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There have only ever been a few perfect series closers in any form of media. Endings that say everything that needed to be said. Finales that bookend and create a nice mirror that reflects aspects of the work from the beginning to the end. Closers such are that are prized because they seem like rewards for following the series to its conclusion because they wrap everything up so neatly. Kick-Ass 3 #8 is such a conclusion in perhaps the best of ways.
Kick-Ass as a series has, for its near half decade long run, not had the greatest of reputations due to its unabashed use of violence. John Romita Jr. and Mark Millar love their fights and they aren’t afraid to show it. Hit-Girls first full fight back in Kick-Ass #4 seems like the perfect example, with heads and a fair amount of other limbs rolling. It was the sort of scene that did not engender the best of wills, and probably could have been handled on a more even keel. Yet, so far, that hasn’t been a big of an issue with Kick-Ass 3.
Kick-Ass 3, for its own part, has really been digging into the character side of the story, mainly with Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass, something that was started in the preceding Hit-Girl miniseries. Of course the violence and all of that juicy stuff is still a major part of this final volume, but it’s been doing a great job at delving into why Dave Lizewski has been doing this and whether or not he should continue. Dave’s somewhat underdeveloped nature has been something that has kept me from really getting into the series but is something that has received the biggest of benefits from this finale.
This final issue really has the final word on the titular character. Not to give anything away, but it’s not your usual Millar character closure. While it has been fun to see the inept adventures of Kick-Ass, and I actually wish there was more by the installments final panels, you want this end to be the end for Dave. It may not be the end that some readers think that he warranted, I can tell there will be a few unhappy faces, but in the long run it does its own thing. It takes something and it spins something new out of it, much like Kick-Ass (for its faults at times) did from the start.
Hit-Girl gets a much more crowd-pleasing fate. I cannot think of a single thing wrong with it, but can only go to say that it is the most fitting epilogue that could have been given her character. She was a “super-hero” through and through (deranged mental disorders aside), and Millar has given her a send-off that compliments that perfectly. Is the whole issue perfect? There are things that could have hit harder, things that come up a bit out of the blue and don’t have the implied impact, but what it needed to get right, it did. This needed to be the ending of Kick-Ass and it was an ending that does have the final say.
I think the big elephant in the room is Millar’s much noticed claim that this issue would tie together his “Millarverse” of titles into one easy manner. It’s a claim that has gained a lot of criticism since, well, people take Millar’s claims with a grain of salt. That said, it’s something that somebody probably already guessed (you know who you are), but it’s probably the best that could be don without being overly complex. It’s neat, it’s simple, and it’s understandable with the ability to draw a lot of interesting guesses in the future. There’s going to be a lot of wild mass guessing, I guarantee it.
Romita Jr.’s art is pretty much the standard of what he’s done for the rest of the series. Outside of one particularly nice “special-fx” set-piece there’s not much in the issue that breaks from what one expects already. The best thing about Romita Jr’s art is most likely the variety of visual callbacks to earlier moments in the series, which really do help with giving this a sense of finality. Overall I have to rate this on a purely Kick-Ass level, and on that level it’s probably nigh-perfect as a finale to Kick-Ass and I’m sure die-hard fans will be pouring over it, for better or worse.