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VINE VOICEon 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.
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on February 18, 2017
Different and far darker than I expected--though I didn't really know what to expect. The noir artwork and themes drew me too it (and the guy at the comic book store highly recommended it). I hadn't even heard of the original novels by Richard Stark.

Parker is the protagonist - but he's certainly no hero. He does, though, have that inner code that noir protagonists have. He's a completely self-sufficient and supremely competently man. You do not want to cross this guy--as he is makes crystal clear in the course of the book. As Spenser said of Hawk: "He's not a good man, but he's good."

I haven't read many graphic novels, so I don't have much to compare this to. But the art fit the story very well. It helped set the mood and tone.
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on January 11, 2016
I tried this out knowing what Darwin Cookes illustration style was (and I love it). Little did I know that Richard Stark's "Parker" character is MADE for Cookes style. Very retro & the fact that they did it as a duotone (the entire book is printed with black & shades of blue) only further cemented the time period they were going for. As I read through this first story, i realized this book is the reference for Mel Gibson's move "PAYBACK". A great, GREAT story! I quickly picked up the next book "The Outfit" and was not disappointed. This is a book that you will keep in your collection for years to come.
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on December 13, 2014
What can I said that hasn't already been said about this book?
Clearly, if you're here looking at this amazon page, then you clearly know the goodness of Richard Stark's Parker series.
I'm not going to lie, I usually prefer to read stuff thats more fluffy and happy, but the art is simply on point.

The art was the reason why I even picked up this book in the first place. But the dark tale of cold-blooded revenge just got to me and made me a fan.

Pick this series up, it's definitely worth your time. Word of warning though, it's a little dark, and definitely not appropriate for little ones.

On a side note, the purchase and the delivery of the physical book itself was pretty reasonable, and I got the book in solid condition.
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on March 11, 2010
Darwyn Cooke has put together something really special with Parker: The Hunter. The hardcover edition is absolutely beautiful. The pages are thick and heavy and Darwyn's art jumps off the page at you. I'm a big fan of crime fiction/noir comics, and this is one of the better ones I've read since Brubaker's Criminal.

The tone is dark as Parker tracks down thug after thug who has wronged him. Cooke utilizes mostly whites, blues, an blacks for all of the art to help you feel the mindset of a man who is out to get his money back and will stop at nothing to do so. The cover is full color and completely stunning.

I was unfamiliar with Richard Stark prior to this book. After reading which movies that his books had spawned, I started to get an appreciation for the man realizing that I really like those movies, so I'm anxious to check out his prose versions somewhere down the line, though I've heard that Darwyn will adapt another Parker story to be released in mid-2010.

Though over 100 pages, this book is fast paced and action packed, spurred on by Cooke not using traditional frames within the book, leaving each panel open as a fluid transition into the next. I would have loved for it to take longer to read, but truth be told, I just couldn't put it down. Before I knew it, I was on the fourth chapter, nearing the climax and I forced myself to set it down for the night, though I finished it immediately the following morning. If you're a fan of Brubaker or Bendis's crime work, this ranks right up there with the best.

Darwyn Cooke is one of those special talents who can write (or in this case adapt) a comic and do all of the art for it. It's obvious that he put a lot of heart into this adaptation and greatly respects Richard Stark. Always a pleasure to read a book from someone who has so much love for sequential storytelling.
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on January 21, 2011
This is a fantastic transition. The movies have never gotten it right, close, but not right. This book brings parker alive, adding a glorious new dimension. Parker's utter brutality can be felt by the craftily articulated illustrations and drawings that describe a thousand violent words at once. The blunt depictions are completely in line with the Richard Stark Parker universe. I could literally feel the blood splattering off of the page as Parker wasted one goon after another. There is nothing comic about this comic book, this is a beautiful Frankenstein and a must own for any Parker fan, comic book fan, criminal fiction fan, or tough hombre.
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on February 16, 2014
what in the original prose comes across as tight minimalist story telling here lacks the structure to hold the attention. One would think adding pictures would aid the story but I am not sure I would have appreciated the plot if I had not read the Stark version in full. An interesting revisit but not much more.
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on May 20, 2017
Great book, good pulpy noir stuff. Fast delivery and the book was in great shape.
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on September 12, 2013
If you're a fan of realism as opposed to the whole super power thing - which I am, I enjoyed mail order bride and strangers in paradise tremendously - and you like criminal stories then you might be more inclined towards this graphic novel than I am.. at times I found it to be a great read.. other times I found myself getting a bit bored.. it just doesn't have the addictive " Can't wait to see what happens next ! " feel to it that say Chew or Saga does .. it's not bad but it's not something I could honestly give 4 or 5 stars to either..
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on April 15, 2015
Words can not describe how much I love this. The illustrations are perfect for this type of story. I will say that sometimes I felt that I might as well be rereading the original book with long passages of text.
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