Writer: Mark Millar (Co-Plotter: Matthew Vaughn)
Artist: Dave Gibbons
When Gary learns his Uncle Jack is actually a super spy, he’s given the opportunity of a lifetime – to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and save the world.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is one of the most outright entertaining comics I’ve read recently. With excellent dialogue and pacing, and especially explosive and momentive action. Spy gadgets and martial arts and saving the world are all in a day’s work for Jack London, and his nephew Gary is on the way to becoming a super spy in his own right.
The dialogue is snappy and naturalistic, with enough stylistic flair to match the intensity of the genre. Bits of comedy woven through, especially when it comes to the villains, works pretty well. The plotting of the story also works, split into distinct chapters and paced so that you’re also wanting to keep reading to see what happens next.
The artwork by Dave Gibbons really brings these characters and insane spectacles to life. Action is intense and surprising, and always a joy to read. While there’s maybe not as much style here to truly elevate it, what is there is executed perfectly.
The two main characters, Gary and Jack, are at the center of the comic, and their relationship is one of the key elements of the story. They’re written with excellent chemistry with each other, and are both extremely enjoyable characters.
While there is something of an undercurrent of sexism running underneath the whole affair, I feel like that’s almost to be expected with Mark Millar and the spy genre in general, and it’s easy enough to ignore. That’s not meant as an excuse for it, just a note that this genre, and this particular story especially, are exactly concerned with social commentary or depth. It’s mostly about action set-pieces and cool gadgets and Kingsman certainly has that in spades.
There’s really not much more to say about this book. Have you ever seen a James Bond movie? Great, then this is a really well executed version of that. I suppose that could be taken as a fault, but this isn’t exactly aiming for depth or meaning or anything really beyond some really cool action and writing and art good enough to hold it together. On that metric, Kingsman: The Secret Service exceeds.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.