By Mark Millar & John Romita Jr.
A new group, the Skull & Bones Gang, has entered the fray. They consider themselves modern day Robin Hoods using extreme force, but in truth they have their own agenda. Kick-Ass (Dave) has become wrapped up in his relationship with his new girlfriend, Valerie, and he seems to have left Justice Forever behind. After the Skull & Bones Gang’s continuous hits, Rocco Genovese decreed a massive order that will no doubt leave repercussions in the rest of the story.
This series continues to explore some of the superhero conflict archetypes in a realistic depiction. Dave is reaching a crossroad where he feels genuinely happy and believes that his costume days were just a stepping stone to maturing and being comfortable with himself. He believes he does not need the suit anymore. His journey of self understanding is leading him to the right realizations, but perhaps the wrong conclusions. By doing this, Mark Millar is adding more gravitas to Kick-Ass’ character and making sure he doesn’t become stagnant. Three of the best panels in the issue is when Dave talks about whether he caused all the craziness and problems currently happening by donning the mask. His friend Todd tries to put things in perspective for him, but Millar has a way with words to make the conversation feel believable. The two discuss escalation and that is exactly what’s happening in the particular issue. It’s always a treat to read a creative writer at work.
John Romita Jr.’s designs for the Skull & Bones’ intimidating costumes adds to the notion that they pose a serious threat in the story. Colorists Dean White and Michael Kelleher continue to render shoot-outs and death scenes with striking palettes and there are plenty of fantastic examples in this book. The reader can almost imagine a dramatic score accompanying such potent imagery. The last page has a half-page panel that will leave you stunned! This art continues to match the wit and depth of Mark’s stories.
This series continues to elevate and examine the medium. Very few comics have done that, but the ones that do tend to leave an indelible mark.