Review: Kingsman: A "Red Diamond" in the Rough
 
KINGSMAN: THE RED DIAMOND #1 (OF 6) - An I Reads You Review

IMAGE COMICS – @ImageComic

STORY: Rob Williams

ART: Simon Fraser

COLORS: Gary Caldwell

LETTERS: Peter Doherty

COVER: Frank Quietly

VARIANT COVER ARTIST: Dave Gibbons; Rob Doyle; Simon Fraser

28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (September 2017)

Rated M/Mature

Kingsman: The Secret Service created by Mark Miller, Dave Gibbons, and Matthew Vaughn

The Secret Service was a 2012 six-issue comic book miniseries created by writer Mark Millar, artist Dave Gibbons, and filmmaker Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class).  It was published by Icon, a pseudo-creator owned imprint of Marvel Comics.  Vaughn directed a film loosely adapted from this comic book that was entitled Kingsman: The Secret Service.  [The Secret Service comic book has since been re-branded as Kingsman: The Secret Service to tie-in closer to the film franchise.]

The Secret Service was apparently inspired by “classic” James Bond films and the spy thriller genre in general.  The story focused on a super-spy and his young and wayward nephew whom he recruits into “the secret service.”  With the impending arrival of a second film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, there is a new six-issue comic book, Kingsman: The Red Diamond.  It is written by Rob Williams; drawn by Simon Fraser; colored by Gary Caldwell; and lettered by Peter Doherty.

Kingsman: The Red Diamond #1 finds Gary “Eggsy” London living the ribald life of a highly effective British secret agent and man-about-town.  As the story begins, Eggsy is called to rescue a royal, but while the mission is successful, Eggsy does something that gets him in trouble.  Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Eggsy, another world-beating supervillain plots to destroy civilization.

I found the original Kingsman: The Secret Service comic book miniseries to be earthy, droll, nonchalant, and rather grounded, unlike the slickly-produced film.  Kingsman: The Red Diamond #1 also lacks polish, which I consider a good thing.  This first issue opens in such an unassuming manner that you might mistake it for a disaster in the making, but writer Rob Williams offers lots of surprises and delightful little shocks to make this an enjoyable read.  Plus, Williams teases the new villain in that perfect kind of way that makes readers want to come back for the second issue.

The art and graphical storytelling by Simon Fraser is acceptable, but considering that Fraser is following a legend and exceptionally gifted comic book artist like Dave Gibbons, maybe Fraser is not quite acceptable as he would be following an artist who was not a shining light.  It is almost as if The Red Diamond is being produced on the cheap.

In the end, however, I want to read more Kingsman: The Red Diamond, and this series may have even more surprises in store for its readers.  The creative team may also blossom as the series advances.

[This comic book has a preview of “Maestros” by Steve Skroce, Dave Stewart, and Fonografiks.]

B+

7 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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