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Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit

(Parker Graphic Novels #2)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  4,199 ratings  ·  251 reviews
After he evens the score with those who betrayed him and recovers the money he was cheated out of from the syndicate, Parker is riding high. Until, that is, he's fingered by a squealer who rats him out to The Outfit for the price they put on his head. ...more
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published October 6th 2010 by Idea and Design Works, LLC. (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  4,199 ratings  ·  251 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gn-crime
You know, if you read Darwyn Cooke's loving adaptation of Richard Stark's (Donald Westlake) Parker alongside Agatha Christie, as I am doing, the obvious thing to say is that it is way more brutal. Parker is a thief, a career criminal. But The Outfit is also bleakly beautiful in its depiction of the story, which is again, after Cooke's first adaptation of Starks' The Hunter, a kind of revenge tale.

Parker, the toughest of tough guys, a really bad guy, never smiles in this book. He doesn't believe
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
In the second of Cooke's Parker adaptations, Parker has changed his face via plastic surgery, being on the run from The Outfit. But when a colleague fingers him, Parker goes on the offensive, sending guys out on jobs hitting The Outfit at where it counts, the bottom line. I think I enjoyed this even more than The Hunter. It shows Parker's cold, calculated side as he schemes to take out the head of The Outfit. Cooke's art has a a 60's pop-art look to it that fits the 60's setting perfectly. ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
As a fan of the Parker series and comic books, these adaptations are right in my wheelhouse, but what I find most intriguing about them is the clever ways that Darwyn Cooke has used to tell a text story into a more visual form while staying true to the spirit of the original books.

The Outfit was the third book in the Parker series, but this one also adapts the second novel, The Man With Getaway Face, into part of this story, too. Parker pissed off the Outfit and even though he’s gotten plastic s
Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman
Having read many of the Parker novels im hugely impressed by how Cooke adds a new dimension to the stories with his artwork,the way he narrates,uses two novels The Outfit,The Man with the Getaway Face into one Graphic Novel.

Cooke’s art has never been better the inking,the coloring,the use of shadows. Every page with Parker himself is priceless because he got Parkers look,movement so well. I just stared in awe in how great Parker looked. How he can be retro,cartooney art style and still draw hard
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Though it stands a little in the shadow of The Hunter (the excellent preceding volume featuring tough and taciturn antihero 'Parker'), The Outfit was still a reasonably entertaining graphic novel adaptation by Cooke from Westlake's long-running crime series. (I enthused in my prior review that it is a great collaboration between artist and author.) The energy or forward momentum is good until the halfway point and then things sort of . . . well, Parker is off-stage for many pages and it
Sam Quixote
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second of Darwyn Cooke’s comic book adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker novels with this one using material from the novels “The Outfit” and “The Man with the Getaway Face”. After Parker walks off with a hefty chunk of change from the Outfit (a crime syndicate) at the end of the first book The Hunter, a price is put on his head as Parker heads south to enjoy his earnings in the lap of luxury. But even after altering his face with plastic surgery, he’s spotted and the Outfit are ale ...more
Stewart Tame
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Darwyn Cooke's adaptations of the Parker novels are pure comics perfection. The artwork is a perfect match for the material, very much in the early 60's mode. Although I wasn't born until the late 60's, I've read enough magazines and whatnot from the era to appreciate details like business logos and so on. Cooke's research is right on the money as far as the time period goes. This is a world of Esso gas stations and Timex watches and AAA maps and so on. This book picks up close to where the prev ...more
Nov 25, 2015 marked it as to-read
This copy is signed by Darwyn Cooke.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Parker is still under the gun from the Outfit, a crime syndicate. His recourse - attack back. He zeroes in on the operations, contacting other bad guys to hit the Outfit where it hurts - in the pocketbook.

Good hard nosed noir.
Michael Finocchiaro
I am not normally a very patient person. Some might go to the extreme of calling me impatient in fact. But I am learning. After almost 3 years of struggle, I have seen several of my initiatives come to fruition at work recently and realized that my patience paid off. There were several moments of hesitation where I wanted to throw in the towel because I thought things were not moving at all, but I hung in there, continued to build a diverse and fairly huge fan base, and delivered high quality ou ...more
Writing under a pseudonym in 1963, Donald E. Westlake wrote a series about a calculating, hard-boiled career criminal named Parker, and after receiving Westlake’s blessing to adapt the series into a graphic novel series, comics artist Darwyn Cooke published this second installment in 2010. In the first installment, Parker was dealing with a former associate who double-crossed him, and ended up crossing paths with the mob, known as The Outfit. Since they continue to put hits out on his life, Park ...more
Lars Guthrie
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Darwyn Cooke decisively scored with his first comic book adaption of the Richard Stark ‘Parker’ novels: ‘The Hunter.’ ‘The Outfit’ doesn’t deliver the same bold punch. That might be expected from a sequel, and because the story line is not as hard-hitting or straightforward.

