Collecting: Hit Girl #1-5 (Interlude between Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2)
Original Release Date: 2012-2013
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Character: Mindy McCready (Hit-Girl), Dave Lizewski (Kick-Ass), Chris D’Amico (Red Mist), Marcus Williams, Ralph D’Amico
Writer: Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, The Secret Service, Starlight, Wanted, Civil War)
Art: John Romita Jr. (Kick-Ass, Who is the Black Panther, Amazing Spider-Man, World War Hulk)
SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):Storyline – 7 Art – 8 Captivity and Length – 8 Identity – 10 Use of Medium – 7 Depth – 8 Fluidity – 8 Intrigue/Originality – 9 The Little Things – 10 Overall awesomeness – 9
Not all superheroes come in hulking bodies, a limitless supply of cash or come from a mysterious foreign planet. In the case of Hit Girl and Kick-Ass, they come in the form of regular people. This revolutionary series by two of the industries heaviest hitters redefines what fans think of superheroes, and it does it without ever being unaware of what it is. It is satirical of the comic book industry, while still paying homage to the near century of comic book lore that has preceded it.
Fans of the movie Kick-Ass 2 (our review here) will be familiar with the vague outline of the story in Hit-Girl, as the events of the story were kind of covered by the film’s plot. After the events of the first Kick-Ass, Mindy has thrown up the mantle of Hit-Girl (yeah, right!) and Dave is back in the streets cracking heads over loose change. When Mindy’s high aspirations of taking down the new Boss in Staten Island demand a sidekick, Dave becomes the most suitable candidate. Meanwhile, Mindy finds that she is having trouble fitting in with her classmates in junior high. I suppose a decade of one on one training with a crime-fighting dad will do that to you. It’s an enjoyable story that does the franchise justice, and I enjoyed reading it the whole way through, even if I was rolling my eyes at how over-the-top it has all become.
What makes this Kick-Ass interlude kick so much ass is Mindy McCready, herself. The young crime-fighter is barely old enough to like boys, yet she is one of the deadliest characters in comic books today. Although she cares for Dave as a friend and *snicker* sidekick, there is a business decision struck between the two. Being raised on nothing but hardcore vigilante justice has left Mindy’s soft skills lacking, and she has recruited Dave to help her blend in with the rest of the mean girls in her junior high. It becomes apparent that punches and a sweet collection of fatalities isn’t going to solve this problem. The book is full of hyberbolic situations that young women Mindy’s age go through, and while it’s a little unrealistic to think that handling your problems like Hit-Girl does is a plausible solution to any adolescent troubles, they are all problems that tweeners go through.
In addition, Millar gives us some superb origin telling with Hit-Girl and her Big Daddy, which makes you sad that she misses him, but not quite sad that he is gone. While it was adorable to see her lure rapists into a car and then shoot them in the eye through her teddy bear, it really started to cross the line from over-the-top to gratuitous. The story was also very basic. It got the job done, and it set up the events of Kick-Ass 2 nicely in a fashion that could only constitute a Mark Millar-John Romita Jr. collaboration. The social commentary and excessive violence is what you come to expect with this franchise. Whether it’s discussing the lack of new superheroes in the industry or how to correctly deliver a punch line to catch your enemies by surprise, Hit-Girl is a mirror reflecting society’s highly romanticized view on the superhero world.
At the end of the day, you will know whether or not you like Hit-Girl before you open the front cover. It’s hilarious that tweener like Mindy whoops everybody’s ass, but it’s not a joke. Her size is one of her biggest assets, and her reputation takes a hit when she tries to play the mean girl game on their level instead of just being herself. Female superheroes do not need to be boob windows or short skirts to be heralded. There is a message to be had, but it might be hard to make out from the copious amount of blood, gore and obscenities. Damian Wayne, eat your heart out.
All media credited to Marvel Comics