By Dustin Cabeal
I’ve never been a fan of Kingsman aka Secret Service, but with this being a new series and rebranded to be more in line with the movies, well I figured I’d give it a shot. It’s not shocking, but interesting that Mark Millar rebranded the comic to match the movie. Kingsman is a much better title after all. Still, it’s just weird to see a movie affect a comic these days.
I don’t know if this is the first Millar World title written by someone other than Millar himself, but Rob Williams is the writer for The Red Diamond. After the typical action packed/celebrity filled opening, we find Eggy on suspension for kicking royalty in the butt. The actual butt. From there we find him back at his mom’s place, who has moved back into her old flat. The reason is simple, she felt out of place in the new digs and was tired of people looking at her all the time. They go to the pub which may have been in the comics, I don’t know I had a hard time finishing the first series, but it was definitely in the movie… twice. Here Eggy learns that he’s forgotten who he is and where he came from… Oh, wait, no that’s what he’s going to learn, but it’s all presented to the reader.
Eventually, the Red Diamond is introduced. Well, his Klaw like arm is and his underwater base. At this point, it felt more like an episode of Sealab 2021 in which there’s a lot of James Cameron references and failed attempts at naming shitty directors like McG and Brett Raturd.
Which was my problem with the first Secret Service series, it’s too pop culture infused and not in a “hey we all talk this, so it’s okay” kind of way, but more of a who the hell cares? I would rather have character or plot development over cheap celebrity/movie jokes. I suppose that’s what people like about this series and probably why I haven’t enjoyed any of it that I’ve bothered to read.
Williams writing is fine. He writes with familiarity to the characters and the world, even if that world is a bit too cheesy. When not cracking jokes, the rest of the dialogue flows naturally and is believable. When the jokes come it derails everything.
The art is really good. When you’re Mark Millar, you can get great artists, and even if you’re not working with them, you can get great artists. Simon Fraser makes the book look like a movie from start to finish. The action is easy to follow, the celebs look close enough, but without getting sued. Gary Caldwell’s colors give it a nice look and keep the overall vibe the first series had.
If you’re big on this series, then chances are you’re going to love this volume and eat it up. You won’t care about a review. That’s fine, but if you’ve ever struggled with this title the way I have, then you won’t find anything here to hook you and bring you into the fold. I get that it’s taking a piss most of the time and just Millar’s version of Bond, but infused with real world gags, but at the end of the day that makes it feel more like Austin Powers than James Bond. Sadly though, for my money, it doesn’t beat either.
Kingsman: The Red Diamond #1
Image Comics/Millar World