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:


Kick-Ass 2 (2012)


“Again with the f-bombs! What is it with young people these days?”


This book collects the second seven part mini-series from the same creative team of Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. The thing to say straight up is that the back of this book has an infographic that states that this is book 3 of a projected 5 book Kick-Ass arc. Well thanks for the heads up on that Mark and Millarworld – the only other place it is mentioned is on the facing page to the last page in the story.

The actual book 2 of the arc is the current, and so currently uncollected, Hit-Girl mini-series. This will now have to be treated by me as a flashback. Any dramatic tension created in that story could now well be compromised since there is a likelihood that it will be spoiled by knowing the events in Kick-Ass 2. Hopefully this will not be the case but you, dear reader, may wish to hold off reading this book until after the collection of Hit-Girl.

As for the book itself, it carries on in the same vein as book one with more extreme, bloody violence and foul language. In the aftermath of the events in book one, Dave and Mindy’s lives have gone separate ways. While Dave is living the dream as Kick-Ass, Mindy has retired Hit-Girl under the watchful eye of her cop step-father. Millar cranks up the tension with the introduction of super-teams and super-villains – not everyone wants to do good. While the cops seemed content to stand back in the first book when only gangs were getting whacked, the situation changes in this book when a team of super-villains cause a massacre in a quiet suburban district.

If you liked the first book then you will probably like this as it is more of the same. The depth of Dave’s obsession with being Kick-Ass is tested to the full by the events in this book. Perhaps his actions are being dictated by the things that happen around him but how he must wish that he had hung up his costume after his first patrol. I look forward to seeing what Millar has planned for Dave and Mindy now.

Kick-Ass (2010)


“Would you give me a hug? My daddy just died.”


This book collects the first eight part mini-series and was written by Mark Millar, the Scottish writer probably best known for the Ultimates or the Civil War event for Marvel. The art was by John Romita, Jr. who has mostly worked on various Marvel characters.

Kick-Ass tells the story of Dave Lizewski, a high school kid who dreams of becoming a superhero like the ones he reads about in his comic books. Dave decides to act on his desires and roams the streets looking for action but soon regrets it when he ends up stabbed, beaten and the victim of a hit and run. Several months and operations later and Dave can’t keep away from the streets but small successes only bring him to the attention of larger predators.

This book features some of the trademark excesses of language and violence that Millar is known for in his creator owned work and so won’t be for everyone. It is a brutal examination of the reality of vigilantism where the criminal underclass are not a superstitious and cowardly lot to be frightened by a man in a suit and the crime lords will move quickly to end anything that is interrupting their business activities. Dave finds that the high ideals held by the comic book heroes are soon abandoned in real life when he becomes associated with another pair of well trained vigilantes targeting crime boss John Genovese. The tipping point for most people I suppose will be the character Hit-Girl – a well trained 10 year old girl who wields deadly katanas to dish out bloody violence while spouting foul language. Even given the comic book nature of the story it is hard to imagine any father turning a young girl into the violent figure of revenge that is presented in this book. But if you can accept that then this is an excellent book.