Kick Ass vs Hit Girl #1 is published by Image Comics, written by Steve Niles, art by Marcelo Frusin, colors by Sunny Gho, and letters by John Workman. Kick Ass’s one-woman war on crime is starting to take its toll on her. Having had to kill her brother in law, she is starting to feel like her situation is spiraling out of control. And on a long dusty highway, a familiar sword-wielding vigilante is about to make her appearance.
Perhaps the first thing to be aware of when approaching this book is, despite the number one on the cover, that it does not feel like the beginning of a story. With the narrative opening up with Kick Ass attending her brother in law’s funeral, which she is apparently the cause of, writer Niles jumps right in and assumes you have been reading the previous comics. If you haven’t, the experience will be a bit jarring. As this was my first experience with anything Kick Ass outside of the movie, I was instantly a bit disoriented. The reader is never even given Kick Ass’s real name.
Due to the massive guilt our main protagonist is grappling with during this opening sequence, she strongly wonders if it’s time to stop what she is doing. Once this retrospection is out of the way, Kick Ass vs Hit Girl #1 shifts gears and spends the rest of the issue in more violent moments.
I won’t go into the story beats surrounding what happens next, but Kick Ass heads out to do a little demolition work as well as ease her conscience a bit. After that, she is confronted by some opponents that would see her stop and are not willing to take no for an answer. The situation quickly goes downhill from there.
The ensuing action sequence delivers some solid if unimaginative hits. As soon as the fight starts, with Kick Ass easily closing an open stretch as numerous opponents fail miserably to shoot her at short range, the reader knows this is going to be nothing more than a demonstration of how deadly the protagonist is. The immediate ineptitude of her opponents drains any actual excitement from the moment and reduces it to a moderately executed bloodbath.
The issue wraps itself up with a brief introduction of our other titular character as she makes her way down a dangerous highway. How Hit Girl will be drawn into the current events remains to be seen.
The art of Kick Ass vs Hit Girl #1 does a solid job of presenting the story. Frusin delivers the opening emotion of the story well. As the book’s narrative transitions into violence, the art keeps pace with the changes. The action is always shown from a point of view that places the reader in the middle of it all, doing its best to create some sense of tension.
Along with Frusin’s lines, Gho’s color work also does a good job of finishing the artwork well. The issue’s big fight, awash in yellow and oranges from a nearby fire, creates a great contrast with all the heavy shadows in play, making the sequence visually interesting, even as it struggles to deliver the excitement it is trying to impart.
Lastly, we have Workman’s letters. Workman puts plenty of emphasis into the many sound effects present in Kick Ass vs Hit Girl #1. The text used for these moments is significantly bigger than one often sees. This pushes the sound and fury of the events into the foreground of the story.
So when all is said and done, Kick Ass vs Hit Girl #1 is a passable begging to a story. Providing you are up to date on what is happening in this little comic universe, everything probably flows smoothly. If not, you have some catching up to do. The disorientation I felt, coupled with the lack of weight from the climactic fight scene, left my experience with this story feeling wanting.
Kick Ass vs Hit Girl #1 is available on October 21st wherever comics are sold.
Kick Ass vs Hit Girl #1
So when all is said and done, Kick Ass vs Hit Girl #1 is a passable begging to a story. Providing you are up to date on what is happening in this little comic universe, everything probably flows smoothly… The disorientation I felt, coupled with the lack of weight from the climactic fight scene, left my experience with this story feeling wanting.