Top positive review
You don't want to get on Parker's bad side
on August 21, 2009
The excitement generated in thriller and comics fandom when it was announced that artist Darwyn Cooke (The New Frontier, Selina's Big Score) would be adapting Richard Stark's (a.k.a. Donald E. Westlake's) first Parker novel was justified--Cooke has delivered a compelling new illustrated version of the story, which does justice to Stark's groundbreaking 1962 novel of an amoral thief relentlesly pursuing what he feels is rightfully his.
Readers first experience the grim and determined Parker as a veritable force of nature, a storm slowly gathering power as it moves towards landfall. In this particular instance, the storm is heading towards one Mal Resnick, who, proving there is no honor among thieves, has bushwacked Parker and the rest of his string after a heist, making off with the ninety thousand dollar score. Resnick, who used the money to pay off a debt he owed to the mob (here known as "the Outfit ") made only one mistake: he forgot to make sure everyone was dead. Surviving, juggernaut Parker sets his sights on Resnick, letting nothing, and no one, get in his way of regaining his share of the proceeds.
Although one would have to reread the source material to make absolutely sure, Cooke appears to have remained faithful to Stark/Westlake's novel, retaining the author's unique four segment structure (the first two segments told from Parker's point of view, the third from another cast member's point of view, the final segment returning to Parker's) and quoting huge chunks of text and dialogue verbatim. His style and layouts (recalling, at times, Will Eisner, Mike Ploog, Jack Kirby, Wally Wood (especially the way he renders women) and Alex Toth) suits the subject matter. Cooke also contributes some nice artistic flourishes which enhance the story; the inking and coloring are especially arresting. All in all, a wonderful job which will leave fans begging for more--fortunately, it's been reported that there are three additional adaptations in the works.