Whenever you see an Image comic with a #1 on the cover there is a certain temptation to buy it. Maybe it’s the memory of how Walking Dead #1 or Invincible #1 shot up in value and that neither were in your long boxes. Other Image #1 comics have languished in the dollar bins so which one is Kick-Ass #1?
Set in an unlikely blue-collar town of Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you’ve been to New Mexico it’s a gorgeous state overall but there is a clear divide between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Albuquerque is a hard-working, blue-collar city made up of a lot of average people trying to get by. Santa Fe is an artistic town made up of creatives who sell to tourists. While only separated by 65 miles the two towns couldn’t be more different. The location is your first clue that Kick-Ass is a woman who isn’t afraid to work hard.
Patience Lee, the new Kick-Ass, served her country in Afghanistan, came home to find her husband missing. He is a musician, a creative type, who hit the highway to LA instead of Santa Fe.
The new Kick-Ass is a military mom with 2 small kids, who finds herself suddenly a single mom. She does mundane things like wipe her kid’s butt and comforts her kids, while in the military she was a brutal killer. Her husband left her when it was her turn to go to school and get an engineering degree. Because of her situation and lack of income, she shimmies into the green and yellow Kick-Ass costume.
Millar is a more than capable storyteller but Romita Jr.’s pencil tells stories of their own. The curl of a lip on a condescending husband and father as he sets off on his selfish dream. The doe-eyed look of a child who desperately needs an answer about his father. The non-superhero pose when you first see Patience in costume.
Before you imagine this comic like a scene from “This is us”, it isn’t. There are firefights, knives, guns, axes, explosions and fist fights.
The point is that Patience is more complex than a one-dimensional killer. Will she become a killer outside her military service? Can she balance being a vigilante with being a loving mom? Will she hunt down and gut her husband who’s gone awol? This book is well worth your time and the $3.99 cost of admission. Go buy it!
– Ron C.