Image Comics 2017
Written by Rob Williams
Illustrated by Simon Fraser
Coloured by Gary Caldwell
Lettered & Designed by Peter Doherty
Working-class super-spy Eggsy follows in his mentor's footsteps but is still rough around the edges for a Kingsman agent. Rejected by his high school crush and hot on the heels of a rescue mission to save Prince Phillip, he embarks on an international terror plot in a story that starts where James Bond draws the line.
Well I knew the Kingsman movie came from a comic story but I hadn’t read it. With the movie being all over cable lately i’ve watched it at least a half dozen times, yeah I like Eggsy a lot. So when I saw this was out I got excited. It’s always nice to see the interchangeable way the movie franchise, with the second movie out this month it’s officially a franchise, and the comic books can be done so that they flow seamlessly between each other. This time around Millar may not be helming it but Rob Williams is and I’m such a fan of his work and from this issue alone I gotta say he’s a fan of the franchise as well. He pretty much nails the characterisation that we see beautifully.
I will say I like that this is a part of the Kingsman universe without it being tied into the forthcoming movie. You can say it’s almost anywhere in it’s timeline from after the last story and probably before the new one but it could also come after. It’s ambiguous enough so that we can marvel at a new story and the introduction of a new villain while feeling like we are among old friends again. Also I love the characterisation on Eggsy here and that both reminds us of his station, both reality and perceived that are in a constant state of flux.
Simon does a magnificent job here on the interiors. I love the attention to detail in the work that we see and more so since his use of backgrounds is encompassed in this. The perspective and angles used in the layouts on the page are spot on and really give you that almost cinematic feel of being able to use the city and such as another character in the story. We know who the characters are and he doesn’t try to make them look like the actors who portray them it’s close enough that the resemblance works out well. Also there a moments like with the old homeless guy where original characters shine like lighthouse beacons.
So I do like how this issue is structured. We get the past on Eggsy so that coincides with his present to create old and new challenges alike. That we get to see the core of how he sees himself and how others do as well really sets the stage for a level of characterisation that is meant to impress. Then to get us reacquainted by a throwaway adventure to remind us of his “job” nowadays and how even there his personality split, read you’ll understand why I say that, can be troublesome. Then of course we’re introduced to what will become his next mission. All of it flows beautifully throughout the issue and it really manages to make us want to see more.
I have to admit that while the movies can showcase the action sequences they are much more limited in what they can with characterisation. That’s where having a coexisting comic book series or story arcs comes in handy. They can play off each other so that while reading this we can “see” the action playing out like it would on a the big screen but get to laugh more because we get to “hear” more of how the characters behave in those situations. It’s a great dichotomy and the way Rob manages to use that to his advantage showcases why I am big fan of his work.
One of the things about Taron in the movies that I adore is that while he fits into both worlds he seems like he’s always playing dressup in the Kingsman world. While he looks like a kid in his older brother’s clothes it’s a great piece of characterisation that Rob manages to showcase using words here. Like the rebuttal at the bar or how his mum is well yeah shown as she is have this way of using both worlds to their fullest advantage.
The Kingsman is a franchise that should come out more regularly as it’s a great update of the Bond franchise for a new more modern age. Also it’s seeing a kid come into his own and not being able to do it with ease is incredibly now. The challenges are relateable to and while the gear might be far fetched it’s all still a dream kind of come true for many and that kind of appeal isn’t easy to come by.