Pick of the Week

February 27, 2008 – Kick-Ass #1

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 4.3
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 38.4%
Users who pulled this comic:

Size: pages
Price: 2.99

Mark Millar is one wacky dude. If you’ve ever had the chance to see him at a convention, or perhaps in our interview from last year’s WizardWorld Chicago, you probably have a good inkling of just how wacky of a guy he is. While watching him at a convention, sitting on a panel or during a signing, he has this permanent grin on his face. His eyes are just as wide with amazement as those in the audience watching him or waiting for a signature. His work tends to be polarizing, I’ve enjoyed some of it, not all of it. Somehow I avoided the majority of the hype surrounding this book. I had heard vague rumblings of its existence and that Millar was trying to build up some hype about it, but until I held this book in my hands, I had no idea what to expect.


That is what’s emblazoned on the cover. Ballsy huh? That’s what I thought when I picked up the comic. First off, I have to commend Marvel (via the Icon line) to allow a title called Kick-Ass. If there was ever any proof that the Icon line at Marvel was completely creator driven, it’s this comic. While Powers and Criminal aren’t your typical comic book, they’re not completely inaccessible to the comics reader. But a book called, Kick-Ass? That just immediately sets the tone.

So is it the greatest superhero book of all time? Well I think that remains to be seen, but what is is the most surprising superhero book of all time. Millar and John Romita Jr introduce us to Dave Lizewski, a normal high school kid who’s world is very much like ours. In fact, it looks as if it is ours. He’s unlucky with girls, unpopular at school and loves comics very much, specifically Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men. For whatever reason, he rationalizes that he should answer the call to become a superhero, and we find that it’s not a very easy road to go down. Especially when you live in the real world and not the Marvel Universe.

As usual, I’m struggling here with how much to reveal within this comic book, mainly because I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who haven’t read it yet. But it’s those very things that I’m not going to spoil (you’ll have to read it yourself) is what made me enjoy this book more than any others this week. Right out of the gate, in the first three pages we get a glimpse of what to expect with this story. But what struck me with Kick-Ass wasn’t the coarse language, nor was it the over the top violence. It was the realism. Even with the language and the violence, the story felt quite real. It’s realistic violence. And it stings as you read it. The thing about Dave Lizewski is that we’ve all thought like him. We’ve all felt isolated and alone and we’ve all wanted something greater, to be a superhero. But lucky for us, we never actually try it. And in Kick-Ass, we get an idea of what would happen if we did.

It doesn’t hurt to have John Romita Jr. doing the art on this book either. I feel like Romita has been somewhat adrift at Marvel, ever since leaving the Spider-Man books, he’s gone from project to project that was supposed to be the next big thing, and each time, eh, they were okay. But the precision and skill in how Romita handles the art on Kick-Ass makes me excited for the rest of the series. Art-wise alone, this could be a special book.

It could very well be the greatest super hero book of all time. But for right now, it was the most amusing to me this week. It made me yelp a couple of times and made me want to dig in for the rest of the series to just see how crazy, and realistic Millar will take this.

Ron Richards
I love it when they do that

Did you read Kick-Ass #1?  Add a comment and tell everyone what you thought!



  1. Great pick. I had a blast reading Kick Ass as well. Millar’s frankness was so refreshing, in the use of languge and in the hero’s motivation. I couldn’t help but smile the whole way through. Darkly funny but with a little humanity in there too.

    "<i>Why do people want to be Paris Hilton and nobody wants to be Spider-Man</i>."


  2. I thought this issue was OK.  First off, the art was amazing.  That said, this really felt like a first issue of a regular super hero book.  To me it feels like the very typical beginnings of a regular super hero comic and not the origins of the really, really, real super hero.  I am definitely going to be picking up this series to see where it goes because I really think that it could be something special.  Here we go!

  3. Hell yea.

    This seems like there is a lot of places he can go with this.  I feel like there are storys to tell for quite some time.  THe art was awesome.  And I love Millar.  I didn’t get into JR’s art in wwh but this seemed like he cared more.

  4. Rasl was good too.



  5. This was one of the best week of books for me in many months, and this book was easily the best. This book just left me with a big wide goofy grin, it was so good. It made me happy to be a comic reader, and even I think made me enjoy the remaining books in my stack that much more.

    That said, I also loved several other books this week: JSA (especially the first 2 pages!), Dan Dare, Fables, and Criminal were all terrific. I even really enjoyed Batman this week– and I’ve not been a big fan of Morrison’s run up until now.  And, Action Comics and Captain America were solid– good, but not great.