Cooke’s choice of palette is an indicator of a more workman-like delivery. There’s still just one color other than black and white, but where it was crackling cyan in ‘The Hunter,’ ‘The Outfit’ is tinted with a more muted bl
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, crime
After the success of Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, in which Darwyn Cooke adapted a classic of crime fiction for the comic book page, we're treated to this gem of a book. Too bad I can't give it six stars!

First off, there were some choices to be made, story-wise, to keep the book flowing evenly while respecting the source material and not going over a certain number of pages. Before the actual 'Outfit' story, Cooke included a short adaptation of Stark's The Man With The Getaway Face, in whi
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: comix, fiction, 2011
Parker had evened the score with the Outfit, or so he thought. After extensive facial reconstruction surgery, Parker is identified by a squealer, outing him to his enemies. Parker realizes that the fight isn't yet over and he intends to finish it!

So, while I did like this book, I wasn't into it as much as The Hunter. Cooke seemed to take the story in a few directions towards the end, tying up loose ends and telling other parts in a different format. By throwing in a magazine style layout as well
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic second graphic novel in this series. It is smart, fast paced and brutal with beautiful art that enhances the 1960s setting. Highly recommended.
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Probably as interesting as the first graphic novel, this second one didn't leave me disappointed. Lots of cool 1960s decor and vibes are found in the cartoon panels. Remember the Esso signs? The graphic novel Parker fits my idea of the literal one from the Stark novels. The pages of text toward the middle slow down the story a little. Enjoyable enough. ...more
Well, that was quick. Just hours after finishing Cooke's first book in the series, The Hunter, here I am reviewing book #2, The Outfit - guess that's what quarantine reading does to you.

Actually enjoyed this one quite a bit more, in part because unlike Hunter it was an unfamiliar story to me, but also because I can tell that Cooke just had more fun drawing it. While he maintains the same "Saul Bass-ian" hard noir graphic style for most of the book, when he gets to the four robberies that make up
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
My Grade = 70% - C-

Originally published as a novel (by Donald Westlake) - 1963. 152 pages.

Current incarnation as a hardcover graphic novel - July, 2009. Price tag - $24.99.

When I was a lad they were called comic books and they sold for a dime - and this one is not even in color.

This one is from my favorite thrift shop in Pennsburg, Pa, where all adult books are sold for 50 cents (unless they are on sale for 30% off, or 50% off, or sometimes free day,) which is probably why I picked it up.

James  Love
Excellent adaptation of the novel. It even includes a nice "idiots guide" that explains illegal betting, the "numbers" racket and money-laundering/smuggling complete with illustrations. Yeah, I know it's a graphic novel, I was being sarcastic.

Sadly, IDW has not made the previous book The Man with the Getaway Face or the martini edition of The Hunter that includes the aforementioned book available for download on Kindle/Comixology.

Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Book 2 Of Darwyn Cooke's graphic novels based on Donald Westlake's, aka Richard Stark, Parker books is The Outfit. This story picks up not to long after the first story, The Hunter, had ended and it continues the story of Parker's run in with the Outfit. Parker has gone back to his life of resorts and rich women after he had gotten plastic surgery to change his looks when an Outfit hit man tries to take him out. This sets off a series of things as Parker has to "convince" the Outfit to leave him ...more
Donald Westlake (Richard Stark) was one of the early sculptors of this picaresque anti-hero genre. In Parker, we have the mold that many have since used. In fact, the current TV show Vegas seems to borrow a lot from this guy.
Darwyn Cooke's graphics fit well with the "throw-back" nature of the story...simple b&w renderings that don't distract from the words.
This book is all about pay-back and, if that's your core interest, Parker delivers.
Max's Comic Reviews and Lists
Judgment of the Mob
Alright Imma keep this review short so I can continue reading the rest of the series. The Hunter is a book that gets better as I think about it. I immediately jumped into this 2nd volume excited to see Parker reign hell of the mob. It started out semi strong and then turned into a snooze fest. The first 2 parts or so served as an entertaining heist. As soon as Parker starts trying to take down the Outfit, this book became a confusing and frankly pretty boring read. Every f
Oct 21, 2020 rated it liked it

Since I couldn't find book 1, this is my first bout with Darwyn Cooke and I'm loving his style of almost minimal and washed single tone colors. Also special mention on idw's choice of paperstock (or cardstock) used in this version, it's the thickest one I've come across in any graphic novel by far. 

