Kick-Ass 3 review

With the chances of a third film looking increasingly unlikely, chances are that the only way fans can find out how creators Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. intended to end the saga of Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl is with this concluding part of their comic book trilogy.

Picking up where the Kick-Ass 2 comic series left off, this final eight-issue series finds Hit-Girl in prison and masked vigilantes outlawed following the epic battle between Kick-Ass’s team of crime-fighters and Red Mist’s league of supervillains. To make matters worse, an East Coast mafia boss is determined to make an example of Hit-Girl, a group of corrupt cops have donned masks to rob the mob and Kick-Ass has gone and got himself a girlfriend, causing him to question if there’s not more to life than fighting crime.

Fans of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s previous Kick-Ass comics will feel instantly at home here, with this final series providing a familiar mix of explicit violence, foul language, outrageous comedy and commentary on the whole notion of superheroes. Even if the concept doesn’t feel quite as fresh as it once did, Millar’s writing does an excellent job of upping the stakes significantly over what has gone before, while still finding ample room to explore the characters and their motivations - before bowing out with a surprisingly inspirational ending. As for the art, Romita Jr. continues to refine the rather ‘boxy’ style that has become his trademark, enhancing the sense of dynamism in every panel. If there’s one complaint with the art, it’s that the quest for realism sometimes results in slightly muddy colouring that robs some panels of a clear focal point.

When it comes to Titan’s hardback collection, it’s impossible to fault the production values on display. The choice of paper stock gives the collection a suitably weighty feel that backs up the relatively high price point, as does the quality of the reproduction of each page of comic book art. In addition to the eight comics –including the cover art for each issue – this hardback collection also includes a new introduction by Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow.

Kick-Ass 3 by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., Titan Books, £23 (hardback)