By Mark Millar (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Dean White (colors)

If you read Secret Invasion #1, the pacing of Kick-Ass #2 will feel all too familiar. The story commences at a slow pace, but once the Millar / Romita train gets rolling, there’s nothing that can stop its momentum. And as per usual, the creative team delivers another frantic issue that’ll tickle your funny bone, make you gasp in disbelief, and make you nod your head in that “Well, what did you expect would happen, you idiot?!” sort of way.

Our hero, Dave, goes through months and months of rehabilitation after getting beat up, stabbed, and hit by a Mercedes. We see the emotional trauma he goes through, but even worse, we see how his foolishness has devastated his father. And it’s really Mr. Lizewski who’s the real hero of this story. He occurs tons of debt after paying for Dave’s multiple operations and other medical expenses. When Dave finally comes home from the hospital, his father spares no expense in making sure his son has the very best of homely comforts.

Dave, it seems, has finally realized the pain he’s inflicted on his father and intends to make things right. He swears off stupidity, burns his comics, and eventually makes it back to school. But like a recovering alcoholic, there’s never a real cure for the sickness. It’s a fight you have to stave off everyday. And Dave’s real weakness is exposed when he puts the tights back on.

Again, Mark Millar does what he does best. He mixes violence, controversy, and human drama into a tight package. Yes, there’s another brawl this issue, and this is where the controversy may come in. Is sheer will-power enough to tackle a group of grown men twice your size? Or is it just dumb luck? I don’t have an answer for you, but in a demented way, it just works and it’s completely acceptable.

If anyone does any real ass-kicking this issue, it’s John Romita Jr. Naysayers will silenced not just by his storytelling, but by his action sequences as well. There’s no gratuitous single or double page splashes filled with crazy over-extended limbs. In fact, there’s not any real gratuitous violence in this issue at all. It’s just real. This is where the sure brilliance of the creative team comes into play. Showing a lot of restraint, they keep the action grounded. When Dave’s on the ground being beat, he doesn’t do some crazy move to get back on his feet, he flails his legs and arms just hoping he’ll connect with a devastating blow. And that’s what this creative team does: They connect with us on a primal perverse manner. It’s we, the readers, who are the gratuitous ones. (Grade: A+)

– J. Montes