Mark Millar has something of a reputation as a writer of violent, over-the-top works that probably aren’t that far removed from screenplays. One of his works, Kingsman: The Secret Service was adapted into a movie that was successful enough to garner a sequel out later this year.
I haven’t seen that movie in its entirety yet, but how was the original comic?
Truth be told, based on what I’ve seen of the movie, and what I’ve seen of Millar’s other work, this was rather tame. Oh sure, it had the requisite swearing and such, some violence, but there isn’t much in the way of mass head explosions or congratulatory butt sex. It’s even more surprising when you consider the book was co-plotted by Matthew Vaughn, who directed the movie. So, someone somewhere thought Kingsman‘s original story wasn’t crazy enough.
And truth be told, this one isn’t all that crazy. The characters here aren’t part of some independent spy agency that takes it upon itself to save the world, but rather a part of the real world British agency MI6, their version of the CIA. Young Eggsy is recruited by his uncle Jack, a James Bond-like super spy. Jack London is his full name, and it’s clear that Uncle Jack’s whole agency trains people to basically be Bond complete with the gadgets, fancy cars, and the seduction of women. Sure, there are some very Millar-ish bits, but the thing seems more like a Bond Year One than what I’ve seen of the movie.
As such, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, and I am totally fine with that. Nice Dave Gibbons artwork to go along with the story, and we see part of the plot deals with a rich man-child kidnapping sci-fi actors for nefarious reasons, so let’s say nine out of ten botched Mark Hamill rescues.