Superficial Saturdays #7 – KICK-ASS #6 by John Romita, Jr. and Tom Palmer

Just got back from watching KICK-ASS 2 at the movies.

In honor of this weekend’s soon-to-be blockbuster sequel, maybe the most arresting cover from the original KICK-ASS:

KickAss6
Comic: KICK-ASS #6
Artists: John Romita, Jr. (pencils) and Tom Palmer (inks)

What have we got here?

I figure most of us — at least those even passingly familiar with KICK-ASS as a property — are desensitized to the ultra-violence of it. But probably at some point in our pasts an image like the cover to KICK-ASS #6 would have demanded a double-take.

A little girl, drenched in blood, a sword in either hand; standing over the bodies of fallen men. Can you say “juxtaposition”?

The girl is Hit-Girl (as the cover indicates); possibly the most important unique element of the KICK-ASS franchise; a little girl who is a deadly killer. Foul-mouthed as she is lethal, Hit-Girl is actually what made me fall in love with the original movie. And here we have her origin story! (or at least the lower-right-hand-corner claims)

KICK-ASS isn’t for everyone, certainly. I “get” what Millar and Romita (and later Vaughn) were getting at with this. If you understand where they were trying to go, I think there is really only one reading: whiz-bang smashing success. KICK-ASS is the PULP FICTION of superheroes. It is a straight story; not a satire… But it constantly forces you to look twice and think twice, even challenge your suspension of disbelief.

But yeah, even someone who gets it — and buys in — has to think a second over Hit-Girl’s smile in this one… Especially as the titular ass-kicker looks on horrified from behind.

LOVE
MIKE

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