Welcome to another edition of Fanboy Recommended, the editorial where I talk about the best media has to offer. Having just came to it’s epic conclusion a couple of weeks ago, I felt it was only fitting to talk about one of the best creator-owned story to have came out in recent years: Kick-Ass. Having been along for the ride since the first series I have grown to love this series like no other, as though it’s had it’s hiccups along the way, it has proven to be a revolutionary series.

The Birth of Millarworld

The brainchild of Scottish writer Mark Millar, Kick-Ass first graced our comic stands in February of 2008. Telling the story of comic book geek David Lizewski, Kick-Ass shows how one eccentric idea can spawn a fad, with Dave inspiring fanboys around the fictional world to become real life superheroes. This realistic take on what a world full of wannabe superheroes would be like captured the attention of many comic book readers, and by the time the first series ended in January 2010 it had already became a worldwide sensation.

Following this success Millar was able to focus more time on his creator-owned work, eventually leaving Marvel and focusing all is efforts on Millarworld. Thanks to this fans of his work have been treated to some of his best work, with Nemesis, Superior, Supercrooks, Secret Service, Jupiters Legacy, Starlight and MPH being all being fantastic series, that may never have surfaced if not for the success of Kick-Ass.


Gratuitous Violence

As anyone who’s read Kick-Ass will know, it’s not short on the violence department. And a lot of people will feel it’s violence for the sake of violence. And for the better part they’re right. But is that a bad thing? No it’s not. Okay, it may alienate some fans, and be a little too graphic for others, but all that means is that they’re not the series target audience. There are plenty of comics on our shelves that cater to the wider audience of readers, with most of the superhero comics being action packed whilst refraining from graphic violence.

Despite Millar’s vivid imagination being the initial factor behind these epic sequences, it’s the legend that is John Romita Jr. who we have to thank for the visual execution. No matter what you think of his art as a whole, one thing I think we all can agree on is how epic his action sequences are. Having already proven a master at this in the likes of Wolverine: Enemy of the State, and World War Hulk it was no surprise that Kick-Ass followed suit. He has however in my opinion surpassed these prior efforts, with the grand battles throughout Kick-Ass being nothing short of epic.


Big Time on the Big Screen

Nowadays there are tons of independent comic book series getting forwarded for TV series or films, but back when Kick-Ass first emerged you were lucky to get the latter if you weren’t a well known Marvel or DC character. Kick-Ass did however do something that not many comic books have done (both prior and since), and that’s get greenlit for a movie prior to releasing a single issue. This deal meant that both the comic and film were getting made in tandem, with Millar and director Matthew Vaughn sharing ideas. It also ultimately meant that there’d be some changes, with Vaughn and fellow screenwriter Jane Goldman opting to take a different direction to certain aspects (e.g. the Dave/Katie relationship).

Much like the comic, Kick-Ass the movie also proved a success, with both critical response and box office takings being very favourable. This naturally meant that a sequel was on the horizon, with Kick-Ass 2 hitting cinemas just over a year ago. Despite being profitable, Kick-Ass 2 was nowhere near as successful as the first, with initial box office takings and negative criticism making it doubtful that a third will be made. Though we can hope.


Kicks Ass Right Till the End

Since starting way back in February 2008, Kick-Ass has had three series and a spin-off, totalling 28 issues. Now I know what a lot of people will be thinking, “28 comics in six years! That’s a long time for such a low produce.” Naturally there are many contributing factors that have caused delays, with the main one being other obligations, with John Romita Jr. working for Marvel (and now DC) whilst also fitting in Kick-Ass, and Millar himself also working on other projects.

Despite the long wait between issues one thing that was evident was that Kick-Ass continually kicked ass, as though I personally feel the first story surpasses the others, as a whole it proved continuously exciting. Constantly evolving, this epic tale of right and wrong took some sensational twists, with the expansive crime network allowing an array of enemies for Kick-Ass and his fellow heroes.

Kick-Ass 1-3 + Hit-Girl

In a Nutshell

So why should you spend your hard earned money on this comic book series? Because they’re awesome that’s why! In all seriousness though, if you’ve ever wondered what being a real life superhero would entail then look no further, as Kick-Ass shows that and so much more. It’s also brilliant chance for anyone who loves black humour or violent action to turn into comic fans. So if my words have had an affect, head to your local comic shop, or hit the likes of ComixologyAmazon or eBay and grab this sensational series.

Fanboy Recommended