Kick Ass 2 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
It’s highly anticipated, but Kick-Ass 2 is something of a downer. After the events of the first volume, Kick-Ass, now basically just Dave Lizewski, is keeping a low profile. However, he still secretly trains with Hit-Girl – he’s getting better at close combat – and he still wants to be a superhero. Others do too though – he’s inspired a movement of sorts, and it’s a group of the new ‘superheroes’ who tempt Kick-Ass out of retirement.
At first this is a good thing, as they do appear to help people. But Crimson Mist, the mafia leader’s son from the first volume, returns, having hired mercenaries to do his work for him. This leads to several killings, after which Kick-Ass has effectively lost, no matter what he manages to do to avenge the situation. The darkness of this volume could be seen as realistic, but it breaks the back of the story, which proceeds glumly to a set-piece finish, and an unrealistically rendered one at that (the police being notably ineffective). Recent tragic real life events have cast a dark shadow over this story, and though further volumes are promised, Millar’s tale, sadly, may have become too dark. [Graham C. Paterson]