REVIEW: Kick-Ass #1 Puts a New Spin on the Superhero Franchise

Writer:  Mark Millar
Pencils:  John Romita Jr.
Digital Inks and Colors:  Peter Steigerwald
Letterer:  John Workman
Digital Ink Assistant:  Megan Madrigal
Publisher:  Image Comics
Release Date:  February 14, 2018

Ten years ago, creators Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. launched the first volume of Kick-Ass, taking the superhero genre in a completely new and uncharted territory. To call the series a success would be an understatement; Kick-Ass has spawned multiple spinoffs and volumes, along with feature films. But today is a new day, and instead of following the adventures of Dave Lizewski, Kick-Ass now stars a Black woman named Patience Lee.

If you’re going to reboot a beloved franchise, one way to go about it is to make the series star completely different from their predecessor. On one hand, you have a white teenager whose role models are the characters inside his favorite comic books. The complete opposite of that is Patience, an army veteran with combat experience, along with being a mother. One thing to love about Patience is how relatable she is. Patience receives some bad news upon arriving back home, which forces her to make some tough choices to provide for her family. Being a street vigilante obviously isn’t recommended, but I have the confidence that Patience will be able to handle herself in a fight.

The artistic team of Romita Jr., Peter Steigerwald, John Workman and Megan Madrigal put together one impressive visual story. The opening sequence in Afghanistan displayed Patience marksmanship with a firearm, with a subdued color palette mirroring the desert locale. Also worth mentioning are the zoomed-in panels featuring Patience taking it to some crooks in her neighborhood.

What I’m curious to learn more about is whether Patience will be able to stick to her pledge of giving half of the money she steals away. It’s an admirable goal, but how will she feel once she begins to stockpile some extra cash? While we’re on the subject of Patience, how did she get her hands on an exact replica of Dave’s Kick-Ass costume? Are they sold at the local department store? And can Patience continue to operate without blowing her cover? The first bad guys she encounters already managed to unmask her. Hopefully, as Patience gets some experience under her belt, she will forge her own path separate from Dave’s time as Kick-Ass. If that were to happen, it would be a win for all parties involved.

RATING: 5 out of 5 stars

#ComicBookChronicles @CBChron founder. Editor-in-Chief of @thekliqnation. Comic book reviewer, podcaster #RABBLERABBLE