in the story goes out the window into madness fuel on overdrive. Where the story had a good balance of heart and action then dives off the rails into sheer mayhem.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like my share of goofy mayhem. Yet this was tonal whiplash within one issue of a comic. Where Millar and Romita’s Kick-Ass #1 that was released had some semblance of soul, this loses that. Of course I see this is where Millar is going to cut loose with the crazy, but it didn’t jive with me.  I will say though, there will be people who dig this and that’s cool. This just didn’t work for me in its entirety. I would say there’s half of a really solid story and the other half goes way into crazy town and doesn’t look back. Sometimes I am down for crazy but in this, the crazy didn’t entirely work for me story wise. Just soulless mayhem and madness.

Wow, now that last line there comes off quite harsh. Yikes. Yet, I think you all will find my thoughts on the art of Hit-Girl to be way more positive.

Now as much as I am harping on my severe dislike for aspects of this comic, Hit-Girl #1 is gorgeous. Ricardo Lopez Ortiz is such a fluid and smooth artist. There are parts of this comic that feel as though if it ends up being animated or even a live action movie, you could lift these panels and use them. Ortiz captures action, emotion, and lends great energy to the comic. The expressions are awesome despite any issues with the story I have, the emotions work well for this comic. Hit-Girl’s demented nature comes through with each smile that Ortiz gives her. Not many people could capture that level of fear and by golly Ortiz pulls that off. Now let’s talk about the rest of the art team as my goodness this book is beautiful in every facet.

See what salvages this comic is the overall art team of the book. Sunny Gho‘s coloring for example is absolutely perfect in working with Ortiz’s art. The story is so over the top and the coloring is bright, jaw dropping, and also brutal as needed. The opening where our hitman is introduced has this great flash effect that works nicely. Add in the letters by Milena Mikulic adding the flashing and clicks of all the cameras and it all gels together. With cool lettering and design, hyper stylized art, and beautiful coloring, this is what helps Hit-Girl #1 immensely.

Time to conclude this Hit-Girl #1 adventure. Boy oh boy, this was one wild ride.

Yeah, I can fully say outside of the art team, Hit-Girl #1 is not my cup of tea. Now if you’re more invested in Kick-Ass, you may love Hit-Girl #1. If you’re new to the world, this won’t sway you one way or the other. While Kick-Ass #1 did well in introducing the world, Hit-Girl #1 didn’t do any of that well. Hit-Girl #1 is lots of splash and dazzle with no substance.

Story: Mark Millar Art: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Color: Sunny Gho, Lettering and Production: Melina Mikulic
Story: 6.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here. Who’s going to see Black Panther? Sound off in the comments. While you wait for the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Vice – We Went to a Comic Con in Pakistan – This could be really interesting.

CBR – Joss Whedon No Longer Attached to Batgirl Film – Well, at least he admits he had no idea what to do.

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Black Panther Annual #1

Newsarama – The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1

Newsarama – Doctor Strange: Damnation #1

IGN – Doctor Strange: Damnation #1

Newsarama – Infinity Countdown: Prime

Talking Comics – Infinity Countdown: Prime

Comic Attack – Kick-Ass Vol. 2 #1

Kick-Ass #1 Goes Back to Print Plus Two Variants Revealed

The highly anticipated new story arc of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s Kick-Ass #1 is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with the overwhelming demand. Image Comics is pleased to reveal that Kick-Ass #2 and #3 will feature variant covers with art by Francesco Francavilla and Daniel Warren Johnson respectively.

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? Find out in Kick-Ass #1.

Kick-Ass #1, 2nd printing (Diamond Code JAN188194) will be available on Wednesday, March 14th. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, February 19th.

Kick-Ass #2 Cover A Romita Jr. (Diamond Code JAN180790), Kick-Ass #2 Cover B B&W Romita Jr. (Diamond Code JAN180791), and KICK-ASS #2 Cover C Francesco Francavilla (Diamond Code DEC178230) will be available on Wednesday, March 21st. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, February 26th.

Kick-Ass #3 Cover A Romita Jr. (Diamond Code FEB180643), Kick-Ass #3 Cover B B&W Romita Jr. (Diamond Code FEB180644), and KICK-ASS #3 Cover C Daniel Warren Johnson (Diamond Code DEC178231) will be available on Wednesday, April 18th. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, March 26th.

