Hit-Girl (2013)

“Okay, if you’re going to be a little pussy about it I guess we can start on the baby floor. Jesus, Dave! It’s like training the Tiny Titans sometimes.”

Kick-Ass is back with a vengeance in this prelude story, to both the movie and the comic Kick-Ass 2, featuring Hit-Girl. The book collects the the five issue series and was created by the usual creative team of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.

After the death of her father in the first Kick-Ass series, pint-sized vigilante Mindy McCready finds herself back living with her nervous mother and police detective step-father. This proves to be to be a fly in the ointment for Mindy who , as Hit-Girl, wants to destroy the Genovese family and their associates as revenge for her father. She also takes Kick-Ass under her wing supervising his superhero training but her most difficult task is fitting in as a 12 year old girl at school.

I loved this book. It full of humour taking a long hard look at the actions of comic book superheroes when fighting crime, who Mindy places a lot of emphasis on when training Kick-Ass, but also in a great series of sequences featuring Red Mist as he takes the Batman route and learns Eastern techniques from Himalayan monks and mystics. The ultraviolence is present too as Hit-Girl destroys the Genovese crime empire piece by piece and closer to home as her actions bring the mob to her door threatening her new found family. If you are already a fan of the Kick-Ass series then you will probably be picking this up anyway without any recommendation from me but if you haven’t read them and are a fan of Garth Ennis then you should give the books a try – start with Kick-Ass followed by this one and then Kick-Ass 2.

I have to mention that the series cover gallery also features this fabulous variant cover to issue 5 by Bill Sienkiewicz after Sienkiewicz:

Brilliant!

Nemesis (2011)

[ Listening to Hunky Dory Currently: Listening to Hunky Dory ]

Nemesis brings together the creative partnership of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven who worked on Civil War – about the only “big event” crossover that I have shown any interest in recently – and Old Man Logan (which is in my to be read pile) both for Marvel. Millar has had two recent books adapted for the screen with Wanted and Kick-Ass and it looks like the same is going to happen to this book.

On the surface, Nemesis is a reverse Batman – a man with wealth and resources but who decides to become a villain rather than a hero. The story starts with Nemesis’ latest killing spree in Japan where he has perpetrated a number of atrocities to humiliate a renowned chief of police culminating in his violent death and the death of numerous citizens. After this Nemesis decides to go after a respected police officer in Washington and along the way storms Air Force One and kidnaps the President, escapes from prison and humiliates the policeman and his family.

This book features a large amount of stylised ultraviolence – why is it that British writers, such as Millar, Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis, seem to be fascinated with this genre? The story is very good but the book itself is short collecting four issues and with many pages depicting the graphic violence without any words it is a very quick read. The story was entertaining in its own right but only really started to become really interesting in the last few pages when the twist to the story is revealed. The twist while providing a springboard for further stories does lead to a slight bursting of the suspension of disbelief in the abilities of Nemesis himself. It would be interesting to see where Millar would take it on if he continues the series.