Kingsman: The Red Diamond #4 is part of a six issue mini series from Image Comics and the sequel to the highly successful Kingsman: The Secret Service series. This time Rob Williams of Suicide Squad is at the helm as writer, with Simon Fraser on the artwork and Gary Caldwell on colors.
Issue #4 starts us out at the edge of a literal cliffhanger. The Red Diamond has released his virus, killing all technology in the world and crippling the entire infrastructure of the world economy and modern life as we know it. After infiltrating the Red Diamond Mine in China, Eggsy and SASS (South African Secret Service) agent Kwaito find themselves in a deadly trap. The Red Diamond has lured them there along with the rest of the world’s richest to kill them all, eliminating his competition and making him the soul King of the World. As the Hundred Dragon Lift drops 1000 feet killing all those inside, our two heroes narrowly escape by breaking the glass and flying away on their concealed wingsuits. Somehow they manage to catch up with the helicopter carrying the Red Diamond’s henchman Ingot, and steal a map from him which reveals the secret location of the Red Diamond’s hidden lair. Kwaito is incapacitated during the scuffle with Ingot and plummets toward the ground as Eggsy gives chase, saving her from certain death.
The two of them celebrate their near death experiences the only way you’d imagine two secret agents would: They bang! Well, at least for two minutes anyway. After gathering themselves and putting on some clothes, they make their way to the nearest Chinese bar where Eggsy gives a call to London to check in on his Mum, his brother Ryan, and Mum’s new boyfriend Johnny. Johnny has taken it upon himself to try and make a profit by selling off all of the food that Eggsy had left for them before he went off to China. This of course attracts the attention of some unsavory characters who bust into the flat to steal the food at the very moment that Eggsy is on the phone with his Mum. As she tries to kick them out they punch her in the face, knocking her out and to the ground. Eggsy hangs up and immediately calls the Kingsmen for help, only to find that an angry mob of looters have descended upon the Kingsman’s clubhouse to raid and pillage it as well. Will Eggsy and Kwaito be able to find the Red Diamond’s secret lair and reverse the virus before it’s too late and the world is thrown back into the Dark Ages? What will happen to Mum and Ryan? We will have to wait for issue #5 to find out!
This series thus far has been very well written and enjoyable, with interesting characters and a compelling story. It has an underlying social commentary about society’s dependence on technology. This issue however seems to be the weakest of them so far. Williams has crafted a great story overall but a lot of the dialogue in this particular issue seems a bit throwaway. It was obvious that Eggsy’s Mum’s boyfriend Johnny was going to get them into trouble running his mouth about all the food they had. It was also obvious that our two heroes were going to get it on. Other than the part about the map to the secret headquarters, the story didn’t really seem to go anywhere that wasn’t already a given. It wasn’t bad, but it was not on par with the previous issues.
Simon Fraser’s art continues to be on point in this issue and adds some excitement to the story. The coloring that Gary Caldwell brings to that artwork is very pleasant and complements it well. There has been a consistency in the style and in the look of this title that really captures the feeling of the movies and the previous comic book series.
Overall I have to say that Kingsman: The Red Diamond #4 is not a bad entry into the series; it just doesn’t seem to hold up to the previous issues and kind of stalls in a way. Given what they did with the first three issues, hopefully the last two will pick it back up again. I would recommend this issue and this series to fans of the previous series or the films, even though this particular issue is a bit lackluster for me.
I recommend it to anyone that is collecting the series because it does contain a few things that are key to the rest of the story. Overall it didn’t move the story along tremendously however and I could have skipped reading this, read the next issue, and not have felt like I missed a lot.