REVIEW: 'Kick-Ass vs Hit-Girl' #5 by Steve Niles, Marcelo Frusin, and Sunny Gho

THE FINAL SHOWDOWN. Will a battered and beaten Kick-Ass defend herself against Hit-Girl, ignore her instincts, and kill a child to save her own life? This explosive, bloody final issue sees Kick-Ass at war with Hit-Girl, the assassins, and herself.


Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Marcelo Frusin
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letterer: John Workman
Design and Production: Melina Mikulic
Editor: Rachael Fulton
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 17, 2021
Cover Price: $3.99


★★★★☆ (4/5)

If there's one complaint about this 5-issue series it's how much of a quick read each issue has been. Perhaps it's because it's chockful of action and fighting that time flies but I'm always left wanting more. I suppose that in itself isn't a bad thing but just when things are getting exciting and explosive the action ends. Nonetheless, if you're a fan of the Kick-Ass universe you'll be pleased with this chapter of the mythos as the vigilante persona relocated to New Mexico and embodied by Patience Lee. 

A military veteran, a mom, and a Black woman, Patience was nothing like the original Kick-Ass, teenager Dave Lizewski. With that kind of new approach to the character, this 'Kick-Ass' series took on a much more mature and dramatic storyline without the signature meta dialogue or juvenile humor. 'Kick-Ass' with Patience established its own world with its own unique complications. It's more of a crime drama than a "superhero" comic. Original creators Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr., should be commended for broadening their brand making it more inclusive by introducing a Black lead and supporting characters. Millar and his successor Steve Niles on the series handled the writing well but the disappointing fact that no Black writers or artists contributed to either the new 'Kick-Ass' series or this mini-series is disconcerting, to say the least. Representation should go beyond just the page. 

Patience and Mindy go toe-to-toe in a classic Western showdown with Mindy of course being armed to the teeth. As usual, Marcelo Frusin and Sunny Gho orchestrate a bombastic violent confrontation with plenty of bullets and fists flying. Gho's colors are so rich and bold that things like explosions really pop off the page. With a comic like this, where there's so much violence in each issue, it's hard to keep it fresh but the creative team does a good job of finding new ways to shock and amaze. 

'Kick-Ass vs Hit-Girl' was a long-anticipated showdown that lived up to the hype. It feels fleeting but it ends in a satisfying way and also ends the Kick-Ass era of Patience Lee. She was a more than worthy successor while Mindy is as psychotic as ever. What more could fans want? It's also highly recommended to consume this as a trade. 



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