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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