Kick-Ass, a title you’ve only probably heard as a 2010 movie that relatively little people saw, revolved around a boy who wanted to become a superhero in everyday life. The movie was based on a comic book written by Mark Millar (Wanted) and illustrated by John Romita, Jr. Being a super geek myself, I’ve found myself in the same position that I wish I could be a superhero in real life. Unfortunately this is not the type of comic book or movie to inspire you to do so. Both tales are dark, one being significantly darker than the other, with cutting dialogue, violent page spreads, and snappy pop culture references.
Seeing as not many people have read or even seen the movie, I’ll keep this article light on the major spoilers.
The Disturbingly and Comically Dark Story of a Horny Teenage Boy
Mark Millar has created something amazing. Known for his super badass graphic novel Wanted (which also has a movie adaptation), I remember reading the introduction that questioned the reason from going from something incredibly badass to something like this. Writing about the pathetic life of a nobody who just decides to be a superhero? Hardly a story, but Mark Millar ran with it and made it into something awesome. While depreciating and hard to read at times, Mark Millar has created an amazingly original story with unbelievably awesome and original characters.
Fantastic Artwork by John Romita, Jr.
It must be the best job in the world, to draw the costumes of heroes like Captain Stars, Lieutenant Stripes, and Battle-Guy. John Romita Jr.’s art is distinct and original. As always, I never know what else to say about it, simply because I’m not well versed in the vernacular. But if there’s anything I’ve actually learned from drawing, it’s that paying attention to artistic styles is key to getting better as a hobby artist.
Kick-Ass the Movie was Dark
Kick-Ass was released in 2010 directed by Matthew Vaughn starring Aaron Johnson, Chloë Grace-Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Nicholas Cage. I had only watched this movie before I even knew there was a graphic novel out there with the same name. I thought it was simply amazing. There was an amazing narrative voiced by Aaron Johnson that summarized the ironies of his life, a soundtrack that I looked up after watching, a gleefully violent performance from promising rising star Chloë Grace-Moretz, and a surprisingly awesome performance from Nicholas Cage. The movie is amazingly stylish with quick cuts during action scenes. The script is full of bleak comedic timings that carries and is even amplified from the source comic material. Overall, a great super-hero movie to watch if you’re looking for something fresh and exciting.
Kick-Ass the Graphic Novel was Darker
Nearly 2 years after watching the movie, I finally picked up and read the graphic novel. Although I expected it to tread closely to the source material, I found it be more and more diverging as I read it. Even the plot twists and romance story are shams. Forget cliche, there isn’t anything cliche about this story. And that’s why I absolutely love it. The story is essentially about a lonely regular geek who tries to be a superhero to pick up chicks and beat up bad guys. But let’s be honest, he even points it out himself, this isn’t Spider-Man or Batman, so even he knows he won’t get the girl and that he’ll get his ass kicked. And that’s totally what happens! That’s like a reverse plot twist. The way the graphic novel delivers this twist is grim and dark and even sympathizing towards the main characters. Even the end results on a relativel dark note, wondering why any of this even happened.
Comparing the Two
The graphic novel was definitely dark. The movie adaptation took dark elements, flipped some of them around and made a semi-feel good movie. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. In all honesty, if the movie adaptation were anymore faithful, I think the movie could’ve taken an incredibly dark turn leaving many people disturbed and upset. Other than that, the two shouldn’t be so carefully compared. It’s well known in todays culture that comic books and graphic novels are still in the taboo of geek culture in today’s society, so I’m behind the idea that only the hardcore geeks can actually read Kick-Ass and that the movie is a well placed medium that connects the boundary between geek and mainstream culture, carefully balancing the good and the dark.
I Apparently Missed the Second Book on Accident
So in my ignorance, I picked up Kick-Ass 2, assuming it was the second book in the series. It isn’t. The official second book in the series in actually titled Hit-Girl, which revolves around the popular 10-year old dual sword wielding, profane speaking sociopath integrating back into society. Hopefully I didn’t get too spoiled by jumping into Kick-Ass 2, but it’s already too late [I found out when I reached the final pages of Kick-Ass 2.] I’ll pick you up eventually…
Kick-Ass 2 the Graphic Novel was Even Darker…Like Disturbingly Dark
I quickly rushed into Kick-Ass 2 right after finishing Kick-Ass because I simply couldn’t get enough. Boy was I in for a ride. I find this volume to be superior to the original, in so many ways. I simultaneously find it to be darker and harder to read. This was incredibly hard to read. Like upsettingly hard. Kick-Ass has joined a league known as Justice Forever. When a villain returns with his own league of cold-blooded killers, the only option is for shit to hit the fan. And boy does it. Kick-Ass 2 has incredible amounts of shock violence and horrors that simply knock you on your ass if you’re not careful.
Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall and How It’s Measuring Up
Aaron Johnson says the film adaptation will not be absolutely faithful to the comics simply because they can’t show some of the stuff in the pages. Probably a good call. Also: Jim Carrey is casted as ex-mafia born again superhero, Colonel Stars and he’s holding a hot dog. Donald Faison, aka Turkleton, is cast as Gravity Guy. There’s a superhero called Night Bitch. Other than that, there’s not much else known about this movie. Also, Red Mist is returning under a new name. I’m not gonna say it here, but it’s going to be glorious in the reveal. God this movie is going to be glorious.