Comic Reviews: Kick-Ass 3 and All-New X-Men!
Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s real life superhero returns to the comic racks this week in Kick-Ass 3 #1, which finds Dave Lizewski recuperating from the events of the previous mini series. With Hit Girl in jail, it’s up to Dave and his Justice Forever teammates to break her out…..after they train some more first of course.
Dave undergoes a lot of changes this issue. From graduating high school to landing his first job and apartment, it’s very cool to see Lizewski start to grow up and become something close to the superheros we all know and love. There’s an excellent balance between the serious plot moments and the crushing hilarity of reality in this issue, and there many times where I laughed out loud while reading the book (Kick-Ass’ re-creation of a classic Batman motif was the highlight for me). The interplay between Dave and his fellow Justice Forever members is another welcome addition, even if his leadership skills leave much to be desired.
Just as refreshing as Mark Millar’s script is John Romita Jr.’s pencils, which are very close to the ones from the original Kick-Ass mini. This is thankfully a far cry from his current work on Captain America, and while there are some strange anatomy choices on certain characters, his action scenes are fantastic, and really help strengthen the fact that while these superheroes may be fighting drug dealers and pimps, their real enemy is reality.
Kick-Ass 2 was an extremely dark tale that didn’t really live up to the promise of its predecessor. Luckily it seems that Millar and JRJR have put the doom and gloom behind them for the Return of the Jedi of their story. It’s really cool seeing how the world of this series has started accepting(or putting up with) Kick-Ass and his fellow heroes, which is shown beautifully when Kick-Ass tries to shake down the patrons of a dive bar for information. Much like the original series, Kick-Ass 3 asks “what if superheroes were real”, except this time it has a lot more fun with the concept.
You see that awesome cover? Well, it doesn’t happen.
Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen pull the ol’ “cover bait and switch” with All-New X-Men #12, but rather than being pissed, I’m pleased. Instead of having Cyclops and his brother Havok throw down, Bendis instead presents us with an Alex Summers who is so relieved to see his brother in happier times that he can’t hold back his emotions. The Summers’ brothers relationship is the focal point of the issue, and the opening pages of the issue, in which Alex is watching the modern day Cyclops’ address to the world, really sells home his feelings of relief and sadness when he sees the younger Scott later this issue.
All-New X-Men #12 dives right into the central conflict between the mutants today, but also shows how powerful the bonds of brotherhood can be. As someone who has a brother, I’d be lying if I said the conversations between the younger Scott and modern Alex didn’t strike a chord with me. While I found Captain America’s questioning of the X-Men to be a little unbelievable (especially when a majority of them are now Avengers and can vouch for the time displaced originals), I understand why Bendis had him be the voice of doubt.
While there’s not a lot of action for Immonen to draw, but that’s not really and issue here. Immonen has proven time and time again that he is a master, and this issue is just one more piece of evidence to throw in the folder. From the joy on Havok’s face to the shock and anger on Jean’s when she accidentally reads Scarlet Witch’s mind, Immonen’s characters leap off the page in some of the most dynamic art on the comic stands today.
Issue 12 of the continuing saga of Xavier’s mutants from the past is still going strong. While the main selling point of the series may be starting to wear thin for some, if it keeps producing quality work like this, I’ll keep buying.