Review by: TheNextChampion

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Size: pages
Price: 24.99

Donald E. Westlake wrote some great crime novels during his heyday. For some reason he liked to use a lot of pseudonyms of the course of his career. His most famous pseudonym would be ‘Richard Starks’, and under that name he wrote all twenty four books centered around one character. I’ll admit I know very little of these Parker novels outside of surface level knowledge. Learning that Darwyn Cooke and IDW was going to adapt the novels was exciting. It’s been awhile since I have hold something with Cooke as artist. Does the company do the original source justice?

Considering most of the praise goes to Cooke for this book (and very much so) I would like to talk about the story for a bit. I have no idea if this is word for word of the novel or a condense version; but I was involved with it for every page. Parker is a big brute and an unforgiving one at that. He’s not really an anti-hero, more of just a villain we can slightly root for. He doesn’t mind beating people up for information, or bossing around women (or beating them up), or sneak around establishments for clues (and most likely beating someone up). This kinda has a noir feel to it in some ways, especially towards the beginning when Parker is taking to his old flame. But this book does have a good mix of intrigue and action; which makes it a fun read.

Now we go to the elephant into the room. More specifically, a cool cat who loves the 1950’s more then anyone else in the room. Outside of ‘New Frontier’ this could be the best thing Cooke has ever worked on. I love the idea of just using three colors for the entire trade (blue, black, and white). He sets the tone for the entire trade with his old school style. His male characters are handsome and look like leading men in Hollywood. On the other hand the women he draws is just down right gorgeous. Sometimes they kinda look the same, but if anyone knows how to draw beautiful women it’s Cooke. This book is never confusing to follow and it’s more experiemental if you can believe.

I wish we didn’t have to wait for next year for the 2nd installment. It’s for the better as Cooke will most likely bring even more of his A game for this series. As long as each trade has the same quality of the first, this could be the best adaptation with a comic book.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 5 - Excellent


  1. It’s the 60s, not the 50s :).  But yeah, it’s a really good adaptation and FYI very close to the book.  I’d say even better than the book because in this adaptation Cooke has really distilled the essence of the story.  Can’t wait for the next one.

  2. @ohcaroline: It’s the 60’s? Huh….why does it make me feel old?

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