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The comic I'm most excited about in the months to come is Kick-ass, by Mark Millar. It's his newest creator-owned work being published under Marvel's Icon print and will be available sometime toward the end of February.

The book tells of an ordinary boy who decides to put on a mask, grab a baseball bat and go out there and fight crime. Sounds simple enough. Of course he has no powers, there are no real superheroes and he has no idea what he is getting himself into. All he knows is that he wants to kick ass and take names.

As far as a superhero book goes, it has a unique, if simplistic idea. Also, if you are in anyway familiar with Mark Millar, you know if there is one thing he writes well, it's violence. Millar's works contain some of my favorite action scenes and jaw-droppingly cool moments. He has written for the X-men, Authority and most famously the Avengers with his Ultimates and the battle royal extravaganza Civil War, each with their own unique Millar touch.

Heres a list of some of my top Millar moments:

  • A man gets impaled on the end of a jet fighter.
  • A bullet is deflected with a knife into somebody's throat.
  • A superman character literally flies through a giant's head. Like a bullet. Bam.
  • A captive manages to kill his captors by flicking his fingernails into their throats.
  • Sodomy with a jackhammer.

Points for whoever guesses which books these are all from.

There's many more. Even the solicit appears to be in on the action, claiming that Kick-ass is "the comic that starts where other super hero books draw the line."

Another good reason to check out the book is for John Romita's artwork. When it comes to violence, he is on top of the pile. You really only need look at World War Hulk or Wolverine to get an idea of what he can produce.

So, is a book about a superhero without powers in a totally realistic setting going to take some of the romanticism away from what we usually find within the genre? Or will Millar's writing still manage to imbue all the heroism, action and passion we usually love in a regular superhero book into Kick-ass?

I'll be waiting to see. You should too.

In quick important news, the wondrous Poms from 2000AD have started digitally selling the book online. By the time this article gets up, up and away it should be available here. I would recommend everybody to at least check out a few issues and see where some of the great writers like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and the aforementioned Mark Millar all contributed at one point or another.

Stay tuned in two weeks, when I look at three unique books each delving into the epic poetry of Homer: The Infinite Horizon, Age of Bronze and Marvel Illustrated: The Iliad. Find out where heroes really came from and how the tales of old are represented today.

What's Actually Good (In Comics) appears in this space every other Thursday. Collect each issue. They will be worth more if kept in plastic.

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