Release Date: April 12, 2012
Publisher: Icon Comics (Marvel Comics)/Millarworld
Writer(s): Mark Millar
Artists(s): Dave Gibbons
Cover Price: $2.99
Mark Millar knocks another one out of the proverbial park with The Secret Service! I had heard that this “does to the spy genre what Kick-Ass did to the superhero genre”, and judging by the first issue that couldn’t be closer to the truth. Secret Service opens with the kidnapping of one of geekdom’s most beloved players—Mark Hamill—and his ridiculous rescue at the hands of secret agent Bimbo. The story quickly shifts to the personal lives of agent Jack London and his hooligan nephew, Gary, during the latter’s latest tussle with the police. That’s the gist of the events without going into specifics, but believe me—I’m not doing Millar’s writing any justice. He brings his patent brand of gritty storytelling, complete with large doses of the black humor that we all know and love.
The team on this book is astounding: Millar is writing, Watchmen virtuoso Dave Gibbons contributes his golden pencil, and film director Matthew Vaughn(who recently brought Kick-Ass to life on screen) is co-plotting, whatever that means(I like it though, it sounds supervillainy). I’ve heard that Millar and Vaughn are writing the comic and film script at the same time—which also happened with Kick-Ass—so that should give readers an idea of just how confident Millar and his team are about this series. Hopefully they can get Gibbons involved in the film in some way other than just storyboards and posters, because his art is a highlight of this book. Unlike many newer artists, Gibbons gives all of his characters distinctive looks and gestures—you won’t find any Michael Turner-isms here—and I’ve always loved that about Dave’s art; his passion and attention to detail is impressive and refreshing.
With such a talented team, Millar seems to have constructed his very own “Secret Service”(or A-Team; I’ve always preferred that term for a group of awesome badasses); lucky for you though—you’re in on the secret. Whether you’re a fan of espionage or Millar’s stuff in general, there is much enjoyment to be had here. It’s very rare that I read the last page of a comic and instantly crave the next panel, and I’d be surprised if the same doesn’t happen to everyone who reads this issue. Pick this up next time you hit your local shop, you won’t be disappointed. Unless you hate good things, which would just make you fucking weird.