Around the Tubes

Kick-Ass #1 Featured Image ComicsSo… who saw Black Panther? Sound off with what you thought of it below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Sofrep – Propaganda and Comic Books: An objective analysis of the US Army Cyber Command’s new ‘Threatcasting’ publications – This is a fascinating read.

Prism Comics – Second Annual Prism Awards Submission Open – Go submit your comics!

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Dark Knights Rising: Wild Hunt #1

Talking Comics – Death of Love #1

Talking Comics – Kick-Ass #1

A Relative Newbie Review: Kick-Ass #1

Kick-Ass #1 is the relaunch of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.‘s mega franchise. For most people Kick-Ass either makes people extremely happy or divides them in about five seconds. That’s the nature of Mark Millar, it seems, as people either love or hate his writing with little in-between. Here’s the thing, I actually have had more good experiences with Millar than bad ones. The Kick-Ass franchise is one that I’ve not delved into as much as other aspects of Millar’s world. I know a lot of the basic concepts of Kick-Ass but not much more. If you ever wanted a new reader perspective on Kick-Ass, this review is it. Strap yourselves in my friends for a blazing fast vigilante spectacular of a review with Kick-Ass #1. Time to find out if this relaunch is worth your time and mine as well.

Hard to believe I’m one of the few people who hasn’t experienced Kick-Ass in full but here we are. We are in for a ride.

The story of Kick-Ass was initially a guy named Dave Lizewski deciding to make a superhero costume and fight crime. There aren’t superheroes in this world and the inspiration for the Dave and other heroes to follow is from comic books. Do you need to know any of this going into this #1? You can walk into this blind and be fine. The story focuses on Patience Lee coming back after 8 years in the military with her tour being up and she’s coming home. Her plans are to take care of her kids, go to college, and let her husband take up the slack for awhile. Only to see that her plan falling apart as her husband leaves her. Then that is when she has to figure out just what to do from there while being a single Mom. From there is for us to learn what leads her to get into the Kick-Ass suit.

Now what Millar does is let us get to know Patience as a person before she adopts the suit. By the time she’s in that suit you know everything you need to know. For you as a new reader this is a fresh new character and a new story. This is all from the perspective of Patience and how she plans to operate as a vigilante. Since she has military training this is actually a good fit for her and Millar makes a point to show us this. We learn too that outside of her military training that she is a good Mom and wants to do what is best for her kids. That’s one part of this that really works, Patience is a likable character and someone who knows how to take care of herself. For what Millar is going for it works.

Okay, so in the case of Patience Lee we’re in good shape. Good new reader friendly character and direction. Everything is ship shape here right? Well, yes and no.

I mean you would think that by liking the character and her motivations, I would dig Kick-Ass #1 right? Well it is a simple enough motivation but not much to hook into. I can imagine people wondering how she got the suit for one. It becomes the game of we learn why she wants to become a vigilante but the suit magically appears. Yeah I can see Millar revealing more later but I’m left wondering where the darned thing came from. It has a lot of action but outside of Patience and her family there isn’t much more sink into. Now I will add an extra note here, there is potential for this comic. Then we can go back and say that the story got better later on. For now though, it’s a little weak yet I will say I didn’t hate what I saw. There is a lot to build on and it could easily improve.

Kick-Ass #1 Opening Page

I do applaud Millar for making this first issue as new reader friendly as possible. There are references to other things in this world but it’s so loose that it doesn’t matter. Yes the way Patience gets into this game is a little cliche and goofy at points, maybe a tad over blown, but I will admit I was entertained. It’s Mark Millar and I knew what I was getting into for the most part. For the potential I see in this though and in such a strong black female character in Patience Lee, I’m willing to hang in there. I want to see where this story goes and what Millar does with it. Yet I haven’t gotten into the art yet and there is a lot to praise in that aspect of the book.

My goodness, Kick-Ass #1 has a strong art team. That cannot be denied here at all. Not one single bit.

Now John Romita Jr. is the co-creator of Kick-Ass and an oddly polarizing artist in his own right. He is in the same category of Millar in the love or hate scale of things. When I was first getting back into comics Romita’s work on Dan Jurgens Thor run hooked me like no other. You can put me squarely in the category of digging Romita’s art. In all honesty, this is some of my favorite work of Romita’s. It’s briliant at capturing the energy of the action sequences in Millar’s script. There’s even something to how he captures even the quieter sequences in and around the action when Millar is detailing Patience’s family. It’s good at capturing fast movement in battle as well as quiet emotional moments too, a perfect balance for this story.

