The first issue of new comic Kick-Ass advertises itself on the cover as "the greatest superhero book of all time" and in its advertising copy by saying that it's "realistic super heroes taken to the next level. Miss out and you're an idiot!" But just what is this next level of realism that's so great, and are you all idiots for not picking it up when it was released last week? Read on after the jump to find out.
The new series - written by Civil War's Mark Millar and drawn by World War Hulk's John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson - takes realism to the next level by removing any trace of fantasy altogether; there are no superpowers here, only fanboys who wish that the real world was more like comic books enough that one of them dresses up in an outfit and goes out to fight crime - or, more accurately, three black kids tagging a wall - with predictably painful results. It's a cute enough idea, but not an original one - in fact, real life has been imitating this particular art for quite some time (Something that an earlier viral marketing campaign for the series tried to cash in on).
That's not to say that the book is especially true-to-life at this point, either; it's very much a superhero comic in terms of unrealistic dialogue, pacing and hyperviolence (The hero gets stabbed in the chest, beaten up, and hit by a car, resulting in two broken legs and a crushed spine by the end of the book, but we know that he's still somehow up, about and still fighting crime afterwards because that part of the story was a flashback). The most unrealistic moment, however, comes much earlier, when the main character explains that Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men comic - published by Marvel, which also publishes Kick-Ass - is the best thing he's ever written, even better than Buffy The Vampire Slayer. "...And I say that as the world's numero uno Buffy maniac," the character explains. Sorry, Mark, but no Buffy fan who's actually read Astonishing X-Men would ever make that claim.