  6. interesing pick, i always thought iFanboy was Anti-Millar 😉 I haven’t read Kick Ass yet but i was lucky enough to pick up the last copy at my LCS. So far i’ve read all my major book (Brubaker/Bendis) and i while they were good, they didn’t live up to previous issues. My pick of the week SO FAR is Thor #6. It was such a fun book. I loved seeing the Asgardians interacting with the townsfolk, i only wish they had kept it up for the entire issue.


  7. I read Kick Ass.  I also did a review.  I thought almost as soon as I read it that it was going to be the pick of the week.

  8. I really did liked this "wannabe hero in the REAL world" story, but I liked it about ten times more and felt ten times more comfortable reading it when it was called Batman: Year One, when it was about a unique adult rather than just another typical, irreverent teenager prone to making pop culture references.

  9. I said "ohhhh, Millar" and left it on the shelf, so it stands to reason it turned out to be the best thing on sale this week. That tracks.

    I eagerly await the reviews for #2, to see whether this is one of those JMS-style fall-off titles or whether it stays this good throughout.

  10. Great Pick of the week.  I loved everything, kind of made me wish I hadn’t read it, It’s going to be grueling waiting til next months installment… Of the greatest Superhero book of all time!!

  11. This book was great!  I don’t really understand the anti-Millar vibe.  In terms of authors, here’s how it goes for me 1) Ellis, 2) Millar, 3) Bendis, etc.  Millar = Wanted, Ultimates – fun, exciting, surprising comics.  This book is more of that.  This book makes me enjoy and get excited about reading comics.

  12. This is the second Pick of the week that I’ve held in my hands and flipped through, then chose not to buy.  It seemed pretty, and I almost bought it just for the art, but then I decided that if I was going to buy a book just for the art and hope the story was good, it had better be Jim Lee’s book.  However, after reading All Star Batman there is no doubt in my mind that Millar’s story would have to be better that Miller’s.  I know many people like it and think it is soooooooo funny, but I thinkit is garbage and lazy garbage, at that.

  13. Dave Lisewski is kick-ass.  I wish I had a set as big as this kid’s.  Great choice for POTW.

  14. I’m really on the fence.  Millar has had some great stuff and some crap.  The art was great and the story has promise, but I’m waiting for #2 and 3 to really see if it is any good.

    I thought all the books yesterday were decent, not great. 

  15. I thought it was really good despite a few pop culture references. I’m looking forward to see where it’s going.

  16. Ugh. BOOOOOOO! 

  17. I thought it was TERRIBLE. It felt like every page was Millar going for the cheap jokes and relying on cliches rather than weaving a unique plot. The first few pages had me cracking up, but then I thought about it. And really, electrocuting testicles? Come on Millar, you’re better than that. What really pissed me off though is that Millar says that this book doubled the sales of any previous ICON book. That’s cool people, enjoy reading about Armenian mental patients landing on cars, that’s cool I’m going to be enjoying well thought out comics like Powers and Criminal thank you very much. The book that deserved POW this week was Criminal. I usually don’t care too much about what the tree guys pick, but the offensive nature of the book, its sales and my overall dislike of Mark Millar have me really teed off.

  18. I thought this book was pretty enjoyable.  JRJR continues to be amazing at everything he draws, and the characters reminded me of the way my friends and I talked in high school.  I’m feeling a little iffy about all of the pop culture references as it will somewhat date the book.  I have to ask myself will these jokes be as funny in ten years?  A bit judgemental, I know, but it takes away from a little bit of it’s timelessness if it is indeed the greatest superhero book of all time.  I really appreciate that the creators are taking this seriously while adding an edge of silliness to the whole thing.  Overall, it was fun.

    I’m not really sure what my pick would be this week solely because everything I read was f’ing AMAZING!!  Damn, I had such a good week this week.  The Trifecta of Bru was great, Daredevil was great, Action Comics was great, etc.  If I find some time, I’ll try and get some reviews up.

    My pick this week would be JSA–old Superman is so awesome.  Is it wrong to kind of wish that he was the current Superman?

  19. @Neb–I keep changing my mind and switching between JSA, Action, and Kick-Ass for my books of the week.  The interaction between Old Superman and Superman was outstanding, but old Superman seems kinda ominous at times and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a Skrull or something, damn nevermind, wrong universe.

  20. Great pick! I loved this book!  I also really enjoyed the pop culture references, it makes it more real for me. And it’s always funny to read it a couple years later. I can’t wait for the next issue! 

  21. I’m extremely glad you chose this as the pick of the week, because I’m damn sure it was mine too. I can’t wait to hear the other guys thougts, at least, I hope they read it.

    I’m so glad that I’ve started reading a series that has so much potential.

    Can’t wait to hear the show, a lot good stuff came out this week.

