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Kick-Ass kicks ass
It's hard to say what I make of Kick-Ass. It's not a reconstruction, because there's little effort to portray superheroes as glamorous or cool. It's also dissimilar to most deconstructions I've seen, because while the danger and violence inherent in actual superheroics are presented in horrifying detail and the characters are shown to be massively disturbed, they still come across as upstanding individuals who genuinely want to fight the good fight and make the world a better place.

I guess that makes it an optimistic deconstruction. Kick-Ass shows with unflinching honesty what factors would genuinely lead someone to dress up in spandex and travel around fighting crime. Dave is beaten, bloodied, has his bones broken, and spends several months in a coma followed by several more on life support, plus gets some metal plates in his head, all in the first two issues. And this isn't the work of some alien wizard - it's just what happens when you take on the drug dealers and thugs who walk around Manhattan.

Despite this, the narrative does portray Dave, and the other heroes he meets, in an ultimately positive light. He's determined to do something good with his life and refuses to back down from criminals, even when his life is in real danger. This, then, is ultimately an inspiring message not the let the bad elements bring us down, but rather to stand up to them and in the process take control of our own lives.

Ultimately, a theme of hope and determination in spite of the realistic suckiness of the world, coupled with a strong dose of humour, makes Kick-Ass well worth picking up.

If you like this, you might also like:
  • Watchmen: The original superhero deconstruction, which still holds up as the pinnacle of comic writing 25 years later.
It is the inspiring message, despite accepting the ideas of the deconstructions, that makes Kick-ass a reconstruction.

Reconstruction doesn't mean glamourous or cool, unless you're writing a comic about fashion icons.
comment #2516 86.141.180.121 15th May 10
I just saw the film and this review hit the nail on the head, presuming the book and the movie are relatively the same. Funny and stylish.
comment #2525 iwintheinternets? 15th May 10
Oh please, all Kick-Ass manages to do is create the world's first costumed supervillain and inspire a bunch of other idiots to dress up and likely get themselves killed. It's a deconstruction plain and simple, it has less subtlety than Watchmen for crying out loud.
comment #3075 zarpaulus 27th Jun 10
I actually think it was a reconstruction rather than a deconstruction. It was most enjoyable when it was in full superhero swing like with hit girl and with big daddy. Otherwise it was some shitty superbad with the teen flick standards of comedy from the judd apatow school of suckery. But Hit Girl and Big daddy do save this movie enough to make it fairly unique and enjoyable.
comment #3087 shinfernape 28th Jun 10
Reconstruction? Deconstruction? No Kick-Ass is Mark Millar venting his hatred of the superhero genre in a guresome fashion. It's like Garth Ennis's The Boys but not as funny and without any of the glimpses of cleverness. None of the "heroes" are shown to be anything but severely disturbed indivduals with no real motives other than trying to be cool. They have no sense of heroism or good will they just want to be cool like the superheros from comics and they fail miserably.

If anything the message of both the movie and comic is don't read/watch anything with superheroes or you'll end up like these losers.
comment #3268 Darkblade 6th Jul 10
^ Yet Hit Girl had close to a million dollars. To me Hit Girl gained some kind of self determination from the whole superhero business. She was even driving the dang car. Sure they all went to school at the end but thanks to that last bit at the end with Red Mist, it just felt like they were going back into their everyday lives without actually hanging their cowls.

Their superhero actions meant the end of a drug lord. You've got to admit that the fun parts were when they were in costume.

I'm sure there was some actual review that said it ended up following the route it was parodying.
comment #3269 shinfernape 6th Jul 10
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