What also helps Romita’s art here is the digital inks and colors from Peter Steigerwald. One of the opening shots replicating how it would look if our hero was caught on camera somewhere, really cool grayscale effect. Then add in the smooth lines Steigerwald adds to Romita’s art and some brilliant lighting effects alongside, this book just looks good. John Workman‘s letters in particular are always classic as they are big, bold, and exciting in the already powerhouse battle scenes. With added ink assistance from Megan Madrigal, this is one killer art team. No matter how hit and miss I am on the story so far, the art here is spectacular.

Overall it’s New Reader Friendly but with some flaws, but gorgeous art. It may not be perfect but Kick-Ass #1 is a solid read.

I will be curious to see how many other new to newer readers check out Kick-Ass #1. I have some issues but overall I enjoyed my time with it. A solid B ratings wise as it passes my tests but with some room to improve. Give this a shot yourself and I really do want to know what you think if you try it. In my own case, I now have a bunch of Kick-Ass trades to dive into and learn more about this universe. Thanks for reading and enjoying my newbie adventure into the world of Kick-Ass.

Story: Mark Millar Pencils: John Romita Jr. Digital Inks and Colors: Peter Steigerwald
Letterer: John Workman Digital Ink Assistant: Megan Madrigal
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for Review

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d you all get? What’d you enjoy? What’d you dislike? Sound off in the comments below! While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Commonwealth Times – Comic book trailblazer added to VCU collection – This is pretty cool.

CBR – Wonder Woman Draws Record Ratings in Its HBO Premiere – This is pretty awesome. Would love to no what the on demand views are over time.

The Comichron – Dark Nights Metal #5 top reorder last week; Sienkiewicz Walking Dead covers lead advance reorders for March, April – For those that like the horse race.

 

Reviews

IGN – Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1

IGN – Invincible #144

Flickering Myth – Kick-Ass #1

IGN – Kick-Ass #1

The Beat – The Smell of Starving Boys

IGN – Star Wars: Thrawn #1

Review: Kick Ass # 1

Kick-Ass is back but Dave Lizewski, the earnest, bespectacled, nerd of days past is gone. In his place is Patience Lee, a black woman and mother of two who leaves the military only to find that her husband has abandoned her to pursue a musical career. Faced with few options and mounting debt Patience decides to rob a gang to provide for her family.

Mark Millar is a divisive figure in the comics industry. While many people adore his high concepts and cinematic storytelling others are revolted by the mean streak that runs through most of his work and his tendency to fall back on highly problematic tropes of disability, race, sexuality and violence, especially towards women. As a reader I’m highly conflicted since it was Miller’s run on Marvel’s Ultimate X-Men that brought me back into the comic book fold and it was his MillarWorld forum that nourished my resurgent fandom. I want to like what he does but, sadly, I didn’t much like this.

One thing you have to give Millar credit for on the original Kick-Ass was it’s realism. For all that it could be offensive, it still had a solid emotional core that was grounded in the experiences of a lifelong fanboy. It’s story of a young man  trying to make a difference in the world in the only way he could conceive how was at once poignant and pathetic and gave that book some value despite the worst of its creator’s excesses.

In this new book it feels like Millar has heard all the criticism about the lack of diversity in comics and tried to answer it. Unfortunately the result, while brilliant in concept, is sloppy in its execution. Patience feels less like a fully rounded character and more like a bucket full of cliches: a woman of color raising her kids alone because of a feckless spouse who has to turn to crime to make ends meet. He’s put a minority character into the spotlight but she’s never allowed to transcend the stereotypes of her race if not her gender (at least no one threatens to rape her in this first issue). Millar has veered so far out of his lane here that it feels like he’s gone right into oncoming traffic and that’s a shame because the idea of a veteran (and a female veteran of color at that) as a superhero is one that has a lot of potential for good storytelling.

One thing about which I can find no flaw here is the artwork. John Romita Jr continues to amaze and delight me with this new career resurgence he’s been on for the last year. His work, which felt boring and staid after too many years at Marvel, has come alive once again in his creator owned project and his work for hire at DC. He’s drawing like a much younger artist and the passion is evident where before there was a growing sense of a man who had been there and done that a thousand times before. This is Romita at his best, raw and unfiltered. The digital inks of Peter Steigerwald and Megan Madrigal keep his lines from straying and Steigerwald’s colors add to the comic’s already strong flavor of the cinema. It almost looks like you’re watching one of Netflix’s Marvel shows, an effect that I’m sure was intentional. Letterer John Workman is brilliant as always, with an understated hand for his craft that you can’t help but notice while you’re not noticing it.

