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Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn…
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Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter (2009)

by Darwyn Cooke (Adapter), Richard Stark (Original author)

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Man, was this all kinds of awesome.

Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by the late Richard Stark (Donald Westlake), artist Darwyn Cooke adapted it to the graphic novel medium. Parker, set up by a desperate man in need of paying off some sketchy loans, seemingly returns from the dead to settle a score. Running through members of a massive crime organization dubbed, The Outfit, Parker makes it clear he wants his money back - at any cost.

I know I've been told 'round these parts that Parker is an excellent character, but after reading this, I couldn't believe just how bad-ass he was. That's right, I went there. Not only was he calm, confident and collected in just about everything he did; he kicked some serious ass in the process.

Also, the artwork in this was just tremendous. Cooke painted the world of 1960s New York in blacks, whites and various shades of blue. I've never seen anything like it and it really fit the atmosphere of Stark's story.

I'll go so far as to say this is easily one of my new favorites and the best graphic novel I've read since Batman's The Long Halloween. I have no idea how this measures up to the original source but if it's any indication on how this series is set to progress, count me in as a extremely interested.



EDIT - Met Darwyn. Got a signed copy! ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
Awesome art. Film Noir storyline. Not a read-again, but good. ( )
  allisonneke | Dec 17, 2013 |
So gritty I can still taste the sand in my back teeth. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Mar 30, 2013 |
The artist Darwyn Cooke reminded American comics of their mid-century mystique and allure. With this, his adaptation of the hard-boiled detective-less novels of Donald Westlake (who wrote them under the name Richard Stark), Cooke visits the era's underbelly.

Well, that's what the original novels were: dark, bloody stories of an anti-hero named Parker who commits crimes, kills people, hurts people (often women), and still manages to make you want to read the next one. The Parker novels are the ultimate refutation of that lazy criticism "Oh, I didn't like it -- there was no one to relate to." The only characters most readers of a Parker novel might remotely relate to are Parker's victims, and yet still we keep reading.

In Cooke's hand, the settings and characterizations of the first novel in the Parker series are more Mad Men, more Breakfast at Tiffany's, than the original seemed to be. They're more "uptown." Parker is more handsome (even the introduction states he was intended to look like Jack Palance, but instead we get something closer to an American version of Golgo 13, or of Clark Gable on steroids). The settings are more glamorous. With a few exception, the goons look like male models.

But it's still bracing stuff, told with a mix of casual familiarity and carefully paced action. At times the book feels less like a careful adaptation, and more like a drawn journal that Cooke kept while reading the original novel -- there will be a few images, and handwritten description of the plot as it unfolds. But most of it is told with an economy and elegance (there are numerous wordless passages, true to Parker's malevolent silence and the absence of introspection that it represents) that is rare in mainstream American comics.

In the end, I think this book is more enjoyable to fans of the original than it might be on its own, but I am so engrossed in the source material, I am not the best judge. I do recommend this adaptation, heartily.
  Disquiet | Mar 30, 2013 |
Having never read the original novels (although they are now on my TBR list) I must say that I quite enjoyed this work. I'm quite a fan of mid-century noir comics, and this one was as hard-boiled as any. The art style was well done, and the characters were gritty and believable. ( )
  Literate.Ninja | Jul 18, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Mr. Cooke depicts his characters with such emotion and conveys so much with gesture and composition that, except for the specifics of the hijacking, you could almost follow the story by the images alone. And when the words and graphics are in harmony, the effect is deliciously brutal
 
Imagine Mad Men, with its cool stylishness, but with characters even more depraved and rapacious, and you'll have an idea for what's in store when you read The Hunter.
 
Normally, a straight genre tale where the only point is how many people Parker can kill before he gets what he thinks is coming to him wouldn’t be for me, but although I’m not the audience, I can see the appeal. And the art is beautiful.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cooke, DarwynAdapterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stark, RichardOriginal authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Parker, a master thief, comes to New York City bent on getting revenge both on the woman who betrayed him and on the former partners who double-crossed him and cheated him of his money.

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