Publisher: Image Comics
Story: Rob Williams
Art: Simon Fraser
Release Date: 8th November 2017
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years I’m sure you’ve all either seen the superb Kingsman movie or at least heard of it. The story of a young chav from Peckham going from tracksuits to tailored three-piece suits, fighting for Queen and country to save the world from the latest maniac who has emerged.
When I picked up Kingsman: The Red Diamond I was not disappointed. It greets you with the same wit and ironic self-awareness that Mathew Vaughn’s cinematic interpretation has. Rob Williams takes over the writing in this sequel and does a good job of picking up where Mark Millar left off.
Tonally it still hits the same satirical beats as the original, providing the perfect antidote to the dated James Bond films which Austin Powers first started taking the piss out of years ago. The thing that sets Kingsman apart, however, is that it’s not directly poking fun at the ridiculousness of Bond, and it instead celebrates the elaborate plots and crazy, unrealistic gadgets that couldn’t possibly happen in real life.
Eggsy acts as the reader in many respects, being someone from everyday life catapulted into this ridiculous situation. Williams uses this well in showing just how much of an outsider he seems to be in this world of gentlemen spies. He’s the only one cracking dick jokes and taking a toke on his old mate’s spliff while the world burns around him.
The main villain is a great example of a super spy nemesis, a diamond trader who apparently ate his way out of collapsed mine. After amassing more wealth than God, he has become disillusioned with the capitalist structure of society and wants a change, so he turns off every computer on the planet at once and declares himself the king of the world. And, as the world descends into chaos, it’s up to the Kingsman to save the day by inserting a gadget-free (aside from a fake moustache) Eggsy into a meeting with the madman to try and flip the on switch back on.
What I liked is that due to the pace of the story you can jump straight into the action. This issue is already halfway through the arc but the plot instantly picks you up and whisks you along for the ride. Simon Fraser’s art has a unique mix of beautifully detailed landscapes and the classic comic-styled characters, the angular jaws highlighted by bright colours against jet black shadows. He also adds that classic suited style of the Kingsman while emphasising the menacing nature of the villains. Reading the comic you can’t help but be reminded of the pimp-looking Roger Moore duality with Jaws back in the 70s. It matches perfectly with the writing, creating instantly memorable and utterly ridiculous characters, like the giant of a henchmen who for some reason is spouting film references at the end of every sentence.
This series is perfect for anyone who grew up on the sharp wit of Connery against Goldfinger or Powers against Dr Evil, or even if you’re just in need of a Kingsman fix having just watched Golden Circle. While the film and book differ noticeably, this is still bloody good fun and, at the end of the day, that’s all its meant to be.
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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