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Comic vs Movie: "Kingsman: The Secret Service"

Writer: Casey Lee



What's the difference between the "Kingsman" movie from the comic books?

When "Kingsman: The Secret Service" was released back in the sleepy months of 2015, no one was expecting it to be a big success in the box office it way it did. So successful in fact, not only are we getting a sequel now (giving a big break to young star Taron Egerton), it has even managed to change the direction of the comics itself. While it might be thanks to director Matthew Vaughn that the "Kingsman" franchise is as recognised as it is today, he did not do this without taking some creative liberties.


So in commemoration with the sequel "Kingsman: The Golden Circle" now in cinemas, we decided that it was worth revisiting the first movie and see what was changed to make the sequel happen. And if for some reason, you haven't seen "Kingsman: The Secret Service", there will be spoilers ahead.

There were no Kingsman

Right off the bat, we'll start off that the original comics were not called "Kingsman", but it was called "The Secret Service". Rather than being an independent spy network inspired by the Knights of the Round Table, the Secret Service in the comics was referring to the British Intelligence Service MI6. Since the Kingsman and its motto of "Manners Maketh Man" was an entire fabrication by Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman, it also means that there was no archaic structure between the spies in the MI6 and they were not codenamed after knights. However, after the success of the movie, the comic has gradually adapted towards referring the spy network as the Kingsman.

Mark Hamill was supposed to be the villain or was he?

This one can get a little confusing, but try to follow this. In the opening scene at the snow house, we see Mark Hamill playing as a kidnapped professor named James Arnold; a minor character who was supposed to be rescued by a Kingsman until it was botched by the arrival of the movie's villain; Richmond Valentine, played by Samuel L Jackson. In the comics, there was no Richmond Valentine and the main villain was actually a white man named Professor James Arnold, who had similar motivations as Valentine to cull the world of its human population. That isn't all the connection between Mark Hamill was supposed to have. The comics actually had the actual Mark Hamill himself appear, and he was offered to be one of the few people who would be saved from the purging.

Gazelle was a man

If purist fans of the comics were enraged by the changes to the main villain, we are glad that Vaughn had also decided to change one of the villain's henchmen. We all fell in love with the badassery of Gazelle in the movie; a woman amputee with her sharp prosthetic legs. In the comics, however, Gazelle was actually a black male henchmen to the main villain (you may note the slight subversion the movie did of having a black person be the main villain instead). Instead of legs that could cut a Kingsman in half, comic Gazelle had cutting edge bionic legs. Also changed was the way Gazelle died, which was by poison in the movie, but it was far more brutal in the comics involving a laser pen.

Harry Hart / Jack London

When Eggsy is recruited to join the Kingsman, his mentor and recruiter is a Kingsman by the name of Harry Hart, played by Colin Firth. This was also another original creation for the movie, although he was modeled after Jack London, the person who recruited Eggsy (but more often called by his given name Gary) in the comics. A major difference in the relationship between them is that Jack London is Eggsy' actual uncle. This might not be a significant detail to be used in the movie, but it does lose the element of family from the comics and the bond that Eggsy had with his mentor and father figure.

The Church scene

Easily the most talked about scene when "Kingsman: The Secret Service" came out, making Matthew Vaughn one of the top directors when it comes to making challenging set pieces and trying the conventions of cinematic violence. This was another great addition that was only in the movie, however, things played out quite differently in the comics. When testing out the mind controlling powers of the SIM cards, the test was done in a wedding in Hawaii. Although the massacre that followed was not as cinematic or as exciting in the movie, Harry Hart's comic counterpart character was not there, and there were actually no survivors by the end of it all.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2017


Related Movies:
Kingsman: The Secret Service (12 Feb 2015)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (21 Sep 2017)

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