  22. Great, now I gotta pick this up. I wasn’t going to, but your review sparked that bit of interest in me. Thank you, Mr. Richards… 😉

  23. Good pick.  The art alone was enough to consider it pick of the week.  I however would have picked JSA just because of the sequence where KC Superman destroys Hercules while regular Supes gets a bloody nose from an elbow.  KC Superman is boss.

  24. Is this set in the 616 universe?

  25. I’m really on the fence about this one.  I really hate it when writers have their characters talk about pop culture stuff so the have "cred" and think the characters are cool.  The whole bit with X-Men annoyed me.  I agree that this story has been told before with Batman: Year One.  It’s a really A typical super hero story and the fact that it already has "The Greatest Super Hero Book" of all time really really annoyed me.  THAT OUT OF THE WAY I enjoyed it.  Of all the books I read this week it definitely stood out and I’m on board for the time being.


    I’m really looking forward to hearing Conor and Josh’s opinions on this book!!! 

  26. I think the most surprising thing about this book is that Marvel is publishing it.

  27. WOW… really? I mean, Criminal, JSA, Ultimate Spider-Man, Daredevil, Jack of Fables, but this?


    Doood… totally disapointed. This was probably the biggest let down of the week, the writing was so fake and forced it really took all I had to finish it. I mean seriously, what fucking high school kid listens to the Goo Goo Dolls. I’m slowly losing my faith in Millar’s writing.


    Sorry, this was lame-o!



  28. TOTALLY fun read.  I loved it as well.

  29. I really liked this book, and the review was great, however I’m very surprise that ron didn’t pick X-men: legacy. There can only be one answer Ron’s a skrull. They got to him during the chaos in wondercon. Someone warn Gordan before it too late.

  30. glad to hear JRJ’s art was good. i was one of the dudes who thought his WWH work was slop

  31. it certainly was a fun read. i’d say my pick of the week was criminal, but it’s nice having millar write something other than typical superhero stories. it breaks my heart to read ultimates written by loeb, and i can really see what a gifted writer millar can be (and how his stories made ultimates so great to read).

    this book could’ve been a stinker by trying too hard to be cool or hip, but the dialogue is realistic and modern without any wince inducing clunkers (unlike ultimates 3). and the story works for me. it’s engaging and i find it fresh. it’s good comics and i look forward to see where millar takes us. 

  32. Can it be the greatest superhero book of all time when Invincible is the greatest superhero book in the universe?

  33. the title reeks of ‘quarter bin’

  34. @HBD – No, it doesn’t take place in the Marvel Universe.  As Ron says in his review:

    "Millar and John Romita Jr introduce us to Dave Lizewski, a normal high school kid who’s world is very much like ours.  In fact, it looks as if it is ours. He’s unlucky with girls, unpopular at school and loves comics very much, specifically Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men. " 

  35. Kick-ass had great art and an ok story. 

    Now Criminal was truly Kick-Ass!  This should have been POW in my opinion.

  36. Wow. I just read this and freakin loved it. It took every typical comic book image from the opening hero sequence, to the mother’s death, to the "bad guy" confrontation, and turned them on their heads. I have to disagree with those not likeing the pop-culture references. In this story, it grounds it in a reality that we all know and discuss. This character is literally one of us, even mentioning the comic web chat boards. Seriously, who on this website has never had the thought ‘I wonder why no one has ever put on a mask and tried to help people in real life?’

  37. Some interesting discussion points this episode!

    It would be naive to think vigilantes don’t exist, but the very obvious reason it’s difficult to cite specific examples is because A) they’re localized. It’s local news. And B) even if they don’t suffer the bone crushing defeats of Kick-Ass’ protagonist, they very rarely evade the police if their motivations are less than finite.

    The example of accosting graffiti should bring home the reminder that we know these characters as "vigilantes" because that’s a real crime, and the real world is far less forgiving of these good deeds.
    But they’re definitely out there, and chances are the more sincere ones aren’t dressing like Transmet characters and posing for MySpace photos.

    Liked hearing about the book!
    Nice one, guys!

  38. I was a little late finishing this book. It was…OK….perhaps…’good’ but certainly not pick of the week. It really was full of cliches…especially with: spoiler:


    the main character getting beat up, knifed (why didn’t the thug knife him in the neck?) and then he gets hit by a car…COME ON! If this is ‘real world’ stuff….this guy is going to be a vegetable….if not…he’s going to be in the hospital for a loooong time, and his Dad is going to have to declare bankruptcy to pay for it all…yes, that’s a book I want to read!  Justice Society was a great read, my Pick…or believe it or not: JSA Classified! It was really, really good: great moody art and coloring with Wildcat: reminded me a lot of Darwyn Cooke’s Spirit run!

  39. Ron’s review was quoted in the press release announcing the second printing! http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=148987

Leave a Comment