I’m not sure how to begin this review. Hit-Girl is one of those guilty pleasures. I really shouldn’t enjoy it as much as I do, but heaven preserve me I do. By all rights, the sight of a snarky prepubescent girl with purple hair visiting all manner of violence on evildoers, who admittedly deserve it, should horrify me. Instead, I cheer as Mindy McCready continues her career as one of the most bad-ass tweens ever conceived.
In this issue of Hit-Girl, the penultimate chapter in the ‘Rome’ story arc, Mindy has connected with La Gatta to hunt Giustina Malvolia. Giustina, a disgraced nun with a taste for crime and murder, is the ‘Il Capo di Roma’ (The Boss of All Bosses). Despite her criminal nature, Giustina remains devoutly Catholic. So, to assure her place in heaven she seeks the skull of a martyred saint so she can return it to its owner as part of a supernatural bargain. This saint, Saint Pietoso, was himself a butcher during the Spanish Inquisition.
In a previous issue, La Gatta stole the skull before Giustina’s minions could get their hands on it and she was in turn saved by Hit-Girl. Now the two of them are being hunted as Giustina is desperate to retrieve the skull and complete her bargain. These preliminaries out-of-the-way, this is where this issue kicks into high gear and my guilty pleasure comes into focus. I’ll be honest, you are either going to love this book or you’re going to hate it. Why? Here’s a glimpse into my mind as I was reading. “Good to catch up with Mindy. Still sarcastic, snarky, violent. It’s all good. Holy crap! Did she just embed a meat cleaver in a nun’s skull?!?!” Yeah, you read that right. Granted it was an evil nun who is devoted to crime and sought to murder Mindy and La Gatta but still. The issue continues from there with dismembered arms being used to lay the smack down on people, disemboweling, beheading, head-shots and more.
In truth, the majority of this book is violence at a level that could only be matched by another Millar property, Kingsman. The church massacre in the movie Kingsman – The Secret Service comes to mind. Were Mindy a ‘real’ person, or even an inhabitant of another comic universe, I’d be shouting for the white coats. However, in this space it’s wickedly delightful. The violent nature of the book should take nothing away from the first class writing. La Gatta and Giustina are fully fleshed out characters and the plot line is compelling and believable within the framework of the book. The artwork is similarly outstanding, faithfully depicting the violent action without lapsing into grotesqueness or gore fetish. This is not a book for everyone and it is not a book for the faint of heart. However, if you are a fan of the property or you’re not above a little gratuitous violence, I’d encourage you to check it out.
Writing – 4 of 5 Stars
Art – 4.5 of 5 Stars
Writers – Rafael Scavone, Rafael Alburquerque
Art – Rafael Alburquerque
Color – Marcelo Maiolo
Letters – Clem Robins