Hot DAMN, this past week BOTH Ultimate X #4 AND Kick-Ass 2 #2 came out! Why am I so excited by that? Well, Ultimate X #3 came out last JULY(yes, July!), while Kick-Ass 2 #1 came out back in October... For the record, I'm a HUGE fan of both series, so when I saw they were both coming out this week, I was pleased to say the least. Now the real question is this, after their respective delays, are they both going to be as good as they were? Well, let's find out!
Ultimate X #4:
Summary: This issue is narrated by Liz Allen's mother, who fills the reader in as to what Liz had been up to after Ultimatum. Not only do we learn that, we also learn that Liz's father was... wait for it... THE BLOB! Yup. Needless to say, Liz's mom decided not to tell her Liz that piece of information. After Blob's death at the conclusion of Ultimatum, Liz's mother discovers that Blob had left her a sweet life insurance policy to take care of Liz, as well as another child Blob had sired(Blob: Lady-killer?!?), a kid around Liz's age named Teddy. With the money from the life insurance, Liz finds Teddy, and moves to California with the two kids. Liz quickly fits in with the “cool” girls, while Teddy winds up falling in with the wrong crowd, most notably some dweeb named Evan, who encourages Teddy to break the rules, etc. After a hamburger throwing incident in the High School cafeteria, the principal suspends Teddy and Evan, which is fine by Liz, since she wouldn't have to worry about Teddy embarrassing her at school that week. The week passes uneventfully for Liz until Teddy and Evan are reinstated and they ask Liz for a ride home from school. Before Liz can give an answer, Liz's kinda-of boyfriend tells Teddy and his “girlfriend” to take a hike, at which point Evan pulls a gun and begins wildly pointing it around. The principal enters the cafeteria to try to defuse things but gets shot by Evan, who now feels like a big man. Teddy steps in front of Evan and tells him to stop, so Evan shoots Teddy too, and it's there we learn Teddy had inherited his father's mutant ability as the bullet harmlessly pops out of Teddy's chest. Having witnessed some of this scene on TV, Jean Grey grabs Jimmy Hudson and Derek Morgan and the trio of free mutants make their way to the school before things got any worse. The kids in the school are more panicked over the fact that there are two mutants present(Liz and Teddy), then the kid with a gun who actually shot somebody! Ah that wacky Marvel mutant logic... Anyway, Jean arrives on the scene and offers to take Liz and Teddy away from all this. Before they can agree, Quicksilver(!?!) arrives on the scene and makes a similar offer. Liz makes eye contact with Jimmy, and since he has those irresistible Hudson genes, she wants to go with Jean's group. However, Teddy is tired of all the digs Liz was always giving him behind his back and as such decides to go with Pietro. With that the two groups split up and this issue ends with Liz's mom realizing that she'd never see either of her children again.
Thoughts: Why can't this comic book come out on a regular schedule? Hell, I'd be fine with a semi-regular schedule. That's how much I love this series. This series does indeed prove that Jeph Loeb DOES still have some mad writing skills when he wants to, because this series has been top shelf from the first issue onward. I liked the story, I enjoyed the twists with Liz's mom and Blob, I liked the character development Loeb put into Teddy even though you know he's simply going to go out there and be your basic super-villain. In other words, I liked a LOT of what I read here. If I had a gripe, it would be the fact that Jimmy was pretty much an afterthought here. Other than that, good stuff. Oh, and on the back page they claim issue #5 will be out in May... I know I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!
Score: 9 out of 10.Yeah, she went there...
Kick-Ass 2 #2:
Summary: Kick-Ass gets invited to attend a meeting of like minded individuals, a bunch of costumed characters who have decided to band together to deal with the crimes the cops couldn't or wouldn't deal with. During the meet and greet, Kick-Ass realizes that Battle-Guy was his friend from High School, Marty Eisenberg. After getting the meet and greet out of the way, Colonel Stripes(who seems to have taken the leadership role) begins to set up the team's first “big” mission, busting up a mafia card game. The next day at school, Kick-Ass and Marty are feeling pretty smug about their newfound super-hero team-up thing... Or at least they are until they bump into one of the Goth kids who had signed up to join Red Mist's band of super-villains via Mist's Twitter account. That night, Kick-Ass and Battle-Guy meet up and hang out before they hook up with the rest of the heroes and walk right up to the door of the mafia card game and knock. Some goon answers, so Colonel Stripes smashes the goon in the throat and it's loosely organized chaos time! The heroes are on the mafia feebs before they know what's going on, and within moments, the mafia members are laying around groaning and holding various broken body parts. Colonel Stripes saves the best for the leader of the mafia, as he lets his dog take a bite out of the mafia boss's... Hmm, I can't think of a politically correct way to put this... Ah what the hell. The dog bites the guy square in the balls. There. While the mafia guy is convulsing on the floor, Colonel Stripes pulls out a handgun and tells the agonized man that they needed to have a talk.
Thoughts: Wow, this was a pretty quick read... But a lot actually happened. We learn that several members of Kick-Ass's “super-hero” team are mafia defectors, who found god or some such nonsense. In other words, I'm not buying that story as far as I could throw it. I get the feeling Stripes might just be looking to make a power play on the mafia(with his well-meaning, but oblivious) band of heroes backing him up. Could I be WAY off? Yes, definitely, and I probably am! Besides that, we have the Red Mist stuff quietly percolating under the surface right now... If I was wearing a hat right now, it would be off to both Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
Score: 9 out of 10.Total carnage! I love it!