Review of Secret Service: Kingsman by Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons | Fanboys Anonymous

Review of Secret Service: Kingsman by Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons

Posted by Sarrah October Young Tuesday, July 15, 2014
They've bloody well done it again, haven't they?

The Secret Service: Kingsman cover
Cover image
The team behind The Secret Service: Kingsman has created yet another smash hit for the Millarworld imprint. That team, consisting of writer Mark Millar (ummm… Kick-Ass anyone?) and Dave Gibbons (Watchmen artist extraordinaire) and co-plotted by Matthew Vaughn, the story centers on a super-spy who begins to feel badly for neglecting his downtrodden sister and her son. When his nephew gets into trouble for the umpteenth time, he steps in and takes the kid under his wing to train him as a fellow super-spy.

I know what you're thinking, and you're right: we HAVE seen this story before, sort of. The plot is strikingly similar to The Invisibles: Say You Want A Revolution by Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell (with other contributors). Both stories focus on a young teenage boy who is basically wasting his life by getting into trouble until he is plucked from the streets and given a purpose. Great overarching theme for both books, which is precisely where the similarities end. While Morrison takes his anti-hero on a psychedelic trip that lands him in an experimental program in a countryside retreat, Millar's anti-hero goes to spy school.

Uncle Spy roughing up some locals.
This guy is a total badass.
comic book Mark Hamill first page
Mark Hamill is in this. Seriously.
The main plot is the kidnapping of the world's most famous sci-fi actors and directors by an unknown group. Jack London, the uncle, is trying to figure out who is behind it and suspects a nefarious reason for such hand-picked kidnappings. From the tight writing and excellent panelling, we watch as Gary (Jack's nephew, "Eggsy" to his mates) tries to fit in at spy school. After stealing his uncle's car and joyriding with his mates from his pre-spy school life, he narrowly avoids the cops and crashes the vehicle. Sprung from jail by his uncle for the final time, Gary is offered one last chance to be a spy. Gary takes it and wakes up in his underwear in the middle of South America. He is told that this is his final test, and if he passes, he will follow in his uncle's footsteps and graduate to become a super-spy. If not, he will most likely be torn apart by the local police. They don't like outsiders, apparently.

Bottom line is this: buy the book and read it before the movie comes out later this year. It's a great read accompanied by some fantastic art and lots of (non-gratuitous) violence. What more do you need?

What are some of your fave spy comics? I'm always looking for new titles to read. Speaking of which, big shout-out to Toronto's Paradise Comics for supplying me with comics to read and review. Check them out!

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