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Off The Page: Kick-Ass 3

By Patrick McNair May 8, 2017 - 5:21 PM print

In 2008, prolific comic book writer Mark Millar created Kick-Ass , a hyper-violent, over the top sendup of the genre. The story focused on comic super fan Dave Lizewski as he decides to become a superhero, buys a suit, and dubs himself “Kick-Ass." However, Dave’s fun and games soon become very serious when he meets Big Daddy and his deadly, foul mouth young daughter, Mindy McCready, a.k.a. Hit-Girl. Dave's world is transformed as under the tutelage of Hit-Girl, he becomes a real hero, taking on the powerful Genovese family, who control New York City. Kick-Ass became a huge hit, being adapted into a movie along with its sequel, Kick-Ass 2 . Come 2013, it was time to close out the Kick-Ass trilogy, as Kick-Ass 3 was published, concluding the story of Dave Lizewski and Mindy McCready.

The Setup:

The battle of New York is over, Hit-Girl has gone to prison and Justice Forever has disbanded. Enter Don Rocco "Ice-Man" Genovese, new head of the Genovese family, who plans to unify all the mob gangs on the East Coast in order to create a new criminal empire. Can Kick-Ass save his mentor and put an end to the Genovese family once and for all?

The Players:

Dave Lizewski/Kick-Ass

Vic Gigante

Mindy McCready/Hit-Girl

Rocco Genovese

Todd Haynes/Ass-Kicker

Chris Genovese

The Breakdown:

Following the events of Kick-Ass 2 , Hit-Girl has been arrested and taken to prison, while Dave Lizewski graduates high school and begins transitioning into adult life, juggling his responsibilities as Kick-Ass in the meantime. Dave rounds up the members of Justice Forever in an attempt to rescue Mindy from prison. However, the team are chased off by guard dogs, vowing to return when they are better trained. In the aftermath of his attack on New York City, Chris Genovese remains in critical condition in a prison hospital. His mother, Angela resolves to kill her son, horrified at the psychopath he has become. However, Lieutenant Stripes almost beats her to it, as he attempts to kill Chris in revenge for his brother's death, Colonel Stars. In shock, Angela kills Lieutenant Stripes. Corrupt cop Vic Gigante contacts Rocco "Ice-Man" Genovese, Chris's uncle to clear Chris's name for his involvement in the neighbourhood wide massacre and the gang rape of Dave's crush, Katie Deauxma. During a party for Chris's release, Kick-Ass and Justice Forever attempt to raid the party to send a warning to the mob, however, the plan goes awry when the team takes too long setting up explosives and are discovered by the mob. Justice Forever scatters while Dave barely escapes himself. It's around this time that Dave during a patrol, meets a nurse called Valerie, whom he begins dating.

In prison, Mindy’s psychiatrist, Dr Alex White attempts to understand her pathology. She reveals that her father created a false backstory for her so that she would become Hit-Girl, also informing him that she has become the head of the prison gang, ruling with an iron fist so no one gets out of line. Furthermore, Mindy meets her mother, who, in a typical Millar twist, instead of being horrified at her daughter's actions, is actually proud of her, telling Mindy to continue fighting the good fight.

Despite bringing him from exile to provide the family with leadership, Vic Gigante finds Don Rocco’s methods to be too brutal for even him. Tired of their boss’ actions, Gigante and several other cops disguise themselves and become the Skull and Bones, where they intend to steal from Rocco and leave the city altogether. In response to these robberies, Rocco orders the death of everyone wearing a mask, resulting in the deaths of several Justice Forever members, including Doctor Gravity and the Juicer as well as kidnapping Todd. Furthermore, while in prison, Mindy is drugged by several guards working for Rocco, who plan to have Chris execute her in front of the other East Coast mob leaders. Chris, on the other hand, has a change of heart and decides to free Mindy (feeling guilty for how his actions have affected his mother), but not before being fatally shot. Unable to get far due to the drug’s paralysis, Mindy is saved by Dave as he brutally beats a guard to death. Mindy take Dave to a secret area of the Justice Forever headquarters (styled by Millar after the Batcave), where Mindy takes a speedboat to Rocco's mob summit and Dave takes Big Daddy's monster truck to save Todd. Kick-Ass manages to save his friend by electrocuting the thugs, getting him to safety. Hit-Girl is able to kill all the East Coast gang leaders as well as Rocco in a death wielding bloodbath, but is confronted by Gigante and his corrupt cops, having picked up an anonymous tip. Hit-Girl reveals that she was the tipster and uses explosive to slaughter the cops, except Gigante, whom she horribly maims.

A while later, David abandons his superhero career as Kick-Ass and settles down with Valerie, fulfilling a promise he made to her. Dave also becomes a police officer, with the corrupt cops rooted out of force. Mindy continues her vigilante career as Hit-Girl, despatching criminals across the world, although she never sees Dave again. The comic ends echoing the first scene of Kick-Ass , where Skybird, a rejected Justice Forever applicant uses his suit to fly across the New York skyline. In a final "post-credits scene", Mindy shows up at the house of a bullied boy, carrying the Kick-Ass costume, informing him that she will train him to become a superhero.


All in all, Kick-Ass 3 provides a satisfying conclusion to the Kick-Ass trilogy. Taking place directly after the dramatic ending of Kick-Ass 2 , Kick-Ass 3 , raises the stakes with the introduction of a new crazed antagonist in Rocco Genovese and Hit-Girl stuck in jail. Although Kick-Ass has good intentions, he and his friends are too inept to rescue Mindy, who is so self-sufficient that she has become the new leader of the inmates, punishing those who would commit any crimes. Millar continues to subvert expectations when Mindy meets her mother and she approves of the good she's done (despite the grotesque bloodshed) and giving Dave a shot at normalcy when he begins dating a girl and not portraying him as a complete loser. However, Kick-Ass 3 does drag in the middle, with subplots like the "civil war" between Kick-Ass and the Juicer and the actions of the Skull and Bones being dropped as soon as they are introduced. The subplots feel like filler and if two issues were removed from the story, this would improve the pacing of the narrative. The comic soon picks up speed again, hurtling towards a literally explosive finale that provides gratifying closure for Dave and Mindy. Even Chris realises the error of his ways, giving his life to save Mindy. Dave hangs up his tights, while the final scene teases a new apprentice for Hit-Girl. While a movie version continues to linger in developmental limbo, Mark Millar is able to say goodbye to his characters in Kick-Ass 3 , providing a definitive ending to the saga and a worthwhile catharsis to readers.

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