This a solid story, it has the old world charm of a typical crime fiction from the sixties and seventies and Cookes distinctive art style, that reminds you of the cartoon shows from that era, gr
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have never read a Richard Stark novel, so I don’t know how the Parker character reads in prose. Darwyn Cooke’s comics adaptation of The Outfit, however, is a great read all on its own. The late Cooke has a fondness for midcentury graphic design and advertising art which provides him with the tools to elegantly reproduce the early ‘60s milieu of the Parker novels. As a storyteller and draftsman, he was more than just the cartoonist laureate of the Jet Age, distilling influences such as Jack Kir ...more
Darrell Reimer
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was ok
Darwyn Cooke's original outing with Richard Stark's Parker was a lushly rendered, graphic tour-de-force. With his second go-round, the aesthetic more or less remains, but much of the energy is gone. Part of this is due, I think, to Cooke's strict faithfulness to Stark's work. There are Parker books where the action is very physical, and moves relentlessly forward, The Hunter being one such. But there are also Parker books where most of the action is in Parker's head, as he adjusts tactics to sta ...more
Nov 20, 2010 added it
Although not as sleek in narrative as his previous Parker outing, The Hunter, Cooke’s second Parker graphic novel rewards the reader who pays close attention to his multitude of characters, their frequently surprising duplicity, and a narrative structure that likes to double-back at times – and not to mention his use of several different narrative forms -- like the magazine article -- to further develop his plot. (The last time I recall this being used most effectively was in the additional mate ...more
Ward Jenkins
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The continuing saga of Parker is another classic. Darwyn Cooke continues to cook with his excellent draftsmanship, gorgeous layouts, luscious character design, you name it. Cooke does a pretty decent job in recreating the look and feel of that mid-century era, too, while at the same time putting his own spin on it. I found it fascinating that he shows several heist jobs through a seedy, pulp crime magazine implemented into the comic format. Here, the jobs are depicted through various styles, fro ...more
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, novels, 2011, collected
hard not to love what darwyn does. i love his art: the energy, life, and design. i just read an article they posted on his parker books that he did while he was the long beach comic con last week, and remembered that i'd never posted about these. i'm giving this one a four though initially i had a five. i have a soft spot for darwyn: he's one of my favourite people in real life, too. he sparks in real life just like his art. i saw him just the other night on his way back east and he was as feist ...more
Fábio Fernandes
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: noir, read-in-2014
I'm a big fan of Donald Westlake and his alter-ego, Richard Stark. I was just rereading one of his books when I found out this series of graphic novels by Darwyn Cooke, of whom I am also a huge fan because of his work in DC's The New Frontier.

Cooke is not a realistic artist - so what? IMO, he manages to make Parker and his brutality all the more real in his cartoonish-ness (not to mention the femmes fatales he finds along the way, who are as beautiful and intriguing as any real flesh-and-blood
Steve Banes
Oct 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Amazing follow-up to his equally brilliant adaptation of "The Hunter", Darywn is seriously redefining what can be done with the crime comic. Visually and violently stunning, if you've never read a comic book or any of Donald Westlake's (aka Richard Stark) books, then this is definitely a good place to start. I finished it in one evening, and then stayed awake all night thinking about it. ...more
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Darwyn Cooke was an Eisner Award winning comic book writer, artist, cartoonist and animator, best known for his work on the comic books Catwoman, DC: The New Frontier and Will Eisner's The Spirit.

In 1985, Cooke published his first comic book work as a professional artist in a short story in New Talent Showcase #19, but economic pressure made him leave the career and he worked in Canada as a magazi

Other books in the series

Parker Graphic Novels (6 books)
  • Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter
  • Richard Stark's Parker: The Man with the Getaway Face
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score
  • Richard Stark's Parker: Slayground
  • Parker — Intégrale (Parker #1-4)

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