Overall the new Kick-Ass is a mixed bag, a fumbled attempt at producing the kind of comic the industry needs with some really nice looking art. It might have been successful if Millar had bothered to delve a little deeper into the inner life of his protagonist and brought to light something that felt half as true as Dave Lizewski did at his best. He can do great stuff when he doesn’t try to outdo Garth Ennis in being edgy. I wish he would remember that.

Story: Mark Millar Artist: John Romita Jr
Ink: Peter Steigerwald and Megan Madrigal Lettering: John Workman
Story: 5.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Pass

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

INFINITY COUNTDOWN ADAM WARLOCK #1It’s a new week with lots going on! Cool interviews, reviews, and more are on tap for the week. While you wait for things to kick off, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Comichron – End of an era: The last DC newsstand issues – Some big and sad news.

Kotaku – Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Won’t Be On The Capcom Pro Tour – Anyone playing this?

The Beat – NY Times Ignores 400 Publishing Industry Pros’ Pleas to Return Graphic Novel Bestseller Chart – Because of course.

The Comichron – Fifth week helps January comics sales arrest slide; Doomsday Clock #3 leads big month for DC – For those that like the horse race.

 

Reviews

Comic Attack – Black[AF]: America’s Sweetheart

Talking Comics – Infinity Countdown: Adam Warlock #1

Flickering Myth – Kick-Ass #1

Image Comics Gets Kick-Ass

Image Comics has announced that the bestselling trade paperback collections of the hit comic book series, Kick-Ass by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., will find a new home at Image Comics. Kick-Ass, Vol. 1-4 of the trade paperbacks will hit stores this February 2018—just in time for the February 10th anniversary of the series.

The beloved Kick-Ass series introduces teen comic book nerd Dave Lizewski, who dons his homemade Kick-Ass costume and takes to the streets of NYC to fight the city’s hardest criminals. This New York Times bestseller became a worldwide phenomenon overnight, spending three months at the top spot on the Diamond Direct Market chart and spawning the KICK-ASS movie that opened at No.1 in the box office.

To celebrate the launch of the new Kick-Ass series, all four volumes of Kick-Ass: The Dave Lizewski Years are being released through Image Comics. Relive what happens when Dave Lizewski asks himself “How come nobody’s ever become a superhero before?” and makes his teenage superhero daydreams an ass-kicking reality.

A new ongoing monthly Kick-Ass comic by the series’ original creative team will launch concurrently with Kick-Ass: The Dave Lizewski Years, Vol. 1-4 trade paperbacks all hitting stores from Image Comics. Two weeks later, superstar character Hit-Girl also gets her own monthly series from the creative team of Mark Millar and Ricardo Ortiz.

Kick-Ass trade paperbacks will be available in comic shops on Wednesday, February 14th and in bookstores on Tuesday, February 20th. The final order cutoff for comic shop retailers is Monday, January 8th.

  • Kick-Ass: The Dave Lizewski Years, Vol. 1, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0719-3, Diamond code: DEC170572
  • Kick-Ass: The Dave Lizewski Years, Vol. 2, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0720-9, Diamond code: DEC170573
  • Kick-Ass: The Dave Lizewski Years, Vol. 3, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0721-6, Diamond code: DEC170574
  • Kick-Ass: The Dave Lizewski Years, Vol. 4, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0722-3, Diamond code: DEC170575

The new Kick-Ass #1 will be available on Wednesday, February 14th. The final order cutoff is Monday, January 22nd:
  • Kick-Ass#1 Cover A by Romita, Jr., Diamond code: DEC170560
  • Kick-Ass #1 Cover B B&W by Romita, Jr., Diamond code: DEC170561
  • Kick-Ass #1 Cover C Limited Special Anniversary variant by Romita, Jr., Diamond code: DEC170562
  • Kick-Ass #1 Cover D by Frank Quitely, Diamond code: DEC170563
  • Kick-Ass #1 Cover E by Olivier Coipel, Diamond code: DEC170564
  • Kick-Ass #1 Cover F black cover, Diamond code: DEC170565

Hit-Girl #1 will be available from Wednesday, February 21. The final order cutoff is Monday, January 29.

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