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Fantastic adaption to the graphic novel format
on October 16, 2010
Donald Westlake writing as Richard Stark created one of the earliest villain heroes, Parker. Like Fantomas, Tony Soprano or Dexter Morgan, we know they are clearly one of the "bad guys", yet we follow them along their adventures and hope that they survive their predicaments.
Parker is a very efficient crook. He is an independent, working for himself. He specializes in robberies (armored cars, jewelry, rare coins, etc.). He will kill when threatened or betrayed. When he kills he is remorseless and cold blooded. He own next to nothing and people he knows are just that, people he knows. He does not crave owning things nor the friendship of others. There is no sentimentality. When a fellow crook offers to help him out on a caper out of friendship for having been helped by Parker in the past, Parker notes this - it troubles him because it is seen as sign of weakness.
In this work, Parker is on the run from the syndicate after an earlier run in. Rather than hide away he takes the fight to the syndicate and goes after the head boss.
Darwyn Cooke continues his adaptation of the Parker novels. His earlier turn on "The Hunter" was terrific. He shows how the graphic novel format can capture the dynamism of the action and subtle shifts in tone and expression. He sticks close to the original material making only a few small changes - he compresses the plot from "The Man with the Getaway Face" and makes a tweak at the end. Parker personally goes to the crime boss Karns rather than using the middleman Quill.