A while back, I wrote a review about Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service which he adapted from Mark Millar and Dave Gibbon’s six issue comic called Secret Service. My recommendation was a glowing one and today I’m revisiting my review to discuss the source material. Unfortutely, it took me some time after I posted my review to get a hold of this comic, but I finally was able to read this on a single train ride home. Let’s begin.
Since I had the movie plot and characters fresh in my mind, I immediately noticed the differences in the characters of the comic. The story still follows a young man named Gary who gets into trouble and is bailed out by his Uncle Jack who takes a chance on his nephew and pulls some strings to get him into the secret agent training program. That plot is similar to Colin Firth’s decision to submit Eggsy into the training program. And the story plays out in a similar fashion as the movie with slight variations, of course.
Mark Millar is well-known for penning his Kick-Ass series which tends to be on the graphic side. Secret Service is just as graphic and doesn’t shy away from some nudity as well. But all the deaths and super spy seduction worthy of James Bond reinforces Millar’s world where Uncle Jack and his colleagues fight to save the world on a daily basis. And Gary, like Eggsy, is thrown into this flashy world of megalomaniacs and super spies.
The comic is well done and like the first Kick-Ass, gives Matthew Vaughn a great starting point to adapt into a 129 minute movie. Personally, I have more respect for both sources after consuming the movie and source material. I understand the choices Vaughn made with the brutal church sequence as well as changing the character, Gazelle, into a female henchman. His decisions made an extraordinary action flick that can stand alone from the comic. But the comic can also stand alone from the movie. Millar tells a great story that works really well in comic form that is both far-fetched and believable in this world of espionage. And Vaughn takes it further in such a way that glamorizes this world that Eggsy, Lancelot, and Merlin are a part of.
Does this get Shortboxed?
Like this duo’s first adapted collaboration in Kick-Ass, I enjoyed the movie versions over the comic source material. Blasphemy, I know. But reading the printed works gives me a better picture of how the movies came to be. And that’s why I am recommending this comic to be Shortboxed. Millar is exceptionally talented and it’s tough not to stick this book next to his first Kick-Ass book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and the six issues flew by. If you are a fan of espionage, high tech gadgets, and over-the-top super villains, then Secret Service is right up your alley!
Where to get it
If this is your first time visiting Shortboxed, thanks for stopping by! We want to provide a place online where people new to comics can come and learn about the culture and be introduced to some amazing stories without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. We’re always adding new content, so please come back soon! You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr at @shortboxed.