Hit-Girl, written by Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2 creator Mark Miller, and illustrated beautifully by co-creator John Romita Jr is the prequel to Kick-Ass 2, setting up many of the events and fleshing out what happened after the events of the first Kick-Ass comic. Be warned, full plot spoilers and details from the seriess follow, and may also spoil elements of the upcoming film, Kick-Ass 2.
The Hit-Girl mini-series has provided us with what was sorely missing from Kick-Ass 2, more Hit-Girl, and whilst Mindy featured heavily in the sequel, it never felt quite right not having everyone’s favourite purple-clad tween bouncing around slicing heads. Hit-Girl is visually stunning and brilliantly written. Read on for my breakdown of each individual Issue. Whilst not perfect, I can’t recommend Hit-Girl enough, and since this has now been released, you can now read the book’s in the order they were intended, Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl, Kick-Ass 2.
Hit-Girl opens in what is now typical for the Kick-Ass series, this is not your typical superhero comic. A gang is trying to find Kick-Ass and are taking out his fellow superheroes in an effort to discover his identity. The rest of the issues story is centered around re-establishing us in the universe, a good choice in my opinion, if not overly necessary as Kick-Ass 2 did a pretty good job (remember, Kick-Ass 2 was released prior to Hit-Girl) of doing this.
We’re reminded of Mindy’s living situation and that she is now encountering more traditional teenage girl problems, such as picking the right clothes, and what music she should be listening too, a point made beautifully towards the end of the issue where Mindy visits the grave of Big Daddy, wondering aloud why she can drown a bad guy with no problems, but she can’t take the abuse from a bunch of girls at school.
We also get a nice scene that set’s up and solidifies the relationship between Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass, with some nice references to the Batman comics. We also get some more incite into how Big Daddy and Hit Girl made their money, and also what they did with it.
The Motherfucker (formerly Red Mist) also makes a brief appearence to collect his old comic books from his mum’s house, establishing he’s the next generation of criminal.
Hit-Girl, as with Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2 is absolutely stunning to look at. The colours are rich and everything has an almost ‘painted’ look to it. It’s refreshing to read something as visually brilliant as Hit-Girl is, especially when coming from something as relatively bland as The Walking Dead (a fantastic series but I have a love/hate relationship with the art). Issue 1 was a great start to the series.
If this issue was part of a film, then this would be the obligatory training montage usually used at the beginning of every superhero flick. The Hit-Girl series continues with Mindy training Dave on how to become a better superhero with most of the humour coming from repeated comic book references which to me felt a bit forced but serves as a reminder that Dave and Mindy (Dave more so) are just comic book nerds wanting to be like their favourite heroes.
The main thrust of the issue is Mindy defying her stepfather and once again becoming Hit-Girl. It’s great to see Mindy as Hit-Girl again and those who have read Kick-Ass 2 will likely have missed her costumed antics, well, up until the end that is. We also get some more interaction between Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl with one particularly funny exchange regarding who’s the sidekick ending with Hit-Girl proclaiming Kick-Ass should be known as Hit-Boy.
The artwork is once again spot on, particularly the scene where Kick-Ass Kick’s all kind of Mob arse. Bullets fly, bloody splatters and all whilst giving the reader a clear idea of what’s going on without the scene becoming too convoluted.
Whilst not as good as Issue 1, the series is heading in the right direction.
As we get to the middle of this short series we’re learning a lot about all parts of Hit-Girl’s life, and this issue focused a lot on her trying to fit in better at school, though it seems this is more to appease Marcus and her mother more than any actual want to fit in. The scene with Mindy dangling the school’s ‘queen bee’ from the top of a recycling center was brilliant and once again Mindy’s meticulous planning comes into play ensuring she doesn’t kill Debbie, just sends her a message.
The issue picks up right where Issue 2 left off, with The Motherfucker in the midst of his very first super-crime. In this instance, robbing a local store, not exactly Joker level bad guy-ness, but hey, everyone starts somewhere. After killing one of the store clerks, Motherfucker’s gun jams and he is left to flee from the clerk’s sons, bumping into a couple of characters recognisable to those of us who have read Kick-Ass 2. It’s a nice little point that helps tie this into Kick-Ass 2. Motherfucker is sent packing by his uncle to travel the world and stay out of the way, but we know he’ll be back, probably with a big Russian.
Romita Jr didn’t have huge amounts to do in this issue in artwork terms but everything comes together competently enough and the scenes with Hit-Girl in the vents work nicely juxtaposed with the drug preparation going on next to her.
Well that was certainly a lively one. Over the last 3 issues there hasn’t been much of an ongoing thread besides little snippets of Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl preparing to create a super team, the ongoing ridiculousness of Red Mist’s journey to becoming The Motherfucker and Mindy fitting in at high school.
In Issue 4 everything is starting to come together with the it culminating in Mindy’s antics as Hit-Girl finally catching up with her real life and Marcus getting the blame for all of Hit-Girl’s mob take downs, including the bust up at the drugs mill that starts the issue. There is certainly a selfish element to everything Mindy is doing, but it’s hard to blame her, she’s been brought up from a very young age to kill bad guys, and living with her dad there was never much chance of any personal life being affected. Things have changed now and the reasoning behind Hit-Girl’s crimefighting retirement come the start of Kick-Ass 2 are starting to come into focus.
Kick-Ass barely featured in this issue, but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise given this isn’t a comic about Kick-Ass, it’s about Hit-Girl, and it’s great that we’re now really getting some depth to a character that yearned for more.
A brilliant conclusion to what’s turned out to be a very good mini-series. The big thing I want to talk about in this issue was the amount of gore and violence on show. Even for a Kick_ass comic, Miller and Romita Jr have really gone to town. The many creative ways in which Hit-Girl disposes of the guys on her ‘shit list’ are excellent, over the top, and exactly what you want from this series.
We get a nice conclusion to the ongoing ark of Mindy struggling to lead her double life, eventually getting reason enough to quit and giving up some of her more selfish instincts. This ties in nicely where we pick up in Kick-Ass 2.
There’s also a nice conclusion to Chris/Red Mist/The Motherfucker’s story, with him returning to America after being ripped off by his sensei in Asia. Obviously we know where it all leads but it was great to see his journey and the differences between his and Kick-Ass.