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Film Art: An Introduction
David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson
Kick-Ass 2 - Mark Millar Maybe it was because I listened to Magma's Mekanïk Destruktïw Kommandöh while reading this, but I was far too entertained by such an awful book. Unfortunately the music has ended and I now see the book in all its awfulness. Some spoilers to follow.

This sequel sees Kick-Ass join a superhero team, called Justice Forever, and we also see the formation of a supervillain team led by Red Mist, called Toxic Mega Cunts.

There's a lot more violence in this one, and not so much the fun kind, but more of a dark nature. Supervillains murder a superhero and his dog, cut off both their heads, and place the dog's head where his used to be. Kids likely still in Pull-Ups are brutally massacred en masse. A girl watches both her parents get killed right before she is raped by three different men. So on and so forth. The violence is definitely upped in here and given a bit of a darker tone. But it's not without good reason, you see it serves a purpose...well sort of. The book's not realistic, that's for sure, it's not as if its events are believable--they're really not--the comic just adds a lot of blood, violence, and curse words in there to make it seem like something new.

But it's clear that Millar was aiming for something a bit more serious here in way of writing. As I mentioned in my review of the first Kick-Ass, Millar often flirted with potential but never got quite close enough to even smell its perfume. The same flirtation is true for this sequel. We see Kick-Ass's world destroyed: his "girlfriend" is raped and has her parents killed by supervillains in search of him; his dad is murdered in prison after taking the blame for what he should have been arrested for; he gets little kids murdered; dozens of supervillains are rampaging the city, etc., etc.

Kick-Ass caused all this by simply putting on a mask. In attempting to create an ultimate good he also created an ultimate evil, for one cannot exist without the other. As you could imagine, Kick-Ass must bear a tremendous amount of guilt. After his dad dies he can barely even function--he doesn't want revenge, he just wants it all to be over. He wants the surreal nightmare of murderous costumed heroes and villains to be over. But does Millar ever explore this guilt? Nope. He implies it and even mentions it but only a page or so later abandons it with Hit-Girl calling Kick-Ass a "pussy" and throwing him back into costume to defeat evil, once again. Thus destroying all potential and removing any possible justification or purpose for such graphic violence.

A whole 15 issues later and ole' Dave Lizewski still has yet to evolve or come to any sort of revelation. All these things that happen to him seem to only affect him for a few panels before he's back doing the same exact thing he did beforehand.

Kick-Ass doesn't deal with the concept of superheroes applied to reality. That's just the excuse it uses to have page after page of graphic violence, profanity, and acts of tastelessness. It doesn't deal with "deep" topics or themes. We never see a commentary or any sort of character psychology. It doesn't know whether to condemn its delusional characters or to praise them, so it does neither well. It's a meaningless and mindless book.

In ignoring the potential to say something worthwhile or use its violence for serious reflection it becomes mindless. In becoming mindless it seizes to be realistic and instead becomes tasteless. In becoming tasteless it stops being fun. Simple as that. Mindless tastelessness without any fun. Oh, what a bore.