‘Kick-Ass 2’ Has Taken Things Too Far

I’m not one who is easily offended by violence in the media. Content has to pretty extreme or excessively gratuitous before I’d be put off by it. With its fourth issue, Kick-Ass 2 seems to have managed it.

The first volume of ‘Kick-Ass’ was nothing original, there’s almost enough home grown low-budget superheroes to get their own shelf in both the comic shop and video store. What made it stand out from the crowd was the sharp and clever writing by Mark Millar. He made the characters feel like genuine people that develop and change over the course of the story and although the reader/viewer never feels like he’s onto a good idea, they understand his motivations for doing what he does. On top of that you’ve got the artwork by Romita, Jr. balancing the bloodletting with a slightly odd-school vibe, making it stand-out among the market of dark and grittys.

The problem with ‘Kick-Ass 2’, however, is that Millar seems to feel that he has to increase the shock value and ramp up the gore. Things began pretty well – promises of things to come were laid out and it looked like good things were on the horizon, Hit-Girl was facing the difficulties of fitting in with the real world and Kick-Ass joins in with a group of other crime-fighters who are taking things to a new level. The stakes get increased when the group starts taking down drug-dealers.

Then things get out of hand. Red Mist returns (and mentally re-adjust if you only saw the movie – in comics he’s more confident and slightly older) from his voyages through Asia with a new name: The Motherfucker. If that wasn’t enough, him and his new team The Toxic Mega Cunts attack a member of Justice Forever, cut his head off and replace it with his dogs head. They then follow this number up with shooting a number of random children on the streets before gang-raping a young girl.

At this point I’d stopped enjoying reading what had become one of my most highly anticipated monthly reads. ‘Kick-Ass’ was once quite extreme, but this past issue was downright distasteful. If this series continues this increase in shocking content and unpleasant characters, I’m not going to be interested in seeing it through to the end. I’m certainly not interested in seeing it on the big screen either…a pity as the first film was better than the comics and I would’ve loved to see more.