I haven’t seen Kick Ass 2 yet, though I desperately want to. But I have read both the Kick Ass graphic novels, and I have to admit, I was over the moon when I unwrapped my present from my brother at Christmas and found Hit-Girl. I read it the same day, but its just taken me this long to realise I didn’t actually write a post for it. (Silly me)
Hit-Girl acts as a bridge between Kick Ass and Kick Ass 2. It’s the story of Mindy, trying to cope with fitting in at middle school, trying to be normal while also sneaking out and training Kick Ass to be her sidekick in the night. While doing all this, Mindy also has to avoid the local police, including her step-father.
This isn’t just a story full of heroes beating people up and working for the greater good. Sure, there are those moments – of course there are – but there’s a lot more to Hit-Girl, and at the heart of it, there’s a lot more emotion, too, something I felt more strongly with Kick Ass 2 than the first one. The storytelling in these seems to be getting better and better, packing more of an emotional punch along with all the fun stuff.
Yes, there are some downright gruesome moments in the book. But we also get to see the real struggles of these characters, especially Mindy. It’s easy to forget, seeing her take down gangsters and mob bosses, and even going on a killing spree on death row, that she is, essentially, a kid in middle school. More importantly, a girl in middle school, who has to try to, for the first time, navigate the corridors of school politics, keep her grades up, and keep her parents happy.
And in Hit-Girl, it becomes apparent that it’s not the bad guys who are the only problem Mindy has to face. There are also the stuck up bitches who seem intent to put her down and single her out from her first moment through the door. And although she knows how awesome she is outside of school, she still wants to fit in. Mindy, essentially, wants what any girl her age her wants. Along with the guns and knives, she wants acceptance and normality, even if she only wants them as a front to present to her parents.
Kick-Ass does offer his advice on how she can fit in, but these all backfire, until Mindy uses her own skills to become OMG BFFS with the queen bee. And, honestly? As brutal as it is, it’s brilliant to see her gain the upper hand. After all, throughout the novel, she’s the one that we, as readers, root for, in all aspects.
There are parts of it that also show Red Mist, and we see him go from the spoilt brat in Kick-Ass to the villain we see in Kick-Ass 2, as well as getting glimpses of just how much of a dick he is, how naïve he can be at times, and the way his mind is clouded, completely, with getting revenge for his father’s death. Although he is a little whiny bitch, it’s good to really see him evolve, and see his own journey between the two, while Mindy and Kick-Ass make theirs.
I don’t read a hell of a lot of graphic novels and comics – it’s unfortunately something I can’t really afford – but I do admire the work, the storytelling and the art that goes into them. Hit-Girl is no exception to that. There are images that will have you staring at the page for ages, just trying to capture everything in the panel, and there are moments where, like in any good novel, you just have to sit back and marvel at what happened.
Hit-Girl now sits on my shelf beside Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, and it feels like it really does belong there. A brilliant graphic novel, enjoyable, easy to read, and like I said before, packs a punch in every way.