KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE – Movie & Graphic Novel Review

“Never judge a book by its movie.” That rule is usually a good one to follow. I personally try to read the source material prior to seeing its screen adaptation. In recent years, however, the surge in comic book adaptations have increased the quality of the material. Now movies originating from books can easily have every bit of potential that their source material has.

Kingsman didn’t pop up on my radar until the buzz started after its theatrical release. I’d never heard of the book so I went against my normal policy and started with watching the film. Thanks to the rarity of a date night with my wife (damn kids), I didn’t get to see it until it hit Redbox and man did I ever regret the wait!

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Movies are so serious these days! This one was a breath of fresh air because it was a hell of a lot of fun. The action was top notch with appropriate humor supported by great casting. Samuel L. Jackson is better than ever with genuine ‘laugh out loud’ moments coming from his ridiculous lisping character. Director Matthew Vaughn showed yet again that any movie with his name attached is in good hands. I wish I’d managed to see this in the theaters.

My rating of Kingsman: The Secret Service (movie) is 8 out of 10.

8 out of 10

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons

This is one of the few times I can say that I liked the movie more than the book… the movie expanded on certain areas that were somewhat glossed over in the book. There was a lot of buildup to the finale without much time spent on the conclusion. I did enjoy the dialogue between bad guys; its casual/pop culture-related theme added some depth that was easy to relate to. Example – the henchmen telling the villain that his nicknames for them are insensitive. My favorite part was the opening with Mark Hamill… I won’t say anything past that because it’s worth reading.

I went into the book with an expectation set by the film. Overall, the book came first but finished last. My rating of KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons is 6 out of 10.

6 out of 10

Give it a read if you happen across it or don’t have many other things in your to-read pile. Otherwise, skip it in favor of the movie.

LEGO The Joker Bumper Car

LEGO The Joker Bumper Car (30303)

LEGO polybag sets are often hit or miss. Usually at $3.99 a piece, they are at the same price point as standalone LEGO Minifigures so they can often be a great value. Sometimes they are uninteresting themes (Ninjago) or you get a fairly generic minifigure with some ordinary pieces. Other times you buy it exclusively for the figure and see the 40-something pieces as a bonus. Regardless, when the theme is right, polybags are a must own.

The Joker Bumper Car (30303) is the best of both worlds. It includes a spectacular minifigure with a display-worthy build. Minifigures like this particular Joker could easily go for $10 on its own in the secondary market. His sculpted hair is different from the hat-wearing Joker Steamroller minifig and the pie is unlike any other piece in my vast array of bricks. The bumper car itself is both fun and easy. When I picked mine up I also grabbed one for each of my kids. Even my daughter (at age 5) had little difficulty putting everything in place.

I was quite pleased with the end result! It only takes up the equivalent of two-ish regular minifigures so it can be displayed along with other figures without eating up too much shelf space. Many LEGO polybag sets have the minifigure sitting alongside the build rather than as an integral part – I’m very happy this wasn’t the case here. Joker sits snugly inside making for a compact build that will remain intact on my ongoing display.

My review of LEGO The Joker Bumper Car (30303) is a perfect 10 out of 10.

10 out of 10

This set is finally showing up in Target Stores after almost a year of rumors over its placement. If you see it, don’t wait! Grab one for yourself because they’ll be sold out in no time at all.

DEEP DARK FEARS by Fran Krause

DEEP DARK FEARS by Fran Krause

Everyone is afraid of something. Fears could be widely held, personally obscure, or that tiny piece of yourself locked away from the world in your subconscious. Fran Krause decided the best way to cope with his own was to draw them out in comic strip form. The idea is really quite brilliant; manifesting thoughts or scenarios that frighten us in non-threatening (and downright charming) cartoons is a spectacular way to face them.

I followed Fran’s Facebook after first reading about the comic in a Gizmodo article. From then on, periodically seeing his comics appear in my feed was always a treat. I’m a horror author with a slight comic book obsession – how could I not love his work?

The book itself is presented perfectly as a simple, non-flashy hardcover bound in black. Inside are 101 fears belonging to the author or dozens of contributors who were ready to face their fears. Each fear is given fair treatment – numbered with at least a page of its own for Krause’s art to bring them to life. In the end, readers are treated to an array of silly to sad or even just plain creepy.

I’m not going to repost any of the comics here because you should really check it out to see for yourself. This collection is well-priced, unique and definitely worth owning. Here are my top 10 fears from the book – look them up then tell me which ones you liked the most:

  • Fear #16
  • Fear #17
  • Fear #22
  • Fear #26
  • Fear #43
  • Fear #52
  • Fear #59
  • Fear #62
  • Fear #64
  • Fear #101

My rating of DEEP DARK FEARS by Fran Krause is an enjoyable 10 out of 10.

10 out of 10

Go pick it up and see what you’re afraid of! I promise you’ll have a great time in the process.