Title: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Author: Mark Millar Illustrator: Dave Gibbons
Release Date: September 16th 2014
Source: Purchased from Chapters
I am always trying to find new ways to get my brother interested in reading (as it’s my greatest passions, it hurts to see someone so disinterested in something I love,) so when the Kingsman movie was released weeks before his birthday, I thought: graphic novels. Short and simple. So I went to Chapters and bought him a copy of Kingsman: The Secret Service.
It is a thrilling coming of age story, of sorts, that follows the story of a young delinquent finally finding a purpose in life. Though the characters exuded the stereotypes they were based on (Uncle Jack IS James Bond,) they were nonetheless fascinating in Millar’s world of secret agents and super spies. Not to mention, the story itself is a geek’s fantasy: Mark Hamill along with various other well-known icons of the SciFi/Fantasy (as well as Mick Jagger?) realm cameo through the story.
Though some scenes felt unnecessary, like the whole sex ed curriculum in their spy school (three cheers for teaching young men where the g-spot is!) which felt like an over-the-top tribute to James Bond’s well-known “talents,” but I found the story itself is obviously a spoof – a play on the spy/secret agent genre we know and love – mixed with the very real and disturbing realities of poverty and abuse that affect so many around us.
Although, I preferred the movie (oh, Colin Firth!) which elaborated and strengthened the villain’s plot, I felt that the graphic novel did a much better job at portraying Eggsy’s back story and the inner-workings of the spy school and the meticulous training that goes into pursuing this career, rather than the 5 montage of guns, cars and explosions.
For a light read, Kingsmen: The Secret Service contains a very important message for every reader – never give up on yourself – and I think that’s what makes it a great story.